It's finally here!
After sifting through a month-long preseason session, the Boston College Eagles begin the process of searching for their third straight bowl berth on Saturday when they take on FCS-Maine. It's a year where the stakes are arguably raised for the team—people posted that they expect anywhere from five to eight wins, showing both worry in the team's youth and inexperience while illustrating trust in the coaching staff.
Prognostications aside, it's time for us to finally start concentrating on a real opponent. The truth is, our confidence or lack thereof comes at a cost; nobody really knows what BC has in store. AJ Black and I try like heck to make sense of who can fit where in the schematics of the offense, but the truth is, we don't know what's going to happen. Quotes are often times just media speak, and we hang on whatever little nuggets we get from players and coaches. We don't know what's been planned in the meeting rooms, in the film sessions, and in discussions behind the curtain.
As a result, this Saturday's game offers the first real glimpse into what BC will throw at opponents on both sides of the ball. If you remember last year, we didn't really know that Tyler Murphy would turn into the running machine he was, and the option style offense was maybe thought about but not really assumed to happen. All we knew was that BC was going to run the ball, and even then, we assumed it would be nine guys across the line.
Now we're talking about H-backs and motion tight ends and pistol formations, and the truth is, we won't know what BC is going to do until Saturday. So sit back and enjoy the ride because for the first time in 2015, we'll have a real sample with which to work with.
This Week's Storylines ("Pulp Fiction" Edition)
"You okay? -Butch
"Naw man, I'm pretty f---in' far from okay." - Marsellus Wallace
I understand the excitement surrounding this Eagles team, but at the same time, I'm nervous entering the first game. I know it's only Maine, but I have a genuine concern about this offensive line. Even though the offense got it together in the final scrimmage, I'm worried about the line's communication and its ability to play with one another. It's more than just hitting the guy in front of you; there's kickout blocks, pull blocks, and formation blocking. If BC plays a zone style offense—which essentially means read option (even in the passing game)—the O-line better be prepared to sell the play by doing X, Y, and Z.
They started to put it together, but I'm still nervous. I'll feel better once I see some early returns. I'm anticipating a struggle in the first half before the coaches make adjustments at halftime.
"If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions." -Jules
Like I said, maybe we should stop, at least for this week, trying to analyze and debate what BC is going to do with Darius Wade and their offense. We should stop trying to figure out formations, how many touches one guy will get, and how many times they're going to look a certain way.
Like I said earlier, there's a part of this season where we legitimately don't know what BC is going to do. We may think we need balance or more passing or this, that or the other thing. We've had many a debate over it. I'm going to reinforce what I said earlier: instead of trying to force certain plays, let the pace of play and what works dictate the action.
We had a great conversation on the message board going back and forth in regards to Sherman Alston, but he's not even who I'm talking about here. If one guy like Elijah Robinson turns out to be especially dynamic, he'll be covered with more guys to open up other options. Same for Sherman Alston, Charlie Callinan, or whoever is playing running back. Sometimes a guy's best moves are what he does when he's not getting the ball at all.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go home and have a heart attack." -Vincent
I really think this offense is going to make mistakes in the first half. Prepare yourself for it. If they do, remember last year when they dominated Massachusetts. They eventually turned in a good, solid performance (not great) and rolled to victory. Expect more of the same this weekend.
Even if BC does roll easily and we see other players, it's only one game. Let's take whatever we see this weekend with a grain of salt.
Matchup Fun Facts
School Name: The University of Maine
Nickname: Black Bears
All-Time Record: 574-419-33
Claimed National Championships: 0
Playoff Appearances in FCS: 7
Postseason Record: 3-7
Consensus All-Americans: 44
Record vs. FBS Schools: 2-12 (9-7 vs. Miss. State in '04, 24-14 vs. UMass in '13)
Head Coach: Jack Cosgrove
Years at School: 23
Head-to-Head With BC
All-Time Series: BC leads, 5-3
Streak: BC, 5
Last BC Win: 2014 (40-10 at BC)
Last Maine Win: 1915 (4-0 at Maine)
First Meeting: 1913