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Players to watch for: Boston College Eagles

Which under-the-radar players will shine in this first conference battle of the year

Boston College v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Wake Forest finally enters conference play tomorrow night against Boston College!

After beating Tulane in an overtime thriller and Towson in a blowout, it’s time for the team to finally face semi-elite competition.

For the game against Towson, I said to keep a close eye on running back Kobe Young and placekicker Aiden O’Neill.

Here’s how they panned out last Saturday:

Young: 5 rush, 16 yards

O’Neill: 2 XP

These were two major whiffs on my end. The Towson offense went for a pass-first offense as their quarterback, Tom Flacco, threw 51 pass attempts.

This caused the ineffective play on the ground and ultimately led to an efficient offense, resulting in zero field goal opportunities.

As for this week, Wake finally has some strong competition to go up against. The opponent in the start of the ACC play is none other than Boston College.

BC has been on a tear so far, led by the star AJ Dillon.

As you seen this week on BSD, we’ve highlighted Dillon’s role on his team’s offense. He has become the team’s leading rusher and the number one option when the team has the ball.

Besides Dillon, the team still has contributing players, but we most of them are on defense.

This is the reason why I’ve decided to have no offensive players on this list.

With BC’s offense, as I stated before, AJ Dillion makes up a considerable amount of load, so we are going to take a look at two defensive guys who could wreak havoc tomorrow evening.

With that said, here are the players to watch out for Boston College:

Hamp Cheevers

Cheevers will be a real headache for Wake when the two play.

Over the past two seasons, he has shown the potential to breakout this year in the ACC.

He has proven to be a menace so far this season on the outside. He has been able to handl the receiving corps of both UMASS and Holy Cross.

His great anticipation on the ball, on top of his overall football IQ, make him a real turnover threat, especially in zone coverage.

Last week, he was able to snag an outside pass and return it 81 yards for the touchdown.

He also had two interceptions last year despite only playing five games.

If this ball-hawking trend were to continue, then watch out when daring freshman Sam Hartman is throwing in Cheever’s direction.

So far, Hartman has proven to be selective in terms of not overestimating and taking chances on the “big play” that could backfire.

Hopefully we don’t see much of Cheevers’ name on the stat line Thursday night.

Wyatt Ray

Ray has a crafty role on the BC defense.

At 6’3”, 225 pounds, he has the physical attributes of a high-usage tackle guy.

But that’s just not his game.

Instead, he uses his incredibly high football IQ to disturb plays, even if it doesn’t show on the stat sheet.

On passing plays, he has the leaping ability to disrupt passes if thrown in his direction.

By playing on the left and right side of the line, Ray has the ability to locate incoming throws and cause a disruption for the quarterback.

He also causes disruption through pressure. Whether that’s by rushing through one side, creating a gap for second-tier defenders to rush through, or penetrating a strong side to create a weak side on the opposite end, Ray makes his mark doing the little things that throw off the quarterback.

On the ground, he has shown a knack at keeping the offense inside. His strength allows him to push lineman to the point where the running back, on an outside run, has nowhere else to go but north-and-south.

That’s why if Wake decides to run anything involving sweeps or counters, they better make sure that they don’t go towards Ray.

We could see more plays for running backs Matt Colburn and Cade Carney to be between-the-tackles instead of pitches to the outside.

Ray recorded no stats against the Hokies this game, but look how impactful his decision making is in terms of offensive adjustments.