Monday, December 29, 2008

Music City Bowl Preview

Vanderbilt (6-6) vs (#24, NR)Boston College (9-4)
Music City Bowl
Nashville, TN
December 31, 2:30 PM
All Time Series: Boston College 2-0
All Time Bowl Records: Boston College 13-6, Vanderbilt 1-1-1
Monday’s Line: Boston College -3.5

Total Offense, Scoring Offense (National Rank):
Boston College: 318.9 ypg (94th), 25.5 ppg (61st)
Vanderbilt: 260.9 ypg (118th), 19.4 ppg (104th)

Total Defense, Scoring Defense (National Rank):
Boston College: 273.4 ypg (6th), 18.5 ppg (18th)
Vanderbilt: 318.7 ypg (29th), 20.1 ppg (27th)

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: No matter what happens Wednesday night in the Music City Bowl, it’s a remarkable accomplishment for this Vanderbilt team to have made it to a bowl game. With the losses from last year’s team, the consensus was that VU would bring up the rear of the SEC East, with College Football guru Phil Steele even predicting an 0-8 SEC slate.

Now for the reality: This Vanderbilt team was playing bad football at the end of the season. They enter Wednesday’s game with Boston College having lost 6 of 7 games, including a road game at woeful Mississippi State and an inexplicable home loss to Dook. Offensively, VU has struggled all season and this Eagle defensive unit is particularly stingy. They lead the country in interceptions with 26 and returned 5 for TDs, which is tied for best in the country. It will be very tough for the ‘Dores to generate any sort of consistent offense.

It’s a good thing for the Eagles their defense has been so tough, as the offense has been up and down as they searched for a replacement for QB Matt Ryan, who just led the ATL Falcons to an 11-5 record. The current starter is Dominique Davis who took over after a broken collarbone sidelined Chris Cane. BC has won 4 of 5, dropping a 30-12 game last time out to VaTech in the ACC Title Game.

The common logic is that the team that’s happier to be there will more often than not win the bowl game. Certainly the Commodores are thrilled to be in any bowl and the Eagles may be a little disappointed as they were one win away from an Orange Bowl bid. I just don’t see it though. All this BC program does is win bowl games, and they’ll do it again Tuesday afternoon.

Boston College 24, Vanderbilt 6

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