48 Hours Ago....
Note: I typed up a preview of the BC-Wake and BC-Vermont games on Friday afternoon, but the Blogger server was down and I was unable to post it before gametime. I did save the post on my computer and in the interest of perspective I've decided to post it anyway, after the fact. Obviously reading it will probably make you throw your computer out the window, so I take no responsibility for any damages to self, inantimate objects, or small animals caused as a result of reading this. I highly suggest that you not read this post at all, or at least skip past the first segment. With that said, for those of you who are braver than I, read on...
It's that time of year again...the game that makes every BC fan wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat with visions of Quinton Porter dressed as a sugar plum dancing in their heads. (Yes, that was a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" reference--first ever on a college sports blog??) And this year, it's even bigger than normal. Wake Forest is a team that gives BC fits every year. Tom O'Brien has suffered 3 straight losses to the Deacons, although Matt Ryan salvaged a victory last year for the team as a whole. And those games were against bad Wake Forest teams. This year, Wake is good. So good, I hope, that BC will not overlook them as we generally do.
True, the best team they've beaten is NC State, and beyond that the closest thing they have to a quality victory would be Syracuse or Ole Miss. But 7-1 speaks for itself; 3-1 in the ACC speaks for itself. And, truth be told, this team should be undefeated. It was only a flukish blocked punt by Clemson that changed the momentum of that game in the Tigers' favor and led to the only blemish so far on Wake Forest's schedule.
Further adding to Eagle anxiety is the fact that Wake will be starting WR Kenneth Moore at RB, due to an injury crisis at the position. The next person to make a Diamond Ferri comparison in my presence will be tasting my fist.
Wake Forest is a very good team, and they possess the best coach in the ACC. Despite the fact that his name has not been mentioned for the job, I would not be at all surprised if Jim Grobe heads down I-40 to fill the vacant position in Chapel Hill next year. I am just putting this out there right now--if I get more than about 2 hours of sleep tonight, I'll consider it a success.
That said, I am cautiously optimistic, and the reason for this is Matt Ryan. He is not going to let this team lose. Grobe's team will keep the score close, but Matt Ryan is not going to be denied in this game. He knows what is on the line--this is BC's biggest game since his first start, against Syracuse in 2004. That did not turn out well, but this will. Life is a lot better when you have one of the top 5 QBs in the country. Ryan will spread the ball around and the defense will hold fast enough to secure the victory for the Eagles. Prediction: BC 20, Wake Forest 13
Hockey also takes the ice tomorrow night, also at 7 pm in front of an expected crowd of 31 against a Vermont team that is difficult to figure out. Despite coming into the season expected to challenge for home ice in the first round of the Hockey East Tournament, the team has yet to live up to expectations. After opening the season with a pair of impressive wins over Colgate and at Miami-Ohio, the Catamounts slipped and come into Conte having lost 3 straight against less than formidable opposition--twice at home against Michigan Tech, followed by another setback Sunday night at Dartmouth. The Elephant Walkers will have something to prove; but so will the Eagles, who followed a pair of point-proving wins in Madison with a sloppy 5-3 loss at Providence.
The big story tomorrow night at Conte will be the empty arena, with most BC fans expected to stay at home and watch the Wake game on TV. While I'm a huge hockey fan and while I'm normally a huge "live event over TV event" guy, I can't disagree with them. You're talking an early November hockey game or one of the biggest football games in years here. The real blame here falls on the athletic department, which should have switched the faceoff time to 2 PM in order to ensure a large, supportive crowd and pushed the women's hockey game against Eurabia Tech, which will be played at 2, back to 7 (or the following day). Again, it would be nice to have an athletic director who was aware of the existence of the school's most successful athletic program (especially since it's a revenue team and arguably has more fan interest than basketball).
Despite a temporary return to the days of the Conte Morgue, the Eagles will take it down. Prediction: BC 5, Vermont 1
Other tidbits for the weekend:
-4-star Pennsylvania DE Derrick Morgan, fresh off his official visit to BC for the Buffalo game, committed to Georgia Tech. Although Morgan would've been a great get, we were always going to be at a disadvantage with him coming to the worst-attended BC football game in years.
-The Herald rumored that Ryan Glasper took limited reps in practice yesterday with an undisclosed injury; he is expected to play tomorrow.
-Hockey East blog is reporting BC has added D Timmy Cross from Winchester Prep and the USHL's Lincoln Stars to the class of 2008. Cross, at 6'3, will provide much-needed size to the BC blue line upon his arrival.
-Nice articles in both the Globe and Herald on Mark Herzlich, who happens to hail from my hometown of Wayne, PA.
-It's only a formality, but Matty Ice will not be a gametime decision tomorrow; he has been cleared to play already.
-No BC content, but today's Globe did have a fascinating article on MIT's football program--something to think about next time we complain about academic standards holding us back at the Heights!!
Well that's all I've got. Gameday tomorrow, and it's a big one. GO EAGLES!!