#1o1 R.P.I. Boston College @ #67 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech football returns home at the widely predicted mark of 1-1 overall, .5oo, even, or on the level. As most of the prognosticinti got that one right; and this just in, rain is rumored to be wet. Yes, our beloved Hokies could have voluntarily won that one, though that is like saying the USofA was still ahead on points on December 6th, or extinguishing a burning bridge via split milk. Here we eschew that, for that matters nil…
The Hokies had their chances vs. UTenn and yet limped away from the Bristol Motor Speedway track per what film-study showed to be more or less, or rather should I say more and more, with an ugly self-inflicted wound. Said wounded team now must buck-up and avoid the likely emotional let-down trap game vs. a very defensively rugged –albeit likewise very offensively limited- Boston College football club. Yes, Virginia Tech is -6 (or a six point) home favorite in this 3:33pm ESPNU kick-off. Nevertheless, Boston College has given our beloved Hokies football fits for years as wins vs. Boston College are not technically a given, and clean or good looking wins vs. Boston College are few and far between. Read on to find out who will win, in what posits to be a potential baseball score or ugly looking football game in Lane…?
Today’s word of the day is… explotative
transitive verb (ĭk-sploit′, ĕk′sploit′) ex·ploit·ed, ex·ploit·ing, ex·ploits
- to employ to the greatest possible advantage: exploit one’s talents
- to make use of selfishly or unethically:
- a certain returning offensive coordinators intimate O&M knowledge?
Head Coach: Steve Addazio age=57, (17–21, 4th year; 30-32 overall); has a rep’ for being VERY hard-nosed; and for personality driven motivation.
2015 record: 3 up 9 down and o-8 in the A.c.c.
Boston College Defense: (starters back=7)
- 3rd best in Total D, 6th vs. the run and 18th vs. the pass.
- Ranked 7th in defensive explosiveness.
- 4th best in Qb’s sacked and in Tackles for a Loss (TFL) as well. WOW!
- New Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid, (Brown left for Michigan).
- Front-7 is about as good as it gets. VERY very solid. Forward seven blitzes a lot in this traditional forty-three set. dLine is 16th in Havoc Rate and the second-layer is even better at 7th best in Havoc. Technically a forty-three, though will cheat the Sam forward on the wide-side for an odd or pseudo 50 look. Really like the angularity of the De’s and to a lesser extent the Dt’s here. Very 1970’s “mean” Joe Green Stillers with this many front-4 Euclidean blocking angles to compute. DLine will toggle its own spits to pinch or widen between De to Dt or Dt to Dt. This very physical though lumbering front-4 did not have the greatest lateral or E-W pursuit speed. Some stretch plays or simple jet-looks may be in order here. Little bit of a coach Vice dLine, strong, in better condition, not quite the B.J. Raji 350+ human wreaking balls of yore any more. As one of the prime Dt back-ups rolls 227 lbs.! (No, I’m not making that up). Bee.Cee does still however typically deploy a true Ng and one Dt beside him to the Will side. (hence the “mean” Joe per steel curtain defensive coordinator Bud Carlson pinch looks)
- 6’1” 221 lb. t-senior OLb Matt Milano #28 is a terror off the edge, as he has amassed 20 TFL and 9 sacks in just over his last 13 games! This is a pro’ talent playing collegiate OLb while trapped in an Sunday Fs body. Linebackers will overplay the short-side a bit. Very fundamentally sound front-7 as well. Not sure if I saw any Bruce Smith’s or Ray Nitschke’s here, though I’m not sure I saw a single misQ, either. Excellent form tackling; a textbook gridiron defensive clinic.
- Secondary has everyone back less the Fs. Solid everywhere you look. Very experienced. The kind that does not make mistakes while going umbrella and keeping everything in front. Lotta medium-man here. Did seem to favor run-first and UMass did get behind that a bit off of play-action. Lottsa touching from the hind-7 in coverage alike, in particular when they jam or use press-man. Even from Lb’s as well, as I kept wondering where the flags were downfield in coverage here? Physical secondary that covers you the very same way. Secondary does umbrella more on longer down and distance situations. Sliding into soft-man accordingly.
- YOU must make the plays to beat this rock solid of a defense men, as this high football I.Q. stop-unit does nothing unchaste to beat itself.
- And, and, and, BeeCee is tied for 9th most fumbles forced in D-1 so far! From what I saw they were on pure contacting hits more so than on pure strips.
BeeCee Offense: (returning starters=8)
- Total O=1o6th, 79th in rushing O, and 1o5th in Passing O.
- New offensive coordinator: Scot Loeffler! Third O-Cord’ in three years.
- 115th in first-downs, and 117th in Red Zone O.
- 115th most in solo tackles allowed (i.e. easy to tackle).
- 7th fewest Sacks allowed and yet 71st in TFL allowed.
- The Eagles have completed one pass >26 yards!
- More of a Pro-I look with more of the Qb under C. will run unbalanced wide, will use Te’s plural, and 1 or 2 Wr’s.
