Boston College will host Georgia Tech this Saturday, Sept. 6. Last year BC defeated Georgia Tech in a game where the Heisman candidacy of Matt Ryan was born. Many picked Georgia Tech to win the match up last year in Atlanta, but BC had different plans.
Matt Ryan was 30-44 with 435 yards and a touchdown in the 24-10 victory over Georgia Tech last year. Things will be different this year. Georgia Tech was a defensive team last year under Chan Gailey, but with new coach Paul Johnson coming over from Navy the philosophy has changed. Georgia Tech will run the triple option offense against a very tough BC run defense.
Boston College will not rely on the passing game as much this year as they did last year. They won't even rely on their offense the way that they did last year. BC last year had the second best run defense in the nation. They will use that to their advantage this year.
Boston College began life with out Matt Ryan last week with a 21-0 victory over Kent State. It was all about the running game for BC. Jeff Smith led the way with 74 yards and a touchdown. Josh Haden had the most attempts with 15. Chris Crane had two rushing touchdowns. James McClusky and Brian Toal also saw time in short yardage situations.
The BC air attack was very passive. Crane didn't throw the ball often, but when he did he made sure passes. Although Crane missed a wide open Brandon Robinson down the field, he made some pretty nice plays.
No one expected Crane to be like Ryan and he wasn't. He made the plays he had to and he did what he had to do to get his team the victory. It is safe to say that the BC team in general did what they had to do to get a victory for their ball club.
Georgia Tech had high expectations last year after winning the ACC Coastal two years ago. It is safe to say that last years performance by Georgia Tech was a disappointment.
Georgia Tech will not rely on their defense this year, but their running game. Paul Johnson runs the triple option offense. Johnson's debut last week against Jacksonville State was a success.
Georgia Tech won 41-14 last week over Jacksonville State. Georgia Tech ran the ball 46 times for 349 yards. They averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Jonathan Dwyer led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 112 yards. Roddy Jones and Josh Nesbitt also contributed heavily to the Georgia Tech running attack.
Like BC the Georgia Tech passing game was passive, but did the job and opened the field for the running game. Georgia passed the ball only 15 times, but completed eight of those 15 times. The Georgia Tech passing game did its job and the running game took care of the heavy load.
It will be two very strong running games duking it out at Alumni stadium in this ACC battle. BC faced Paul Johnson's Navy team two years ago in the Meinke Car Care Bowl. BC won the game on a game winning field goal by walk on kicker Steve Aponivicius. Navy ran all over the BC defense two years ago in the Meinike Car Care Bowl.
They ran for 322 yards and average 5.5 yards per carry. The triple option offense dominated BC the whole game, but the risk of the option is what lost Paul Johnson the game two years ago.
Boston College will be lead by Chris Crane and Josh Haden. BC will pond the ball. The weather is scheduled for a rain storm, which could help BC and Georgia Tech because they don't pass much and the game will be played on astro-turf.
Look for BC to pass a little more than the did last week at Kent State. Both these teams are big on running, but the passing game and special teams will decide this game. Jeff Smith will set the tone early for BC on kick return and defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, who coached the game against Navy two years ago is very familiar with the triple option and knows how to stop it.
BC will look to Chris Crane to open up the running game with his passing and Josh Haden and Jeff Smith will blow past the Georgia Tech defense. Look for BC's James McClusky and Brian Toal in short yardage situations that could keep drives going for BC.
The Georgia Tech rushing attack will struggle against the tough BC rush defense and they will be forced to pass: Georgia Tech won't play their game.
BC will win this one on special teams, with their passing game, and short yardage rushing situations.