1. BCMike) "Run, Forest, Run"
Yes, Weber State is going to load the box with eight, nine, heck—fifteen if the refs will allow them—in the box trying to stop Montel Harris. It's transparent and there's not a whole lot of surprise strategy here. Any coach with more than a Pop Warner game under his belt is going to look at this BC team and say "Hey, we're going to force these guys to beat us through the air," or even more specifically, "We're going to force Dave Shinskie to beat us." Ron McBride is the exact opposite of that and isn't going to approach our team with a bad game plan. Make no mistake, Shinskie will see single cover 1 coverage from the get-go.
Don't let that deter you, Eagles. You need to run the ball. More importantly, you need to run down the D-line. There are a lot of things these Weber State Wildcats can do and have experienced, but getting mauled by this BC offensive line for four quarters isn't one of them. I don't expect this game to be a blowout in the least, and making sure BC beats up the front seven (or eight, or nine….) is important as the game wears on so that by the late third and fourth quarters, Montel is driving a Hummer through those holes before he's touched by the secondary.
2. Wesley) Getting past the first game jitters
Having eight freshman in the starting 2-deep, and all the emotions with the return of 94 will make this matchup against a FCS a bit different than a normal one. Emotions will be running extraordinarily high. These guys both new and veterans will just need to focus on making the plays, getting comfortable and progressing, which they are very capable of. 3M) Taking advantage of single coverage
As I referred to earlier, I think we're going to see defenses attack BC the way Vandy did in our bowl loss two years ago; loading the box with nine and challenging us to beat them through the air. If Weber is able to get away with this, expect more teams to jump on board. Shinskie needs to beat single man coverage. It's that simple. Make them pay for loading the box.
4W) Wes Davis making the big play
BC really has been fortunate on secondary play, from Silva, to Bowman, even Paul Anderson's senior season was outstanding. Now is Wes Davis' time to make his impact. Wes definitely has the stage to be a leader. I am expecting him to make a big play to take the season by the horns.
5M) Pressuring Higgins to the Max
Weber State QB Cameron Higgins can throw the ball, and throw it well if given time. BC needs to get pressure on the QB early without having to blitz which means it has to come from the front four—namely Max Holloway. We've heard great things from the Spring game and fall practices, it's time to turn him loose and see what Max can produce!
6W) Swigert filling the holes.
The loss of Larmond being BC's deep threat is definitely going to be felt, there is really no doubt about that. Although playing slot, Swigert was a very pleasant surprise coming out of camp, and should get a good amount of reps on Saturday. This will be Swigert's opportunity to show he belongs on the depth chart on a regular basis. Weber State has a pretty veteran group of LBs and DBs to be tested against with most of them in their 3rd or 4th year.
7M) Passing with two TE sets early in the game
When Colin Larmond, Jr went down with a season ending injury this preseason, Eagles fans felt the air in the building leave the room. Losing our all-time leader on receptions to graduation in Richie Gunns is one thing, but no Larmond, either? That leaves a lot of wonder as to whom Dave Shinskie or Marsco is going to throw the ball to.
But wait a tick...is this not the deepest corps of talented tight ends we've had at BC for a while? We seriously have three TEs that would all start at most ACC programs in starter Chris Pantale, senior Jordon McMichael, and junior Lars Andersen.
True that these guys are unlikely to burn many safeties deep, but they're more than adequate to keep LBs on their toes hustling to keep up. This is going to be a nice symbiotic relationship as if the Wildcats decide to try to stack the box to take away Montel, our TEs are going to be open and available within five steps. If they play back and give the TEs the respect they deserve, the O-line is going to have little problem getting to the second level and providing Montel bug gaps to run through... But the key here is to show Weber State early that BOTH TEs in the set are able to be receiving threats and force them to play back.
8W) Being productive in the KR/PR game
I have to say, when I see Montel in the KR/PR lineup I get very antsy...especially after the amount of work he put in during the 2009 season, but its 2010 now, and Montel should be able to share the load a good bit at RB, but I guess I like to protect him, and the return game is definitely a dangerous place to be. I am glad to see both Gause and Fox in that role, as I feel both of them have the speed, and ability to do well which has been an issue at BC for quite some time. To win the field position game, you have to be able to get good returns from kicks.
9M) Keying on Joe Collins early
Much like BC lost Rich Gunnel, Weber State lost it's all-time career WR in Tim Toone. Joe Collins is now Higgins' safety blanket and likely where he turns when put under pressure. BC DB's need to key on him and jump the routes when the situation presents itself.
This will force the promising frosh WR Shaydon Kehano to cross over the middle and try to deal with Herzy or Keeks.
First couple games of the season are ways to tune what you currently have, and see how the players are in "game speed"
Without giving your future opponents too much to base their preparation for you on. Meanwhile your fans will expect you to win, and decisively. I think that creates a hard position for the coaches, especially as players will need reps, and cohesiveness in every group.
BCMike and Wesley are the founders and editors of BC Draft. You can read their work at Eagle Insider and BC Draft during the season.