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September 22, 2009

BC looking for answers at quarterback

As I look forward to this weekend's matchup with Boston College, I can't help but flash back to 2007, when Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan was tearing up virtually every team in the ACC on his way to conference player of the year honors. Since then, however, the Eagles have had a mess at the position. If you're confused about what's going on with the Boston College signal callers, check inside to see what to expect this weekend.

In order to understand the quarterback situation at Boston College heading into this weekend, first we must take a look back at what has happened over the last nine or so months:

December 31, 2008 - Boston College loses to Vanderbilt 14-16 in the Music City Bowl. Although senior Chris Crane is injured and misses the game, this marks his last game with Boston College. Freshman quarterback Dominique Davis has a rough game, but appears to have a bright future ahead of him with BC.

April 4, 2009 - Boston College goes through spring drills with a depth chart that looks something like this: 1) Dominique Davis, 2) Justin Tuggle, 3) Codi Boek, 4) Alexander Atiyeh.

April 25 - Boston College holds their spring game. Davis has a decent performance, going 20-of-40 for 145 yards and an interception. However, the important thing to note is that then-true freshman Justin Tuggle completes 2-of-7 passes and does not make a good impression on the BC staff.

June 2 - The bombshell drops. Starting quarterback Dominique Davis decides to transfer after being placed on academic suspension.

June 7 - In response to Davis' departure, the Eagles go out and get 25-year old minor league baseball player Dave Shinskie to try and add some stability to the quarterback position.

* June 25 - This day is unrelated to this year's quarterback situation. However, as if the Eagles weren't having enough bad luck with quarterbacks, Rivals250 quarterback Joe Boisture switches his commitment from BC to Michigan State.

July and August 2009 - True freshman quarterback Michael Marscovetra impresses the Boston College coaching staff in fall camp. Entering the season, he is still third or fourth on the depth chart.

August 24 - David Shinskie, who appears to have a stranglehold on the starting quarterback job at this time, cracks a rib. He is not expected to miss too much time, and Justin Tuggle is temporarily moved into the starting spot.

September 5 - Boston College opens up the season with a 54-0 drubbing of Northeastern. The Eagles rotate quarterbacks during this one. David Shinskie gets the start and finishes 7-for-10 for 110 yards and a touchdown. Justin Tuggle is first off the bench and finishes 3-for-5 for 56 yards and a touchdown. Junior Codi Boek goes 2-for-4 for 18 yards. Interestingly enough, true freshman Marscovetra burns his redshirt and completes all three of the passes he attempted for 21 yards.

September 12 - The Eagles play another outmatched opponent, beating Kent State 34-7. Shinskie finishes 9-of-16 for 73 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Tuggle has a solid game going 6-for-12 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Marscovetra only throws one pass, which falls incomplete.

September 19 - Boston College opens up ACC play, and the quarterbacks really struggle against Clemson's athletic defense in a 25-7 loss. Justin Tuggle gets the start and turns in a poor performance, going 4-of-20 for 23 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Shinskie comes off the bench and completes the only pass he throws on the day, for two yards. He also fumbles a snap in his own endzone.

That brings us to today, with an unclear picture of who will be taking snaps for the Eagles on Saturday.

Justin Tuggle appears to have worked his way into the starting position for Boston College. Tuggle is an athletic quarterback who can make plays with his legs, but has not shown the type of accuracy that Boston College has come to expect from their quarterbacks. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, there just aren't many options here, and I would expect the Deacs to see Tuggle more than anybody else under center on Saturday.

25-yeard old freshman David Shinskie didn't get into the Clemson game until the second quarter and he only played two drives on the day. I wouldn't expect to see much more out of Shinskie in this one.

The wild card here is true freshman Michael Marscovetra who has only thrown four passes this season, but has impressed BC's coaching staff. Head coach Frank Spaziani told EagleAction.com that "there's some chance" that Marscovetra will see more playing time this week.

Regardless of who lines up under center for Boston College on Saturday, however, you better expect the Eagles to be fired up and looking for redemption from one of the proud program's ugliest losses ever.

Despite the troubles at quarterback, the Eagles still have a couple of the top linemen in the nation in offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo and center Matt Tennant. They also have standout receiver Rich Gunnell (114 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2009) hauling in passes and hard-to-tackle running back Montel Harris (194 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2009) in the backfield.

Deacons Illustrated will continue to preview Wake Forest's matchup with Boston College throughout the week.


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