2009 Boston College Eagles Football Preview
2008 Record: (9-5, 5-3 )
2008 Bowl: Music City Bowl vs. Vanderbilt (L 14-16)
Offensive Coordinator: Gary Tranquill
Defensive Coordinator: Bill McGovern
Returning Leaders for BC:
Other Key Returnees: DE Alex Albright, K Steve Aponavicius, OT Anthony Castonzo, G Thomas Claiborne, S Wes Davis, CB DeLeon Gause, RB Josh Haden, OT Rich Lapham, DE Jim Ramella, CB Roderick Rollins, C Matt Tennant
Key Losses: S Paul Anderson, DT Ron Brace, QB Chris Crane, TE Ryan Purvis, DT B.J. Raji, G Clif Ramsey, WR Brandon Robinson, LB Brian Toal
It was an odd offseason for Boston College. But in the end Coach Jeff Jagodzinski is out and former defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani is the new lead man. And while there are new faces on the sideline, it pales in comparison to the new faces that will be on the field. Boston College returns seven starters on both sides of the ball, but some big names are missing.
Boston College's Strengths:
Quarterback Chris Crane was the first in line of quarterbacks who failed to live up to the legacy left behind by Matt Ryan. Crane had a great offensive line to work with and four of those players are back, led by tackle Anthony Castonzo. With a talented and experienced line, the Eagles should be able to get a solid ground game going while the passing attack adjusts to another new quarterback. Running back Montel Harris handled a majority of the carries last year and finished the campaign with 900 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Josh Haden added 479 yards on the ground and one trip to the end zone. Boston College did not have a great rushing attack last year, but that should change now that everybody has another year of experience under their belt.
Boston College's Weaknesses:
B.J. Raji and Ron Brace were two of the best defensive tackles in college football last year. That is why the Eagles had the best rush defense in the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranked third in sacks. Those two will not be easy to replace and it will take a miracle for the team to do that well against the run without those two. The rest of the defense returns some decent players. Linebacker Mark Herzlich will do everything and led the team with 110 tackles and six interceptions during the 2008 campaign and even added three sacks. Between Herzlich and Mike McLaughlin, Boston College sports a talented group of linebackers. The secondary returns upperclassmen Wes Davis, Roderick Rollins and DeLeon Gause, but the absence of Paul Anderson will sting for a little while. But the back seven will struggle if the front four cannot stop the run or get pressure on the quarterback.
The Bottom Line for the Golden Eagles:
Replacing Raji and Brace is important, but most eyes will be on the quarterback situation. Dominique Davis played in the last three games of the 2008 campaign after Crane went down with an injury. While that experience is nice, Davis did not blow anybody away with his abilities. That leaves the door open for redshirt freshman Justin Tuggle, who could win the starting job if he can he take care of the ball. Either way, receiver Brandon Robinson is gone and the new quarterback will look to Rich Gunnell as his main target.
By Joel Welser
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