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Late thoughts: BC/NC State

Posted By Ian Boynton On Oct 11 2010 @ 4:20 pm In Boston College | No Comments

Posting a day later than normal, and the bad taste still hasn’t left my mouth. In a word, Boston College’s showing against the Wolfpack was ugly. In talking about the offense, the defense, or the special teams, the same message holds true: there were very few (positive) take a ways from the 44-17 loss.

At this point in the season, it is redundant to discuss the production of any of the units as nothing has changed. The quarterback situation remains dire, the offensive line continues to under-perform, and the defense looks at times functional while at others lost. In other words, at this point in the season, fans know what to expect from players; “I am who I am”.

What needs to be discussed though is the lack of adjustments. The Eagles have now dropped 3 in a row, each in convincing fashion. Over the course of the three-losses, the Eagles have seemingly made minimal adjustments. The Eagles have been beaten in the same way, over, and over again. Offensively, the Eagles are predictable and ineffective, and defensively the Eagles seem content with their sub-par performance. Some of the blame certainly lies on poor individual play, but when no adjustments are made, coaching decisions come under the microscope.

Hindsight is 20/20; six games into the season, and early season coaching missteps are now coming into focus. To find the root of what has become the biggest oversight of the season, one has to go back the spring.

After attending the spring game, and several of the other scrimmages, I was certain of one thing; Dave Shinskie had not improved enough to merit him being the starting quarterback. His performance in each of the scrimmages over the course of the off-season was sub-par to at least one of the other quarterbacks, and despite coaches lauding his improvement; there was no visible sign that he had taken a step forward.

Fast-forward to the first game of the season, and the coaching staff had named Dave Shinskie the starting quarterback. Alone, it was not a bad decision; even though Shinskie had been named the starting quarterback, I was convinced that fans would see Shinskie split the snaps with Marscovetra. At the end of the game, Marscovetra had only thrown the ball three times, despite an uninspiring performance by Shinskie.

Fast-forward another week.

Once again, Shinskie was listed as the starting quarterback. Yet again, I was convinced that even though Shinskie had been named the starting quarterback, the coaching staff would opt to give Marscovetra experience against another inferior opponent. Once again though, at the end of the game, Marscovetra had only thrown the ball three times, despite another uninspiring performance by Shinskie.

Fast-forward another week.

Heading into arguably toughest game of the season in Virginia Tech, it seemed as if everyone but the coaches knew that Dave Shinskie was not going to be able to lead the Eagles to victory. Once again though, Shinskie was named the starter. Only after a poor outing in which Shinskie threw two interceptions was Marscovetra inserted late in the game, when any chance of victory had long since passed.

Fast-forward one more week.

With the Eagles heading into the most anticipated game of the season, the coaching staff had finally made a quarterback change, naming true freshman Chase Rettig the starting quarterback. Unfortunately, after injuring his ankle early in the second, the Eagles were back to square one, forced to rely on two quarterbacks who had yet to prove that they were capable of leading the Eagles to a significant victory in 2010.

The problem with this series of events isn’t hard to identify: Frank Spaziani and co. waited too long to make a change, and by the time they did, they had wasted the opportunity to give Marscovetra or Rettig experience against lesser opponents in Weber State and Kent State. Regardless of whether the better option is or was Rettig or Marscovetra (a question we know the answer to now), the issue was that Spaziani ether failed to read the writing on the wall, or chose to ignore it. Looking back now, it is hard to imagine how the coaching staff, after observing the practices and scrimmages, failed to recognize that Rettig was the best option, or at least the only option with significant upside.  By not being decisive early in the season, the Eagles now sit in “no-mans land”, with the season the season all but a wash. Hopefully for Eagles fans, Rettig will recover from his ankle injury quickly so that he can gain game experience so that the Eagles can look forward to a potentially successful 2011 season. For now though, the Eagles, without a quarterback, are without direction. What was once an optimistic prediction of 10 wins, now is an optimistic prediction of 6 (The Eagles do still play Wake Forest, Syracuse, Duke, and Virginia). Even 6 remains awfully optimistic, though, if the coaching staff doesn’t make some drastic changes.

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