Bits and Bytes - Boston College

In the expected close contest between Boston College and West Virginia this Saturday, the little things take on added importance.

ONE MORE BITE

I've gotten greedy. Before the season, I though 5-7 was a reasonable goal for this team. I was hoping for 6-6 and a bowl bid, because I thought that kind of tangible reward would do wonders in WVU's climb back to respectability and beyond.

Now that a seventh win is possible, I want it. I didn't expect it before the season started, which is one factor that has made the 2002 campaign so enjoyable.

PASTRY FOR THE DEFENSE

Coming into the season there were several items that needed work on on the defensive side of the ball. Even though the rushing defense was an area of great concern, turnovers were also a priority for the Mountaineer defensive staff.

BlueGoldNews.com
Game Info
WVU 3-1, 6-3
BC 0-3, 5-3
Sat. 11/9 Noon
Mountaineer Field
Series: WVU 19-10-1
TV: ESPN
Sagarin: WVU-45 - BC-34
Line: WVU -3
Stats & Trends
Last year, WVU lost the turnover battle by a margin of 32-24, with predictable results. This year, that margin has been more than reversed, as West Virginia owns a 26-11 turnover margin against their opponents.

Boston College, on the other hand, holds a narrow 19-17 turnover advantage against their 2002 foes. The Eagles' win over Notre Dame was largely fueled by their 5-1 victory in turnover margin, so they have seen firsthand the power that protecting the ball conveys.

It's become almost a cliche to emphasize turnovers as a key part of each game, but with the even nature of this week's battle, the importance of causing turnovers takes on even more urgency.

LAST MAN STANDING

Both teams are showing the effects of the long season. The normal bumps and bruises (which would probably keep most of us off work for a week) are piling up. Both teams have also been hit hard by injuries and absences along the defensive line.

This week's game, therefore, could easily come down to a battle of attrition. Which team is able to play through their pain and weariness to come out with the victory? Which coaching staff will best be able to juggle his players and provide them enough rest to have something left in the fourth quarter?

Answer those questions, and you've probably identified this week's winner.

PAPER OR PLASTIC?

One thing you probably won't see this week are a lot of sacks. BC has just 14 on the season, and when you add the mobility of Rasheed Marshall to the equation, there don't figure to be too many tackles in the Mountaineer backfield.

Click
The sack total doesn't figure to be augmented much on WVU's side either. The Mountaineers have generated a league low 12 during 2002. Couple that with BC's excellent pass protection (they've given up only 11) and the only sacking you're likely to see on Saturday is at the Kroger's down the street.

RANDOM THOUGHT

Boston College students tore down the practice field goalposts after the Eagles' road win at Notre Dame. The act was greeted with chuckles from most of the league's media. Wonder if the reaction would have been the same had the exact same event occurred at WVU?

BIG EAST RIFF OF THE WEEK

Why don't the Big East stats match up with the individual school stats? While looking throgh the stats for sacks, BC gives themselves credit for 12, while the Big East says they have 18. WVU says they have 11, while the Big Eas says 12.

There are a lot of other discrepancies, but it looks bad when the conference and schools cna't even agree on how many tackles someone has.


BlueGoldNews Top Stories