Week 2: Boston College Game Preview
Now that the dust has settled on week one, Virginia Tech is looking forward to their home opener against rival, Boston College. The Hokies are looking for revenge in this game, as they lost to Boston College last season by a score of 17-3. That was one of the lowest points of last season. So, the players and this new staff have all the motivation they need to show up and perform on Saturday at 8pm. Boston College is also coming off a loss last week. The Eagles fell to Rutgers 22-21. Here is a scouting report on how Boston College performed in that game, and some players to watch out for.
Boston College Impact Players
QB Phil Jurkovec
WR Zay Flowers
TE George Takacs
DE Shitta Sillah
FS Jason Maitre
CB Elijah Jones
Boston College Offense: Scheme- Multiple Pro
The strength of this Boston College offense is their skill position players. Their quarterback, Phil Jurkovec, is projected as a possible 1st round draft pick. In addition, Jurkovec has wide receiver, Zay Flowers, to throw to. Flowers has excellent hands and is very good at getting yards after the catch. Jeff Hafley, the Eagles' head coach, comes from an NFL back ground and likes to use a lot of pre-snap motion and many different formations. They also acquired Notre Dame transfer, tight end George Takacs, who caught 7 passes for 84 yards against Rutgers last week.
The problem that this offense ran into against Rutgers was that they have an inexperienced offensive line. Boston College struggled to establish the run game and pick up blitzes. They were held to less than 50 rushing yards and gave up 4 sacks... at home. This week, Boston College will be on the road against an experienced and aggressive front 7. Based on Virginia Tech's defensive performance last week, there is good reason to believe that they can do similar things to the Eagles' offense that Rutgers was able to do, especially in a home opener. If Virginia Tech can make Boston College one dimensional, then they will be able to key in on Zay Flowers, which will give them their best chance at shutting him down. The game plan for the Hokies should be to be aggressive and get pressure on Jurkovec to throw off his timing and to expose this young Boston College offensive line. Jurkovec struggled throwing against the pressure last week. He fumbled the ball once and threw 2 interceptions. Virginia Tech needs to do the same thing if they want to win this game.
Boston College Defense: Scheme- 4-2-5
Boston College's defense has a talented and veteran secondary as well as a good pass rush led by defensive end, Shitta Sillah. Elijah Jones and Jason Maitre combined to force an interception early in the game against Rutgers. Their defense has speed in the front 7. However, they struggled to stop the run last week. Rutgers rushed for over 200 yards. To accomplish this, they used read option, designed quarterback runs, and a power run game. Rutgers was successful in using run pass options (RPOs) against Boston College as well. Expect to see more of this from Tech's offense. Grant Wells has plenty of experience in read option and RPOs from his years at Marshall. We did see Tech do some of this against ODU, as Wells scored on a read option play. If Tech's offense can clean up some of the little mistakes they made, like penalties, then they can start to establish a rhythm. Providing Grant Wells with easy completions with RPOs to boost his confidence should be a priority for this coaching staff. Not only because Wells is coming off a 4 interception performance, but also because it is a weakness of this Boston College defense. This will make the Hokie offense harder to predict, which will alleviate pressure.
Last week, with 7:45 left in the 4th quarter, Rutgers got the ball down 21-15 at their own 4 yard line. They went on a 12 play drive that lasted 5 minutes and they took the lead, 22-21. They ran the ball 11 out of the 12 plays, completely exposing Boston College's front 7 along the way. Virginia Tech should be very angry coming into this game. With last weeks performance, and this being a revenge game, expect to see some smash mouth football from Virginia Tech's offense.
Boston College Special Teams
Boston College special teams, is not really anything special at all. Their kicker, Conner Lytton, missed a 44 yard field goal at the end of the first half against Rutgers. Those three points ended up being the difference in the game.
Both offenses for these teams struggled last week. Expect to see similar things in this game. This will likely be very a close and defensive game. The Hokie defense will play well enough to keep the team in it. However, I believe that Boston College's defense will prove to be too athletic. When it comes down to crunch time, the Hokies are going to need to have some receivers get open downfield. At this point, we have not seen that happen. I am predicting a hard fought close game, but the Hokies will fall in the end.
Virginia Tech 17
Boston College 21