September 17, 2008

10 Thoughts

Where do we begin? The bye week for BC was not dull at all. While Hurricane Ike destroyed the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, Wall Street was shaken up with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. If there ever was a week where football could have made the realities of the world go away it was this weekend. Instead BC fans received a bye awaiting their matchup with Central Florida for this upcoming weekend.

1. News of the loss of defensive end Alex Albright really hurts. Alex has a disc problem and he will be having surgery. Best of luck to him and his family. His health is obviously of primary concern. Sounds like a medical redshirt may be in the fold so expect to see Alex in the future. Look for the emergence of Austin Giles and possibly true freshman Max Holloway if anyone else goes down.

2. Injury reports for running back Josh Haden and cornerback DeLeon Gause are promising. Both are probable for the matchup this weekend. Look for a running back by committee this weekend. Expect Jeff Smith and Montel Harris to share the load.

3. Quarterback Chris Crane will show much improved accuracy, rebuilding the chemistry with his wide outs and running backs in the flat. What is important will be the inclusion of the tight end a bit more. Ryan Purvis is a weapon that needs to be utilized. Having Purvis catch some balls in the middle of the field will pull the linebackers off the line of scrimmage and open up the running game.

4. University of Central Florida comes in off an overtime loss to South Florida. Expect a feisty squad who will play tough. BC has better personnel and should control the line of scrimmage. They did this against Georgia Tech but still ended with a loss. In speaking with a few players they are ready to get the bad taste out of their mouths. I sure hope so.

5. What are we as fans to think of the wins by North Carolina over Rutgers and Maryland over California and the loss of Virginia to UConn? Rutgers, in my opinion, has been way overrated the past few years. They have a great PR machine with the New Jersey based newspaper The Star Ledger so they get much more attention than deserved but there are few excuses for a loss to a UNC team that won its first game outside of North Carolina since 2002. Like Eric Hoffses said in his article, Cal sleepwalked through the first three quarters and made the game respectable but Maryland won and win is a win. You have to give Maryland credit. As for UVA, ouch! What is Al Groh doing? I can understand a loss on the road but not competing is not good news for them.

6. Ohio State's performance vs. USC was abysmal. There is a clear difference in the best the Big Ten has to offer and the tops in the SEC and now The Pac 10. Ohio State has lost two consecutive national title games and now the loss to USC has put them in a position where even if they win out I can't see how voters can put them in a position to return to the national championship game (BCS rankings not withstanding) again. What was glaring in this game is how Ohio State has no offensive plan. The lack of naming and sticking with a quarterback puts them in a position of constant flux and actually makes them one dimensional. Everyone knew that when Terrelle Pryor was playing he was going to run. No ingenuity. Ohio State looked unprepared and just scared on Saturday night.

7. Michigan at Notre Dame was a much closer game than the score showed but a lack of fundamentals and inability to hold onto the ball cost Michigan the game. Michigan had six fumbles and handed ND the game. What is impressive though is that sophomore quarterback Jimmy Clausen went untouched again. Last Season Clausen was sacked over 50 times. So far this season...none. The marked improvement of the offensive line is the only reason why ND is now 2-0. The November 8th meeting at The Heights may be extremely interesting.

8. Matt Ryan had his first tough day as a pro. The Tampa defense was relentless in its pressure and his wide outs didn't help with a few drops. Expect Matt to bounce back nicely next week against the abysmal Kansas City Chiefs who are the worst team in the NFL.

9. Great news from the athletic office on Tuesday. BC Athletic Director Gene DeFillipo has been able to negotiate with the city of Boston getting longer tailgating hours for games that start at noon. Now tailgating will begin three hours prior to kickoff (9 AM). This is great news. The Eagle Walk can begin at 9:45 and the lots may be full and the streets can be lined with fans supporting the team as they make their way into Alumni. Fans can get to their tailgating spots earlier and maybe even get into their seats before kick off too. I feel I am in Bizaaro world.

10. The ACC game of the week will be Wake versus Florida State. This game is very intriguing because FSU has lost the last two meetings and still have a handful of suspensions. FSU has put up impressive scores in its first two games but is stepping up to real competition. Wake is expected to win and this is where FSU is playing with house money. This game will be close and I expect FSU to play with a chip on its shoulder. The quality of play will be interesting to watch, a good showing by FSU will be telling for their season. Jim Grobe will have Wake ready and I think quarterback Riley Skinner will need to have a big game for the Deamon Decons to get the win.

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