Boston College Preview

Show of hands, how many brave souls witnessed all sixty minutes the last time the Canes played at Chestnut Hill? Down 28-0 with 2:09 left in the 3rd quarter, Kenny Kelly found Will McPartland for the first Miami score of the afternoon while the next seventeen minutes of football were nothing short of miraculous.

Playing B.C. on the road has provided some big time drama the past few years for the Canes. The 31-28 come from behind win in 1999 tops the list. Two years prior, the Canes escaped with a 45-44 double overtime victory, stopping an early season four game skid. No matter how dominant a season Miami is playing, on the road at Chestnut Hill always proves to be a battle.

Problem this year is timing. Boston College is about to run into a bandsaw. Saying they're catching the Canes at the most inopportune time is an understatement. Doing it without running back William Green is just salt in the wound.

According to the college football know-it-alls, the Canes "officially" start the season this Saturday. There has been no real competition up to this point. Forget the 22-point win over Florida State in Tallahassee. The Noles are down this year, didn't you hear? That game was meaningless. Ignore the fact that Miami has drubbed every opponent by at least three touchdowns by game's end. Give no credit to that kind of dominance.

Miami fans know that the Canes play to the level of their competition. It has been easy to cruise on autopilot for the better part of the 2001 season. When it was time to up the intensity level in Tallahassee, the Canes clicked on all cylinders. Offense, defense and special teams were all a machine. Miami scored in almost every way possible while humbling a Florida State team that forgot how to lose on their home turf. Somewhere in the distance I can still hear Santana Moss screaming, "big time players step up in big games." If you are a Cane, there is no other option or mindset.

The next four regular season games will test the mettle of this Miami bunch. A 7-0 record thus far is more than admirable. Still, a loss between now and December 1st would taint everything. In Coral Gables it is back to the "second place isn't good enough" mindset. Forget autopilot, now is the time to kick it into overdrive. Take no prisoners. Crush anyone standing in your way. First target: Boston College.

It's been said week in and week out, but this Saturday is just the latest in a series of "statement" games for the Canes this season. A win is not good enough. Dominance is required. A well-oiled machine in every aspect of the game is expected. The #1 bull's-eye is pasted on Miami's chests. It's time to respond. This weekend is the first step in a four-phase process. Operation Pasadena is underway.

How good is a William Green-less Boston College team? Who cares? Take the focus off of the Eagles' suspended running back and put the focus on Miami dominating in every phase of the game. Blow B.C. out of the water. Don't let them keep it close. No excuses when that final gun sounds. No cries of "if we had Green in the game, we'd have taken them down." No one needs to hear that nonsense. Put up fifty-plus points, Miami. William Green doesn't play defense. A blowout squashes any notion that Billy-boy's presence in the game would've made a difference.

Cane fans abroad are still waiting on that breakout game. A mistake-free, go for the jugular, fire on all cylinders, balls out performance. Will it come this weekend? It should. Miami is due for a dominant game at Boston College. This date has been circled on the calendar for months now. Saturday the "real" season begins. A few more cruise control victories will only bring more criticism. It is time to dominate. Elevate the intensity level. Tighten the chinstraps. Dig down a little deeper. Turn everything up a few notches. Four huge BIG EAST games await. Boston College provides the first real test. Pass it with flying colors, Canes. Everyone is watching.

Miami 45 Boston College 17

Born and raised in Miami, Chris Bello now lives in San Diego, CA and works as a freelance writer. Feel free to send your comments or to contact him for potential writing assignments at cbello@san.rr.com.

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