When you have a meeting of conference opponents who have 1-5 and 2-4 records, there's generally a sense of urgency and desperation among them. That's something we can expect to see this weekend as Frank Spaziani tries to save his job and Georgia Tech tries to save its season. Which team will take a step closer to achieving their goal? It'll all come down to these few things....
1) Georgia Tech's Defense
This is an obvious one. New coordinator, altered scheme, etc, etc. Tech's defense needs to shut down the BC offense early and often -- as a rule in college football the longer a lower-caliber team can stay in the game, the better chance they have at winning (see: MTSU). I do not like Georgia Tech's chances in a shootout.
2) Georgia Tech's 3rd Down Defense
The numbers have been LAUGHABLE the past few games as our defense has given up 31 of 46 third downs. That's inexcusable, plain and simple. If the Tech defense cannot get off of the field on third down, the BC offense will start rolling and never stop.
3) Boston College QB Chase Rettig
In the games that BC has been in where they kept it close throughout, Rettig had 300+ yards and was the focal point of the Eagles' offense. Against Florida State, when BC got blown out, Rettig was dreadful, barely eclipsing 100 yards and completing under 50% of his passes. Simply put, when Boston College scores points, they're doing it with the passing game. That said...
4) Georgia Tech's Secondary
A poor showing from the secondary will mean a very long day for Tech fans everywhere. This is probably self-explanatory. These guys need to lock down receiver Alex Amidon and force a turnover or two in order to keep the BC passing attack under wraps.
5) Georgia Tech's Offensive Line Health
There are already questions being asked about whether center Jay Finch will be able to play on Saturday, which would leave Catlin Alford to replace him (and we all know how much of a circus a different center can make). That said, Omoregie Uzzi looked like his bad knee was really bothering him against Clemson -- hopefully that doesn't become a problem. The O-Line as a whole needs to stay healthy in this contest.
6) Georgia Tech's Execution
Alright, here it is. We're all thinking it. Boston College, like Middle Tennessee State, is a lesser opponent that Georgia Tech should beat. However, that's not to say that Boston College is incapable of winning this game -- far from it. Execute on both sides of the ball and play relatively mistake-free, and we'll win. Turn the ball over, give up long third down conversions, and generally shoot ourselves in the foot, and this game will become a mess VERY quickly as we watch our bowl eligibility wave at us and begin walking down the same road that Al Groh recently traveled. Not that we would have lost bowl eligibility altogether, granted, but as far as anyone around here is concerned we would have.
Those are my 6 keys to the game. Did I miss any? Am I out of line, suggesting that Georgia Tech is a superior team to the Eagles? Let me hear your thoughts.