Keys to the Game, Matchups, and Game Projection: Boston College

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The #2 ranked Boston College Eagles travel to Blacksburg to face the #8
ranked Hokies in potentially the biggest Thursday night game in ESPN’s
history. The nation will be watching to see if yet another highly-ranked team
will fall. Virginia Tech will be looking to maintain the momentum gained once
the ACC season started in a game with huge importance to both teams. Can the
Hokies gain revenge for last year’s 22-3 loss, or will BC continue their
surprising season?

Preseason predictions had Boston College finishing anywhere from second to
last in the Atlantic Division, mostly due to the coaching change from steady Tom
O’Brien to former Green Bay Packer offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski.
Coach Jagz brought in former ECU head coach Steve Logan as offensive coordinator
and opened up the offense, with impressive results thus far. The Hokie defense
will be challenged by the unpredictable Eagle offense.

In previous years under Tom O’Brien, Boston College was a field position
team that relied on ball control, but under Jagodzinski the Eagles have become a
more aggressive offense, often looking for big plays. With future NFL
first-round pick Matt Ryan (#12, 6-4.5 220, r-Sr.) at the helm, BC has become a
dangerous offense, averaging over 300 yards passing per game. Previously, the
Eagles seldom threw deep, but BC will air it out this year.

Boston College has always been noted for being a big, physical team, but in
looking at this year’s roster one observation stands out: Almost every
non-freshman from last year’s squad is lighter this year (and some linemen are
considerably lighter). Jagodzinski has changed the BC squad into a faster, more
agile unit, particularly on offense. The Eagles have changed to a zone blocking
scheme and rely much more on quickness, with Andre Callender (#32, 5-10.5 204,
r-Sr.) getting most of the snaps at running back this year.

Defensively Boston College looks quicker, with a front seven that is much
faster than previous years. BC’s defensive ends, in particular, are much
quicker this year, with Alex Albright (#98, 6-4.5 235, So.)

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