Jeff and I gaze into our crystal balls to determine what will happen during Boston College's upcoming football season. Today, we take a look at BC's three September games.
September 4, 2010: Boston College vs. Weber State
Jeff: The Weber State game has two stories of note I think. The first is clearly Mark Herzlich. How many snaps will he see and how quick will he look out on the field? The second is attendance. It is not often that we schedule an FCS team on any weekend other than Parent's Weekend. Also, the FCS team is usually a local team that will bring a few thousand fans themselves. If it were not for Herzlich's return, I think attendance would be real, real bad. Instead, it might only be bad. QB numbers and final score will have little meaning in this game.
Brian: The story of this week's game against Weber State is clearly the return of Mark Herzlich, but the Eagles would be ill-advised to think that they can simply show up and win the season opener. While Weber State isn't the best team in the FCS, they certainly are at a much higher level than the teams from the lower division BC has gotten used to playing the last few seasons (Rhode Island and Northeastern). Weber State put a scare into two teams from college football's top division last year, and the Eagles can't take the Wildcats lightly. It's a game BC should win, but I don't think we're looking at a game with a final score of 42-0 or 58-0. My guess is the Eagles will take care of business, end up with a point total in the 30s and we'll see a healthy dose of both Shinskie and Marscovetra. Herzlich will play a few snaps and return to form just in time for the end of the month ACC opener against Virginia Tech.
September 11, 2010: Boston College vs. Kent State
Brian: Boston College’s second opponent of the season is a familiar one. The Eagles have faced the Kent State Golden Flashes in each of the last two seasons. Just like 2008 and 2009, the Flashes will be the first I-A team BC will face this year. Kent State returns 15 starters (8 offense, 7 defense) to a team whose 2009 season never quite got off the ground. In last year’s game against BC, only the Flashes second game of the season, all-MAC running back Eugene Jarvis suffered a lacerated kidney that ended his season. The Flashes would go on to end the season with a record of just 4-6.
In those two games, BC has outscored Kent State 55-7. Kent State will be an improved team from last season, but I don't expect the Eagles to struggle in this game. I don't think it will be pretty by any stretch of the imagination. You'll probably still see a lot of second string guys getting minutes as Spaz, Tranquill and McGovern try to feel out which players they should go with heading into the off week and the Virginia Tech game. BC wins to go to 2-0 on the year, beating Kent State by 3-4 scores.
Jeff: The Kent State game gets a little more interesting. In this game we would expect to be challenged at least a little by their defense. Who seems to be getting thrown to a lot out of the receivers? Will Chris Pantale and the tight ends be as big of a target for Shinskie as we expected? Is Marscovetra getting first half series? Will Nate Freese continue to look good? The first team defense will likely hold Kent State to no touchdowns but even if they do give up one there is really not much to determine on that side of the ball. If the line can get pressure it doesn't mean they'll be able to come ACC play. Also, will Montel Harris have 4 or more TDs on the season by the end of this game. Will he have 300+ yards. He'll have to to get into the conversation of top backs in the nation because the other backs will be piling on numbers against their weaker opponents.
September 25, 2010: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech
Jeff: Finally, the end of the month gives us a real look at our team and what we have this year. Winning our first two games by a combined 100 points will mean nothing if we lose to Virginia Tech. If Shinskie has made real progress, which I believe he has even though he might be no better than Marscovetra, we'll see it in this game. Are injuries and lack of depth on the D-line and in the WRs too much for this team to overcome in order for us to have a special season? I think we'll see great strides on offense, and a great D overall make up for our weakness on the line. A good crowd in an afternoon or night game will propel the Eagles to a 3-0 start and well into the top 25 after beating a 3-0 and top 5 Virginia Tech team.
Brian: First, BC won't win their first two games by 100 points, Jeff. Where I will agree with you, though, is in predicting this game. I feel like the Eagles match up really well with the Hokies. BC has done a really good job of containing Tyrod Taylor and stuffing the Hokies run game over the last few seasons (setting aside last year's disaster result in Blacksburg). On offense, I think BC stacks up well against a very young, inexperienced Hokies defense. I think this game will be another nailbiter, but I think the Eagles can do enough on offense, and stifle a very talented Hokies backfield, to pull out the win here. I'm also more comfortable in this prediction knowing that BC has an extra week to prepare for the Hokies. BC moves to 3-0 on the year and will start to generate considerable buzz heading into the October 2 game against the Irish.