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Pre-Camp Boston College Football Preview

Montel Harris

The Eagles open up camp in less than a month. The team has been great since joining the ACC, winning the Atlantic division twice in four seasons in the league, but this year, they might have too many problems to overcome. They also play in a divisin where all six teams made a Bowl game in 2008.

2008 Review

Boston College surprised many by taking the ACC Atlantic in each of the last two seasons. In 2008, The Eagles were not predicted to finish in top half of the Atlantic, but after beating Florida State and Wake Forest on the road and then defeating Maryland at home, the Eagles took home the Atlantic Division title. Halfway through the season, after a 27-21 loss at home to Clemson, the Eagles were just 5-3 and 2-3 in the ACC. The Eagles defeated Notre Dame 17-0 and won their last four regular season games to get to 9-3 and a ranking of 18 before losing a rematch to Virginia Tech in the ACC championship and then having their bowl game winning streak snapped by Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl, 16-14. They finished their at 9-5 and 5-4 in the ACC.

2009 Preview

Schedule

Date Opponent
9/5 Northeastern
9/12 Kent State
9/19 @ Clemson
9/26 Wake Forest
10/3 Florida State
10/10 @ Virginia Tech
10/17 NC State
10/24 @ Notre Dame
10/31 Central Michigan
11/7 Bye
11/14 @ Virginia
11/21 North Carolina
11/28 @ Maryland

Offense

BC had to replace now NFL superstar Matt Ryan in 2008 and Chris Crane and Dominique Davis both did an okay job. Crane had a TD to INT ratio of 10-13, while Davis’ was 6-4. Davis had some very impressive games down the stretch. Crane graduated and Davis has decided to transfer after academic issues. Redshirt Freshman Justin Tuggle and Junior College transfer Codi Beck are battling for the job. Boek played special teams and was a fullback. Neither QB has taken a snap at this level. Rumors say the nephew of former BC great Doug Flutie, Billy Flutie could be switched back to his high school position of QB and get into the mix, but I’m not sure how likely that is. BC also will have a new offensive system. Jeff Jagodzinski was told that he would be fired if he interviewed for NFL jobs, but he did anyway and BC followed through and fired him. Offensive Coordinator Steve Logan resigned and Gary Tranquill was hired as his replacement. He is a former Navy Head Coach and has worked under Bill Belichick with the Cleveland Browns, as well as working at Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Virginia and North Carolina.  RB should not be a problem for the Eagles. Sophomore RB Montel Harris had 900 yards and five TDs last and backup Josh Haden had 492 yards in his freshman season. Both return and Harris will be the primary back while Haden will be used all over the field. BC must replace one receiver and their tight end, but starting WR Rich Gunnell returns. He has had an excellent career and is a three year starter. The offensive line should be very good with four starters returning including All-ACC caliber players, center Matt Tennant and left tackle Anthony Castonzo.

Defense

This is where the Eagles should struggle. They only return 5 starters on defense and they were hit hard when OLB Mark

Forget about football and pray for Mark Herzlich's full recovery.

Forget about football and pray for Mark Herzlich's full recovery.

Herzlich was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer. He was a stud for the Eagles in 2008, making 110 tackles, 10 for loss, three sacks, and a team-leading six interceptions. He was the Eagles’ best player and he won ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.

Jim Ramella is back at defensive end and he had four sacks last year. Alex Alrbight had 38 tackles and 10 tackels for loss in his sophomore season before having to take a medical redshirt last year and will now start on the other side. Damik Scafe and Kaleb Ramsey have some experience and will take over for NFL draft picks Ron Brace and B. J. Raji in the middle. These are capable players, but they will not be able to make up for the loss of these two dominating tackles. Dominick LaGrande will take Herzlich’s position. Will Thompson is a newcomer at the other outside linebacker spot while Mike McLaughin and his 89 tackles, four sacks and one interception return in the middle. Both cornerbacks, Roderick Rollins and Donnie Fletcher, return. The duo combined for five interceptions last season. Wes Davis had two picks last year at free safety and Marcellus Bowman is a 1st time starter at strong safety, but he has received a lot of playing time and even picked off three passes last season, with one going for a touchdown.

Special Teams

Steve Aponavicius, more commonly known as “Sid Vicious,” is back. He is a great story as he is a former walk-on who became a member of the team midway through the 2006 season. He made two field goals in his first game. In 2007, he was just 20-29 on FGs and last year he missed seven more, going 14-21, so he needs to improve. Ryan Quigley is a sophomore and kicked 59 punts last year for a very good average of 39.6.

Team MVP

Montel Harris. As a freshman, Harris took over as the starting running back and rushed for 900 yards and five TDs, breaking the Boston College Freshman rushing record. With all of the experience and talent the Eagles have up front, Harris and his classmate Josh Haden should have big seasons for the Eagles.

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