Tough Off-season Continues for Boston College

Since entering the ACC, Boston College has been one of the dominant teams in the Atlantic Division of the ACC finishing no worse than tied for 2nd in each of the last four seasons. Results for two of those years were with Tom O’Brien at the helm (tied for 1st, tied for 2nd) and the last two years were produced with a depth chart dominated by players recruited by Coach O’Brien (1st, tied for 1st).

Since the end of last season, it has been a very difficult off-season for the BC program:

BC fires Coach Jags and hires Frank Spanziani

LB Mike McLaughlin, BC’s 2nd leading tackler, tore his Achilles tendon and his status for the fall is in doubt.

McLaughlin had 89 tackles last year, four sacks, one interception, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He was instrumental in BC’s climb to No. 5 in the nation in total defense and No. 17 in the nation in scoring defense.

McLaughlin’s return for the fall remains in question. If he’s not back, ACC defensive player of the year Mark Herzlich will be the Eagles’ only returning starting linebacker.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that BC linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. No decision as far as returning to BC has been made as obviously there are more important things to consider right now. Statefansnation obviously wishes Mark and his family the best for his treatment and his recovery.

“Playing again is a goal,” said Herzlich, who would have been a consensus preseason All-America selection and a top prospect for the 2010 NFL draft. “But from what the doctors say, it isn’t very likely. Once they do the surgery to remove the tumor, it will be pretty damaging to my leg.

Today, it has been announced that redshirt sophmore Dominique Davis will be transferring. Davis was the projected starting quarterback and the only quarterback on BC’s roster with game experience.

This leaves BC with redshirt freshman Justin Tuggle, JUCO transfer Codi Boek (sophmore) who played fullback last year, and true freshman Michael Marscovetra to battle for the starting position.

The biggest question in Chestnut Hill was who would be the quarterback this fall? Now it has to be either Justin Tuggle or Codi Boek.

Tuggle redshirted the 2008 season. As a senior quarterback at Northview High School, he threw for 1,310 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also ran for 563 yards and six touchdowns while establishing school career records in passing yards and passing touchdowns.

After moving to the fullback position last year, Boek returns to his natural position. Also competing for time will be true freshman Michael Marscovetra, who will join the team in the fall.

One word sums up that group — inexperience. It could be a very long season for Boston College.

BC’s success last year was mostly due to its conference leading defense and some gutsy play calling on offense and special teams that generated points with trick plays. I don’t think there is any doubt that BC’s offense will struggle next season. On defense, BC will have lost its two starting defensive tackles (a 1st and a 2nd round NFL draft pick), two backups on the defensive line, potentially all three starting linebackers (McLaughlin and/or Herzlich could still return), and a starting safety.

BC has been a very strong program for the last decade. However, there are obviously some question marks going forward.

'09 Football General

21 Responses to Tough Off-season Continues for Boston College

  1. Alpha Wolf 06/02/2009 at 1:59 PM #

    Tough for them, but I wouldn’t mind the Pack beating up BC pretty good in Chestnut Hill. That team has been a thorn in our side and it would be great to just thump ’em.

  2. Daily Update 06/02/2009 at 2:07 PM #

    Alpha: You aren’t kidding. Our road games vs. Wake and BC loom large next year. Both teams lost several high draft picks on the defensive side of the ball and both teams won last year mostly because of great defense. Winning in Boston won’t be easy, but hopefully we can simply outscore them next year. BC lost their starting DTs, Brian Toal at LB, likely but hopefully not Herzlich at LB, McLaughlin at LB, a couple of backups on the DL and a starting safety.

    Edit: Added the part about the other LB tearing his Achilles tendon.

  3. McPete 06/02/2009 at 2:48 PM #

    I think BC is about to start its long slide to the bottom of the division. we state fans saw in 2004 what a great defense will get you when paired with no offense: 5-6. and i don’t think BC’s D will be nearly as good us State that year, even if the two LB’s can come back.

    As far as Wake Forest goes, i’m nervous about them. they still have Skinner and a very experienced o-line with nice running backs.

  4. Alpha Wolf 06/02/2009 at 2:58 PM #

    Yep, Wake is going to be a formidable game and since Grobe showed up there, we’ve not had the best of luck in Winston. That’s the same day as the U2 concert in CFS, IIRC.

  5. Daily Update 06/02/2009 at 3:00 PM #

    Yep, same day. Hoping for noon kickoff that day to make it back in time for U2 in CF.

    Wake loses:
    -1st team all ACC WR DJ Boldin(81 catches, 848 yards, signed as free agent by Lions)
    -WR Chip Brinkman(22 catches, 251 yards)

    -7 starters on defense
    1st leading tackler (A. Curry, LB, 1st round pick)
    2nd leading tackler (Stanley Arnoux, LB, 4th round pick)
    3rd leading tackler (Chip Vaughn, S, 4th round pick)
    4th leading tackler (Safety, signed by Jacksonville Jaguars)
    5th leading tackler (LB)
    8th leading tackler (DE)
    10th leading tackler (Alphonso Smith, CB, 2nd round pick)

    Sam Swank, K, signed free agent contract

    That is four 1st to 4th round picks lost off of their defense. 7 total NFL draft picks and/or free agents from last year’s team gone.

  6. MatSci94 06/02/2009 at 3:15 PM #

    From the article on

    “Boston College quarterback Dominique Davis has decided to transfer after he was suspended by the university for academic reasons, the school announced Tuesday.”

