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    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Smith And Thomas May be Bigger Factors In BC Game

    So who are the players to watch in the FSU-Boston College game?

    Here are my players to watch for Boston College on offense:

    Chris Crane- On offense, look to see how QB Crane handles the Nole defense and how many times he is hurried or sacked by the Noles. Crane has thrown 9 TDs but he has also thrown 12 interceptions.

    Ryan Purvis- So how will the tight end figure into the game against the Noles? Look for BC to see if the defense will cover him or let him go as they have done the tight end in other games. He has 19 catches and could be a factor against the Noles if the defense gets careless.

    Codi Boek - Fullback is important in the blocking and protection of QB and BC will have a new player for the FSU game due to sophomore fullback James McCluskey sidelined with a broken leg suffered in the Notre Dame game. Codi Boek will start and BC has also moved linebacker Dan Williams to that position.

    Montel Harris- Against the Irish, BC's leading rusher ran for 120 yards. He goes up against a tough Nole run defense. If Noles can stop the run, they will have a good shot at a win against BC.

    Brandon Robinson- He's the leading receiver with 470 yards and 2 TDs. Will he be able to get some key catches against a sometimes undisciplined FSU secondary?

    On defense, here are my Boston College players to watch:

    B.J. Raji – The defensive right tackle is BC’s best defensive lineman with four sacks and six tackles for loss. He will be a good test for the Nole offensive line.

    Mark Herzlich – The strong side linebacker is the leading tackler (58) for BC, has 6 1/2 tackles for a loss, and also has three interceptions with one taken back for a TD. That is half the interceptions that the Noles have as a team. Against Notre Dame, Herzlich had 11 tackles, 10 solos, and three pass breakups.

    Paul Anderson- The senior defensive back is ranked #3 in the ACC in interceptions with 5 on the year and one run back for a TD. If BC can get some key picks, it could be a long day for the Noles.

    Special teams:

    Steve Aponavicius- The field goal kicker is a real question mark for the Eagles. Head coach Jeff Jagodzinski says that Aponavicius remains the primary field goal kicker but don't be surprised to see Ryan Quigley who does kickoff duties get the start. For the season, Aponavicius has made 8 field goals out of 15 attempts and has not kicked a field goal longer than 39 yards. Against the Irish last Saturday, he was 1 for 3. If it comes down to a field goal, the Noles will definitely have the edge.

    For the Noles on offense, here are my players to watch:

    Christian Ponder- Ponder will have to manage the game and avoid mistakes. BC leads the ACC in interceptions so Ponder's reads and throw will be critical in order to avoid turnovers.

    Antone Smith- Smith has 632 yards,13 TDs,and is averaging 5 yards a carry. BC has the leading rush defense in the ACC. It will be important for Smith and FSU to establish the run against the BC defense.

    Jermaine Thomas- Thomas has rushed for 437 yards, 2 TDs, and averages 8.4 yards a carry. Apparently his turf toe is ok and Thomas could be a big part of the run game given his ability to make big plays.

    Rodney Hudson- The Nole offensive line will be critical to a win by the Noles on Saturday and offensive lineman Rodney Hudson will play a large role toward that success. Hudson has led the team fives time in nine games with an 89 percent grade overall and an unprecedented 98 percent grade versus the run.

    Preston Parker- With five receivers suspended for the game, Preston Parker may have more of a role on Saturday night. Parker seems to be getting back to his 2007 form. He is tied for second with Greg Carr in catches with 24. Against Clemson, he had 6 catches for 37 yards.

    Caz Piurowski- With the receiver suspensions, could the Noles use tight end Piurowski for pass catching in the game? He has 5 catches for 45 yards this season.

    On defense, Nole players to watch:

    Everette Brown- Defensive end Brown is the sack leader for the Noles with 9 on the season. He also is the team leader with tackles for a loss with 15. This will be a test for Brown against a big BC offensive line. If he can he get to the QB as he has in previous games, BC will be in trouble.

    Derek Nicholson- Linebacker Nicholson leads the team in tackles with 54 and is second on the team in tackles for a loss with 10. He like Brown will need to have a good game against a tough BC offensive line.

    Myron Rolle- Rolle has gotten tons of publicity and hype. However, he has had only one career interception and none for the year. He needs to step up and make something happen this Saturday.

    On special teams:

    Graham Gano- All eyes will be on Gano to see if he can make his 18th straight field goal. Gano is #1 in the ACC having made 17 out of 18 field goals for a 94.4% success rate. He has not only done an exceptional job in that area but also is doing the kickoff and punting duties. On kickoffs, he is averaging 67.4 yards a kick and has 5 touchbacks. He also is averaging 44.4 yards a punt. If the game comes down to a field goal, the Noles will be in good shape.

    Michael Ray Garvin- As the kickoff return man, Garvin was out against Clemson with a concussion. Garvin is ranked #1 in the ACC in kickoff returns and the speedster is averaging 34.2 yards on kick returns with 1 TD. Look for him to try and make something happen on Saturday night.

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