Monday, December 29, 2008

Q&A Exchange with BC All Access

We also did a link exchange with our friends and BC All Access. Here are their answers to our questions:

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

You really cannot replace a player of Matt Ryan's caliber. He is a once in a generation type of player. Last year the offense was built solely around Ryan's arm and ability to throw the ball downfield. This year the offense has been centered around ball control and running. Our offensive coordinator had to simplify the offense for our first year starter so that he could make easier reads. Overall I would say the QB play has been inconsistent.

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

After Crane went down red-shirt freshman Dominique Davis took over. Davis is more athletic than Crane, but extremely raw at this point. He can make plays throwing the ball, but at this point he is too careless with the ball. He lacks poise in the pocket but is capable of winning games. He led us to a game winning touchdown drive against Wake Forest on the road and defeated Maryland at home.

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

Vanderbilt must force BC to pass and shut down the running game of Boston College. BC has committed plenty of turnovers mostly be pressuring the inexperienced QB's into making bad plays. It is also important for Vanderbilt to have success throwing the ball. BC has a very talented front seven and our two mammoth DT's Brace and Raji will clog the interior rushing attack. If Vandy can take advantage of the Eagle's aggressiveness on defense they may be able to move the ball effectively.

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?

BC's offensive line has certainly been the key to our running game. Last year head coach Jeff Jagodzinski brought in the zone blocking scheme and the unit has really picked it up well in their second season using it. The offensive line had 4 players earn All-ACC honors and there is only 1 senior in the group.

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 has been a monster all year. Not many teams have found a way to contain him this season. Mark is equally adept at in pass coverage as he is against the run, he led the team with 6 picks and returned 2 of them for scores. However, I would say that at times he can be over aggressive, which allows faster players to beat him to the edge. Vanderbilt's best bet would be to run away from him or to the outside and hope they can beat him to the edge. Aside from Herzlich, defensive tackle BJ Raji is a premier talent. He will likely be a 1st or 2nd round pick this year and is surpisingly quick off the snap for his 330 pound frame. He leads the team with 13 tackles for loss and 7 sacks.

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