Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Guest Blogger - "Eagle in Atlanta"

Boston College blogger "Eagle in Atlanta" invited me to a Q&A session prior to this Saturday's game. I answered his questions and they are posted on his blog here. In return, here are his answers to four questions about the BC Eagles:

1. What can we expect from Boston College on offense? What does the post-Matt Ryan offense look like?

We are still trying to find out. If Kent State is any indication, the offense will look very different. First the focus is in the run game. BC only threw the ball 18 times last Saturday. Instead what you saw were a variety of runs. Toss sweeps, zone stretches, draws, dives, QB options. Even if he throws more this week, Chris Crane is unlikely to duplicate Matt Ryan's fireworks from the Flats last year. Crane is not as sharp nor as accurate. He also seems more comfortable throwing on the move instead of staying in the pocket. The biggest concern for GT should be the offensive line. It is much improved and gave Crane and the running backs all the time they needed.

2. Is BC's defense as strong as last year? We know the D-Line is the heart-and-soul of the D (just like GT), but what about the rest of the defense?

The defense has the chance to be better. The defensive line is clearly improved. The linebackers are probably as good. The secondary is still somewhat of a question mark. They have athleticism and speed, but are untested and young. Will these young guys prove to be as smart as Jamie Silva and Dejuan Tribble. Who knows? As for stopping the Yellow Jackets, the defensive backs looked good in run support in week one. That success will hopefully carry over to the GT game.

3. If you were an opposing coach, what strategy would you use to beat BC?

Load eight in the box and dare Chris Crane to throw it. Even if he makes improvements from Kent State, he's still likely to make a mistake or two. On the offensive side of the ball, I'd also try to air it out. Kent State kept it on the ground for the most part and got shutout.

4. What is your prediction for Saturday?

Although both teams are very different from 2007, I think BC's transition was a less dramatic shakeup. It's early in the season, but I think BC's defense will disrupt Johnson's new scheme and the BC offensive line will control the game enough for BC to win and cover the spread.