Going into Lane Stadium and winning is not an easy thing. Currently, BC is 3-5 all time in Lane Stadium, the most recent win being the Miracle in Blacksburg. Considering that BC is 1-5 going into this game and it is at Lane, I don't have high hopes for this game. It's going to be a difficult path to victory, but here are what I think are 5 keys to either keeping it close or perhaps winning outright.
1. Make Logan Thomas Beat Us- Logan Thomas is not Tyrod Taylor. If a passing play was not developing as expected, Taylor could beat you just as easily on his legs as he could with his arms. Additionally, Virignia Tech offenses the last few years have been run heavy. Between Ryan Williams, Darren Evans and now David Wilson, Virginia Tech has turned into a run first/ pass second team. Wilson ranks up there in ability with Williams and Evans, and in many respects surpasses him. If BC can limit his productivity, maybe play a little of that #1 run defense that we saw last year, and force Thomas to throw the ball, we may have a chance. A lot of things can go wrong when a ball is in the air and if the defense can force incompletions and interceptions, things could go our way.
2. Establish as Strong Run Game- Our game against Clemson was one of the most complete run games that I have seen so far. It was refreshing to see that, even without Montel, we were able to get production on the ground. If BC can get some of that same production against the Virginia Tech defense, and take some pressure off of Chase's arm, then we could make things a little more difficult for the Hokies. Running the ball down their throat, wearing out their defense and keeping Bud Foster's boys on the field could make a difference
3. Just Find an Offense- In our first few games, our offensive production was not necessarily limited, but it couldn't pull through when we needed it. Last week, Chase was able to get some production in the passing game. Coupled with the improvement out of our running backs, if we can put together even somewhat of a complete offensive attack we may finally see some production out of BC.
4. Convert on 3rd Down- So far in 2011 BC is 26 for 73 on third down, converting just over 25% of third downs. In our past three games against Virginia Tech, Spaz's two games and the 2008 ACC Championship, BC has converted just 8 of 43 third downs or 18%. The key here is to keep the Virginia Tech defense on the field. BC's inability to sustain drives against Virginia Tech has been what has killed us in the past, it tires out our defense and lets Virginia Tech keep control of the time of possession. If BC wants to have a chance against Virginia Tech, we need to convert and keep our drives alive and keep Bud Foster's defense on the field.
5. Take the Crowd Out of It- What makes Lane Stadium so "magical," is the home field advantage that the Virginia Tech crowd gives to it's team. Lane Stadium is a loud, intimidating place to play football. Tomorrow, I would love to see BC score early and silence the crowd. In 2008, against Florida State, BC marched down the field in Tallahassee and silenced a Florida State Homecoming, "Blackout" crowd. If BC can score early and even get some solid defensive stops to deflate the home crowd, Lane Stadium could become a much easier place to play for BC.
I am not sure that BC can go into Lane Stadium tomorrow and beat the Hokies. My hope, however, is that a week off to refocus and prepare for Virginia Tech will have given BC the much needed rest they need to get things back on track. Although I want BC to win, we may soon be approaching moral victory time, a close game against Virginia Tech could be a good sign with Maryland next week. If BC can sustain its drives and force Logan Thomas to beat us through the air, BC could have a chance against Virginia Tech.