Posted on: March 15, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2011 2:02 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Boston College , who starts spring practice Friday.
Can a new coordinator and another year of experience help Chase Rettig develop into the leader Boston College needs.
Since Matt Ryan's departure in 2008, things have been pretty shaky at the quarterback position for Boston College.
The situation may have hit a low in the 2010 season, with head coach Frank Spaziani trying out two different quarterbacks before finally settling on true freshman Chase Rettig. Once settled, Rettig helped the Eagles win their last five games of the regular season to earn a spot playing Nevada in the Kraft Hunger Bowl. It is easy to try and put most of the blame and responsibility on the quarterback and offense, but when the defense is playing as well as they did in 2010 the Hunger Bowl seems like a bit of a disappointment.
Last season the Boston College defense finished first in the ACC in rushing defense and total defense, while finishing second in scoring defense allowing just 19.5 points per game. In fact, most of the scoring done by Boston College's opponents early in the season was set up by offensive mistakes. In the first five games of the season, returning starter Dave Shinskie and Mike Marscovetra combined for nine interceptions. It does not matter who is lining up on defense, those kind of numbers will make life difficult for anyone.
That defensive unit returns seven starters in 2011. While the linebacking corps will look a little different without Mark Herzlich, but the most important piece from last year's unit will be back. Luke Kuechly (pictured) exploded on the scene in 2010, picking up All-American, all-ACC first team, and a runner-up for the Butkus Award. Kuechly is the only Boston College player in history to record 300 tackles in his first two seasons. There is little reason to think there will be much drop-off on the defensive end, which is why so much of the focus this spring will be on the new offense.
When Gary Tranquill retired after the season, Spaziani knew that he needed to bring in a coordinator that could help them with their struggles at quarterback in the post-Ryan era. Eagles fans are hoping that Kevin Rogers will be able develop Rettig into the type of quarterback that can make Boston College competitive again in the Atlantic Division. Rogers' track record would suggests he is up for the task. Rogers has been coaching for 36 years, with 28 of them coming at the college level. From coaching Bryan Randall during his 2004 ACC Player of the Year campaign at Virginia Tech, to coaching Donovan McNabb in his days at Syracuse, Rogers is a proven coach who will be asked to work his magic once again.
“I’m a quarterback guy and this place is as good as any with its history of developing quarterbacks,’’ Rogers told the Boston Globe. “And Spaz’s willingness to work with me in a number of areas, and with the tradition of offensive linemen that BC always brings in, and running an NFL offense . . . it was just a good fit.’’
As offensive coordinator, one of the tools that Rogers will rely on will be running back Montel Harris. Harris returns for his senior season with an opportunity to become the school's all-time leading rusher. Harris ran for 1,242 yards in 2010, good for second in the conference. Making his numbers even more impressive, Harris missed the final two games of the season after suffering a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. However Andre Williams broke out in Harris' stead, rushing for 185 yards against Syracuse and then 70 against Nevada in the bowl game. The hope is that between the two running backs, there will be plenty of talent to take attention away from Rettig as he gets comfortable in Rogers' new system.
The more obvious responsibility for taking pressure off Rettig falls on the offensive line. (Duh) Unfortunately, the most important piece of that unit is one position that needs filling this spring. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo will likely be a first or second round NFL draft pick, and with Thomas Claiborne and Rich Lapham also gone Spaziani and Rogers will be looking for leaders to emerge in the next month. Whether it is a backup like John Wetzel, or a position change for right tackle Emmett Cleary; the Eagles will need a soilid line to utilize their talented backs.
With so many pieces returning from last year's defense, expectations will be for a return to the postseason. If the new system under Kevin Rogers can bring the offense up to par, fans in Chestnut Hill might get to see Boston College competitive in the Atlantic Division once again.
Boston College begins Spring Practice March 18
Click here for more Spring Practice Primers
Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:48 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Nevada shut down an anemic Boston College offense en route to a 20-13 win.
