The last of the season’s inconsequential bowl games takes place tonight as Nevada and Boston College meet in the Fight Hunger Bowl. The game by the bay may be the appetizer for Monday’s National Championship game, but it should not be overlooked. It’s a fun matchup pitting one of the nations premier rushing attacks as they battle the nation’s stingiest defense against the run as multiple NFL talents will be on display.
3 Keys from the scouts
1. The immovable object meets the irresistible force. Nevada averages nearly 306 yards per game on the ground. Boston College only surrenders 80.2 yards per game against ground attacks. Something has to give. Kolin Kaepernick is the nation’s top dual threat quarterback. He is as comfortable in Chris Ault’s pistol offense as he is in his own skin. He has run for 1184 yards from the quarterback position while passing for 2830 yards. Oh, he’s 6’6″ 225 pounds and runs better than most tailbacks. And he’s reached the magical 20/20 touchdown plateau this season, a feat which won Tim Tebow a Heisman a few seasons ago. Lined three yards behind Kaepernick is Vai Taua, who has posted over 1500 yards rushing and 19 yards himself. Nevada is big up front, and they can push teams around.
2. Tackling machine. The pistol offense, much like today’s popular zone read, is essentially option football. The defensive tackles have the dive. The ends have the quarterback, and BC’s ends need to hit Kaepernick relentlessly. The x-factor is the Eagle’s Luke Kuechly. The sophomore linebacker leads the nation in tackles and possesses an uncanny ability to sniff out plays. His ability to flow sideline to sideline making the right reads should prove a very large factor in how successful the pistol is this evening.
3. Its all about timing. If Boston College cannot counter the Wolfpack’s rushing attack, it then becomes a game of keep away. Nevada is already the eight best team in the nation regarding time of possession. Without their defense’s help, the Eagles’ offense will not be able to keep pace because they simply struggle to string together drives. Their overall offense is ranked 103rd. In the team’s final five victories, Boston College averaged 18.6 points per game. They are not a big play offense. As Nevada holds the ball, opportunities for the Eagles will quickly diminish.
Bold Predictions: Although Nevada may fall into the “little sisters of the poor” category when discussing the college football landscape, the Wolfpack is a very good football team. They can and will run the ball on anyone, including the top ranked Eagles. And Boston College simple does not have the offense to counter.
Nevada 38, Boston College 17.
|1st||Anthony Castonzo||T||74||4Sr||Nice sized offensive lineman strong enough to control defenders at the point. Shows solid footwork and comes with an upside yet needs work.|
|3rd||Mark Herzlich||OLB||94||5Sr||Dominate playmaker that has developed into a complete three down linebacker. Did a terrific job returning from cancer.|
|6th||Emmett Cleary||G||77||3So||Solid position blocker that moves well. Must improve his football strength.|
|6-7||Nathan Richman||G||75||4Jr||Tall lineman that uses all his assets to his advantage. Must physically mature and fill out his frame yet has an upside.|
|7-FA||Rich Lapham||T||66||5Sr||Tough, strong side tackle prospect that’s starting to build a buzz. Best blocking for the run.|
|FA||Donnie Fletcher||CB||4||3Jr||Solid corner with a nice upside. Considering entering the draft.|
|FA||Thomas Claiborne||G||78||5Sr||Strong, tough blocker who easily handles one-on-one blocking responsibilities.|
|3rd||Colin Kaepernick||QB||10||5Sr||Athletic passer equally effective running the ball or throwing it. Offers a great upside and slowly pulling a complete game together.|
|4th||Dontay Moch||OLB||55||5Sr||Explosive athlete that flashes the ability to make plays up the field. College defensive end that projects to outside linebacker, which may be a struggle.|
|FA||Vai Taua||RB||34||5Sr||Strong interior runner with a tough game.|
|FA||Virgil Green||TE||85||5Sr||Solid pass catching tight end.|