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Question Marks Remain For BC Offense

The Offense Beat Out The Defense On Saturday, Displaying Some Big-Play Potential

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

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Daniel Lee / Heights Editor

Coming into Saturday’s Jay McGillis Spring Football Game, the focus was undoubtedly on the quarterback situation for Boston College. Since the departure of Matt Ryan following the 2007 season, the Eagles have been unable to find reliable production from the quarterback position.

Junior quarterback and incumbent starter Chase Rettig’s sophomore campaign was certainly less than stellar, and left the quarterback position uncertain coming into the spring. Sophomore quarterback Josh Bordner is the closest signal-caller to contending for the starting job against Rettig.

Statistically, neither QB appeared to gain an upper hand in the game. Rettig completed 13-of-23 passes for 120 yards and one touchdown, while Bordner connected on 8-of-18 pass attempts for 159 yards and two scores. In this case, numbers do not tell the whole story.

The offense continued to look inefficient, as drives were deliberate and choppy. Rettig’s few good throws were overshadowed by two bad interceptions thrown right to the defenders, in addition to several other passes that were blatantly dropped by defensive players.

Meanwhile, Bordner was able to connect on a few throws deep down the field, showing a particular chemistry with freshman wide receiver Karim Zoungrana. Though he was slightly less accurate than Rettig, Bordner appeared more comfortable, as he led the second-team offense that seemed to flow smoother with him under center.

After the game, head coach Frank Spaziani acknowledged that nothing is final with regard to the quarterback position, but that it was Rettig’s job to lose.

“No jersey is tattooed on anybody,” Spaziani said. “Chase has to keep performing, and he’ll be the number one quarterback. He knows that, and we know that.”

 

Finch Shoulders the Load

With the uncertainty and inconsistency surrounding the quarterback position over the past few seasons, Spaziani has relied heavily on the running game in the offensive game plan. This run-heavy scheme was met yesterday with several injuries to the running back position.

In February, senior running back Montel Harris, BC’s all-time leading rusher, re-aggravated a left knee injury that had cost him the majority of the 2011 season and was ruled out of spring practice. With junior running back Andre Williams also held out because of an injury, sophomore Tahj Kimble and junior Rolandan “Deuce” Finch were set to take the majority of the carries on Saturday. More misfortune struck as Kimble suffered an injury early on in the first quarter, leaving Finch and sophomore Paul Maglio, a converted defensive back, to shoulder the load in the running game.

Early on, Finch looked good with the ball in his hands, but later had some trouble hanging onto the ball. He mishandled a toss in the backfield (but recovered the ball) on an early drive, and then later lost a fumble after a long run. Nevertheless, the coaching staff continued to feed him the football, and it ultimately paid off. Finch amassed 196 yards rushing on 27 carries, adding four catches for 38 yards. He showed plenty of explosiveness, decisively hitting the holes his offensive line produced for him and breaking and evading tackles in the open field.

“Finch is a good back. We’re going to need as many backs as you can. Tahj got hurt in the first or second play, and if that happens in the game you got another running back,” Spaziani said. “Deuce’s problem has not been endurance—it’s been holding on to the football, so he did a good job today and we need that.”

 

Martin’s Impact Evident

In late December, Doug Martin, formerly of Kent State and New Mexico State, was brought in to take over the offensive coordinator duties. Martin brought with him an up-tempo style that the Eagles hope will translate to a significant increase in offensive production.

Martin’s play calling on Saturday was showed a noticeable increase in the number of pass plays called, particularly the play-action. Martin also demonstrated an aggressive game plan that included vertical routes that led to most of the touchdowns scored in the game. Spaziani agreed that Martin’s style was more conducive to big plays.

“We’re a little bit more solidified now and Doug’s got a system and we need to get chunks of plays and we need to take some shots” Spaziani said.

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