- University of Kentucky grad’ transfer Qb1 and big ole (6’5”, 256 lb.) Patty Towles is the grandson of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and United States Senator Jim Bunning! So arm strength is genetic or Mendel Squared given here. However, so is so-so accuracy and accordingly INT’s. As Patty pitches strikes at a 56% career clip and he has thrown to the other team 26 career times in about 2.1 years worth of starting; good or middleocre for precisely a 1:1 career passing ratio (INTs:TDs). I would not characterize Towles as a running Qb nor as a dual-threat Qb; although his rushing average has increased 220% off of his career average per carry at B.C. Towles does have surprising pocket escape quicks as he will tuck it and try to make a leg churning play. Pretty nice deep ball here, do not let Towles ambush you off of play-action long. Towles does tend to miss high on overthrows with a intrinsic reliance on such a high caliber arm.
- Rb1 Jon Hillman is the bell-cow of the ground round B.C. rushing offense. A big runner at 5’12” and 233 lbs. who was a big time recruit who missed last season with a busted foot, after a 860 yard third year. Rb has nice depth with Rouse (good punt returner, PR 13.1 ave.) and Willis (even better KO returner, KO return 33.3 ave.) bringing back ~7oo yards combined.
- oLine: three starters return; and pass-protect was really suspect last year. Though only two sacks allowed so far as the early 2016 returns go. Almost thought I was seeing man-blocking here, very straight ahead N-S road graders on their run-fits upfront. Towles’ getting rid of the ball quickly is helping in pass-protect. Lottsa inside the B-gap(s), Iso’s, plunges, and dives here. Straight ahead BOHICA, rinse, recycle, wham-play repeat.
- Loeffler definitely taking HR shots downfield on seemingly non-passing downs upon breaking tape this year. Every B.C. pass catcher less one is averaging 12.1 yards or more per catch; and yet only three guys have more than one catch. Go fig’ on that? As the Eagles pass catchers are not a cause for secondary phobia; however, they do gain yards on the few catches that they do make. This makes sense as inexperienced as they are, …as two of the 2016 Top-3 here, conspired for two, that’s (2) total catches for their careers coming into this campaign. (and the other guy had a returning team high of 14 himself in ’15!)
- a 68% to 32% run:pass mix.
F’n Eagles Special Teams: (1 did return, though P Satchel Ziffer is now benched)
Boston College has already gone through two place-Kickers; one of which is 67% on PAT’s (Mike Knoll) and one of which is 0% on FGA’s (Colton Lichtenberg). Colt’ (right quadriceps strain) sat while Mike missed (o for 2) last week; so who knows here? As it is obvious to say that the Eagles FG kicking quite literally is… up in the air. Boston College does field strong return teams, 7th best in KO returns and 28th best in punt returns says so. Mike Knoll is also the Eagle Punter with a serviceable 40.4 yard average per punt.
Boston College has already allowed one punt and one FGA to be blocked with no defensive punt or kick blocks to compensate. Coverage teams are average (57th in KO coverage) to below average (82nd in Punt coverage); hence being 94th in Net Punting at 34 (sic: yards) and change.
Special Teams letter-grade: the Eagle return game is strong, though if this devolves into another trench-fighting fistastic slugging match? You could potentially steal this game with just three points. C—.
- motive: gotta be a letdown trap here post UT for VT. EDGE=BC
- weather: forecast looks really nice, God love an early autumn day. N/A.
- health: no critical injuries listed for either club. EDGE=push.
- penalties: The Eagles are 23rd best in fewest penalties. EDGE=BC.
- intangibles: The Eagles have a +2 advantage in Turnover Margin. EDGE=BC.
- fatigue: prolly a mild edge to BC here, as you’d have to think their starters played less minutes vs. puny UMass than ours did battling with #14 UT.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
The takeaway here is… that last year always rugged Boston College dropped five games by half a play (i.e. a FG) or less. The 2015 Eagles were young, beat-up -their Qb5 ended the year as their insalubrious depth-chart Qb1-, they were inexperienced and yet they were basically just three plays removed from .5oo and a backdoor bowl bid.
This year Boston College at least has Hillman back, and something more than a Qb5 at the Pivot position helm. Plus they are very much in the mix to finish back-to-back as the #1 stop-unit in all the land two years running. So how is that not an improvement off of last seasons’ 3 win squad?
That being said, it would not be shocking to me if this game against the Flying Eagles has the suits at ESPNU crying, foul. As this is anything other than a fan-friendly high scoring, made for TV contest, at least on burnt orange and Chicago maroon paper. And if you like defense? You’ve probably come to the right place.
Consequently, methinks that returning and now ex Hokie offensive coordinator, one Scot Loeffler would like nothing more than that kinda ugly football game here. If you doubt Scot”s competitive crackback hits upon his previous former employee’s, just consult Urban Meyer of “the” OH.State. To wit, if you are a betting man, I’d surely wager the under on the Loeffler’s sleep total for this week. As this is Scot’s big chance to shake his now plucked Hokiebird tail-feathers in a non-retainer return bout.
Do I foresee a upsetting day per Scot’s bull terrier style return? No, not quite, I do however foresee an exploitative day per the same, as we will all get to see what Scot truly thinks about our Mike-Lb, dLine, et al. Although I mutually do not (quite) foresee Boston College being able to generate enough offense out on the road to salvage win. In a football game whose final score will not illustrate just how hard-fought for how long, before eventually being, hard-won this game truly was.
Virginia Tech=26, Boston College=12