On the BC-VTech Game

Whether you call the ACC mediocre or competitive, the result is the same: BC has a shot of making something happen despite Crane at QB because anyone can beat anyone in the conference (and yes, that includes Duke).

To say that I was pleasantly surprised by the game’s result is an understatement. I made the four hour one way trip to the game because I had season tickets and it was Virginia Tech, but my expectations were admittedly low. It’s hard to get enthused after an uninspired loss against Georgia Tech, a blowout win against teams we’re too good to play against, and an uncomfortably close call against NC State. People taking comfort in the offense’s explosion against NC State seemed to have missed the fact that despite scoring 38 points, the team only won by 7, thanks to the (un)special teams and the defense that gave up some very big plays.

The positive to take from the game was that BC won. The negative is that BC only won by five. The undeniable fact is this: with V-Tech offense non-existent and BC offense able to move the ball both explosively and methodically, the game shouldn’t have been close. The most frightening fact about the first half was that, with BC leading 28-17, the Eagles offense accounted for all, and I mean all, of the points on the board.

Crane was responsible for four turnovers in a game BC had five. It seems overly critical to call for a QB change when the QB successfully moves the offense and the team keeps on winning with him under center, but a four-turnover performance is simply unacceptable. The team won because V-Tech was so atrocious, not because BC offense performed so well. At best, Crane does no harm: the mistakes he makes he covers by leading the team to score and the points he scores are undone by his mistakes. Since Crane is gone after this year, once against the question becomes, why bother with his development?

But enough with the negatives, for the team won and Crane should get some credit. The team trailed by 10 when half the stadium didn’t realize the game had started already, yet the offense never panicked and players made big plays. Crane committed the one unforgivable sin up by 11 with less than 2 minutes left in the first half–throw an INT, returned for a TD–yet he came storming back to make two huge throws to get the 7 right back. The sputtering second half offense took control when it mattered, taking valuable time off the clock with clutch 3rd down conversions, forcing V-Tech to take TOs and precluding a Ryan-like comeback by V-Tech.

BC has now won every regular season game against V-Tech since they moved to the ACC. That’s quite a statement, a fact went unnoticed by most of the media. As Coach Jags noted when a reporter noted BC’s tough schedule following NC State, “Our opponents have tough games against us, too.” That tough guy attitude from Jags is why O’Brien is not missed.

As critical as I am of BC’s impressive performance on national TV against a 17th ranked team in the nation, I am now upbeat, albeit cautiously, about BC’s season. I see next week’s matchup at the surprising North Carolina as a test game. The Tar Heels have improved but, as seen by its two losses in the ACC, they are eminently beatable. The question is, is BC good enough to beat the teams who are beatable and who should be beaten? If the answer is yes, the team may make a run for the ACC championship after all. If not, the post-Ryan era will be relegated to another Tier X bowl game, with the only anticipation focused on whether the streak of consecutive bowl game victories would extend to nine.


2 Responses to “On the BC-VTech Game”

  1. 1 Chris Schroeck October 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    It was a very strange game, and I don’t know how to feel about it. The defense performed great, because the front seven are so good and VTech doesn’t have any receivers to worry about. I am still concerned about playing teams with functional passing games. I feel like after the crazy first half BC went into hyper-conservative mode and didn’t even try to make any deep throws, just clinging to that lead. It worked out, as we held VTech to two field goals, but it was a little scarier than it needed to be, I think. I think if we had not gone so conservative we could have scored a couple more times. Of course, they might have scored a couple more times on interception returns as well.

    I think that the QB thing depends on whether you want a throwaway season or not. I think Crane is more likely to succeed as this year goes on, and so if we want a shot at the ACC title we have to leave him in and see where he can take us.

    By the way, that Montel Harris is a great player, and is going to get better in the next few years. There were several plays on which the offensive line just didn’t create a hole, but he made someone miss and got 5-10 yards out of it.

    VTech’s offense is sad. Really sad. But, credit some of that to the BC defense, which is really stout up front, and, facing a 1-dimensional offense, was able to shut that one dimension down convincingly.

  2. 2 joesas October 22, 2008 at 2:05 am

    As always, thanks for the insightful commentary! Your comments always seem to be deeper than mine.

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