Villanova vs. Boston College: 3 Keys to Victory

Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

As we approach Saturday's season opening game against former rivals Boston College, here are 3 keys for the Villanova Wildcats as they look to launch a strong start to their 2013 campaign.

Starting off the season against any FBS opponent is going to be tough, but Boston College is a team from the ACC one of the five "power conferences" in college football. Villanova could rebound from a loss in week one, but will look to use this opportunity to establish their team as a contender on the FCS level -- and that means keeping it competitive in Boston. The Wildcats are a consensus top-10 team at the FCS level while Boston College is facing very low expectations this season, because of this, it should be possible to keep things within reach.

1. Throw the ball

Villanova has one of the top rushing offenses in I-AA football, but Boston College will bear down on the backfield and try to shut down the running game if they don't respect the pass. John Robertson has shown that he can make plays with his legs, but he will have to complete some passes downfield to Joe Price, Jamal Abdur-Rahman, or his other receivers to back the defense out of the box.

2. Sack the quarterback

Last season Boston College ranked 106th out of 124 FBS schools in sacks allowed by the offensive line and this season they will be replacing both starting tackles. In their first game of the season, Villanova's veteran defensive line may be able to take advantage of that and create opportunities to create sacks and tackles in the backfield.

Boston College returns a much stronger passing game than their ground game. Getting into the backfield to disrupt Chase Rettig's rhythm will go a long way to help a Villanova secondary that is replacing two key players this Fall. If they can't make Rettig uncomfortable, the Eagles may be able to throw the ball all over the field and take advantage through the air.

That would play directly into BC's hands. The Eagles were 119th in FBS in rushing yards per game and near the bottom of the FBS subdivision in rushing touchdowns.

3. Be prepared for anything

Even though BC made most of their offensive inroads last season in the air, Addazio has a reputation as a run-first coach. The former Temple coach had a power-run offense in Philadelphia that passed for just 61 yards against Villanova a year ago. Villanova should be ready to handle that offensive style as well as a more pass-happy attack, assuming Addazio adjusts to the personnel in place up in Boston.

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