August 1, 2008

2008 BC football predictions

Ten Predictions for the upcoming BC 2008 Football Season

1. There will be early season difficulty with an opponent BC should handle. BC opens with a favorable schedule and while I believe they will have the W's in the record book one will not come so easy. That's okay, as a leader will emerge on the offense...Chris Crane will emerge as a quality QB, surprising some with his legs as he converts on crucial drives to help BC get off to a 4-0 start.

2. Brian Toal will lead the team in total TD's. While many feel that Toal will only play LB this year, his nose for the end zone cannot be overlooked. Coach Jags has hinted he may be used in goal line situations and he will be sometimes, thankfully, used as a decoy, but he will get his carries and score when it counts. Also add a few Td's on defense off a fumble recovery and an interception and you could be looking at double digits in TD's for the year.

3. The running game continues to have growing pains with the zone-blocking scheme. However Josh Haden takes off where Andre Callender finished last season. With game-changing speed and soft hands Haden is the home-run threat BC has been lusting for. Haden surprises all of college football (except himself and his coaches who have predicted big things for the rookie) with a 1,000-yard receiving year. He adds another 500 yards rushing, splitting time carrying the rushing load with his fellow freshman bruising RB Jerry Kelly and speedster junior Jeff Smith.

4. This team's strength is the defense, the run defense especially. The defense will be needed early as the offense will take a game or two to find its way. This unit will actually improve upon last year with the return of B.J. Raji and Brian Toal. Not forgetting the strong LB core (Mark Herzlich, Toal, Robert Francois, Mike McGlaughlin, Kevin Akins), the emergence of a young but athletic secondary with Deleon Gause and newcomer Donnie Fletcher will allow Coach Spaz to bring the blitz. Can they improve upon total yardage allowed per game (348 yards/game)? Possibly but what is more important is that they will reduce the number of points allowed going from 285 last season to 250 this season.

5. With the development of the secondary, Coach Spaz will become more creative on D and this creativity will allow the LB's do what they do best, hit hard and create turnovers. Some of the turnovers will turn into instant points but more importantly give the offense a short field. A +14 turnover ratio is not out of the question.

6. After the last few seasons where BC endured some games in torrential rains, this year Mother Nature is on our side. We have a tremendously (much deserved) sunny September and October schedule but once November hits all bets are off. Snow will return to Alumni Stadium early in November making a classic setting for when Notre Dame comes to the Heights. Wouldn't mind it cold and snowy for Clemson either but asking for snow the day after Halloween is a bit much. In its own right the day after Halloween is the perfect setting for a Clemson/ BC game. ESPN Classic should play the last three meetings between the two universities all week long. You cannot get more completive games in three consecutive years.

7. The BC kicking game once again causes its fans to pull out their hair. No matter who is kicking an extra point will be missed and a fielg will be blocked at a crucial time. Even a few kickoffs will go out of bounds. Has anything changed in the past decade?

8. WR Rich Gunnell develops into the deep threat we have been looking for leading the team in yards-per-catch. And Brandon Robinson returns from rehabbing his injury and has a strong year leading the wide receivers in receptions. The development of the long armed, 6-foot-6 Ifeanyi Momah will provide a nice target in the end zone for Chris Crane.

9. Three Players are ready for breakout seasons who may not get the national attention they deserve...

TE Ryan Purvis: Purvis gets preseason attention but he has the ability to be one of the best all around TE's in all of college football. He will be playing on Sundays next year but this year he creates a new threat downfield. He will have over 50 catches again on the season with 10 going for more than 25 yards.

DT Damik Scafe: He is not as mammoth as the big two (Ron Brace and Raji) but he is as strong as an ox. The ability to stuff the run and also spell the big two keeps everyone fresh allowing himself and teammates to stay fresh and play better.

DE Alex Albright: Coming off injury he was developing into a quality pass rusher from hiw weakside end position. How he recovers may determine where BC ends up at the end of the season but he has the ability to be the rush end BC has been lacking since Kiwi was drafted.

10. BC is Bowl bound again but once again in a predicament where we are at the mercy of the committees. If a few things fall the right way BC may get the benefit of the doubt as they make their Peach Bowl debut playing the Vols of Tennessee.

Next up, 10 predictions for the ACC.

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