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November 1, 2013

Know Your Enemy: BC

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Each game, we'll get the inside look at Virginia Tech's opponent by talking with the opposing team's beat writer. This week, we spoke with EagleAction.com senior writer Eric Hoffses to get the inside look at Boston College.

1)Boston College seems to have been in a few games, but with Clemson specifically, was that an indicator of how good this team is?

Hoffses: BC played Clemson and Florida State very tough and hung with both teams into the second half. BC does not have close to the talent that either of these two teams have. What they do have though is a tough run-first offense and a defense that has just enough play makers in the front seven.

The bottom line is that if your team isn't ready to play right from the start then the Eagles will run it down your throat until your front seven decides it is ready to play. At that point you're playing with fire.

2)How dependent is the BC offense on Andre Williams? Can they handle an off-game by him?

Hoffses: This season the offense has been completely reliant on Williams as evident by him being fifth in the national in rushing yards per game, but BC owning the 108th ranked offense in the country. The team's worst offensive game was against USC when it scored only seven points, and Williams had only 43 yards rushing in this game.

3) Does BC do anything non-conventional offensively, or is it just run right at the opponent with Williams?

Hoffses: Coach Steve Addazio doesn't hide the fact that he wants to run the ball and talks about it openly in press conferences. Like any team, BC has a few wrinkles with its offense. The type of plays that have caught teams most off guard if when they run a pass play which looks like its designed to be a screen to Alex Amidon.

Quarterback Chase Rettig will look in the direction of Amidon and then quickly turn to the opposite side of the field and hit a fullback in the flat. Usually the opposite side of the field is completely wide open.

4)Defensively, the Eagles have given up some points, but is there one specific weak spot?

Hoffses: One weakness that has been exposed off and on this year is that the defense has a tough time slowing down play makers in space. The problem is different teams have exposed this in different ways. Against Florida State, it was quarterback Jameis Winston hitting wide receivers in open space for big plays. Against North Carolina, it was screen passes to running backs and option runs by its quarterback which gave BC trouble.

5) Who is the X-factor for BC, offensively or defensively?

Hoffses: Defensively it is defensive end Kaleb Ramsey, a sixth-year senior. Ramsey has NFL-level ability when he's healthy, but the problem has been his health as evident by his 6th year status. Opponents who have tried to block Ramsey with a tight end have failed.

On offense it's Rettig. This year Rettig has went from being the focal point of the offense to taking a back seat to Williams. Rettig hasn't had any big games all year, but his past history shows he can get hot and when he does the BC offense puts up points.

FEARLESS PREDICTION: I think Virginia Tech wins 17-16. Boston College will hang tough like it has against some of the best teams in the country. The offense just isn't playing very well right now which obviously isn't a good recipe when the Hokies are coming to town.


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