Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Q&A

Once again this year we get to touch base with Bill who writes the blog Eagle in Atlanta. I don't know of any blogger who has a better handle on the pulse of Boston College so let's get right to his answers. Thanks as always to Bill for the time. Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers of Turtle Waxing. I'll be out of town till Sunday.

1. In the losses to North Carolina and Clemson the common theme seemed to be that the opponent forced BC into turnovers and that decided the game. If that is a fair synopsis, was it just a bad day for the offense or did those defenses do something specific?

EIA:Turnovers have been the story of the BC season. We've forced a ton and also given up too many. Those losses you mentioned weren't just bad days. The Pick 6 was a specialty even in some of BC's wins. We spotted Virginia Tech 14 points and still won. What the defenses did varied. Many of the turnovers were just fumbles from poor holds. The INTs seemed to come more when the Ds sat in zones and read Chris Crane. Crane would force a pass and the underneath guy would jump a route. Now that Crane is gone, we don't know if that INTs will still be an issue.

2. Could you give an update on the quarterback situation for the Eagles this week?

EIA:Redshirt Freshman Dominique Davis will start this Saturday. He's played in three games all year. He looked good against URI, so-so against UCF, bad for most of the Wake game but pulled it together on the final drive. He's got decent arm strength and accuracy. His passes lack zip though and it is unclear how well he reads defenses. The supposed upside of Davis is his athleticism. He really didn't show it against Wake...deer in the headlights comes to mind. Davis admitted his nervousness. It also showed in his hesitation to run. The jitters will hopefully be out of his system this week.

3. Once again the BC defense is a very solid group. They are at the top of the ACC in most meaningful categories and excel at forcing turnovers. On first glance it seems like a "sum is better than the parts" kind of defense but at the same time deep and talented. How would you evaluate the Eagles' defense this season?

EIA: Outstanding. The only game in which they struggled was North Carolina. Outside of that, they've shutdown or slowed every opponent. The points per game are somewhat misleading due to the turnovers and special teams miscues that cost BC points. They have stars upfront in BJ Raji and Ron Brace (both are DTs). Mark Herzlich is in the running for ACC defensive player of the year. He covers a ton of ground and also has the type of instincts that put him in the right place at the right time. The only question mark was the secondary, but at this point in the season, I think they have proven themselves.

4. Many "experts" assumed this would be a rebuilding year with the departure of QB Matt Ryan but BC is again poised to play in the ACC title game for a second straight year. In year two of Jeff Jagodzinski's tenure what is the assessment of his job as head coach?

EIA: The critics started to show themselves when BC lost back to back games against UNC and Clemson. Now it is safe to say that Jags has done a great job over two years. Year 1 he took over a veteran team, didn't screw it up and took them to another level. Not an easy thing (see Louisville 2007). This year he took a team clearly in transition from the TOB roster to his and also produced a winning record (and still has us in the running for an ACC Championship). There's not much more you could ask for. If he keeps his staff in tact and his recruits continue to come in and perform right away, BC should be in good hands during his tenure.

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