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November 21, 2008
A date with the Eagles
When the Demon Deacons take to BB&T Field tomorrow they will be honoring their seniors, but there is much more to this game than a simple celebration. Although a trip to Tampa for the ACC Championship game is still a long shot, a win over Boston College would still mean quite a lot for Wake Forest; at a minimum they can play spoiler.
Remember the last time Boston College came to town? There have been some big games in Winston-Salem over the last few seasons, but that one stands out above the rest. On a cold November night in 2006 Wake Forest played an outstanding game in front of what still may be the best crowd I've seen at a game over the last three years. When the final whistle blew and the Deacons were 21-14 victors, nothing could contain the excitement in the stadium. Fans and players celebrated together on the field, and coach Jim Grobe made one of the most memorable statements of that incredible season, "It's time to dream a little bit."
Memories are nice, of course, but there probably won't be much dreaming tomorrow, at least not on the Wake Forest sideline. Boston College, however, is two victories away from a return trip to the ACC Championship, and will definitely be thinking lofty thoughts. They have a very talented team and will be looking for a big victory to prove they deserve that trip.
In front of a national audience (ABC in most ACC markets, ESPN throughout the rest of the country) Wake Forest will have the chance to show everyone that they are still a good team, but it will not be easy. On offense Boston College is led by senior quarterback Chris Crane, who took the job this season after the graduation of Matt Ryan and has acquitted himself quite nicely. He isn't quite Ryan, but he makes good decisions in the pocket and manages the offense well. He certainly won't beat himself.
The Eagle's passing attack is in balance with an equally successful running game that will definitely test Wake's front seven. Running back Montel Harris averages over five yards per carry, and much of the credit is due to a solid offensive line. Wake Forest's defense is definitely very strong this season, but they will have their hands full with the Boston College offense.
The Boston College defense has made a habit of spending time in their opponents' backfields, led by senior tackle B.J. Raji. Although he was ineligible for his junior season, he has had a very impressive senior campaign, and is likely to take advantage of Wake Forest's weak offensive line. The Demon Deacons' front five is going to have to step up in a big way to give Riley Skinner and the rest of the offense a chance to move the ball down the field.
Will the Demon Deacons be able to bounce back from last weekend's heartbreaking loss at NC State? It definitely won't be easy, but the talent is there, and with a little bit of extra motivation for the seniors, the pieces may just fall into place.