It's finally here! Thursday keys to the game. I don't know about you guys, but it seems like this week has been especially long. This week our boys face a true test at Lane Stadium as they take on the Virginia Tech Hokies.
We are extremely thankful to have along with us OC and the boys from Tailgate Fever, one of the longest running and most loved hokie sites on the 'net (at least according to my girlfriend). Big ups to Sizzle for greasing the wheels on this hookup.
For more on TailgateFever.com, click the sweet logo below.
Ever the consummate gentlemen, we'll give TGF the first overall pick in "Keys to the Game - VT victory. These are the things VT must do to win. TGF, lead us off!
Keys for VT:
1TGF) Continue the momentum the offense has built on since just under 2:00 left in the Nebraska game. Still a lot of VT fans who will believe we have a serviceable offense when we see it on a consistent basis.
2BCD) Go deep early and successfully to stretch the BC secondary. If our safeties start playing back, that will mean less guys in the box for Williams and a better chance to break a big gainer on the ground vs. the Eagles.
3TGF) Defense has to come out fired up. A lethargic performance like the one against Duke last week won’t be so easily overcome against BC.
4BCD) Virginia Tech giving T-Mobile time to find open spot in the zone( sideline has been open all year, but it takes time for the route to develop). If VT is patient on offense and takes the 3-4 yards on the ground, 6-8 yards on the pass, BC will allow you to have it.
5TGF) Ryan Williams, Ryan Williams, Ryan Williams. Stick with what’s gotten you
6BCD) Force BC to run wide w/Montel Harris, plug the middle, take advantage of VTs speed at LB and DE. It seems as if most of Harris' big runs have come up the middle this year, then he cuts it outside. Harris has a great burst, but not the flat out speed to beat many around the corner. Plug the middle, you stop Harris.
7TGF) Get to Shinskie early and often. Though older, he’s inexperienced and the defense has to get after him like they did with Jacory Harris.
8BCD) VT's always "special" special teams, specifically kickoff returns where BC has been gashed by sub-par units. VT's, as we all know, are far from sub-par.
9TGF) It’s a bit cliché at this point, but we need a Beamerball play. Getting the crowd into this one early will be key, and nothing does that like a blocked kick or big return.
10BCD) DE's pushing Shinskie out of the pocket where he's not as comfortable. While I don't believe Shinskie to be BAD out of the pocket, clearly he's more comfortable there and has surprisingly good "pocket presence" for a player that's only started two games. If VT puts him on the move, they increase the chance for an INT at least three fold, IMO.
Now we flip the script a little bit and draft the keys to the game for BC, what BC needs to do to win.
Keys for BC:
1TGF) Strong line play has long been a staple of BC teams (and often why I think they’re underrated—not many “sexy” skill position players, but get it done in the trenches). Winning that battle on both sides most likely means leaving Lane with another W.
2BCD) Use RB/TE to chip block on Worilds. Man on man, he’s going to have a big day against single man blocking...Lapham or otherwise. We keep him contained, allow Shinskie time to pass, we'll be alright.
3TGF)Use Montel Harris to open up the passing game for Shinskie. Duke threw all over the secondary last week for gains of 48, 74, 55 and 34. Yes, that Duke.
4BCD) Spy Taylor, and remove the dual threat option. Well, maybe not remove...but limit as much as possible. Also, if Marty Bowman wouldn't mind laying the lumber early in the game on Taylor, that would be f'in sweet.
5TGF) Stop Ryan Williams. Hasn’t been easy this season, but Duke was for the most part able to do it last week. Yes, that Duke.
6BCD) Larmond/Gunnell winning the 1 on 1 battles. VT is going to try to take away the BC run, which means a lot of folks in the box and man on man coverage on the wideouts. Larmond and Richie Gunns will be in positions where they're facing man coverage with the ball in the air. If they come down with it more times than not, I like BC's chances.
7TGF) Key on #6. Nebraska did an outstanding job of taking Worilds out of the game. Miami did not. The guy is a beast but if you can contain him that goes a long way to opening up your offense.
8BCD) Weather the storm. The place is going to be hopping as the kids exit to “Enter Sandman” and many of the youngans looked a little deer-in-headlights at Clemson. Need to push through that early emotionally charged atmosphere.
9TGF) Take advantage of the early start time. Lane is still Lane, but a noon kickoff is an opponent’s best friend in Blacksburg.
10BCD) Show a strong pass rush.. It is kinda up in the air whether Alex Albright, AKA Bam-Bam, will be playing this game, but our hope is that he does play. As he has shown the best pass rush this year.
TGF) Keep Tyrod contained. He showed last week he can in fact pass, but make him prove it again. Plugging gaps and containing on the outside takes away his greatest asset by not allowing him to take off when things aren’t there.
BCD) Shinskie keeping an eye on Cody Grimm. Cody Grimm is a white version of Kevin Akins. He’s undersized, super quick and fast, and they love to bring him on blitzes after he’s lurking around the LOS. If Grimm is able to get through on a blitz blind side (as Foster often uses him), it could be a big turnover. Knowing where he is, and what area of the field he’s vacating will help us tremendously.
Again, a big THANK YOU to OC and the fellas over at Tailgate Fever.com. Make sure to go check 'em out, it's a great site and they're impressive