Boston College can now start to prepare for their first ACC matchup, and it’s a doozy - #therivalry with Wake Forest. Both teams enter this game 1-0, with Wake Forest demolishing FCS foe Presbyterian 51-7 last week. The Demon Deacons are a team on the rise, and one that many analysts have ranked higher than Boston College. But games aren’t played on prediction sheets, they are played on the field.
Anthony Brown is going to be the guy going forward, and this might be his biggest test. Wake Forest had a stout defense last year and Bill Connolly has the Deacs at 22nd in his S&P rankings. On the offensive side of things Wake has a two headed monster at quarterback with John Wolford getting most of the snaps, but Kendall Hinton waiting in the wings. The two combined for 239 yards and five touchdowns last week against Presbyterian.
How will Boston College matchup against their rivals? To kick things off this week, let’s use a Game of Thrones theme.
“Can a man still be brave when he’s afraid?” - Bran Stark
“That’s the only time a man can be brave” - Ned Stark
As mentioned before, Anthony Brown is going to make mistakes. But he can’t play afraid, and I don’t think he was against NIU. Make no mistake though, Wake Forest’s defense is far superior to the Huskies. Wake returns players who had 9 out of their 12 interceptions in 2016, and Brown is going to face a game changing defensive end in Duke Ejiofor who had 10.5 sacks last year as a junior. If Brown is going to get hit, and smacked in the mouth, can he wipe himself off and get back up? That is going to be a huge storyline going into Saturday’s game.
“Once You’ve Accepted Your Flaws No One Can Use Them Against You”
“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” - Tyrion Lannister.
Last week we saw Boston College run the same slow developing run up the gut with Jon Hilliman that didn’t work last year. Addazio needs to understand that either that play isn’t working (make it develop quicker), or he needs to try a different running back. At least he needs to not make it so predictable on the 1st down. Wake’s defense is too good to be playing behind the eight ball on every drive. Addazio needs to watch the game film and think of something different here to put the offense in more manageable 2nd and 3rd downs.
“In Battle Discipline Beats Numbers Nine Times Out Of 10”- Jon Snow
BC killed themselves with penalties and missed opportunities last week. Discipline is going to be a major key this week. They can’t give up back breaking holding penalties, and they can’t give Wake Forest free 1st downs like they did last week when they got hit with dumb personal fouls.
“A Lion Doesn’t Concern Himself With The Opinions Of Sheep”- Tywin Lannister
Steve Addazio needs to continue to build his gameplans the way he envisions them, like it or not. Last week we saw him run a blistering two minute drill, something that is rarer than a Giant in Westeros. If he thinks he can run the ball against Wake Forest he’s got to do it, if he thinks blitzing Wolford is going to work, go for it. Find a gameplan and stick with it, even if it starts off slow.
“Hodor. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor” - Hodor.
Basically every game BC and Wake plays has been as exciting as Hodor having a monologue with himself. If things continue to bounce back and forth as predictably as a response of “Hodor”, then it’s going to be up to special teams to be the factor. Mike Knoll did not have a good game against Northern Illinois, and Colton Lichtenberg was clutch. The biggest X factor may be Ben Glines or whichever player Addazio has returning kicks. Field position may be more important than a dragon against an army, and if Glines can move the ball, BC may be in good shape.