Offense: Rishard Matthews had two first-quarter scores, but the Nevada offense was uncharacteristically subdued today, largely due to three turnovers -- two interceptions and a lost fumble. Still, Nevada had to punt seven times (Nevada typically punts fewer than three times a game), and scored less than half its usual amount of points. Vai Taua was held in check, with 76 yards on 22 carries, and Colin Kaepernick had a positively pedestrian performance in this, his last game as a Wolf. 20-33 for under 200 yards and only one score usually won't cut it; Nevada was fortunate to be facing Boston College. Grade: C-
Defense: Nevada typically isn't thought of as a defensive powerhouse, but it's actually not that bad. From a total yardage standpoint, Nevada's pretty middle of the road, but the Wolf Pack only gives up about 22 points a game -- second only to Boise State in the pinball-scoreboard WAC. Tonight, Nevada was all over Boston College's rushing attack, giving up 30 yards on one rush and 34 yards on the other 24 rushes combined. The Wolf Pack secondary forced two interceptions from Chase Rettig and could have had three or four more; Rettig's passes were frequently deflected or otherwise found a defender's hands. Boston College had one drive of over 30 yards all day long. That's more than you can ask from a defense -- dropped interceptions aside. Grade: A-
Coaching: It's not exactly an indictment of Chris Ault if his players weren't amped up for today's game. BC was 7-5 in a very unimpressive ACC this season, and didn't look like a worthy opponent for the champion of a conference that boasted 10-win teams Nevada, Boise State, and Hawaii among its members. Moreover, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl came 36 days after Nevada's last game, so there's always going to be some rust with that long of a layoff -- as was evident during this game. But Nevada looked pretty well-prepared, and Ault's play calls were fine. They were conservative, sure, but conservative wins games when leading against an inferior opponent. Really, this game wasn't nearly as close as the seven-point margin would indicate; only the turnovers kept the game "in doubt," and last we checked, Ault wasn't the one giving the ball up. Play calling is more than "you should throw a touchdown here and not an interception," after all. Grade: B
Offense: Chase Rettig tries hard, and he tried hard for all four quarters today. Now, whenever it's necessary to mention that a player "plays hard," it's a safe assumption he just had a terrible game, and that's what happened here. Rettig's final stats were 14-34 for 121 yards and two interceptions, good for a 59.3 passer rating. Worse yet, he spent most of the game with a lower rating, and it wasn't until the fourth quarter that he stayed above three yards per pass attempt. And again, it could have been worse; Nevada should have had somewhere between three and five interceptions on the day. It didn't help that Andre Williams contributed a 30-yard rushing score and basically little else, of course, nor that the Eagle offense was painfully predictable (oh, we're getting to that). Still, this was a painfully bad offensive performance, to the point that head coach Frank Spaziani himself called it "anemic" during his halftime interview, and considering what gifts Nevada gave BC with its turnovers (an interception returned to the Nevada 6-yard line resulted in a field goal, for crying out loud), the Eagles really had no business scoring only 13 points. Grade: F
Defense: Aside from Boise State, Boston College might have the best front seven Nevada faced all year, and it was immediately evident. Nevada rushed for 114 yards, including 76 for Taua and 22 for Kaepernick. If it hadn't been for a 51-yard performance by Taua against Eastern Washington in a warmup at the beginning of the year, all three of those numbers would be season lows. All-American LB Luke Kuechly had an interception and a boatload of tackles for the Eagles, and BC frequently and reliably moved the point of attack backwards on defense when Nevada tried rushing the ball. The secondary struggled at times, though, especially on throws to the sideline. Grade: B
Coaching: Eagles fans were understandably upset with their team's play-calling, and rightfully so; it's infuriating to watch a straight-laced, run-run-third-and-long offense when the other team has a quarterback like Kaepernick and a fun system like Ault's pistol offense. The fact is, though, that Spaziani really doesn't have much talent on offense (especially with dynamic starting tailback Montel Harris still out with injury), and his defensive planning and second-half adjustments were praise-worthy. Boston College needs players on offense, plain and simple. Grade: C-
