Weber State at Boston College: Offenses


On Soaring to Glory, Tuesday is now offensive preview day. For the purposes of this article (and probably the next offense article against Kent State), we’ll be using the 2009 team statistics and some prognostications for 2010. Please note that Weber State’s offensive stats for last year are built off of 10 out of 12 games vs. other FCS opponents. One of the two FBS teams they played in 2009 was Wyoming of the MWC (lost 29-22), in case you were wondering, so for the most part, whatever numbers they racked up were against teams in the ‘meh’ echelon of Division I football. Again, in case you were wondering, the other team was last-place MWC team Colorado State.

Scoring and total offense

The Eagles put up 322 points in 2009 for an average of 24.8 points per game. BC also averaged 323.9 yards in their 8-5 season.

The Wildcats managed 338 points in only 12 games last year, putting their average per-game scoring at 28.2. Their 398.7 yards per game was 19th-best in FCS.

Passing and Receiving

Boston College started Dave Shinskie for the majority of the 2009 season, where he went 149-288 (51.7%) for 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with 2,049 passing yards. Shinskie, a 26-year old sophomore, will be the starter for the foreseeable future, but if he returns to mediocrity, