2013 Boston College Preview - Offense
CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Boston College Eagle Offense
Preview 2013 - Offense
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What You Need To Know: The revolving door at offensive coordinator continues to spin, with Ryan Day the latest coach to take the job. He has a little edge in that he was on staff from 2007-11, and knows many of the upperclassmen rather well. Of course, that also means Day knows the lengths to which he must go to turn around the attack. Boston College sported one of the country's worst offenses in 2012, failing to produce more than 23 points in any of its final seven games. The new regime wants to cultivate a more physical brand of football that sets up the pass with a blue-collar ground game. The focal points will be fourth-year starting QB Chase Rettig, RB Andre Williams and WR Alex Amidon, all seniors—and all with the potential to deliver their best seasons to date. Where the Eagles will continue to struggle is with its lack of depth at the skill positions and its lack of talent in the trenches. If BC is ever going to channel its former bully persona, it'll have to get back to birthing big and nasty linemen that use Beantown as a launching pad to the NFL.
Star of the offense: Senior WR Alex Amidon
Passing: Chase Rettig
253-467, 3,060 yds, 17 TDs, 13 INTs
Rushing: Andre Williams
157 carries, 584 yds, 4 TDs
Receiving: Alex Amidon
78 catches, 1,210 yds, 7 TDs
Player who has to step up and become a star: Senior OT Matt Patchan
Unsung star on the rise: Junior C Andy Gallik
Best pro prospect: Amidon
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Amidon, 2) Senior OG Ian White, 3) Senior RB Andre Williams
Strength of the offense: Veteran quarterbacks, power backs
Weakness of the offense: Passing efficiency, backfield depth, receiver depth, the O-line, third-down efficiency, red-zone efficiency
Four seasons. Five coordinators. Senior Chase Rettig is the epitome of a program pining for some much-needed stability. The 6-3, 213-pounder has been a starter since his rookie year, but he's also been erratic, and still makes too makes mistakes with his throws. Rettig has tossed nearly as many career interceptions as touchdowns, and was a mediocre 253-of-467 for 3,060 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 picks in 2012. Head coach Steve Addazio really likes the arm and the overall physical ability of his inherited quarterback. However, the entire staff is looking for No. 11 to display more leadership, while serving as a steadying linchpin of an offense that has to get more consistent production from the position.
The Eagles are going to be experienced off the bench, led by 6-4, 221-pound junior Josh Bordner, an interesting fit for the new attack. Head coach Steve Addazio favors a big, athletic quarterback, which is exactly how No. 8 can be described. Bordner was the backup last year, but only appeared in two games. Mike Marscovetra will also provide senior leadership from the sidelines. He's struggled to get on the field, but the 6-4, 218-pounder is in his fifth year, and he has played in 10 games.
Watch Out For … Bordner to be occasionally spliced into the gameplan. While Rettig is the clear-cut starter, Bordner will provide different challenges to defenses with his athleticism and power running style. At a minimum, he'll be used in short-yardage situations, plowing ahead for the yards that Rettig might not be able to make.
Strength: Experience. Setting aside the modest three-year numbers, having a veteran starter, such as Rettig, is a luxury for any new coaching staff. He's smart, flexible and coachable, and there's still hope that he can be a highly productive passer at this level. Plus, he has two upperclassmen backups with game experience.
Weakness: Efficiency in the passing game. While Rettig's total numbers improved, the result of simply throwing more, he remains one of the most inefficient passers in the ACC. He lacks accuracy, and he turns the ball over too frequently, bringing nearly as many career interceptions (31) as touchdown passes (35) into his finale.
Outlook: It's a very big year for Rettig … again. The senior is not short on talent, but he has to put it all together, both for his team and for his future in the sport. The goal this summer will be to digest the nuances and intricacies of Addazio's offense as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. If successful, there's hope that Rettig's turnovers will go down as his clutch throws rise.
