Run and Shoot: Orange Bowl berth at stake in Jacksonville

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Orange Bowl berth at stake in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Five weeks ago, Boston College's Matt Ryan broke the hearts of Hokie Nation with two touchdowns in the final 4:11 of a rain-soaked game in Blacksburg, Va.

Fast forward to sunny Jacksonville, Fl. today and the same two teams are back for a rematch in the ACC Championship game.

Though this game is at a neutral site, the seats are clearly tinted more maroon and orange than maroon and gold. Tech's closer proximity and more rabid fan base seem to have given them the advantage in the stands. The perenially undersold game won't look good on TV: almost the entire upper deck of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is empty.

The two biggest differences between today's game and the first match-up will come on the Tech sideline, where the addition of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and linebacker Vince Hall will give them a new dimension on each side of the ball that they didn't have in the first game. Taylor will split time with Sean Glennon under center, providing a change of pace to the Hokie offense.

One thing that hasn't changed is BC's quarterback. Ryan, even in two losses, has thrown for 300 yards in each of BC's past four games. He'll lead the 7th-ranked passing offense in the country against the Hokies' 2nd ranked defense.

Though the team's remain the same, it's clear this match-up is different. A spot in the Orange Bowl is on the line, and both team's seem to be playing some of their best football.

Key for BC: Forcing turnovers. BC's early-season success was sparked in large part by its ability to force turnovers by the other team.

Key for Tech: Containing Ryan. As has been well-repeated, they did so for 55 minutes in Blacksburg. The question today is whether that defense, or the one that allowed 167 passing yards in the final five minutes, will show up.

Key match-up: Tyrod Taylor vs. JoLonn Dunbar. Taylor adds a new dimension to the Tech offense that BC hasn't seen: a scrambling quarterback. Middle linebacker Dunbar, a 2nd-team All-ACC selection, and BC's other linebackers will have to do a good job spying Taylor.

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