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History Repeating Itself? And The Big Finish

Brian: Rewind back to April 2005. Coach Tom O'Brien had a legitimate QB competition on his hands in the spring. Senior Quinton Porter was battling sophomore Matt Ryan for the starting job. Despite Ryan completing a higher percentage of passes and less interceptions in the spring, O'Brien named Porter the team's starting quarterback on April 26. TOB always seemed to favor Porter, going back to the 2003 season when he decided to start him over JUCO transfer Paul Petersen.

Porter went on to win the first two games of the season at BYU and against Army before leaving the Florida State game with a right ankle injury (a 28-17 loss). Porter finished the FSU game 20-31 for 151 yards, 1 TD to go with 2 INTs. Porter gave way to Matt Ryan. The next week, Ryan, despite throwing 2 INTs, led the Eagles to a 16-13 win over Clemson in Death Valley. Porter struggled through much of the rest of the season before relinquishing the starting role to Matt Ryan for good the week before a 30-10 win over N.C. State.

Fast forward to present day. For all the good that Shinskie did in his first year as the Eagles starter, he was wildly inconsistent -- throwing just one more touchdown pass than interception in 2009. While Shinskie has shown some improvement this fall, at least statistically, Mike Marscovetra has the better stats coming out of fall camp. In the final two scrimmages, Marscovetra has gone 20-for-22 for 161 yards, while Shinskie went 25-of-43 for 220 yards. Towards the end of the final scrimmage, Marsco was taking a majority of the snaps with the first team.

Spaz has made it clear he is still favoring Shinskie for the starting job. I'm sure both will get a good amount of snaps in the first two games, but all indications are that the job is still Shinskie's to lose given the experience.

Is it going to take another early season loss to unseat Shinskie as the starting QB? Do you think that Marscovetra is really the more talented of the two QBs? How do you see the QB competition playing out over the next month?

Jeff: This is a great comparison, but fortunately, I do not think that we are dealing with the same situation we were in 2005 where the backup QB at the beginning of the season would end up being the second best QB ever at Boston College. In 2005, we were both constantly hoping that Ryan would be the starter and were convinced that our record would be better if he was. Now, there are plenty of people out there favoring one of the QBs other than Shinskie, but they're not in love with Marscovetra, they really just dislike Shinskie.

If you're looking at who has more athletic talent, I think it's safe to say that as a former professional baseball player, Shinskie gets the nod there. And given that Shinskie was able to win the starting job from Tuggle last season and has been named the starter again despite this only be his16th month of football practice after a long hiatus, you have to say Shinskie does have talent.

Last year, Shinskie was frustrating to watch at times. He threw a bunch of beautiful balls, and then made some very costly mistakes. His numbers though, were not helped by numerous drops and tipped balls that resulted in interceptions.

I have thought Shinskie was the answer since the beginning of last season and still do. My instincts were right with Paul Petersen and with Matt Ryan as many other people's were, I hope I am right with Shinskie. We will know for sure by the end of this season, or probably by the end of October if he is a winner or not.

Big Finish

Brian: Mark Herzlich will undergo an MRI today and could be back on the field for the season opener. How many snaps do you expect Mark will play against Weber State?

Jeff: I think the target will be 15.


Jeff: Colin Larmond, Jr, will see no snaps this season. Which freshman will catch the most passes by the end of the season?

Brian: Gotta go with the popular vote and say Shakim Phillips.


Brian: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit is picking the Eagles in the Atlantic this year, opposite Miami. You surprised?

Jeff: Hence him voting us in his top 25. I like the pick, not as high on Virginia Tech as I once was, although I do think they'll beat Boise State.


Jeff: Speaking of rankings, you know it hits home in my family where BC, Clemson and Navy are ranked. BC is ranked the lowest of those three in almost every major poll and Navy even cracked the Top 25 in the poll. Should I be worried that Navy will finish the season higher than BC?

Brian: Very. Navy has the schedule to put together a very special season this year.


Brian: Riddick & Reynolds asks the question "Is Mark Herzlich's comeback overshadowing Nate Irving's?" Your thoughts?

Jeff: What R&R seems to miss is that Herzlich has a great story and was Defensive POY in the conference prior to it.


Jeff: We have been bullish on this years football team, but not so much on the basketball team. Chances the football team wins more games than the basketball team this year overall? Chances the football team wins more ACC games than the basketball team does?

Brian: 1 1/2 percent, and ZERO percent.


Brian: Last one, two of three Hokie fans over at The Key Play are predicting a BC win over Virginia Tech. Is this a feeble attempt at some sort of reverse psychology?

Jeff: I think Hokie Nation -- or whatever they're called -- is feeling the same way I am that they won't win the Coastal by default due to returning the most offensive talent.