Brian: A win is a win, right? The Eagles move to 1-0 on the year after taking care of the Big Sky's Weber State Wildcats 38-20.
Even though it was a rather ho-hum win, there are plenty of reasons for optimism for BC. Saturday was a great day for Mark Herzlich, as he got to lead the team back onto the field for the first time since beating Ewing's Sarcoma. Montel Harris had a strong performance, rushing for over 100 yards for the fifth straight game (and 14th in his career).
But behind the 38-20 win, there are lots of concerns, at least for me. The biggest concern I have was the play of Shinskie. Uncle Dave sure knows how to put a damper on the Alumni Stadium crowd's mood. In his first series, he took a delay of game penalty on BC's first play from scrimmage. On the second play, he lined up under Thomas Claiborne (not the center) and recovered only to throw a bad interception to Taylor Sedillo. Shinskie was able to bounce back, leading BC on three consecutive touchdown drives, but throughout the day, his passes weren't crisp and he forced a lot of passes, including throwing a second interception in the endzone looking for Momah. Shinskie finished a pedestrian 10-20, 285 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT.
The problem is that we didn't see enough of Marscovetra to know whether he's any better than Shinskie. Marscovetra only threw three passes on the day (2-3, 38 yards, 1 TD).
Are you encouraged by the Eagles performance on Saturday? Or were there too many mistakes, particularly at the QB position, that make you a bit nervous that BC won't be able to work out the kinks before the September 25 game against Virginia Tech? Your thoughts?
Jeff: I think in a game like this where the Eagles have the much better team on paper, you have to look at the first half performance much more than the second half perfomance. In the second half, Weber even scored very late and went for an onside kick with only seconds remaining. BC was playing to get some rust off and try out a few new combinations of players and freshmen. In the first half, Shinskie especially showed some rust but then showed he could shake the rust off. After throwing an interception on his first pass, Shinskie led the offense to touchdowns on the next 3 possessions. When Marscovetra came into the game, BC had 238 yards to Weber State's 60 yards. I think up until Marscovetra came on the field is the most telling of what BC's future performance might be like this season and it is certainly encouraging.
From that point on, BC and Weber State both scored 17 points. In the second half, Weber State actually "beat" BC 10-7 and BC's only score was a defensive touchdown. That is discouraging, but I think the good early on, putting away Weber State by midway through the second quarter, is more important than what happened after that. Shinskie was 7-10 for 141 yards and 1 interception.
The second half was not very exciting to watch as an Eagles fan but BC did only punt twice.
On defense, it was great to see that Herzlich made 3 solo tackles and assisted on two more. Kuechly finished where he left off leading the team with 8 total tackles.
Brian: Speaking of the defense, my other cause for concern is actually with the defensive units, particularily the front four. The BC defense couldn't seem to get off the field. Typically in a game like this against an FCS opponent, BC is used to scoring and scoring quickly and losing the time of possession battle. But there were stretches where the Eagles defense couldn't get off the field, including a 7:42 drive by Weber State at the start of the first half.
I know Cameron Higgins is somewhat of a mobile quarterback, but to register no sacks on the day and get little pressure on the QB is definitely a cause for concern. It seems like it's still a primary concern for Spaz, too. The status of Kaleb Ramsey is questionable for Saturday's game against Kent State after he suffered a concussion this weekend. If Ramsey can't go, the Eagles already thin defensive line just got that much thinner. It will be important this weekend to get pressure on the QB and stuff the run this weekend, as Golden Flashes QB Spencer Keith and RB Eugene Jarvis represent a step up in the competition.