Boston College – Georgia Tech Quarterback Issues

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BOSTON COLLEGE & GEORGIA TECH HAVE QUATERBACKISSUES!
By Bob Acton of Sportingbet USA – now SuperBook.com

As we have stated several times in this column, the sport offootball and the games that are played, are usually decided bythe skill players and thus the health of these playmakers. GeorgiaTech is off to a terrific start at 3-0 and beat Auburn on theroad and a couple of underrated teams in North Carolina and Connecticutat home.

They played last week without star quarterback ReggieBall who spent the weekend in an Atlanta hospital withviral meningitis. The veteran quarterback is back in classes andTech had better hope he is ready.

Virginia Tech has allowed just 16 points all season and if theYellow Jackets are forced to use redshirt freshman Taylor Bennett,it could be a long afternoon in Blacksburg for the Georgia Techfaithful.

Chan Gailey’s defense has been outstanding this year, especiallylast weekend, when they allowed the Huskies just six first downs.They will be able to keep VT pivot Marcus Vick under wraps, butif Bennett, is behind center, it will spell disaster.

The same scenario could play out in Death Valley where the ClemsonTigers will host the Boston College Eagles. Both teams were beatenby Miami and Florida State respectively last weekend and thisis a crucial ACC game.

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The Eagles may be without quarterback QuintonPorter and that means sophomore Matt Ryan will be on the hot seatand that is not a good thing. Yes he did get playing time at homeagainst Florida State, but Death Valley is a whole different monster!Clemson must play this weekend after a difficult loss to Miami(FL), 36-30 in triple overtime. But, Tommy Bowden has had successbringing his team back from a difficult defeat. In his Clemsoncareer he is 10-2 the game following a loss by seven points orless.

The only losses took place in 2000 when Clemsonlost to Georgia Tech 31-28 (on a touchdown with seven secondsleft), then lost at Florida State the next week, and last yearat Texas A&M after a 28-24 loss to Georgia Tech. Clemson had a4-0 record in Bowden’s first year the week after a close loss.

The victories the following week have been decisiveas nine of the 10 have been by at least eight points and the averagevictory margin of those nine comeback wins has been 14 pointsper game. The last time Clemson was in this situation was lastyear. The Tigers lost 16-13 at Duke on a 53-yard field goal onthe last play of the game, then defeated South Carolina 29-7.

The success in this area dates to Bowden’s firsttwo games as Clemson coach. In his first game, the Tigers lostto Marshall 13-10, then defeated a top 20 Virginia team the nextweek 33-14.

THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE!

One hallmark of Clemson’s offense under offensivecoordinator Rob Spence has been efficiency and a lack of mistakesand Clemson did not commit a turnover for its first 213 offensivesnaps of the season, or until Charlie Whitehurst threw an interceptionon the last play of the third overtime against Miami. Clemsonis ranked 19th in the nation in turnover margin entering thisweek’s game. That is dramatically improved over last year whenClemson ranked 99th in the nation in turnover margin.

Most coaches will tell you that winning the turnoverstatistic or limiting turnovers on offense will usually lead tovictory. That has been the case with Clemson. The Tigers havewon 11 consecutive games dating to 2002 when it wins the turnovermargin stat (forces more turnovers than it commits). Clemson is28-7 under Bowden when the Tigers win the turnover margin stat.Clemson has had 11 games under Tommy Bowden when it has not committeda turnover on offense and the Tigers are 10-1 in those games.

Another area that shows the discipline of thisClemson team is penalty differential. Clemson leads the ACC infewest penalties committed with just 11 for 87 yards in the firstthree games. The opposition has had 31 for 285 yards. That is20 more penalties for 198 more penalty yards for the oppositionso far this year. The NCAA does not keep a stat for penalty differential,but one would think Clemson leads the nation in that category.

Clemson covers against BC and GT keeps it closeif Ball plays!

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