WVU vs BC Game Preview

The Mountaineers roll into Chestnut Hill on Saturday to keep alive their Big East championship chances against the ACC bound Boston College Eagles.






BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: 20-10-1 WVU
When: 11/8, Noon
Where: Chestnut Hill
Alumni Stadium
Record: 4-4
Rank: 53
Last Week:UCF
Returning Starters: 12
Defense: 8
Offense: 4
Click for Boston Forecast
Record: 5-4
Rank: 47
Last Week: Pitt
Returning Starters: 12
Defense: 6
Offense: 5
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2003 Schedule
First Meeting: 1925
Last Meeting: 2002
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2003 Schedule

Common Opponents to Date: (Miami 22- WVU 20) , (Miami 33 - BC 18)

Injuries:

WVU - Tim Brown (Achilles) Out, Jahmile Addae (Shoulder) Out, Rasheed Marshall (Concussion) Doubtful, Moe Fofona (Shoulder) Probable

Boston College - Jim Unis (Head) Out, Francios Brochu (Wrist) Out, Anthony Crosson (Knee) Out, Ricky Brown (Concussion) Questionable.

Game Outlook:

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Game Info
WVU 4-4, 2-1
BC 5-4, 1-2
Sat: 11/8 Noon
Alumni Stadium
Series: 20-10-1 WVU
TV: ESPN Regional
Sagarin: WVU 53- BC-47
Line: BC -4
Stats & Trends
WVU offense vs. Boston College defense

With Rasheed Marshall likely on the sidelines, Charles Hales will get his first start as a Mountaineer. Hales has performed well when thrown into the fire against Wisconsin and was able to wrap the game up last week against Central Florida. Hales knows the offense and shouldn't miss a beat against the Eagles.

The Eagles defense has been solid against the run, ranking 12th in the nation and 2nd in the Big East so far this season. The defense has been lead by senior linebacker Josh Ott and sophomore defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. Ott has racked up a team leading 81 tackles while Kiwanuka has destroyed opposing offensive lines. Kiwanuka has totaled 52 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 8 sacks, forced a fumble, and has an outstanding 16 quarterback hurries.

Rounding out the defensive line in BC's 4-3 set is Tom Martin, Doug Goodwin and Phillip Mettling. This trio has combined for 63 tackles and 5 quarterback sacks.

Joining Ott at the linebacker position is been Brian Flores and Ray Henderson. Flores and Henderson have teamed to post an impressive 122 tackles, 10.5 of those for a loss.

Starting in the backfield for the Eagles will be an experienced set of safeties and a solid group of cornerbacks. Paul Cook and T.J. Stancil man the safety positions and have been effective on run support this season. The duo has combined for 90 tackles and 2 interceptions through the first 9 games. At cornerback will be Will Blackmon and Peter Shean. Neither Blackmon or Shean are particularly tall, which could cause problems against WVU's lanky receivers.

WVU ranks 65th in total offense (369.38 yds/game), 12th in rushing offense (219.0 yds/game) and 106th in passing offense (150.38 yds/game).

Boston College ranks 51st in total defense (357.56 yds/game),31st in rushing defense (119.89 yds/game) and 47th in passing efficiency defense (117.82 rating).

Advantage: Even

WVU defense vs. Boston College offense

On the offensive side of the ball the Eagles, as in years past, have a strong line and an outstanding running back that can crank out the yardage. This year that running back is Derrick Knight. Knight went over the 1000-yard mark last week with 119 yards against the Panthers and has averaged 122.1 yards per game during the season, good enough for seventh in the nation.

The signal caller for the Eagles is Quinton Porter. Porter has had to follow a long line of solid BC quarterbacks and has not disappointed. Although Porter does not have many deep threats to go to at the wide receiver position he has been able to put up some very good numbers. He has completed 55.9% of his passes (132-236) for 1678 yards. He has thrown 14 touchdown passes while suffering only 5 interceptions. Porter and the Eagle offense will try to mount drives consisting of Knight's rushing and short yardage passing to beat the Mountaineers.

Catching Porter's tosses will be group of solid, possession-type receivers. Leading the way has been Grant Adams with 28 receptions for 474 yards and 2 touchdowns and Joel Hazard with 20 receptions for 248 yards. Sean Ryan, the BC tight end, is a major weapon and is one of the best tight ends that West Virginia will face this year. His 6'5 260 pound frame make him a threat in goal line situations and is the main reason that he has hauled in 4 touchdown passes this season.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 46th in total defense (351.88 yds/game), 43rd in rushing defense (132.639 yds/game) and 29th in passing efficiency defense (112.00).

Boston College ranks 50th in total offense (389.22 yds/game), 34th in rushing offense (180.89 yds/game) and 70th in passing (208.33 yds/game).

Advantage: Even

WVU special teams vs. Boston College special teams

This games looks to be a tight contest, which means special teams could play a huge role in deciding the victor. The Boston College special teams have mediocre at best this season. Sandro Sciortino, the BC place kicker, has connected on only 9 of his 15 attempts with his long being 40 yards. Punter, Jeff Gomulinski, has also struggled, averaging only 39.7 yards on 48 punts with one being blocked.

Returning kicks for the Eagles will be Will Blackmon. Blackmon has averaged 23.8 yards per return, good enough for 51st in the country. Punt returning duties have been split by Blackmon, averaging 10 yards per return and sophomore Nathanael Hasselback. Hasselback, of the renowned Boston College Hasselback clan, has 10 returns for 86 yards with a long of 43 yards.

By the numbers:
WVU ranks 71st in net punting (35.12 yds/punt), 20th in kick returns (23.91 yds/return) and 81st in punt returns (8.32 yds/return).

Boston College ranks 110th in net punting (31.54 yds/punt), 71st in kick returns (19.83 yds/return) and 69th in punt returns (9.13 yds/return)

Advantage: Slight edge to WVU

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BC Message Board
BC Official Site
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Tailgating
Picks to Click:

On Offense: Chris Henry

On Defense: Grant Wiley

Useless Facts:

* Boston College is 89-104-4 in the Big East Conference. The Eagles have posted a 19-21-4 record against ACC foes.

* Only fourteen players on the Boston College roster hail from the "Bay State".

* Two numbers have been retired by the Boston College football program, #22 and #68. Those numbers belong to Doug Flutie and Mike Ruth, respectively.

* BC could be known as Tight End U. Fifteen former Eagle tight ends have played professional football.

Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more matchup information!

Prediction:

The deck is stacked against the Gold and Blue for Saturday's tilt against the Eagles. Rasheed Marshall is on the bench, the Eagles have not lost a home game to WVU since 1995, the Mountaineers are 6-21-0 as a road underdog and the Eagles are 27-4-1 as a home favorite. The Mountaineers' only ace in the hole, according the BC coach Tom O'Brien, will be the Big East officiating crew. But even without the new sound system at Mountaineer Field, or the supposed help of the refs, WVU will find a way to win this one.

WVU - 21 Boston College - 20


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