Tuesday, December 26, 2023

BC-SMU preview

It should come as no surprise that in the lead up to the Bowl game, Hafley is saying all the right things. He always does. His mood seems good and the players speaking with the media seem to be buying in. BC's success in the transfer portal confirms that their message is working and they are committed to getting better. But what about the actual game? Can BC pull off the upset right down the street at Fenway? BC probably deserves to be an underdog, but this game is not unwinnable. I would love to see that with a month to prepare and with a maturing team, Hafley is able to beat a ranked team in a quasi-home game.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Hafley's bet on the Transfer Portal solves one problem: improving the roster. Even it all the guys don't turn out to be super stars, it seems pretty safe that the talent coming in is greater than the talent leaving. But all our issues are not talent. BC lost games -- Pitt and NIU -- when we made very questionable play calls. Until he gets things rolling, Hafley is unlikely to bring in ace coordinators, so it is on him to get more involved and intervene in-game it things are not working. Hafley seems willing to adjust. Will he do it well enough before his time runs out?

Three Simple Keys
1. Control the clock.
SMU has an explosive offense. We won't be able to hang in a shootout. If we want to win, we need to run and keep possession. 
2. Turnovers. When things were rolling midseason, BC was winning the turnover battle. We need that sort of luck this week.
3. Contain the explosive plays. Even bad teams had big plays against us. It was usually a mix of missed tackles, lack of speed and being in the wrong position. This extra bowl time should be a reset and have the guys focused on what they need to do and to make better plays.

Gambling Notes
-- SMU leads the series 1-0
-- Hafley is 1-11 vs ranked teams
-- SMU has lost three straight bowl games
The current line is BC+10

BC and SMU have a lot in common when it comes to recent bowl games. Like BC, they qualified for bowls in 2020 and 2021 with nothing to show for it. Both games were cancelled. 

Scoreboard Watching
Michigan vs Alabama in the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl is always must see TV for me. Throw in these two programs and make it a playoff and it becomes a game I won't miss. 

BC is in trouble if...nothing has changed. Hafley promised a few wrinkles and a few new faces. If none of it is noticeable, then why did he bother?

I hope to see...a complete game from TC. Hafley's future is in TC's hands. If he is going to be more than a runner, it better start showing soon. This would be a perfect time to take that next step.

Bottom Line
It is a long shot, but I think BC can do it. We just need to control the pace and pound away and TC needs to make a few things happen.
Final Score: BC 24, SMU 14