This practice of scheduling minor bowl games for January dates -- historically the province of only high-profile bowls -- could end today, and no college football fan would be upset. This bowl game was laughably bad, particularly when Boston College was on offense, and the fact that it comes on the eve of the national championship seems like cruel and unusual punishment. During the game, when the Kraft commercial featuring the dulcet-toned former homeless man Ted Williams finally aired, the prevailing sentiment on Twitter was that it was the unquestioned highlight of the game. It was that bad. At the very least, Boston College's defense helped get the game back to a one-possession contest, but this was the most lopsided seven-point game in recent memory. Thankfully, it's over, and real January football can be played. Grade: D- and only because it was close
Tags: ACC, Andre Williams, Boise State, Boston College, Bowl Grades, Chase Rettig, Chris Ault, Colin Kaepernick, Eastern Washington, Fight Hunger Bowl, Fight Hunger Bowl Grades, Fight Hunger Bowl Recap, Frank Spaziani, Hawaii, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Luke Kuechly, Montel Harris, Nevada, Rishard Matthews, Ted Williams, Ted Williams Commercial, Ted Williams Kraft, Vai Taua, WAC
Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:44 am
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Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 12:58 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
The quarterback carosel at Boston College has come full circle, and 26 year-old sophomore Dave Shinskie has found himself back as the starting signal caller for the Eagles. Shinskie was benched after a dreadful scoreless performance two weeks ago against Virginia Tech, opening up the quarterback competition between sophomores Chris Rettig and Mike Marscovetra. Rettig won the starting job against Notre Dame, and had threw 10 times for 72 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with a sprained ankle. Marscovetra replaced Rettig against the Irish, but was unable to hit a rhythm and finished 22 of 37 for zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
With Rettig listed as doubtful for the Eagles' division game against NC State in Raleigh, the Boston Herald is reporting that Shinskie will takeover the starting duties against the Wolfpack. Marscovetra began Thursday's practice taking snaps with the first team offense, but it was Shinskie who closed the afternoon with the starters. Marscovetra does not appear to have any injuries holding him back, so this will be a clear demotion after serving as the second string quarterback against Notre Dame. Head coach Frank Spaziani seems to favor Rettig when healthy, though with the way the season has gone he could change his mind after just a few drives. If Shinskie performs well in Raleigh, Spaziani will have the option to let Rettig take a medical redshirt and completely heal his ankle. Rettig's only playing time has come against Notre Dame, so he is well within the NCAA playing time limits for requesting the medical redshirt.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 11:17 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 2:48 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Dave Shinskie Era at Boston College appears to be over, as reports out of Boston say that the Eagles will be making a change for this Saturday's game against Notre Dame.
Boston College was blanked 19-0 by Virginia Tech largely because Shinskie turned the ball over three times. The few plays Shinskie was able to hold on to the ball didn't go swimmingly either. Head coach Frank Spaziani replaced Shinskie with Mike Marscovetra during the game, and though Marscovetra played better than Shinskie, he still couldn't lead Boston College to any points. So the news that Spaziani will be making a change at quarterback this week isn't surprising, though his replacement may be.
According to The Boston Globe, Spaziani will be going with Chase Rettig, a true freshman, under center.
The official word will come today: Saturday night at Alumni Stadium against Notre Dame, Chase Rettig will make his collegiate debut as Boston College’s starting quarterback.
Rettig has been viewed as the quarterback of the future, though Spaziani originally hoped to redshirt him this year and let him compete for the starting gig in 2011. Shinskie and Marscovetra's inability to fully grasp the offense through the first three games of the season threw a wrench in those plans. So now the freshman from California will get his chance.
The future begins Saturday.