It is time for #TheRivalry! I repeat, it is #TheRivalry! Without further ado, here's a Q + A with A.J. Black (you can follow him here) from BC Interruption about #TheRivalry this weekend at Alumni Field. It's on...
Boston College lost their starting QB Darius Wade to a season-ending injury. Now the Eagles play both Troy Flutie (yes, the nephew of that guy) and Jeff Smith under center. What are their strengths and weaknesses and how does Steve Addazio determine who will play?
So this has been the hot topic question for BC fans since Wade has gone down. Neither quarterback has distanced themselves from the other, and in fact Addazio continues to remain non-committal to either. Flutie will run a much more power football style offense, with some passes in there, but then again this is Steve Addazio so there won't be much. Jeff Smith on the other hand will be in charge of a read option offense. He has thrown the ball as well, but he hasn't shown much touch this far and is a true freshman so he looks a little overwhelmed at times.
The Eagles have a variety of options on the ground. In addition to Smith, Tyler Rouse, Jon Hilliman and Marcus Outlow average over seven carries a game. Compare and contrast their running styles.
First off star running back Jon Hilliman is out for the game with a broken foot, you won't have to worry about him. Tyler Rouse I would call a Jon Hilliman light. He's physical, a bit undersized and has decent speed. However unless BC blows up a big hole for him he won't make a big play. Marcus Outlow has that explosive side to him, Addazio loves him for his versatility. He can line up in the slot, be used in motion, and is a very good all around back. The other two backs you will want to watch out for is true freshman Jordan Gowins who suited up last week for the first time but did not play, and Myles Willis who did not play against Duke due to an injury. Either could be ready to go on Saturday.
The Eagles boast a top-ranked defense that has let up a total of 26 points through five games. What kind of problems does the defense pose and which players should Wake look out for?
BC's defense has been excellent on all fronts. The biggest issue that defensive coordinator Don Brown gives opposing offenses is that he throws blitzes from everywhere. This BC defense has talent up and down the line, so they have the ability to throw guys on every down. As Dave Clawson said in his press conference earlier this week, BC has NFL talent at every position on defense. Connor Wujciak and Truman "War Daddy" Gutapfel are possibly the best defensive tackle tandem in the ACC, Harold Landry is turning into an elite defensive end and pass rusher and Steven Daniels is a suffocating run stuff. In the secondary, for the first time in a while BC has cornerbacks with speed and coverage skills to stick with ACC level wide receivers. Isaac Yiadom and Kamrin Moore are really establishing themselves as shutdown corners, while Justin Simmons and John Johnson play a solid physical safety.
At 3-2 with a full slate of ACC games and Notre Dame left to play, how important is this game to reach a bowl?
For many BC fans this is the game of the year to this point. BC needs seven wins this year to make a bowl, because they scheduled two FCS schools. With the offense sputtering, fans are rightfully worried that things could spiral out of control if BC doesn't put it to together on Saturday.
BONUS RIVALRY QUESTION! Now in your 11th season in the ACC, several of your former Big East foes have followed you to the promise land #goacc. Who do Boston College fans view as your biggest football rivals?
Wake Forest of course. This is honestly a good question and it depends on who you ask. Some would say Notre Dame, because of the Eagles big victories against the Irish and of course the Catholic connection. Others would say Virginia Tech due to the 2007-8 ACC Championship games and Matt Ryan's epic game in Blacksburg. While some would say Syracuse, due to team histories and location. Me? I would go with Notre Dame, it's a game that BC fans and players get up for every year, just stinks it's not a yearly event anymore.
PREDICTION TIME: It’s homecoming. It’s #TheRivalry. I repeat. IT’S #THERIVALRY! What do you expect to take place in Chestnut Hill and what’s the final score?
A clash of the titans. Ali and Frasier. Russell and Chamberlain. It's going to be a defensive slugfest on Saturday, and whatever the under is take that. I think BC's offense started to click a little more in the second half against Duke, so I think they will be able to take the Homecoming energy and sneak out a win. Look for something like 20-6.
Thanks again A.J. for taking the time to answer our questions.