Jeff: Brian, what a game yesterday. Early on I thought something similar to my 31-6 prediction was going to become a reality because BC's defense was outstanding and the offense was moving the ball well on the ground. Then suddenly Crane goes down and things changed a little. I still felt good at halftime with BC leading by 9 and the team getting the ball first in the second half but Dominique Davis fumbled on the opening play which was scooped up and taken in for a Wake touchdown. From that point on the offense did not move the ball at all and Wake took a 21-16 lead after a blocked punt. Then out of nowhere, when we needed it most, Dominique Davis has some long completions on third downs which led to the game winning TD. Talk me through your range of emotions yesterday and those texts you sent me saying our season was over.
Brian: I believe our text messages went like this which began at about the start of the fourth quarter. I said something to the effect of "We are effed without Crane, man." ... "Effed!!!"
You calmed me down with a "Stop it. There is time. Don't give up on me."
To which I replied, "We have no offense dude." and "Time to focus on hockey season." Just letting you know what I (and every other Eagle fan) was thinking after Wake pulled ahead 21-16. You had your doubts too, questioning the playcalling and asking if Logan had other plans on December 6. I wasn't the only one that had moments there when I doubted the outcome of the game. Also, I'd like to go on record and say I take back anything I ever said bad about Chris Crane. Crane got us to 8-3 and in position to win our first conference title. Here's to wishing him a speedy recovery.
Enough can't be said about this team for sticking it out and putting together this W. Dominique Davis looked absolutely shell-shocked when he was thrust into the game in the second quarter. He did settle down in the second half, finishing the game with 13-of-23 passing for 103 yards. The passes weren't necessarily crisp, but he gave the receivers an opportunity to catch a few more passes than he made (a few drops here and there, two in a row from Jarvis late in the game). Have to give it up to Davis, Gunnell on the huge catch on 3rd down, Robinson with two catches that kept drives alive, and Davis punching it in on the goalline.
It was certainly an emotional rollercoaster throughout the game. The game watch atmosphere in NYC was awesome though, and we couldn't believe that the Eagles pulled out that game.
How about the job the defense put together on Saturday? McLaughlin and Herzlich were all over the place. Is the BC defense THAT good, or did the Wake Forest offense just stink up the joint?
Jeff: The BC defense is very good. Very good. But Wake hardly has a great offense this year. In any game the offense doesn't turn the ball over, we can potentially shut a team out. We certainly won't shut out a team with a good/great offense but we could shut out several ACC teams without the offense and/or special teams setting up opponent scores.
Brian: We move on to our opponent on Saturday - the Maryland Terrapins. While Maryland has been officially eliminated from earning a trip to Tampa with their 37-3 waxing at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles, a win against BC will give the Terrapins a share of the Atlantic Division crown. Will Friedgen be able to motivate his team to play their best football on Saturday?
Jeff: I'd say absolutely. Maryland is 5-0 this year against ranked teams and BC is #21 in the BCS this week (interestingly behind Florida State and ahead of Georgia Tech). At the beginning of this season I doubt that Maryland was thinking Tampa or Bust so they are still playing for a better bowl appearance and just to win every game. We have never known exactly what Maryland team will show up week to week and this weekend will be no different.
Brian: Jags and Logan will have Davis ready. As you mentioned, Jeff, Maryland seems to play up or down to its competition, and this game should be no different. We need to put this game in perspective though. It's easy to call this a WTF loss if we lose to Maryland in our home season-finale (e.g. 2004), but really, with the injury to Crane we are playing with house money. No one outside of Chestnut Hill expected this program to be 8-3 with the chance to return to the conference Championship. Tons of credit has to go to Jags, Logan and the team for getting us in a position to win our second consecutive Division title.
Jeff: In the Coastal, it will be Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech headed to Tampa depending on the outcome of the Virginia Tech-Virginia game Saturday. Interestingly enough, the ACC Championship Game will definitely be a rematch of an ACC regular season game and Georgia Tech won both of its matchups while Virginia Tech lost to both BC and FSU on the road. Who do you think will represent the Coastal? I still think Georgia Tech is the best team and has a slightly better than 50% chance of heading to Tampa.
Brian: I agree that Georgia Tech is the better team this season, however they are behind the 8-ball in the conference with their early 20-17 loss to the Hokies back in September. As for the Virginia Tech-Virginia game, I like Virginia's chances, however, I'm not sure they will be able to run the ball effectively against the Hokies defense, similar to the Maryland-Virginia Tech game a few weeks ago (2nd best rush defense in the ACC behind BC). It's a home game for the Hokies so I give the slidge edge to Virginia Tech on Saturday, although it's going to be a pillow fight! The 109th ranked team in total offense (Virginia Tech) vs. the 102nd ranked total offense (Virginia).
Jeff: Lastly, the Boston College men's basketball team lost to St. Louis Saturday. I'm thinking all football but a little disappointed that the team couldn't keep their record unblemished before heading to MSG this week but before you get too down on the loss, keep in mind that Rick Majerus is building a nice program there and it is not as bad of a loss as it may have initally seemed.
Brian: When you shoot .333 from the floor, and 3 of 16 behind the arc, you aren't going to win many ball games. Hats off to Corey Raji for leading the way with 22 points, 7 rebounds in a solid effort. I'm mostly disappointed that we lost to a team with a mascot looking like this. Seriously, what the hell is a Billiken?
Quickly (sticking with football) ... With the win over Wake, the Eagles jumped to No. 20 in the AP poll / No. 21 in the Coaches Poll ... Mark Herzlich gets a Week 13 helmet sticker from HD ... Billy Flutie is your second string QB this weekend for the Maryland game (there ya go, Andy) ... Hell hath frozen over: both ESPN experts projected BC to make the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against LSU this week ... BC up to #2 in HD's latest Power Rankings ... Same for Gobbler Country ... the Raleigh News & Observer handicaps the ACC football awards ... (and because it's always fun to kick the Fake Irish when they are down) Doc Saturday explores Notre Dame's latest woes ...