Last year, Virginia Tech and Boston College were both expected to compete for an ACC Championship title. That they did, as they faced off against each other twice last season. The first game was the infamous comeback in the last two minutes of the game by Boston College, but Virginia Tech won the game that mattered most, in Jacksonville last season.
Virginia Tech was the preseason pick to represent the Coastal Division. The Hokies are an extremely young football team, that's had multiple injuries and suspensions to key areas of the field. Boston College was projected to finish fourth in the Atlantic Division, but Chris Crane was able to lead the Eagles for much of the season.
Crane obviously will not play, due to a broken collarbone, and Dominique Davis will make the second start of his career against one of the nations top defenses. This is bad news for the Eagles. Davis played well in his first start against Maryland, completing 50 percent of his passes while throwing two touchdowns, but the Virginia Tech defense will provide a different story.
Tyrod Taylor had his best performance of the season last week against Virginia, throwing for 137 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 137 yards. The offense looked much better last week, but the Hokies failed to put points on the board in three trips to the redzone. In order to beat Boston College, Virginia Tech will have to execute in the redzone.
In the match-up between the two teams, Virginia Tech reached the redzone a whopping one time, and kicked a field goal while they were there. The offense was the worst it had been all year in that game, and some of the credit goes to the Eagles third ranked defense in college football.
Most of the points were scored by the defense for Virginia Tech, as they forced four turnovers, and set up the offense multiple times, but the offesne stalled. Taylor rushed for 115 yards in the game, but threw for only 90 yards with one interception.
This week will be slightly different. Despite Virginia Tech's struggles, they only lost the game by a score of 28 to 23. Once the defensive front of Virginia Tech gets after Davis, he is bound to make mistakes with his arm. However, he is more mobile than Crane, but the Hokie defense is going to force a few turnovers, starting with the quarterback.
Montel Harris and Josh Haden will be key for the Eagles offensive success. Neither had a great game against Virginia Tech earlier this season, but made big plays when they had to. Darren Evans is one of the most vital parts for the Virginia Tech offense. Earlier this year, Evans had 17 carries for only 27 yards, but has turned into a much better running back since then.
If Evans can do anything on the ground, I expect Taylor to have a better day through the air. Taylor is a big play away from blowing the game open, and it may come down to this at some point in the game. Taylor will likely get his rushing yards, but will have to be more successful through the air.
The defenses are going to define this game. Two of the nations top defenses going at it for an ACC title, and an Orange Bowl appearance. Both love to cause turnovers, but Virginia Tech's defense should have the edge, as Davis is making only his second career start.
Remember in their game earlier this season, Virginia Tech forced four turnovers compared to one by Boston College. If this happens on Saturday, Virginia Tech will come out on top.
This one will likely come down to the wire, and whoever has the last possession may decide the game.
Virginia Tech 20, Boston College 17