2006 Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College

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While future rivalry games against Miami and Virginia may stand out in Hokie
fans’ eyes, as well as a big contest with current ACC favorite Clemson, the
Boston College game may well be the most important game of the season.
Virginia Tech is at a pivotal point in the season in which the Hokies may
contend for the ACC championship, or fall into a mid-tier bowl slot. A lot is
riding on this game with BC and both teams must win to stay in title contention.

When viewing tapes of the Boston College games, one observation jumped out at
me. The Eagles are a very similar team to the Hokies this year. Naturally there
are some differences in talent, but in watching all but one of the BC games
(Maine) this year; I noticed quite a few similarities. First and foremost,
Boston College is extremely dependent on field position, much like Virginia
Tech. BC’s offense has been somewhat inconsistent, but most of those
inconsistencies are due to poor field position. Turnovers, penalties, and
special teams have been critical to both teams. The BC win over Clemson could be
attributed mostly to good field position provided by special teams and,
obviously, a key block of an extra point in overtime.

Offensively, the two teams are very much alike. Matt Ryan (#12, 6-5 218, r-Jr.)
and Sean Glennon are similar quarterbacks, with both being pocket passers who do
a very good job reading defenses. Even their stats are close to identical, with
both QBs having thrown seven touchdown passes with three interceptions. The
offensive lines are similar as well, with both teams doing a decent job of pass
protection, but struggling with run blocking. Boston College has their typical
big, physical offensive line, but this unit is not that athletic and relies
predominantly on power man-on-man blocking. Also, BC has not had the typical
productivity out of their tight ends this year with the starter, Ryan Thompson
(#85, 6-4 259, r-Jr.), being predominantly a blocker and his alternate,