Boston College football will look to earn its first 2-0 start since the 2010 season with a home victory over Wake Forest on Friday night, but a strike of consistency may be some consolation if the outcome precludes the Eagles from getting a win.
After all, Villanova was a tale of two halves.
A BC offense that lacked moxie, only to gain it back with the statistically impressive performance of senior quarterback Chase Rettig, a befuddling special teams trick play drawn up by some Pop Warner extraordinaire which resulted in a Villanova score, and an eerie, confused overcast suddenly turning into clear skies made for a game that hit all parts of the college football spectrum.
BC was scatterbrained for what seemed like the entire first half, only to return to a level of play in the second half that many could get used to seeing against non-FCS teams like Clemson and Florida State.
The key phrase is, of course, non-FCS teams, and since Wake Forest is a non-FCS team, the Eagles will really have to prove their ability as a competent ACC squad on Friday night.
We will know how the 2013 BC football team compares to talent considered “on par” in the ACC after Friday’s contest. And, a close look at the following will help in your judgment of whether or not BC can hang with the Demon Deacons, or if expectations for this season need a downgrading:
6. WFU’S Michael Campanaro. The Demon Deacons’ primary receiving threat was sidelined in Wake Forest’s season opener against Presbyterian with hamstring issues. His health, and ultimate performance, could make things significantly more complicated for a BC secondary that gave up 158 yards to Villanova’s John Robertson.
Last year, Campanaro had 16 receptions for 123 yards against BC, tearing past a lot of the same BC corners and safeties that will take the field on Friday night. Campanaro playing with a lingering injury is a concern for Wake Forest, but BC defensive coordinator Don Brown will likely have to make adjustments given Campanaro’s inevitable playmaking ability.
5. Andre Williams’ power presence before the second quarter. Andre Williams is listed as probable after going down with a hamstring injury against Villanova, and the senior running back will need to establish a bruising, relentless tempo early in the game to give Rettig and his crew of receivers (which includes linebacker turned pass catcher Bobby Wolford) a shot at some of the same rollout and pocket-style passing formations we saw in the second half of the ‘Nova game.
Whether or not BC can draw the Wake Forest secondary closer to the line hinges on the success Williams has early in the game.
4. Who’s two? BC needs a second go-to receiver and as of yet, no one has surfaced behind Alex Amidon. It will be interesting to see if Harrison Jackson, Dan Crimmins, or Spiffy Evans fits that mold.
Evans, who takes punt and kickoff returns, has a penchant for making big plays; it would be a welcoming sight to see him have a similar effect on offense, too.
3. Special teams blunders. The fake punt was a tragically unlucky sequence of events, and it circulated around the Internet like a brushfire. Don’t expect Special Teams Coordinator Sean McGowan let something like this reoccur on Friday:
BC will need perfection from Nate Freese, which has not been a problem as of late, and an already cautious BC special teams unit to be prudent with their decision-making and reaction to any trickery.
2. Chase this. After last week’s 285-yard performance, senior quarterback Chase Rettig is on pace to surpass Matt Ryan in career passing yards by the end of the season. He needs 3,056 yards—a very close statistical repeat of last season—to pass Ryan’s career number of 9,313. Look for Rettig to branch out his receiving options as Wake hones in on Amidon and his shifty ways.
1. Mental toughness. BC football’s calling card is to “be a dude.” If the game dwindles down to a goal-line stand, a potential game-winning field goal, or a two-minute drill with seconds to go, expect composure and strength. Addazio has preached no other way. An opposite reaction to such pressure could indicate that 2013 will be a long year.
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