Saturday is the Annual Jay McGillis Spring Game at Alumni Stadium, and after a 4-8 season fans have many questions about the BC football team going into this season. True most of the questions won't be answered until September, but the spring game sometimes gives a sneak peek into the most current version of the team. Saturday's game is the first opportunity to see a BC team that has been drastically changed in the off-season. New coordinators, departing players and new freshmen bring new opportunities along with many questions.
Let's look at some of the biggest questions going into the Spring game:
1. What adjustments will Doug Martin make to the gamecalling? The running joke on the internet is that it doesn't matter who Spaz puts in as Offensive Coordinator, they are all going to the same vanilla offense. But, as obtuse as he seems, I can't imagine that Spaz doesn't see the writing on the wall. BC finished almost dead last in points scored, and if Spaz wants to keep his job BC is going to have to try something different. Biggest question is what will that be? Faster pace on offense? Stretching the field?
2. Who will be Doug Martin's QB? The BC coaching staff has stood behind Chase Rettig, but many question how he will fit into the new system. Could Josh Bordner be a better solution for the style of offense that Martin is planning to use? If Martin is looking to have a mobile QB he might be looking at Bordner, and at this point how much longer can they trot Rettig out there if he continues to struggle?
3. Adjustments in the secondary. BC struggled mightily in the pass game last season, finishing 82nd in passing yards against. Much of that can be attributed to a lack of depth caused by injury, and trotting out walk ons and freshmen into game situations. Those excuses are gone now as C.J. Jones, Dominique Williams and Jim Noel will all be around to provide seniority. Donnie Fletcher who was the strongest piece of the secondary in 2011 is gone, can Al Louis Jean step up to be the shutdown corner? Spaz and Bill McGovern will probably continue to provide the seven yard cushion for opposing receivers, but BC should have the talent to improve on their dreadful 2011 passing defense.
4. Who will be the featured running back? BC may be thin at running back depth, but they do have talent at the position. Montel Harris is out, and honestly I'm getting skeptical that he will contribute much this season. If MH can't play who will be the primary back? Could it be the bruising Deuce Finch, who in the Maryland game showed he can be the feature back? Or could Spaz be banking on a bounce back year for Andre Williams? Or might it be Tahj Kimble? He has the potential to be explosive, but is unproven as a featured back. Or will Spaz look to give them all touches?
5. What will Jim Bollman do with this offensive line? The offensive line was the prootypical Spaz excuse last year, they were hurt, young and inexperienced. And it showed. The O-Line was a trainwreck the beginning of the season, but after some time together they started to gel, leading to an impressive performance against Miami in the finale. BC only loses Mark Spinney from the line, so the group should be ready to roll. Bollman is coming in to fix the mess Sean Devine left behind. In order for BC to be successful, the QB is going to need more time, and running backs can't be swallowed up every time they touch the ball. Will Bollman be able to bring back "O-Line U"?
6. Who picks up the giant void left behind by Luke Kuechly? It would be incredibly naive to think that one of the current BC players could fill the shoes of possibly the greatest BC defender to ever put on Maroon and Gold. But the production is going to have to be picked up somewhere. Somebody on this roster is going to need to be a playmaker. Someone on D is going to need to be disruptive whether that be Kevin Pierre-Louis, Sean Duggan or maybe a defensive lineman like Dominic Appiah.
There are many other questions going into this critical season as well. Questions regarding the punter, wide receiver, the return game, and the head coach himself all remain. BC is at a crossroads, and these questions may dictate the direction of this team. Buckle in folks, it's going to be a wild season.