2008 Keys to the Game, Matchups to Watch and Game Prediction: ACC Championship Game

In the “Déjà vu Bowl” Virginia Tech will once again meet the
Boston College Eagles for the ACC Championship. The Hokies and Eagles have met
in four of the last 22 games, so obviously both teams know each other extremely
well. However, each team has some differences from the 28-23 game played on
October 18 which could affect the outcome. Will the resurgent Hokies win their
second straight ACC championship, or will BC gain revenge on last year’s loss
and win their first ACC title?

The most significant change for either team since their first meeting is the
broken collarbone of fifth-year senior quarterback Chris Crane. Boston College
will now start a redshirt-freshman, Dominique Davis (#15, 6-3.5 198 4.78), who
is more mobile and possesses a stronger arm than Crane, but lacks his experience
and understanding of the offense. Davis played well against Maryland, but he has
yet to see the Hokie defense first-hand. Bud Foster will surely have some
different looks for the young, talented quarterback.

For Virginia Tech, Tyrod Taylor is coming off his best all-around game as a
Hokie in last week’s victory over Virginia. Tech’s passing game is emerging as
the freshmen receivers mature. Jarrett Boykin has become a threat, scoring
touchdowns in each of the last two games, and Danny Coale just set a freshman
receiving record for the Hokies. The development of a passing game against the
BC secondary is essential in this game.

With both teams being extremely stout against the run, this game could well
come down to the team that is most successful throwing the ball. Big plays in
the passing game were huge in the first contest, as Boston College burned Tech’s
corners on two long passing plays that set up scores. Virginia Tech’s passing
game was almost non-existent, with the most significant offense generated on
scrambles by Tyrod Taylor. Will the Hokies be able to threaten an Eagle
secondary that is obviously the weak point of the defense?