Fight Hunger Bowl 2010: 10 Things To Know about BC vs. Nevada
The Nevada Wolfpack and the Boston College Eagles are two of the hottest teams in the country and will meet in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Boston College (7-5, 4-4 in ACC) took the Pac-10 conference's spot in this bowl because the Pac-10 did not have enough bowl eligible teams.
Nevada (12-1, 7-1 WAC) has proven they are a very good team and have enjoyed one of their best seasons in school history.
The Wolfpack are the only team to beat Boise State this season, defeating the Broncos in an epic overtime thriller.
The Fight For Hunger Bowl will be an exciting matchup between two hot teams, and they will finish their season on Jan. 9, 2011, at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Now, lets look at 10 things you need to know about this bowl.
Nevada Is Having a Great Season
Nevada earned its greatest victory in school history on Black Friday with an upset of the then undefeated Boise State Broncos.
The Wolfpack beat the Broncos in overtime, derailing their quest for a BCS bowl bid.
In a USA Today article from 11/28/2010, Nevada head coach Chris Ault said, "It is the greatest win in the history of this university," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "It's one of the greatest scenes I've ever been around. It's hard to put in words right now. It happened and the way it happened, it's an unbelievable thing. Those players, they're excited, they're proud. They've got a chance to be champions."
Nevada did become the WAC champions they had hoped to be at the start of the season, and their current No. 15 ranking in the USA Today Top 25 poll is the highest they've ever been.
Boston College Has Turned an Awful Start into a Respectable Year
Boston College is making its 12th straight bowl appearance, but in October it seemed like the impressive streak would end in 2010.
On October 30, the Eagles were 2-5, and had to beat Clemson to stay on track for a possible bow invitation. They beat Clemson 16-10, and including that win, the Eagles have won five straight games.
BC played in this bowl last season, losing to Southern California 24-13.
The Eagles are a young team and will have their hands full with the explosive Nevada offense.
Nevada's Offense Is Among the Nation's Best
Nevada boasts one of the best rushing attacks in the nation, averaging 301.4 yards per game, good for fourth best in the country.
In the Wolfpack's great upset of Boise State, they rushed for 238 yards in the second half and overtime. The Nevada offense is third in the nation averaging 536.9 yards per game and sixth in the nation in points per game with 43.3.
Nevada has proven they can run effectively and use their rushing attack to open up opportunities in the passing game.
However, Boston College has one of the best rush defenses, making this bowl an interesting matchup.
Boston College Has an Excellent Defense
Boston College is ranked 14th in the nation in team defense and 19th in scoring defense. In the Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Nevada, the Eagles will facing the third best team offense and seventh best scoring offense.
Adding to the interesting matchups within the game is the Eagles top ranked rushing defense, which has given up just 962 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games.
The Eagles defense is led by Luke Kuechly, who is the nation's leading tackler, and he was the most outstanding player in last year's version of this bowl (Emerald Bowl last season).
Someone's Winning Streak Will End
Boston College is making its 12th consecutive bowl appearance, an impressive feat for a team with few good quarterbacks leading the offense (except Matt Ryan).
The Eagles have won five straight games, saving their season from embarrassment in October when they were 2-5 overall.
Nevada has won six straight games and will look to snap a four-bowl-game losing streak with a win vs. the Eagles in January.
These two teams are among 13 teams in the country, who currently have winning streaks of five games or more.
Both Teams Have a Lot Of Respect for Each Other
Both Nevada and Boston College have the utmost respect for each other, who are two of the best run programs in the country.
In a USA Today article last updated on 12/6/10, Ealges head coach Frank Spaziani said, "We are certainly looking forward to returning to San Francisco for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl," BC coach Frank Spaziani said in a statement. "Nevada is a great program with a Hall of Fame coach (Chris Ault), and this will be a tough challenge for our young football team."
Nevada coach Chris Ault had similar praise for the Eagles, calling them a model program. Both these programs are full of integrity and never are accused of violating any NCAA rules.
Head Coach Frank Spaziani Has BC Headed in the Right Direction
Frank Spaziani is in his second season as the Boston College head coach and is the third coach the school has had in the last four seasons.
Spaziani got his chance to be a head coach last year after a long career as a successful assistant coach. Coach Spaz has kept the winning ways going at BC, leading the Eagles to their 12 consecutive bowl game, a task that was much more challenging this season than in previous years.
Spaziani found a way to ignite his players after falling to 2-5 in late October.
Chris Ault Is Looking To Add to His Historic Coaching Resume
Nevada head coach Chris Ault was named the 2010 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year this week and is one of the best coaches in the nation.
Ault has had three stints as Nevada head coach, starting in 1976. His overall record is 212-96-1, but he is only 1-6 in bowl games.
Ault is the most successful coach in Nevada history and is one of five current FBS coaches to have won 200 games.
Coach Ault is a master adjuster, and his 25 career comeback victories suggest he can make quick decisions to change the fate of his team.
This year's Fight For Hunger bowl is a battle between two coaches—one very experienced and one just starting his career.
Wolfpack Quarterback Colin Kaepernick Has Improved a Lot Since Last Season
Colin Kaepernick was 0-3 vs. Boise State until he overcame his nemesis this season in an epic overtime win.
Kaepernick has taken his game to another level this season, playing with loads of confidence. He is ninth in the nation in total offense and 17th in passing efficiency.
Kaepernick and receiver Rishard Matthews have been one of the better quarterback-receiver duos in the country.
In the win vs. Boise State, Matthews caught 10passes for 172 yards and one touchdown. Matthews is a junior college transfer who is making the most out of his time at Nevada.
This game is a great battle between one team who runs the ball as well as anyone (Nevada), and a team who stops the run as well as any team in the country (Boston College).
The game will come down to who can pass the ball efficiently, and Nevada has the edge here.
Boston College is a young team, and against the experience of Nevada's players and coaching staff, they will find it difficult to beat the Wolfpack.
Prediction: Nevada will win the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.