<
>

Greetings from Raymond James Stadium

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hello from Raymond James Stadium, where the one word that comes to mind is quiet. There's not a lot of traffic around the stadium, but the good news is that unlike in Jacksonville, there aren't giant tarps covering sections of the stadium. It's about 65 degrees and sunny this morning, a perfect day for a game.

It's hard not to think how much more of a buzz there would be if Miami and Florida State were playing in this game. It's the perfect location for it, and it's just what this championship game needs to inject some excitement into it. By the time the game moves to Charlotte in 2010, Miami and FSU will probably be playing in it, if it doesn't happen next year.

There's no question, though, that Virginia Tech and Boston College earned their way here today. They did it behind their defenses and with solid coaching. Both teams lack superstar playmakers, but that doesn't mean there aren't talented players worth keeping an eye on today. Here are a few of the best:

BC No. 94 LB Mark Herzlich -- He has six interceptions this season, the fifth highest total in the country. Only one other linebacker in the nation -- Baylor's Joe Pawelek -- has as many as six picks. Herzlich is the Eagles' leading tackler with 98, and he has seven pass breakups, three sacks for 14 yards, and 10 total tackles for loss.

BC No. 41 RB Montel Harris -- He has broken the school freshman rushing record with 798 yards on 155 attempts.

VT No. 1 CB Victor "Macho" Harris -- He is second in the country with six interceptions, and has returned two for touchdowns. He has 42 tackles, eight catches for 63 yards, and is averaging over 10 yards per punt return. Not bad for a full day's work.

VT No. 5 QB Tyrod Taylor -- He needs 179 rushing yards to establish a single-season record for a Tech quarterback. The Hokies will need his feet in this game against a run defense that has held each of its past five opponents under 100 yards rushing. He is the team's second leading rusher at 66.1 yards per game.