Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Basics: Nevada (12-1) vs. Boston College (7-5), Jan. 9, 9 ET
Why You Should Watch: What? Do you want kids to starve or something? We're trying to fight hunger here, people. With football. Didn't you know that when you're starving, by watching football and diverting your body's attention, you keep it from eating itself. It's real science, look it up, I swear. Okay, so maybe the science is a little off, but there's still some other reasons to watch this game. First, it features a Nevada team that beat Boise State earlier this year and won the WAC. The Wolfpack aren't a bad team, and quite frankly, they're a fun team to watch. Finally, there's the fact that after this game, there's only one game left on the schedule. Get in one more college football game while you can, before the long, dark summer creeps in.
Keys to Victory for Nevada: The key to victory for Nevada is very tall and skinny, and when he runs, he reminds me of an ostrich. His name is Colin Kaepernick, and he's one of the more exciting quarterbacks in college football that a lot of people have never really had a chance to see. Just like in every game Nevada plays, how The Ostrich goes, so goes the team. And he could be facing one of his biggest tests of the season.
Kaepernick and the Wolfpack have one of the best rushing attacks in college football. In fact, they're ranked third nationally with 305.9 yards per game. Kaepernick and running back Vai Taua lead the attack. Well, in this game, they'll be going against the top rush defense in the country, as Boston College has only allowed 80 yards a game on the ground. Finding a way to be successful on the ground will be pivotal for the Wolfpack, because even though Kaepernick has improved as a passer, I'm not sure you want him being forced to drop back and throw too many times. Particularly when he's most effective throwing off of play action.
Keys to Victory for Boston College: The Eagles offense has been unreliable all season, scoring a meager 18.9 points a game. So, obviously, if Boston College is going to win this game, it can't afford to get into a shootout. Which means that the defense is going to have to stifle the Nevada ground game to have any shot.
Which means that the linebacking trio of Luke Kueckly, Mark Herzlich and Kevin Pierre-Louis will have to once again step up and keep the Eagles in this game. Of course, you can't win if you don't score points, so Boston College's offense will have to do something when it has the ball. The good news for BC is that running back Montel Harris is expected to play in this game after missing the last few weeks of the regular season with an injury. He's only 126 yards shy of becoming Boston College's all-time leading rusher. If Boston College wants to win this game, they're going to need Harris to set that mark.
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is like: that potato chip you dropped on the ground without even noticing. You've spent the last few hours watching television with that bag of chips in your lap. Now the bag is empty, but you're still hungry. That's when you notice the chip sitting on the floor. It's got some lint on it, but still, you wonder. "Do I have another bag of chips in the cupboard?" No, and you don't plan on going shopping for more food right now either. So are you going to eat that chip? You're not sure how long it's been sitting there, and you haven't vacuumed in a while, so who knows what's gotten on to that thing since it's been down there. But you're hungry. What do you do? Are you going to eat it?