TOB’s record in Atlantic Division road games is 0-12. No, that is not a typo. In 5 years as NC State head coach TOB has yet to win on the road in our division in 12 games. I think any random person could take a team and accidentally win one game in 12 tries. A mind boggling stat for sure, but one that TOB needs to put an end to this Saturday against BC if 1) he wants to make a bowl game and 2) he wants to return as NC State football coach next year. Boston College is not a tough place to play so we have to find a way to get the job done.
Stadium: Alumni Stadium (capacity 44,500)
Head-to-Head Results: BC leads the all-time series with a 3-5 record.
Head Coach: Frank Spaziani (3rd season, 18-18) … This is his 15th season on the BC coaching staff, including all 10 years of TOB’s tenure.
Players to Watch:
RB Rolandan Finch (#28, So.) missed last year with a torn ACL, but has been the workhorse of the BC offense this year as he’s filled in for injured running backs Montel Harris and Andre Williams. He leads the Eagles with 568 rushing yards on 126 carries (4.5 ypc) and 3 TDs. He’s also caught 10 passes for 81 yards. Against Maryland he had 39 carries for 243 yards and 2 TDs.
LB Luke Kuechly (#40, Jr.) is an absolute beast for the BC defense. He leads the Eagles and the nation with 150 tackles in only 9 games (16.7 tackles per game). He has 10 or more tackles in 31 straight games. He also leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions. He’s a surefire All-American and likely Butkus Award winner this year so he is the engine that makes their defense run.
Offensive Summary: The Eagles have struggled on offense all season as they’ve only been able to score 18.4 points per game (113th in the country). QB Chase Rettig has not been good at all and they have been without the services of Preseason ACC Player of the Year RB Montel Harris. The last time we traveled up to Chestnut Hill Montel Harris rushed for a BC-record 264 yards so expect the Eagles to run the ball early and often.
Defensive Summary: The BC defense is young at a lot of positions, but they have All World LB Luke Kuechly that can cover up a lot of holes. They have struggled all season with creating turnovers (only 7 INTs and 3 fumble recoveries) and getting to the opposing quarterback (only 8 sacks) so that’s two things to watch for in this game. I think we will use a very similar offensive gameplan as last week and force BC to stop the run.
Keys to the Game:
1. No UNC hangover … last week’s game was a huge emotional win for not only the team, but the entire fanbase as well. As good as TOB has been at getting the team ready to play against the Heels he’s been equally bad at getting the team to overcome the UNC hangover effect. We have to come out and match the intensity we played with last week.
2. Turnovers … we lead the nation in interceptions and our 10th in turnover margin. The big equalizer in college football is turnovers. That’s when upsets happen. If we protect the football and/or create more turnovers on defense we should be in good shape.
3. Hidden yardage … the special teams were great last week (Baumann pinned UNC inside the ten 4 times), but have been shaky at times this season. The coverage units have struggled most of the year as we’ve given up good starting field position time after time. Our defense should be able to contain the Eagles offense so we have to limit the big kickoff/punt returns and make them beat us the hard way.
Prediction: BC is not a very good team at all, but TOB has yet to win an Atlantic Division road game (0-12) in his 5 years at State. There is no reason at all to lose this game. If we do then TOB should be shown the door. I don’t care if it’s a blowout or we win by one point, you have to win this game.