Unit Rating: 6.5
Once an area of tremendous depth, the backfield is now perilously thin. In other words, senior Andre Williams better be prepared to be ridden like a workhorse this fall. The 6-0, 220-pounder is just the kind of physical, north-south runner that the program is going to need in 2013. He's played plenty over the last three seasons, but not so much that he's gassed, running a career-high 130 times for 584 yards and four touchdowns last fall. Williams was a magnet for offseason praise from the staff, which consistently remarked about his strength, quickness and work ethic.
Now that Rolandan Finch has decided to transfer, sophomore Dave Dudeck is going to begin the summer as the backup, which should be cause for concern on the Heights. The 6-0, 195-pounder has limited experience, though he is a very capable receiver out of the backfield. A year ago, he caught 21 balls for 155 yards and a score, adding 41 carries for 116 yards and another touchdown.
Watch Out For … new options to emerge on the depth chart. Junior Tahj Kimble would likely be the backup, but he's still recovering from an ACL injury suffered last year. The Eagles will give a long and hard look at three-star rookie strong> Myles Willis, a 5-9, 175-pounder capable of bringing a different dimension to the backfield.
Strength: The power game. Now that Williams is firmly atop the depth chart, Boston College will be leaning on a back who can pick up the tough yards and keep the chains moving. The senior is a tough, no-nonsense operator, the kind of runner who gets stronger as the game progresses.
Weakness: Depth. The transfer of Finch for personal reasons, coupled with the health concerns of Kimble has left the Eagles without much depth in the backfield. Williams should be good for at least 20 carries a game, but how will BC recover if the starter goes down? And how much will the offense lose when No. 44 needs to take a series off to catch his breath?
Outlook: The program is very comfortable with Williams as its feature back, a feeling that's expected to grow stronger over the summer. The senior the kind of player who's capable of piling up more than 200 carries and 1,000 yards on the ground this year. However, Boston College must develop another option or two in August, or else Williams will be spent by midseason.
Unit Rating: 6.5
No one was a bigger surprise on the Heights last fall than hard-working senior Alex Amidon, who erupted from anonymous to the All-ACC First Team with a record-breaking year. The 5-11, 186-pounder isn't physically imposing or fleet-footed, but no limitation could keep him from catching a school-best 78 passes for a school-best 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns. Amidon has one of the best motors in Chestnut Hill to go along with soft hands and a knack for finding the open areas of a defense. A little bigger and stronger to help fight through the traffic, he'll once again be the first option for QB Chase Rettig.
After Amidon, Boston College is steeped in uncertainty, especially after projected starter Johnathan Coleman opted to not use his fifth year of eligibility. More production will be expected from junior Spiffy Evans, whose nine starts in 2012 only reaped 22 catches for 257 yards and a touchdown. The 6-0, 184-pounder can be a dynamic athlete, but he needs to get better at the more technical aspects of being a receiver.
The staff is putting out an APB for other wide receivers to step up between now and the season opener. Sophomore Harrison Jackson caught just one pass as a rookie, but has impressed the coaches in his first full season. At 6-2 and 200 pounds, he has the long frame to help offset the loss of Coleman. Sophomore Dan Crimmins is another well-sized target being asked to grow up in a hurry. The 6-5, 220-pounder lettered last year, but had no catches, and is a candidate to someday mushroom into a tight end. Sophomore Marcus Grant has returned closer to home after beginning his career at Iowa. The 6-2, 192-pounder played in five games as a rookie Hawkeye, making one reception.
Senior Mike Naples is the frontrunner to start at tight end, a position Boston College traditionally has liked to use in the passing game over the years. The 6-4, 245-pound veteran is a good blocker, but he's had limited experience in the passing game, making just four career receptions for 23 yards.
Watch Out For … Amidon to spend much of the year fighting through double-teams. No. 83 is going to receive maximum attention from opposing teams, and who could possibly blame them? Not only is the senior one of the ACC's top returning receivers, but there's no one on the roster who can't be handled with man coverage.
