Friday, October 6, 2017

Hokies head north: Boston College Preview

Virginia Tech looks to move on and beat the Eagles

By: Adam Pace
October 6, 2017

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Virginia Tech will load up on a jet this evening to head to Boston and begin the process of showing the nation that they aren't as bad as they played against Clemson. The Hokies will take on Boston College tomorrow night at 7:15 pm on ESPN 2. This isn't your Matt Ryan Eagles team but BC does have a pretty good defense and will look to try to give their bad offense a short field. Last year, the Hokies beat the Eagles 49-0 so I expect that Boston College will be looking to show Tech that they can play better than that.

(Photo: Virginia Tech Athletics/Dave Knachel) 

On Offense

Last week just wasn't a good offensive game for the Hokies. There were plenty of chances to make a play but execution errors caused major problems against the best defense in the nation. This week, Tech will need to execute at a high level again because the Eagles defense is pretty good. Don't forget, Boston College had Clemson 7-7 going into the fourth quarter before the Tigers put the game away.

BC will play a lot of man in secondary and load the box to take away the run. The Hokies will need to try to run even with all the traffic and the receivers will need to make a play against their defender. I look for Fuente to really bring a lot of misdirection this week and get guys into open space. Last year against the Eagles, Tech did this time and time again with great success. Look for the offensive staff to get creative and bring a much better game plan this week than they did against the Tigers.

There are some big question marks this week as two very key individuals are banged up. Steven Peoples didn't play last week and is still listed as questionable this week. Also, C.J. Carroll is listed as questionable and has been spotted on campus with crutches and a boot. For a team that is extremely thin, this isn't welcomed news. Peoples is needed badly at this point with all the inconsistency we have seen from the other running backs thus far. C.J. Carroll has been a reliable option in the and if he can't go, I'm not sure who we will see take his place. If there is a positive out of any of this, it would be that the younger guys have a chance to step up.

I think even with the injuries, Tech should be able to move the ball and have success this week. But don't be surprised if it takes a little bit to get going. We know that Tech has been having slow starts all year, but this week if they start slow, it's because of BC. The Eagles have been able to keep teams close until the second half this year. This is mainly because the defense is just worn down by the fourth quarter due to their offense's inability to maintain possession and score points. During the fourth quarter this year, the Eagles are being outscored 54-10. Clemson put up 27 points in the fourth quarter, so don't panic if the game is a little close at the end of the third. I have full faith in the staff and our players to get back on track this week and get another win before going into the bye week.

(Photo: Virginia Tech Athletics/Dave Knachel)
On Defense

Boston College has been absolutely terrible on offense this year. Lead by former Virginia Tech offensive coordinator, Scot Loeffler the Eagles rank 124 out of 129 in the nation in total offense. Not to really knock Loeffler, but his offense is way too complicated for college and if he is actually going to have success running it, he needs more than two years. To back this up, look no further than starting quarterback Anthony Brown. Brown was recruited to Tech when Loeffler was there but chose Boston College after the Hokies landed Josh Jackson (Thanks Scot). Brown has had many troubles this year throwing seven interceptions to six touchdowns. Brown can run if given space but you want to keep him in the pocket and let him throw, as he will probably turn it over.

When you think back to the better Eagles teams, you probably think of a good power running game. Well that's not the case this year. Boston College is really struggling to run the ball and their offensive line is really struggling to get a push. The Eagles only average about 3.6 yards per carry and Loeffler gets his receivers involved in the running game to try to help this. As long as Foster's group plays good disciplined football, they should have no problem slowing this team down.

I'm not sure we can shut out BC again this year, but I look for our defense to control the game. More than ever, we really need our defense to force a lot of three and outs so we can wear their defense down. Look for us to blitz often and try to force some turnovers against a pretty bad offense. I really think we will probably see two turnovers by BC and should help our offense get easy points.

Predicition

I'm not sure why, but I'm having a hard time getting excited for this game. Boston College is probably about as bad as it gets in college football and the Hokies should handle this one pretty well. But as veteran Hokie fans know, we never really play well in Boston. I think that changes this week and the players look to prove that last week was just a bad performance. 

I expect the coaches to really get after BC early and try to get the score up quick. With the bye week coming next week, any extra rest you can give your starters is welcomed. The Hokies might start a little slow but by the middle of the third quarter, they should have it under control. I'm taking the Hokies to win this one 38-7. Let's Go.....

Adam's season predictions: 4-1

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