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Can the Eagles Get the Running Game Going? and the Big Finish

Brian: Looking back on the Eagles first eight games, the day before each game one of the main topics we always seem to discuss is the play of Shinskie and the Eagles quarterbacks. This week, our focus has to shift from the passing game to the running game. It has been a war of attrition for Spaziani and the Eagles’ run game. On Tuesday, Josh Haden announced that he was transferring from BC. Now assumed backup Rolandan Finch is out with mononucleosis and will be out 3 to 4 weeks. Spaz has announced that seniors Jeff Smith and James McCluskey will hopefully step up and fill the shoes left by Haden and Finch. Will the Eagles be able to establish the run against a Chippewa defense that ranks 32nd nationally in rush defense.

Jeff: What a horrible stat. Why even bring up where the Central Michigan defense ranks nationally? They don't exactly play the stiffest competition in the country. The Chippewas have played a bunch of MAC teams, Arizona and Michigan State. And oh by the way, Michigan State and Arizona don't even have a combined winning record against 1-A opponents.

Brian: Actually, Arizona and Michigan State do have a combined winning record against I-A opponents. The only reason they are only a shade above .500 is because Michigan State sucks. Arizona has a better record against I-A opponents than the Eagles do, and Arizona is in our blogpoll ballot this week. But OK.

Jeff: Regardless, I think BC's rushing game will bounce back against Central Michigan. Montel Harris is going to miss being spelled by Haden and having Haden on the field when they use the wildcat formation. However, against Central Michigan it will not be as big of a loss as it will be against, say North Carolina, when the Tar Heels bring their solid defense to the Heights in 3 weeks. Also, it helps that we know who we have to work with heading into this game. We know Haden is not coming back and we know Finch is out for a few weeks now so the gameplan can be created accordingly.

Brian: With the losses mounting in the Eagles backfield, do you think Spaz should entertain the notion of burning the redshirt of Sterlin Phifer?

Jeff: Should Spaziani be considering it as he watches Phifer in practice? Absolutely. But he should not do it before Saturday. The coaching staff will then have an off week to reevaluate when Finch might be back and if it is a decision that is going to be beneficial for all involved.


Big Finish

Brian: How do you think the team will respond to the transfers of Haden and Tuggle? Will this affect their play on Saturday?

Jeff: I think the team will rally around each other. They'll rally around the players that are there and are only concerned with winning.


Jeff: How about Shinskie? The MetroWest Daily News writes that he took last week’s loss pretty personal. Can he put last week behind him?

Brian: Shinskie plays better at home, but aside from North Carolina, this may be the toughest defense he'll face at home this season. Still, I expect him to bounce back from last week.


Brian: The Chopping Block’s Andrew Carter lays out the scenarios where Florida State can still win the Atlantic Division. Give me odds of FSU wining the Division?

Jeff: Even Seminoles fans know the possibility is slim. The possibility that they win out is not so slim, though.


Jeff: Kent State and Central Michigan might both be headed towards the MAC Championship game. Give me odds that these two teams BC faced this year square off in the MAC Championship game?

Brian: Central Michigan will be there but not so fast on Kent State. Former Eagle staffer Al Golden has Temple 4-0 in conference and in the driver's seat in MAC East.


Brian: The ACC announced that they signed a four-year extension to their bowl affiliation with the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. That cool with you?

Jeff: Absolutely. It's a great bowl game. Some BC fans might not like it for skipping us over once or twice but every other bowl out there would've made the same choice.


Jeff: Speaking of events in the Georgia Dome, I am bummed that the ACC Tournament is moving from the Georgia Dome to Phillips Arena in 2012. Am I the only one that likes the bigger crowd and easier access to tickets?

Brian: I think you are in the minority anyway. I just wish they'd move this tournament around to other places besides Greensboro Coliseum.


Brian: Last one, prediction time. Who you got? What’s the final score?

Jeff: I expect a somewhat easy victory at home for BC. The Eagles have been a very good team in Chestnut Hill and Central Michigan is not much, if any, better than NC State. Boston College 38, Central Michigan 20.


Pick 5

Brian: Last week I went 4-1, missing out on a second straight undefeated week by half a point. Thanks for nothing, Wake Forest. Jeff went a respectable 3-2 dropping the Arkansas-Mississippi and Clemson-Miami games.

This week, I'm keeping it in the ACC, which will probably be my tragic downfall. This ACC weekend didn't get off to a great start with North Carolina taking down Virginia Tech as +16.5 road dogs.

  • NC State (+10) at Florida State
  • Central Michigan at Boston College (-5.5)
  • Duke (+7) at Virginia
  • Georgia at Florida (-14.5)
  • Georgia Tech (-12) at Vanderbilt

Jeff: Duke +7 is like a gift from the gambling gods.

  • Michigan (-7) at Illinois
  • Penn State (-17) at Northwestern
  • Michigan State at Minnesota (+3.5)
  • Mississippi at Auburn (+4.5)
  • Eastern Michigan at Arkansas (-36.5)