Strength: A go-to guy. The situation may be dire, but at least the Eagles can point to a true go-to guy in the receiving corps who's capable of making clutch plays when the offense needs them. Amidon is a quarterback's best friend, playing with great hands and good instincts for the first-down markers.
Weakness: Depth of talent. There's Amidon and … about as big a drop-off to a No. 2 receiver as any team in the country. Someone else is going to catch passes in 2013, but Amidon is the only pass-catcher on this squad, including the tight ends, who truly warrants being a starter in the ACC entering 2013.
Outlook: QB Chase Rettig will spend a large chunk of his fall staring down Amidon, because the other options just aren't reliable enough at this time. While Evans could wind up being a pleasant surprise as the No. 2 guy, Boston College still needs more plays from the guys on the outside if it's going to test opposing secondaries. If Amidon gets taken out of a game by the defense, the Eagles will have a very tough time adjusting.
Unit Rating: 6
The Eagles return three starters from a shaky line, none more instrumental to a turnaround than 6-5, 303-pound senior guard Ian White, last year's most complete blocker. He started the first nine games on the right side before injuring an ankle and being lost for the year. The versatile third-year starter has impressed the coaching staff with his technique and strength, lending hope he can use 2012 as a stepping stone to an NFL job.
BC will have options at the other guard spot. Junior Harris Williams is one of them. He returns to the fray after missing all but two games in 2012 with a broken foot that suffered in the preseason. The 6-4, 301-pounder has just one career start, making this an important offseason for his development. Lagging a little behind is 6-5, 312-pound junior Bobby Vardaro, who actually started all of last year, but did not impress. The program feels as if it can do better at the position than what Vardaro provided last fall.
Junior Andy Gallik is well on his way to becoming a fixture at center for the Eagles. The veteran of 15 starts was in the lineup for all 12 games a year ago, and really looked sharp operating out of the new system in the spring. He's a sturdy and heady 6-3, 306-pounder, with the right demeanor to become one of the leaders of the O-line.
Bucking hard for the left tackle job is 6-7, 290-pound sophomore Dave Bowen, a young Eagle with a bright future ahead. He played sparingly as a rookie in 2012, mostly as a blocking tight end and on special teams. However, he has the right frame to be a pass protector, and did a nice job in the spring when first-team snaps became available. Bowen will likely battle another rangy and unproven underclassmen, 6-7, 286-pound sophomore Dan Lembke, who appeared in seven games in 2012, taking part in 30 snaps.
Junior Seth Betancourt played in six games a year ago, starting half at right guard after White went down. This fall, he's expected to kick outside and contend for the opening at right tackle. He's a big and physical 6-6, 304-pounder who's working on improving his footwork and kick-out as a pass blocker.
Watch Out For … Florida transfer Matt Patchan to lock up a starting tackle spot a few practices into fall camp. Yeah, he's been plagued by injuries throughout his career, but he also has a ton experience from his days as a Gator. And if health isn't an issue, the 6-6, 304-pounder will quickly jump to the head of the line.
Strength: Enormous frames. Old habits are apparently very hard to break. Boston College has always liked signing and developing massive linemen into physical run blockers. The new staff inherits a slew of 6-6 and 6-7 blockers, all of whom are hoping to blossom into more reliable linemen than they've shown to be in recent years.
Weakness: Moving a pile. The Eagles simply got abused at the point of attack last season, a central reason why the team ranked 115th nationally in rushing offense and 106th in sacks allowed. Now, both tackles, including all-star Emmett Cleary on the left side must be replaced.
Outlook: Learning a new offense—again—is the least of QB Chase Rettig's worries. He ought to be more concerned over who's going to help keep him off his back. While the Eagles have a chance to be decent on the interior of the line, the tackles are going to be a major question mark. Patchan could be a one-year solution at one tackle spot, but first he must prove he can stay healthy for a full season.
Unit Rating: 6
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Boston College Offense
2013 Boston College Defense |
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