Friday, October 07, 2005

Eagles Migration to ACC Complete

It may have been one messy project, but the ACC has twelve teams. The newest member, Boston College will take on Virginia this weekend in what proves to be another critical ACC contest.

For Head Coach Tom O'Brien, it is a conflicted game playing against a team where he was an assistant for 15 years. O'Brien was on the sidelines with QB Mike Groh when UVA finally defeated Florida State in 1995. Now he is at the helm of an up and rising program, one looking to contend for the Atlantic Division crown.

The Boston College Eagles are currently 4-1 and ranked 18th in the country, their lone loss to Florida State at home 28-17. Nevertheless, they recognize the challenge the Cavaliers of Charlottesville have to bring.

"I know that they are a really good football team," said sophomore linebacker Brian Toal. "They have big offensive linemen, and they have the team speed of the ACC that everyone has been talking about. So, it's going to be a challenge for us."

That team speed pertains to the incomparable Virginia QB Marques Hagans. Hagans had a solid outing against Maryland, his second game in a row without any turnovers. A similar outing will be necessary for Virginia to win because the BC defense is hitting on all cylinders after a shutout last week against Ball State.

"They're second in the country in stopping the run" said Virginia coach Al Groh. "Obviously they're way down there in points allowed...the offense gets a lot of attention, but what's really important in being a solid team week-in and week-out is being able to keep your opponents down, and they're really good at that. "

Boston College's offense has put the reins in the hands of QB Matt Ryan. Ryan replaced starter Quinton Porter when he injured himself in the Florida State game. Porter had 2 interceptions and while Ryan only amassed 89 yards in that game he was able to spur a critical victory the next week in overtime against Clemson. His tenure at quarterback was certainly one under fire, starting at Death Valley, but Matt Ryan has proven that he can handle the responsibility.

Look for Boston College to run it up the gut. RB L.V. Whitworth is one of a barrage of backs that BC will use against the Cavaliers. After watching the gains of Maryland third-stringer Lance Ball, they have to licking their lips for an opportunity to take on a depleted Virginia defense and they know the ground attack is coming.

"It's the way they've played everybody this year", Groh said. "It's a dedicated, downhill running game. It's unusual that balls go to the outside."

It's about time the Orange Crush do something unusual and really manhandle a team this Saturday because their hopes for ACC glory ride on it.


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