Virginia Tech vs. Boston College: Complete Game Preview
The Virginia Tech Hokies enter this Saturday's game at Boston College with just four wins on the season and need to win their remaining two games just to receive a bowl bid.
The Hokies have played in a bowl game for 19 consecutive seasons.
Both teams are coming off games in which they competed against top-10 teams. The Eagles lost to Notre Dame 21-6 while the Hokies lost a last-second thriller to No. 9 Florida State.
The Hokies have a 14-6 record against the Eagles, and the two schools have played every year since 1993 with the exception of 2004 when the Hokies first entered the ACC.
The schools have twice played for the ACC Championship with the Hokies winning both games.
Here is a preview of this weekend's important matchup for the Hokies.
Get Pressure on Rettig
Junior Chase Rettig is having a solid season despite Boston College's lack of overall success.
Through 10 games, Rettig has thrown for 2,803 yard with 16 touchdowns. He is completing just over 57-percent of his passes.
Rettig will look to junior wide receiver Alex Amidon for much of the Eagles' offense. Amidon has caught 73 passes for 1,157 yards and six touchdowns.
The key for the Hokies is to pressure Rettig early so he will make mistakes. He has been sacked 26 times and thrown nine interceptions.
The Eagles have struggled on offense throughout the season and are 118th in rushing offense. They are, however, ranked 32nd in passing offense.
Build off Last Week's Momentum
Carrying momentum from one week to another has been a struggle for Virginia Tech's offense all season. Last week's performance against the No. 1 defense in the nation should give the Hokies confidence.
Logan Thomas threw for a season-high 298 yards, and the Hokies had 385 total yards against the Seminoles. While Thomas did throw two crucial interceptions, he was very good for much of the game.
The running game has been a mess all season, but as we said against Clemson and Miami, if the Hokies can't run this week against Boston College's 116th ranked run defense, then they aren't going to run against anyone.
Run-blocking has been the Hokies' biggest issue.
The Hokies' success throwing the football against Florida State should open up more running lanes this week.
Feature Coleman and Knowles
Freshman running back J.C. Coleman has struggled to find running lanes at times this season. However, as previously noted, much of that isn't on him.
Coleman has home-run speed and is arguably the Hokies' top all-around running back. He needs to be featured in the passing game as well to take advantage of his speed and elusiveness.
Knowles, a redshirt freshman, is now atop the Hokies' depth chart at flanker. It is a worthy promotion.
Good things happen when the speedy Knowles has the football. He has proven to be a playmaker in the return game and is the Hokies' best deep threat.
It isn't about playing for next year but getting your best players on the field. Coleman and Knowles fit that description.
What's Wrong with Marcus Davis?
This was expected to be a breakout season for the talented senior wide receiver. In some ways, it has been. However, as this picture illustrates, Davis seems to be doing a lot of standing around when the ball isn't in his hands.
Davis was the focus of an article on Deadspin highlighting his lack of desire to block.
The Hokies need to get Davis the ball. He is outstanding with the ball in his hands and a physical mismatch for defenders. But if he isn't going to put forth the same effort as others, such as fellow senior Corey Fuller, then his playing time should be limited.
Fuller has been the Hokies' most dependable receiver in 2012 despite Davis' better overall numbers.
This is a big week for Davis to see how he can bounce back from the negativity surrounding him.
This season has undoubtedly been a big disappointment for both schools. The Hokies string of 10-win seasons ended weeks ago and they are in danger of missing a bowl game. The Eagles are floundering under head coach Frank Spaziani, leading many to believe they will change coaches after the season.
Virginia Tech's defense has been playing very well in recent weeks and that should be the difference in this game. While the Eagles will keep it close, the Hokies will eke out a win, probably in the fourth quarter, 20-13.