Virginia Tech at Boston College
Time: 8 p.m.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008
Place: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Last Meeting: The Hokies beat the Eagles, 30-16 on Dec. 1, 2007, in Jacksonville, Fla., to capture the 2007 ACC Championship Game. Sean Glennon was named MVP after throwing for 174 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers.
Trends: The Hokies have won five consecutive games and are 2-0 on the road...the Eagles have won their last three games and are 2-1 at home...the Hokies are 16-1 on the road in ACC play...however, the lone loss came at BC in 2006...the Hokies are 5-2 after a bye since joining the ACC with the last two losses coming against BC.
What to Expect: The Hokies have had their struggles running against BC in teams' last three games. In 2005, the Hokies ran wild on their way to a 30-10 win over the Eagles, gaining 212 yards on 53 carries (4.0 YPC). However, in the last three games, the Hokies have 247 yards on 125 carries (2.0 YPC).
Unfortunately, I think this will continue this weekend. BC's front seven is just too good for the Hokies to expect a lot from the running backs. DTs Ron Brace and BJ Raji are the best DT combination in the league if not the nation. Add to them a good linebacking corps led by Brian Toal and the Eagles should have no problem slowing Virginia Tech's running game.
However, the Hokies do have Tyrod Taylor. His ability to scramble and break big plays with his feet out of the pocket give the Hokies a chance to crack the century mark in rushing yards. I think you'll have to see Tyrod scramble for a few first downs on third down situations this weekend. If he's successful and can extend drives with his feet, the Hokies have a very good chance.
On defense, the Hokies will have to deal with a BC offense that is improving. The run game carried the team for the first few weeks of the season as younger players such as Josh Haden and Montel Harris blossomed quickly. The QB position was big question mark until last week when Chris Crane took the team on his shoulders on the way to a win at NC State.
In that game, Crane had 428 yards passing. He had 461 yards passing through his first four games.
Crane is a poor man's Scott Frost and is deceptively quick, which means he's a fast white guy. He will be able to escape the pocket as well and turn big losses into no gains and positive yards. However, the Eagles have turned the ball over 10 times this season, including three times against NC State.
If Crane turns into a pumpkin again on Saturday, you could see QB Dominique Davis, who is made from the Tyrod Taylor mold. Davis' isn't a very good passes, but can kill you with his feet.
The Eagles return most of their receivers, but none of them are deep threats. This is good for the Hokies since their kryptonite has been deep passes over the middle.
The Hokies win if: They are able to establish the run against BC's formidable front seven and they get consistent pressure on QB Chris Crane.
The Eagles win if: They don't turn the ball over and stop the run, both conventional and on scrambles by Tyrod Taylor.
Dot-dot-dots: The last time the Hokies played at BC on a Saturday was 2000 when they won, 48-34...the Hokies played in BC on Thursdays in 2002 and 2006...this is the first time any VT-BC regular season game has been on Saturday since 2003 when the Eagles won 34-27 in Blacksburg...Virginia Tech LB Dylan McGreevy is a distant nephew of Nuf Ced McGreevy, the famous Boston bar owner and founder of the Royal Rooters...if you're a Red Sox fan like I am, you know McGreevy's story, made famous by the Dropkick Murphy's version of "Tessie"...RB Darren Evans has scored a touchdown in his first six career games...CB Macho Harris has an interception in three consecutive games...K Dustin Keys has made 11 consecutive field goals.
Go Hokies. Go Sox.