Thoughts on Friday: Boston College Eagles (1-0) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0)
The National Football League has commandeered Thursday night football from the NCAA. As a result, college football moved many high profile Thursday night matchups to Friday.
While some believe that Friday night college football will be unsuccessful because all the interested eyes are focused on local high school football, I disagree. The decision in the 1990s by ESPN to showcase a college football game on Thursday nights opposite primetime broadcast television was successful because it filled a void. Games on Friday nights do the same thing.
As a matter of fact ESPN cultivated the Boston College/ Virginia Tech rivalry by having the two programs play each other annually on Thursday nights. I foresee ESPN fostering a similar rivalry between Boston College and Wake Forest on Friday nights going forward.
Boston College and Wake Forest are similar schools in terms of their size and focus on academic integrity in their athletic programs. Games between the two schools have been close and bitterly contested. They also have an off-field connection, as former Wake Forest athletic director and current ACC commissioner Jack Swofford brought Boston College into the conference in 2005.
This season the teams are mirror images of each other — though, behind closed doors, neither program would likely admit to being anything like the other. Both are in a rebuilding phase, though they each feature quality quarterbacks. Boston College’s is senior Chase Rettig from San Clemente, Calif.
Rettig has thrown for 6538 yards and 37 touchdowns in his four years playing for the Eagles. Junior wide receiver Alex Amidon, a Greenfield, Mass. product, connected with Rettig for 78 receptions, 1210 yards and seven touchdowns last season. In a win last week against Villanova, Rettig completed 13 passes to Amidon for 146 yards and one touchdown.
Similarly, Wake Forest defeated FCS Presbyterian 31-7 last Saturday behind senior quarterback Tanner Price.
Price, the Texas product, completed 14 passes Saturday for 219 yards and a touchdown. The newly unveiled zone-read elements of Wake’s offense called for Price to rush 14 times, with varying results. He did cross the goal line for a touchdown, though.
Prices’ version of Alex Amidon, Michael Campanaro, did not play against Presbyterian last Saturday afternoon. His return is expected Friday. Last season Campanaro had 16 receptions, 123 yards and THREE touchdowns in a 28-14 Wake Forest defeat of a listless BC team.
These are both well-coached teams, with tenured Jim Grobe leading the Deacs and Steve Addazio in his second game heading the Eagles. Either team could sneak into bowl eligibility, but a win in this one is important. The early ACC implications should make for a hard-fought game, close on the scoreboard.
Key for Wake Forest is their misdirection offense. However, Boston College saw a lot of misdirection from the Villanova Wildcats last week. If the Eagles can contain Campanaro then they will win. Special teams play, in particular field goals, could be critical to this game. Senior Boston College placekicker Nate Freese performed well and could be called on to lift the Eagles at home in Alumni Stadium.
Final Score: Boston College 20, Wake Forest 18