FALCONS @ NO. 7 EAGLES: Going for broke

They’ve seen it all before.

They’ve experienced the big crowds that come with playing the BCS opponents.

They also know that points are not awarded for moral victories or close calls. It’s not enough to play a team like Boston College tough and not come away with the victory. It still would go down as a loss. The Falcons want the win Saturday in Chestnut Hill.

A win will not be easy, though. The Golden Eagles are ranked in the top 10 in both the AP Poll as well as the Coaches Poll and have a potential Heisman quarterback in Matt Ryan.

“They have an excellent quarterback up there in Matt Ryan, who is an All-American type of player,” said quarterback Tyler Sheehan. “Overall they have a lot of good athletes. They’ll be a tough team to beat, but I think we are very capable of doing that.”

Sheehan is coming off another productive week in which he completed 31-of-42 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown in the 41-21 victory over Western Kentucky.

Sheehan has played outstanding so far this season and last week marked the first time in two games in which he did not throw an interception. He will need to take good care of the ball on Saturday against BC for the Falcons to have a chance in arguably their toughest test on the season.

“This is probably our biggest test of the year so far and could be our biggest test of the entire season,” Sheehan said. “We’re going to have a solid game plan and it’ll be up to us to execute it better than we have all season.”

The defense has also been steadily progressing as the season has gone along. Their best performance probably came this past weekend against the Hilltoppers in which the unit forced five turnovers.

The defense will need to continue its solid play because the Golden Eagles will probably be the toughest opponent on the schedule.

“We take each game one game at a time, one play at a time,” said linebacker Loren Hargrove. “We as a defense know we want to be the best defense in the MAC and to do that you have to swarm to the ball, eliminate the big plays and take away the long passes.”

Could this be another weekend in which a top 10 team falls? Five goliaths were slain last weekend and BG will look to keep that underdog magic alive against Boston College on Saturday.

“I think college football is such a level field now — anybody can beat anybody,” said coach Gregg Brandon. “Just last Saturday, we saw a bunch of teams [Auburn, Kansas State and Maryland all won on the road against top ten opponents] that won that weren’t supposed to win.”


Boston College Eagles (5-0) Atlantic Coast Conference Coach: Jeff Jagodzinski Key Player: QB Matt Ryan (11 TDs 1,545 yards) Matchup: First ever meeting

BIG TIME: Boston College is currently ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll. BG has never defeated a team ranked in the top 10.

AIR ASSAULT: The Falcons are averaging 340 yards passing per game, first in the MAC. While the Eagles are averaging 312 per game and allowing 269, The latter is last in the ACC.

GOOD HANDS: Through four games the Falcons have 13 players who have caught at least one pass. Four players have caught 18 or more passes, eight have seven or more and 11 have three or more.

BIG NUMBERS: BG is on pace to have two receivers with 80 catches and 700 yards this season. Corey Partridge has 22 catches for 203 yards and Freddie Barnes has 29 catches for 318 yards after four games.