  7. orionpack 06/02/2009 at 3:24 PM #

    Swank was one of the main reasons we’ve had a tough time at Wake. If I remember correctly, wasn’t it Swank who kicked a 60+ yard punt out of their end zone to seal the game a few years ago? Glad to hear he is gone this year.

  8. Sam92 06/02/2009 at 3:42 PM #

    all i have to say about boston college is that i’m looking forward to october 17 when we turn the tables on them

  9. BJD95 06/02/2009 at 4:17 PM #

    I hope we beat the Eagles by about 60. I think we can if TOB doesn’t call off the dogs. Mike Glennon could get some quality PT!

  10. RickJ 06/02/2009 at 5:02 PM #

    There is one good reason I do not expect a village burning, rented mule beating at Boston College next year. TOB loves Frank Spanziani. If we are lucky enough to be that much better than BC, I just don’t see TOB turning a 31 – 10 score into 52 – 10. Now if Jags was still coaching…

    “If I remember correctly, wasn’t it Swank who kicked a 60+ yard punt out of their end zone to seal the game a few years ago?”

    orionpack – That was actually Ryan Plackemeier who punted for the Redskins last year. Grobe deserves every accolade he has received but during his entire time at Wake he has enjoyed an NFL level punter and kicker on every team. This has been so important to Wake’s success and Grobe’s strategy to play the game in a more conservative manner than even the most conservative of coaches.

  11. burnbarn 06/02/2009 at 7:07 PM #

    Maybe TOB has transferred our bad luck/injury mojo over to Beantown!

  12. choppack1 06/02/2009 at 9:09 PM #

    Last year I thought BC would fall off the map, but they didn’t. However, it would seem like they’ve lost too much this year to be much of a threat. On paper – right now, BC looks like the worst team in our division and possibly our conference.

    As for Wake – they’ve been winning the close ones for a while. Unfortunately for them, I think the conference is starting to turn around and may not cooperate as much in producing a solid record. It will be interesting to see what Grobe does. This year, the deacs, in theory, will have to score in bunches. In the past, as another poster noted, he would get conservative, especially towards the end of the game.

  13. Sw0rdf1sh 06/03/2009 at 7:57 AM #

    I liked Herzlich, and also favor Spaz over the last Head Coach who rode TOB’s coat tails.

    BC had a terrible recruiting year as well. The question that remains is now with no seasoned QB, missing a key piece of the D….what will BC be able to do this year.

    Is there enough left in the team to have a good showing? I think this will be the year we see a big drop off in their production.

  14. Classof89 06/03/2009 at 9:06 AM #

    Did Spaz retain Steve Logan as the Offensive Coordinator? If so, talks of dismissing their offense as a non-factor are, IMO, premature. If there was ever someone who could turn chicken shit into chicken salad, it’s Steve Logan.

  15. wolfpack95 06/03/2009 at 9:21 AM #

    Logan left when Jags left.

    This couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of fans.

  16. Daily Update 06/03/2009 at 9:56 AM #

    They hired Gary Tranquil who was another George Welsh guy and coached under Welsh at UVA with TOB and Spaziani. Tranquil has had a lot of success as well most recently at UNC with Bunthole and Darian Durant.

  17. Clarksa 06/03/2009 at 11:21 AM #

    Swank hit a 51-yard and two 53-yard FG’s in 2006…He became the fifth player to kick three field goals of 50-plus yards in a game in NCAA history…

  18. Classof89 06/03/2009 at 1:12 PM #

    Logan on staff with Jags for Tampa Bay…

  19. bradleyb123 06/03/2009 at 3:16 PM #

    ^ “Swank hit a 51-yard and two 53-yard FG’s in 2006…He became the fifth player to kick three field goals of 50-plus yards in a game in NCAA history”

    I will never forget that game. State was up one and it was almost halftime. We had the ball around our own 25 yard line. We should have been able to run out the clock for sure, if not drive for some kind of late score. What did we do instead? We fumbled the ball behind the line of scrimmage — UNFORCED! Our guy ran toward the sideline, and would have likely been stopped for a loss anyway. But he just out dropped the ball for no reason! Not from a hard hit or anything. No one was even near him. It was almost like he decided to dribble the dayum thing. The ball got knocked around, chased, kicked, and Wake ended up with a safety on the play (two points). Then we kicked the ball to them which, obviously, happens immediately following a safety, and with just seconds left on the clock, Wake scored on maybe a 60 yard touchdown pass or something. That was AT LEAST a nine point swing. Instead of being ahead by one (or more) at halftime, we were down eight. We never seemed to recover from that. That was one that we GAVE away. And it was senseless.

  20. jonn 06/03/2009 at 3:19 PM #

    It was also the beginning of a long slide, leading to the exposing of Daniel Evans and the ouster of the chest.

  21. bradleyb123 06/03/2009 at 4:26 PM #

    ^ “It was also the beginning of a long slide, leading to the exposing of Daniel Evans and the ouster of the chest.”

    No doubt. Although, in Daniel Evans’ defense, he may not have been so bad if he had a good O-line protecting him. In our bowl game this year, if Evans had come in to replace Russell Wilson, I believe we would have still won the game. Beck threw that INT on a drive that ended up being a 10-14 point swing. Daniel came in and actually played pretty well. It made me wonder if we should have used him more as the backup instead of Beck when our O-line was playing a little better.

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