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Game Preview: BC/Wake Forest

Posted By Ian Boynton On Nov 4 2010 @ 7:13 pm In Boston College | No Comments

It feels weird to say it, almost taboo at this point, but for the first time since October 2nd the Eagles are coming off a victory and are expected to win. This weekend, the Eagles will travel to Winston-Salem, NC to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (2-6).

The Demon Deacons, like the Eagles, have had a turbulent season. Amidst a 6-game losing streak, the Deacons have rotated through three quarterbacks, finally settling on true freshman Tanner Price (sound familiar?). In his seven appearances, Price has gone 83-of-156 for 879 yards with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Similarly to BC, the Demon Deacons rely heavily on their rushing attack. On the season, Wake Forest has averaged 180.4 rushing yards per game, good for 33rd in the nation. The Demon Deacons rushing attack is led by freshman Josh Harris, who has rushed for 457 yards on the season (6.3 yards per carry) and senior John Adams, who has rushed for 208 yards on the season (3.6 yards per carry).

Where the Deacons differ from the Eagles is in their defensive performance. In recent weeks, the Eagles defense has played to its pre-season expectations, only allowing 3 points against Clemson (7 of the 10 were scored on an interception returned for a touchdown). In sharp contrast, the Demon Deacons allowed 62 points against Maryland last Saturday in a 62-14 loss. On the season, the Deacons have allowed 40.8 points per game, good for 117th in the nation.

In terms of match-ups, the Eagles have not faced as inferior an opponent since Kent State in the second game of the season. After such a dominating performance against the Clemson Tigers, it is easy to get excited at the prospect of playing a truly beatable team. However, it is important to remember than a week ago, the Eagles shared the same record as the Demon Deacons, and other than one great game, the Eagles have yet to perform this season.

Even though BB&T Stadium is not amongst the most intimidating, the Eagles will have a tough test in trying to win on the road. With a true freshman quarterback, the road environment can often be tough to handle. Nonetheless, if the Eagles play up to their potential, as they did against Clemson, there is no reason that the Eagles should not come back to Chestnut Hill without a “W”.

Offensively, the Eagles simply need to rely on Montel Harris to have another good game. Considering that in each of the last 3 games he has rushed for over 100 yards, it is not a stretch to imagine that he makes it four in a row this weekend against the 115th ranked rush defense (allowing 217.25 rushing yards per game). If Chase Rettig can avoid costly interceptions, then the Eagles should be able to score enough points to give the defense the little cushion it needs.

Coming off its best performance of the season, the Boston College defense is finally living up to expectations. Led by Luke Kuechly, the defense has been nearly impossible to run against the Eagles, who currently rank 3rd in the nation in rush defense, allowing only 83.88 rushing yards per game. In addition to a stalwart rush defense though, the Eagles defense is finally giving signs that it will not break in their “bend but don’t break”, soft zone, defense. Just as teams have done against the Eagles all season, the BC defense will need to stop the run and force true freshman quarterback Tanner Price to beat the Eagles pass defense. Certainly a tough task for the young quarterback.

Overall, I believe that a rejuvenated Eagles team will be too much for the deflated Wake Forest team to handle. Chase Rettig has developed over the course of the last few games, and with the Demon Deacons undoubtedly focusing heavily on Montel Harris, I believe that Rettig will turn in his best performance of the season thus far. Offensively, I do not see Wake Forest moving the ball effectively against the Eagles D, with the Deacons having to rely very heavily on Price. However, just as in every recent meeting between the two teams, I expect that Saturday’s game will be closer than it should. When the smoke clears in Winston Salem, I see the Eagles winning on a late touchdown.

Boston College 20 – Wake Forest 13

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