Thursday, December 4, 2008

What to Watch in the ACCCG

Most stats are from cfbstats.com.

Atmosphere

Attendance appears to be abysmal. Even worse than last year in Jacksonville. Brian from BC Interruption had a good idea. Why not give free tickets to local high school teams? That would at least get asses in seats so it doesn't look like a Marlins game in August out there.

Let's just hope there are no blimp shots for this game.

Offense

- Ugh. Just thinking about this makes my head hurt.

- The good news is our passing game is light-years ahead of what it was the last time we faced BC. The bad news is it's still pretty terrible. Last week, the Hokies threw for an awe-inspiring 176 yards against the Wahoos. The really sad part is that was our season-high.

- In just about every other game we play, we have to establish the run to set up the pass. Well, that just isn't going to happen Saturday against BC. They are too good up front. No, we have to follow the offensive philosophy of the great Don Coryell, who said you have to establish the pass to set up the run. Unless we can show BC that our passing game is a threat, we are not going to be able to run the ball and in turn, have no chance of winning this game.

- Jarrett Boykin is thiiiiiis close to breaking out as a great receiver. He's show he has the ability and occasionally he's shown he can get open with regularity. He is a guy that if he has a big game, I think we win. Tyrod needs a downfield option when throwing the ball and Boykin might be ready to provide it. Before, the options for Tyrod were the tight end over the middle, a short route to Danny Coale or tucking and running. I think Tyrod is starting to trust his receivers more.

- Unless we can get BC to respect our passing game and spread their defense, there will not be any running room for Darren Evans. We don't have a shifty running back who can get to the outside, so our running game is going to have to be North-South against the team that is the best at stopping North-South running that I've seen all season.

- If we don't have a passing game, it will again be up to Tyrod to move the ball on the ground. He responded well in Chestnut Hill, running for 110 yards on 15 carries. But, as we learned in October, we can't rely solely on Tyrod. We lost in October in large part because we could not convert short-yardage situations on the ground. If that doesn't change this time around, the result will be the same.

- However, even though we know all of this, I still expect the Hokies to try and pound the ball early and often. I hope they don't. Against most teams we have been able to run at them, run at them and run at them to wear them down and then dominate on the ground with Evans in the fourth quarter. That didn't happen in October and it sure as hell won't happen Saturday. The Eagle defense will not wear down like some of the other teams we've faced.

- Instead, we need to attack them. Throw Stinespring Screens at them, throw deep, roll the pocket for Tyrod and find ways to get the ball downfield early so they can't keep crowding the box to stop Evans.

- I think we can throw on these guys. Our receivers and Tyrod's trust in them has improved since October. And the Eagles were No. 9 in the ACC in pass defense in conference play, giving up 196.1 YPG (6.2 YPA). We know we can't beat them on the ground, so why not at least try to beat them through the air?

Defense

- The Hokies will face a different quarterback than the one they saw in October, which is a good and bad thing. Yes, Crane made plays to beat the Hokies, but he also threw three picks, two of which were returned for touchdown. Now, we face Dominique Davis, who is as mobile as Crane but not quite a run-first quarterback like Tyrod tends to be. However, he is a threat when outside the pocket.



- Throwing the ball, Davis appears to be in the Tyrod mold. He doesn't appear to be incredibly accurate throwing deep, but he hasn't had enough pass attempts to get a good read on him. Before Crane broke his clavicle, Davis had 12 passing attempts. Since, he's connected on 25 of 47 attempts (53.2 percent) and is averaging a little over five yards per attempt.

- The Eagles will probably also be a run-first team on Saturday. The Eagles were in the middle of the pack in the ACC in both rush and pass offense, but without Crane will need production from their running backs. In the last two games, the Eagles are averaging 3.2 YPC (272 YDS/85 ATT). However, they ran for 175 yards on 41 attempts against Maryland, their second-highest rushing output against an ACC opponent.

- I think the Hokies will be able to stop the Eagles on the ground again, like they did in Chestnut Hill. That night, they held BC to 82 yards on 37 carries. However, the run defense has been on a slow decline since Maryland had negative-12 yards against them. They've given up over 100 yards rushing each of the last three games after doing so once in the previous five.

- If BC has success on the ground, it will come from Davis. Mobile QBs and spread-type offenses have hurt the Hokies this year. Vic Hall ran for 109 yards through a spread-attack last week and Zack Asack scrambled his way to 87 the week before. Traditional running games have struggled against the Hokies this year, so if they can contain Davis and keep him from beating them with his feet, the Eagles will go nowhere on offense.

Outcome

- This game will be quick. Both teams will try to establish the run first and keep it that way. The clock will be running most of the day, unlike when you watch a team like Texas Tech.

- This game will be close. Just about every Virginia Tech game has been this year. I'm glad Dustin Keys is on our sideline.

- This game will be clean. These two teams are the least-penalized teams by yards in the ACC this season.

- This game will be boring. Both teams have stout defenses and offenses that have been sputtering at times. However, I could be wrong on this point. Both defenses like to score points. And that could be the only way we'll see a touchdown on Saturday.

Watch the Box Score For:

1. Turnovers.
2. D. Davis Rushing Yards.
3. VT Passing Yards.
4. VT 3rd Down Percentage.

VT Players to Watch:

81 - Jarrett Boykin, Fr., WR
32 - Darren Evans, Fr., RB
1 - Macho Harris, Sr., CB
26 - Cody Grimm, Jr., LB

BC Players to Watch:

15 - Dominique Davis, Fr., QB
41 - Montel Harris, Fr., RB
94 - Mark Herzlich, Jr., LB
60 - Ron Brace, Sr., DT

Final Score: Virginia Tech 6, Boston College 3

4 comments:

Aped333 said...

Your forgetting that BC leads the nation in interceptions, so that stat about BC giving up nearly 200 ypg through the air is a bit misleading.

For more on bc check out www.bcallaccess.com

Anonymous said...

Also watch for how many offsides penalties VT gets. BC's center likes to move the ball before snapping, and Beamer has complained to the ACC about this since the last game.

Vincent said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMtmQMnjSDM

This is a BC video but it should get you pumped for the game. Maybe you should link to it in your blog!

Sean Hogan said...

I think 6-3 is an appropriate score for the offenses, but when you figure in interceptions/fumbles/the return game for both teams, we'll see at least 2 additional TD's. So 13-10 :)