At first, it was “must-win” to stay in the national title hunt. Then it was “must-win” to still have a shot at an ACC Championship Game appearance.
Now, it’s a “must-win” just to make a bowl game.
I know I'm stating the obvious, but it’s been a down year for Virginia Tech football. But, with two games left in the regular season, this team still has a chance to (at least sort of) redeem itself.
If this team can win its last two games and a potential bowl game, it can at least carry some momentum into 2013.
In order to do that, the Hokies will have to do something they haven’t had much success doing in recent years: win in Chestnut Hill.
I know Boston College is only 2-8, but it put up a solid fight against No. 4 Notre Dame last week, falling 21-6 at home.
Don’t think the Eagles wouldn’t love to be the team that prevents Tech from making its 20th-straight bowl game.
Here’s why I’m afraid of Boston College:
The junior quarterback has improved each year of his collegiate career. In 2012, he’s thrown for 2,803 yards and 16 touchdowns, while completing 57.1 percent of his passes. Rettig isn’t the most athletic quarterback Tech has faced, and honestly, he’s not close to the best passer. But, he’s a smart football player, who stays within himself. And he has one of the conference’s best weapons at receiver.
Amidon is Rettig’s favorite target, having hauled in 73 passes for 1,157 yards and six touchdowns on the season. He doesn’t have great size at 5-foot-11, 186 pounds, but he’s has good speed and great hands. He averages over 100 yards receiving per game, and if Tech wants to get to Rettig, they’ll have to slow down Amidon first.
The 6-foot-3, 232 lb. senior linebacker leads the ACC with 107 tackles. Clancy isn’t exceptionally big, fast or strong, but he has a nose for the football. If Tech wants to run the ball successfully on Saturday, they’ll have to keep an eye on Clancy.
As I said earlier, Alumni Stadium hasn’t been kind to Tech football as of late — the Eagles beat the Hokies at home in 2006 and 2008. It’s not like other teams can’t beat BC at home — it's 8-10 in Chestnut Hill since the start of the 2010 season — but Tech always seems to have trouble there.
Both teams are coming off tough, hard-fought losses to better competition. But, if Tech can break its tradition of playing to the level of its competition, the Hokies will be fine on Saturday. Here’s why I’m not afraid of the Eagles:
The redshirt junior still hasn’t quite lived up to his preseason billing, but he’s making progress. After a rough game against Miami on Nov. 1, Thomas gave a valiant effort in last week’s loss to Florida State, despite throwing two interceptions. He should be able to have a lot more success against a defense that ranks 109th in the country in total defense, having given up 469 yards per game.
Thomas’ go-to guy in clutch situations, Fuller had a career day against Florida State, snagging seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. No. 83 has proven himself to have the best hands of this year’s receiving corps, and will more than likely have some luck finding holes in a secondary that ranks 71st in the country in pass defense.
Exum continued his recent run of redemption last week against the Seminoles, recording five tackles to go along with four pass break-ups. Since his rough day against Cincinnati back in September, the redshirt junior has really come into his own as the leader of Tech’s secondary. He’ll no doubt be lined up across from Amidon throughout the day — a matchup that might be the key to this game.