This post usually goes up Friday, but that's a travel day for me, so enjoy an early edition of What to Watch. A lot of the stats below are from cfbstats.com.
- Don't expect a lot from Darren Evans and the rest of the running backs Saturday. BC has one of the better front sevens we'll face this year, if not the best. Running between the tackles might not be an option.
- Could we see some zone-read options from Tyrod Taylor this week? We might. The Hokies will need to get to the outside to use Tyrod's speed this week. This is a game Kenny Lewis could have excelled in. His shiftiness and quickness to the outside would have helped against the Eagles.
- Eagle in Atlanta said earlier this week he expects BC to play back and force Tyrod to beat them with his arm. He's improved as a passer from week to week and could break out against the Eagles if they force it. He was able to find open receivers against the Huskers and was able to make big plays when the Hokies needed it against the Hilltoppers.
- This is going to be Tyrod's game to win or lose. As unfair as that is, he will be the one who is going to have to sustain drives either through the air or by tucking and running. If he's successful, the Hokies will be able to put up points and win easily. If he has a bad game, it could be a repeat of the '06 game.
- The Hokies have had trouble in the red zone this year. They are 10th in the ACC at scoring touchdowns in the red zone (46.4 percent). Miami is the only ACC team with a higher percentage of red zone trips end in field goals than the Hokies. On the other side, BC is the best red zone defense in the ACC. Only 54.6 percent of red zone drives have ended in points against the Eagles. Of course, they are also tied for fewest red zone chances against. For the Hokies to win Saturday, they have to do a better job with their red zone chances. And I think they'll get a few of them because the defense will be able to force turnovers.
- I think the Hokies will be able to get pressure on Chris Crane. They may not result in sacks because of Crane's mobility, but he will be forced to make decisions quicker than he wants to.
- BC always has a good offensive line, but this year's doesn't impress me as much as the last two lines they've had. They lost a lot of talent from last year's line and this one, to me, doesn't seem to have gelled just yet. I think Tech's three solid defensive ends will get to know Crane pretty well over the 60 minutes on Saturday.
- This favors the Hokies because it will negate their one weakness on defense so far this year: The deep middle part of the field. Between the pressure on Crane and BC's receivers not being burners, the Eagles won't have time to exploit the troubles Kam Chancellor and Tech's rovers have had this season.
- BC's run game is improved this year, but I don't think it has improved enough to be a factor against the Hokies. Tech is in the middle of the pack this year in run defense because they were gashed by teams running some form of option attack: ECU, GT and WKU. Against traditional rushing attacks, like the one BC will throw at them, they have been outstanding.
- Georgia Tech was able to hold BC to 2.9 yards per carry when they faced each other. I think you'll see a similar number Saturday.
- This will be a low-scoring, hard-fought game that will come down to turnovers. So far, Tyrod has done a good job of protecting the ball and not making mistakes to cost the Hokies. Tech's defense, meanwhile, has intercepted four passes in the last three games and is tied for the ACC lead in fumbles recovered with eight. I said the same thing going into the Nebraska game: Someone of defense will make a play late that wins us the game. I also like VT's odds in a close game because our special teams are far superior to BC's. Both our punter and kicker are much better than BC's options at both positions.
Check the box score for:
2. Tyrod Taylor rushing yards.
3. Chris Crane comp. %.
4. Chris Crane rushing yards.
VT Players to Watch:
5 - Tyrod Taylor, So., QB
8 - Greg Boone, Jr., TE
6 - Jason Worilds, So., DE
1 - Macho Harris, Sr., CB
BC Players to Watch
10 - Chris Crane, Sr., QB
60 - Ron Brace, Sr., DT
16 - Brian Toal, Sr., LB/FB
1 - Josh Haden, Fr., RB
Score: Virginia Tech 20, Boston College 14