Thursday, October 25, 2007

Boston College v. Virginia Tech

Let's see how these two teams match up:

BC Offense v. VT Defense
Matty "Ice" Ryan, Heisman Candidate, takes on the renowned Virginia Tech defense, which has finished #1 in total defense in the nation the past two years. BC's offense has not been prone to too many mistakes this season (knock on wood), and this will be key in the showdown. As opportunistic as the "Beamerball" defense has been, BC's playmakers have protected the ball well, only giving up the ball 10 times this year - 17th in the nation in turnovers lost. If BC's receivers and backs can hold on to the ball, VT will not be able to capitalize on these opportunities, because Ryan generally puts the ball where it needs to be. The offensive line should be able to handle the VT blitzing as they are getting more comfortable with the new zone-blocking scheme the new coaching staff has introduced, so the running game will play a big factor in clock control late in the game.
Advantage: Slight Edge to Boston College

BC Defense v. VT Offense
Boston College has had to prepare for a dual threat at quarterback this week: it is unknown whether pocket passer Sean Glennon or scrambling quarterback Tyrod Taylor will start tonight. Regardless, the BC defense has been stout in both respects. The #1 rushing defense in the nation, combined with a passing defense that lets up yards but not scores, intercepting a league-leading 18 passes. Both Taylor and Glennon get rattled under pressure, and with the variety of looks from BC's defensive front 7, look for an effective pass rush with plenty of sacks. Cornerback DeJuan Tribble has been touted as one of the best cover corners in the game, so watch out for playmaker Eddie Royal to line up on the weak side and try to take advantage of a size matchup against the 5'9" Taji Morris when the safeties do not come over the top for help. As for the run, VT is averaging 3.3 yards per carry, with a majority of them coming from Taylor since he took over. VT has not been able to get Brandon Ore's rushing game going yet, and don't expect them to against BC, with interior run stuffer Ron Brace, and help from a deep linebacking core as well.
Advantage: Boston College

Special Teams
Beamerball. Speed. Athleticism. VT's special teams, coached by Frank Beamer himself, have always been incredible in the past, and this year is not an exception. While BC's coverage teams have been adequate this year, they face a tough matchup against return man Eddie Royal, who is averaging a superb 25.5 yards per kickoff return and an even more impressive 18.5 yards per punt return, returning two of the latter for touchdowns this year. While BC's returners have been good, it is unlikely that they will get a long return against the excellent VT coverage. Steve Aponavicious is coming off his worst game of the season, but could feed off the energy of his one-year anniversary of his first start, which came last year on a fairy-tale game against VT. Hopefully the BC line can prevent a blocked kick. Jud Dunlevy, the VT PK, has been reliable at 10-for-11, and has a long of 52 on the season. Both punters are accurate and have good distance, so it will come down to a matter of explosiveness and especially coverage.
Advantage: Virginia Tech

Boston College has the experience, as well as the benefit of being overshadowed by other Boston sports teams (I think one is playing in the world series right now), so the pressure is not as much as it could be. However, Lane Stadium was ranked #2 in the preseason as the toughest place to play. This e-mail sent to Virginia Tech students and alumni have got the Hokies (which are castrated turkeys, if you didn't know) even more amped up for tonight than ever before. Coming from a good friend who is an alumni of VT, "The emotions that have overshadowed every game since April 16 will be gone tonight. Welcome to the Terror Dome". Even though Matt Ryan's poise has been phenomenal this season, I don't think any of the players have ever experienced crowd noise like they will tonight. Good luck, guys. Hope you know sign language.
Advantage: Virginia Tech

Prediction: If this game is full of mistakes, it is obvious that Virginia Tech has a huge advantage, and their opportunistic defense and special teams will take huge advantage. However, if BC can keep the mistakes at a minimum, and avoid costly turnovers and penalties, BC SHOULD win this game. It's been a crazy season, and anything could and will happen in what Beamer said will be a "violent game." My prediction is a hard-fought, good game, with BC's defense taking advantage of a struggling Hokie offense, and Matt Ryan capitalizing on the opportunities, edging out the Hokies. BC 24, VT 17.

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