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Timing Of Herzlich's Return And The Big Finish

Brian: On Thursday, we learned that Herzlich’s return may be delayed even further. Spaz said that Mark’s fractured foot will likely keep him out of the team’s last two scrimmages. It now looks like Herzlich won’t return to the practice field until one week before the season opener against Weber State.

"He hopes to be back practicing the week before the Weber State game (BC’s season opener Sept. 4) and hopes to be able to play in that game, but whether he has enough practice time will be up to (coach Frank Spaziani and defensive coordinator Bill) McGovern," Sandy Herzlich said.

Now I know there’s a lot of pressure and anticipation building towards Herzlich’s return to the field. Not to mention the symbolism of #94 returning to the field on 9/4. But given this recent prognosis, wouldn’t it be better to slow play Herzlich’s return and keep him off the field for the first two games of the year? This would give him a little over 3 weeks for the foot to heal and have the first ACC game against Virginia Tech be 94's return game. Your thoughts?

Jeff: I don't know if bringing back Herzlich against Virginia Tech for his first game after all he has been through is the best answer either. With the likelihood of that being a very close, physical game, Mark might be left in there unnecessarily. Against Weber State or Kent State, the coaches and medical staff can keep a close eye on him, have a set number of plays they want to get him in for and stick with that plan. Against Virginia Tech or in other big games later in the season, emotions can get the best of both the player and the coaches when big defensive stands are needed, possibly leading to further injury. I would like to see Mark get a little action in either the first or second game this season before Virginia Tech.

Brian: Emotions will be running high regardless of whether he returns for the Weber State game or the Syracuse game. If we can't trust the coaching staff to make the right decision with this delicate situation, then we have an even bigger issue than simply answering the question as to when Herzlich should return to the field.

No one wants him to return to the field more than he does, but I don't think it's the best decision to throw Mark back onto the field for Weber State after having only practiced for a week. Why put the larger comeback at risk just so he gets on the field? I'm cool if Herzlich gets into the first two games for 20-30 snaps, but I think the best decision right now is for the coaching staff to slow playing his return and ramp him back up for the Virginia Tech game. Stress fractures only completely heal with rest and won't fully heal if you continue to put weight on the break. I'd rather have Herzlich at 100% for the critical Virginia Tech-Notre Dame-N.C. State-Florida State stretch than risk having him at less than 100% just so he sees the field in weeks 1 and 2. 

Jeff: Let's say you know that Herzlich won't play until the Virginia Tech game and will return for that game. If you could only go to one game this season, would that be it?

Brian: Without question. Virginia Tech will be the toughest opponent BC faces all season. The game is at home, on Parents' Weekend. The Eagles will certainly have revenge on their mind after getting embarrassed in Blacksburg last season. Even if the game against the Hokies isn't the Herzlich return game, that is the can't-miss game on the schedule this season. 

Big Finish

Brian: Josh Haden may be headed to Florida, but his brother Jordan is now leaving the Gators program. Chances BC pulls off the rare Haden-for-Haden swap?

Jeff: That would be real interesting.


Jeff: In case you haven't read the email, BC is giving away free tickets to season ticket holders for Kent State and/or Weber State games. Thoughts?

Brian: Ticket sales for those games will always be soft unless games like that are scheduled on Parents' Weekend.


Brian: If the ACC moved to a 9-game football schedule, what one Coastal team would you want the Eagles to play on an annual basis?

Jeff: Georgia Tech so that we can make a trip to Atlanta every other year. Miami is just too far.


Jeff: Chances Nate Freese's longest field goal in Sunday's scrimmage will be over 45 yards?

Brian: Considering he had plenty leg on his 46 attempt and hit from 48 on Wednesday, I'll go high here. 75%.


Brian: The first college football game at Gillette Stadium between UMass and UNH now has a name – the "Colonial Clash." Disappointed BC isn’t involved in the first game at Gillette?

Jeff: Not at all. Stadiums don't go from never hosting a college basketball game to hosting the Final Four. They need build up to the main event.


Jeff: After looking at the pictures from football's photo day, are you happy or disappointed that the Under Armour uniforms look a lot like last year's Reebok uniforms?

Brian: I don't love the new uniforms, but don't hate them. I'd say I'm glad they didn't change them up too much.


Brian: Last one. The seventh-ranked BC Eagles women’s soccer team takes on number 2 Stanford tonight. Will the Lady Eagles pull off the upset?

Jeff: Of course.