September 29, 2006

Bad News Bears?

It's time to move on. There's really nothing more than can be said about the NC State game. There's only so many synonyms you can use for "bad".

Up next on the schedule is Division I-AA opponent, or should I say future NCAA Football Championship Subdivision opponent, Maine. In case you missed the lame news, starting in December, Division I-AA will be called the NCAA Football Championship Subdivison, and Division I-A will be called Football Bowl Subdivision. Seems to me like Division I-AA gets the flashier name. Regardless, it's good to see that the Collegiate Commissioners Association is really earning their money.

Is it realistic to think that Maine (2-1) can keep the game close with BC? At 1st glance probably not. Maine hasn't been the cream of the crop in the Atlantic 10 Conference, going 5-6 in the last two years. The Black Bears do have two pretty impressive games on their resume the last two years.

In 2004, Maine went down to Mississippi State and beat their SEC opponent 9-7. Last season, the Black Bears paid a visit to Nebraska and lost 25-7. The game was much closer than that, as Maine was trailing 15-7 in the 4th quarter.

So how exactly does Maine compete with the big boys? It's pretty simple...they create turnovers. Against Miss St they created three turnovers, and against Nebraska they created five. BC will have to hold onto the ball carefully.

When Maine runs: Advantage Boston College

It should be an interesting test for Arel Gordon when he gets to go up against an ACC defense. So far this season, Gordon has ran all over his opposition, averaging 6.5 yard per carry, and that includes an impressive 75-yard touchdown run. As a backup last year, Gordon still managed to average over 5.5 ypc, so this season is no fluke. Maine is predominantly a running team averaging 218 yards per game on the ground. The Black Bears will surely try to get their running game going against BC to slow down the pace of the game.

The Eagles have been pretty average stopping the run this year. I'd look for B.J. Raji to dominate the Maine running game, and hold Gordon under 80 yards rushing.

When Maine Passes: Advantage Boston College

This match up should be the real "Iron Bowl" of this game. Maine brings in one of the worst passing attacks, well I really shouldn't call it an attack. Let me start over, Maine has of the worst pass offenses (95 ypg), and Boston College brings in one of the worst pass defenses(300 ypg). Let me just say this…..If Maine throws at DeJuan Tribble more than twice I will be surprised. One interesting tidbit I've observed about Maine's passing game, is that although Ron Whitcomb usually throws for under 100 ypg, he still has managed to throw 5 TD passes this season. 3 of 5 TD's have come from 21-31 yards out.

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