October 31, 2007

Studs, Duds, Surprises

While Boston College beat Virginia Tech 14-10 to push its record to 8-0 and remain ranked No. 2 in the country, the first 56 minutes of the game were less then stellar. So while there were a few studs that pulled that pulled out the game, there were also a few duds that didn't get the job done early. And as always, there were some surprises.


Matt Ryan's heroics in the last four minutes of the game against Virginia Tech were referred to by several media pundits as his "Heisman Moment," but without the contributions of the defense and special teams, Matty Heisman would not have had the opportunity to lead the Eagles to victory. The throws he made on the final two drives were spectacular, but the team needs to avoid putting him in that position again.

The defense played very well even though the offense was struggling. The Hokies managed only a disputed touchdown and a long field goal, despite possessing the ball for thirty-one of the first fifty-six minutes. Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Mark Herzlich led the way for the defense, recording twelve and eleven tackles, respectively. Dejaun Tribble was burned once by Eddie Royal, but his performance was otherwise strong. This defense is one best in the nation, and they should keep BC close in every game, even when the offense performs poorly as they did against Virginia Tech.

Johnny Ayers contributed by averaging over forty-five yards per punt in inclement conditions, pinning the Hokies inside the twenty four times. While the BC offense was dominated, Ayers allowed BC to win the battle of field position consistently. Additionally, Ayers did not have a punt blocked against the formidable Frank Beamer punt-rush, although he was able to draw two penalties against the Hokies for roughing and running into the punter. Without his efforts, BC's offense would not have had any chance to execute the comeback in the final minutes.


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