|Matt Keller||Last Wk: W||Season 8-1||Pick: WVU 27-24|
The last time Boston College defeated a winning-record West Virginia team at home was 1973. And the Eagles have not won at Mountaineer Field since 1990.
Those are, for the most part, useless stats, But there are some teams, more because of their style than name or aura, that schools match-up better against.
WVU-BC is one of them. The Mountaineers have traditionally faired well against run-first, play action teams that come right at them. That has been the Eagles' style, and with strength-on-strength, run vs. run, the New Englanders simply don't win.
That written, this could be the best BC team since 1993. They're huge, have decent skill, play shut-down run defense and have a quarterback that can throw it over the secondary after sucking them up by faking run.
Boston College finally has the firepower to get out of Morgantown with a win. The Noon kickoff hurts, as does WVU's inability to play anything close to a complete game. Some fans might not even realize this is the most important game in 10 years in terms of the postseason.
It is still run-to-win, and if WVU's secondary holds up its end, the Eagles again lose. If not, BC drives a knife through the proverbial heart of both West Virginia and the Big East. The Mountaineers cannot allow it to happen, especially on ABC television.
|Andy Easton||Last Wk: W||Season 8-1||Pick: WVU 21-20|
|This game is for all of the marbles, the Big Eastchampionship, a BCS bowl game, a multi-million dollar payout and conference pride. The Mountaineers have dominated the series, but that domination has began to fade over the last several years, with BC winning three out of the last seven contests. If the Blue and Gold can win the turnover battle and get its ground game going, the Mountaineer should be firing his musket five or six times on Saturday.|
|Chris Richardson||Last Wk: W||Season 8-1||Pick: WVU 28-20|
Come on, get a grip will ya? You really think that Rasheed Marshall,
Adam Lehnortt, and the rest of the Mountaineer seniors are going to lay
an egg in the biggest game of their careers, which also happens to be
the last time they'll ever play at Mountaineer Field? The Mountaineers
always win big games by being more physical than their opponents, and
this will be no different. West Virginia just has too many offensive
weapons and too much grit on defense to lose this game.
On the BC side, the Eagles haven't won at Mountaineer Field since I was in kindergarten, and have never finished higher than fourth in the Big East. Not that it would matter anyway, because the coverage BC gets in Boston is on par with the coverage for the football teams from Harvard and Northeastern. Have fun in the ACC boys.
|Greg Hunter||Last Wk: W||Season 7-2||Pick: WVU 28-20|
|Heck, if Doug Flutie couldn't beat WVU (0-4), how can this latest undersized Eagle QB, Peterson? BC and WVU have waged many memorable battles over the years, most of which have ended with Mountaineer wins. This one's no different.|
|Cam Huffman||Last Wk: W||Season 7-2||Pick: WVU 24-21|
Including Virginia Tech, including Maryland and including Connecticut, this is the best team West Virginia has faced all year. Boston College quarterback Paul Peterson can run and throw, and we saw last week how much trouble West Virginia's defense can have with a quarterback that can move around.
On defense, the Eagles have been incredibly stingy. The Mountaineers are not going to be able to simply pound the ball down BC's throats, they will have to be much more imaginative on offense. The big advantage for the Mountaineers could be emotion. In the past three years the men in gold and blue have played really well in the home contests that matter the most. A large, enthusiastic crowd could propel the Mountaineers to make a few plays that they would not have made without it. But the crowd must be into the game. WVU has had big crowds earlier this season, but none of them have been particularly loud. Numbers don't mean a thing, but noise could.
If West Virginia is as sluggish as it has been for much of the year, it will lose this game. Virginia Tech proved that this team could be beaten if it is just going through the motions.
I just don't see that happening on senior day, especially with a determined leader like Rasheed Marshall running the show. No. 2 will find the end zone once on the ground and once through the air, and Brad Cooper will split the uprights at Mountaineer Field one final time.
|Bill Gleason||Last Wk: W||Season 7-2||Pick: WVU 42-24|
Boston College comes to town on a roll. Well, if you consider averaging 69 yards rushing per game over the last three a roll. Paul Peterson is a very good quarterback. People in Boston compare him very favorably to Doug Flutie. Peterson is good. Good for two interceptions per game, that is.
West Virginia is once again one of the nation's leaders in turnover margin, and Boston College thunders in to Morgantown ranked in the 70s in turnover margin. And I don't mean the Disco Era. Kay Jay Harris is finally healthy, and Pernell Williams has quietly established himself as a punishing force between the tackles. Rasheed Marshall has improved with every game, and he was playing pretty well when the marked improvement started.
Boston College is going to load up against the run, and double team Chris Henry. According to BC writers, we have nobody else. I find it particularly amusing since Miquelle Henderson was our #1 receiver in 2002, #2 in 2003 and sits #2 in 2004. If Eddie Jackson plays, Boston College has nobody to stop our 2nd and 3rd option at wide receiver. Nor will they be able to stop our tosses to the running backs.
Rasheed runs for 100, throws for 200 and five touchdowns. BC scores late to make it look like not so bad of a whipping.
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