Nevada Wolfpack vs. Boston College Eagles
San Francisco, CA., AT&T Park
Sunday, January 9, 2011 9:00 PM ET ESPN
Laying the scene
Boston College has gone full circle, last year they played at the Emerald Bowl and this year they are playing at the same bowl, just renamed. With a different name, they are hoping for a different result. Last year Boston College lost to USC 24-13, a different caliber team then this years Nevada.
Nevada heads into this match up with one of the most prolific offenses in the league. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Vai Taua have led an offense that ranks third nationally with 535.5 yards per game and rushing with 305.9 yards per game. But this offense goes up against a Boston College defense that is ranked first against the run. Boston College is on a roll right now, mostly because of their defense. In their final five games in which they won, Boston College has allowed 11.8 points and 75.4 rushing yards with 12 turnovers. It will be interesting to see who gets the better of the two, Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua of Nevada or linebackers Mark Herzlich and Luke Kuechly of Boston College.
What Nevada has to do to win
Nevada needs to keep the ball in the hands of their playmakers, Kaepernick and Taua. These two are a 1-2 punch when running the zone read play in the pistol offense. Kaepernick has the speed to go around the edge and Taua has the power to go through the middle. But there's also the possibility of the play action pass to keep the opposing linebackers from cheating up to stop the run. Since Boston College is so good against the run, Nevada might have to rely on the arm of Kaepernick. If that's what it comes down to, then Nevada should be fine because they have a very talented quarterback at their disposal. Kaepernick will be the difference maker this week.
What Boston College has to do to win
If Boston College is going to win this game, it's going to be because of their defense. They have the difficult assignment of stopping the pistol offense of Nevada. That is why the play of linebackers Luke Kuechly and Mark Herzlich will be important to their success. Facing the pistol offense will be difficult, but these linebackers have to be patient and be sure to go after the ball not the fake. If they go after the fake, it could be a huge problem, Nevada could have another huge run, something they thrived off of this season. These linebackers and the rest of the Boston College defense will have their hands full, but they must stop the run if they are going to win.
Nevada's pistol offense will prove to be too much for Boston College to handle. Boston College might be the best against the run, but they haven't seen a talent like Colin Kaepernick all season. This dual threat quarterback should cause plenty of problems throughout the game, he will be the difference maker. Nevada should win easily.- Jared Levine
Jared is a Journalism and Sports Administration major at the University of Miami providing introspective, insight, information and opinion on the world of College Football.
You may email Jared directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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