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Eagles gear up for Kent State

Look for BC to make a statement and trample over Kent State this week
Look for BC to make a statement and trample over Kent State this week
Mary Schwalm - AP

As the Saints and Vikings kicked off the NFL season last night, the excitement around the country could be felt in anticipation of yet another wild football season.

While the NFL will be the talk of the weekend for most football fans, there is still a lot of great football to be played in the college ranks come Saturday afternoon. #17Florida State travels to Norman to take on #10 Oklahoma, #12 Miami is sizing up against #2 Ohio State at the Horseshoe and JoePa's #18 Nittany Lions heads to #1 Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide.

Football fans everywhere must be salivating at the thought of so many great games this early in season.

But, even though the game in Chestnut Hill doesn't prompt nearly as much excitement as some of the other matchups around the country, BC fans are still getting pumped up for a talented and underrated Kent State team to come to town.

The Golden Flashes come back to Alumni stadium again this weekend trying to recoup from a 34-7 blowout at the hands of the Eagles last season.

BC will be anxiously awaiting a rematch with the Mid-American Conference School while also peaking ahead to a Week 4 visit from 2008 ACC Champions Virginia Tech.

So, now just counting down the hours until another kickoff on Alumni, Coach Spaziani and the Eagles need to hone in and fix a few things if they expect to improve to 2-0 heading into the bye week.

3 Keys to the Game:

1. Contain the Kent St passing attack – Sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith is primed and ready to take over a much improved offense for Kent State this season. In 2009, Keith broke freshman records for passing yards (2,174) and touchdowns (14) despite only starting seven games for the Golden Flashes. BC’s defense showed inconsistency on defense last week. The Eagles looked sloppy and confused on many defensive sets in Week 1, letting Cameron Higgins and the Weber State offense torch the secondary for 234 yards and a touchdown.

Now, with the apparent departure of junior cornerback Isaac Johnson, the Eagles are unexpectedly thin in the defensive backfield, which could cause problems against better passing teams.
If BC wants to sure up its defense and secure a big win over Kent State this week then they must start in the secondary, pressuring the quarterback on passing downs and dropping some of the linebackers into coverage to help across the middle of the field.

2. Control the Clock – In Week 1, Weber State held onto the ball for 37 minutes and controlled the tempo of the game by keeping the BC defense on the field and tiring out an already under-prepared unit. This week the Eagles offense needs to look to establish the run and work more patterns across the middle of the field, attacking the undersized linebackers for the Golden Flashes. Chris Pantale and Lars Anderson could play huge roles in creating a rhythm and some sort of consistency in the passing attack for both Shinskie and backup Mike Marscovetra.

It couldn’t hurt for Shinskie to line up under center once in a while either.

3. Keep the Focus – With a Week 4 matchup with ACC rival Virginia Tech looming, it will be tough to keep the Hokies off BC’s radar this weekend. But if the Eagles want to be successful and find some sort of rhythm on both sides of the ball then they need to focus their attention on Kent State and only Kent State come Saturday.
This week’s game could be a huge stepping stone for BC as they prepare for the upcoming ACC season, but if the Eagles lose focus and let Kent State take over the ballgame, a la Weber State a week ago, then this one could turn ugly quick and end up far too close for comfort.

Prediction:

It will certainly be a wild week in college football and hopefully our boys up on the heights add to the excitement and not the drama on Saturday afternoon.

I see Shinskie settling down and finding a solid connection with Pantale across the middle of the field, while Montel Harris continues to establish his presence in the BC backfield. The Eagles should improve on the defensive side of the ball too but could stumble again in the second half.

Eagles top the Golden flashes, 38 - 13

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