Monday, December 29, 2008

Q&A Exchange with ATLEagle

In the run-up to the Music City Bowl, VSL is doing Q&A exchanges with a couple BC blogs to try and get to know the opposition. Our first installment comes from, who will be posting our answers to their questions later today:

1. How hard has it been to replace Matt Ryan?

Well the team has nearly an identical record and won the division again. So in that sense replacing Ryan wasn’t hard. In other ways there is still a huge shadow looming all over the team. I think Chris Crane felt that pressure throughout the season. I think other teams treated us differently too. They blitzed without worry. Fortunately BC had better protection. The focus of the offense also shifted from a pass focused to a ground focused attack.

The other aspect that can’t be replaced anytime you have a special player like Ryan is the intangible. With Ryan you always felt like you had a shot. Now because of this defense, BC has been in every game (outside of UNC), but it is not the same. With the game on the line, down a touchdown, you expected Ryan to win the game. Few ever felt that way with Crane or Davis.

2. Has there been any drop-off with the quarterback play after Chris Crane went down?

Chris Crane was a whipping boy for many BC fans…until Dominique Davis took the field. I’ve become somewhat of a Davis defender though. As he was falling apart against Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, many BC fans started saying “we’d have won with Chris Crane.” I my opinion, that is a bit of revisionist history. Crane had some good games, but also had many rough outings. Even when he stopped throwing INTs, he still had a penchant for fumbling.

If Davis plays a mistake free conservative game in the Music City Bowl, then that wouldn’t be a drop off from Crane.

3. What’s the most effective way to beat the Eagles? What does Vanderbilt have to do to win?

From what little I know of Vanderbilt, I think their game plan will and should be similar to BC. I think they should play ball control, try to limit mistakes, and keep the game close.

4. BC’s got a pretty experienced and stout offensive line, has that been the reason the freshman tailbacks have been able to step in and be so effective right away?

The line provided a nice security blanket, but the impact and talent of the freshmen should not be overlooked. Montel Harris has shown the ability to make something out of nothing. So even when the line breakdown, he has made people miss or pushed his would be tacklers off.

5. From the looks of it, junior linebacker Mark Herzlich is the key to the Eagles defense, is he the most important player for the Commodores to key in on? Or are there other players that can pick up the slack if the Commodores can contain him?

Herzlich is awesome and a game changer, but he is not the only guy to stop. If Vanderbilt cannot stop our two large defensive tackles, B.J. Raji and Ron Brace, their offense will not get started. BC has used the front seven to shutdown running games

We'll be back later today or tomorrow with our Q&A with

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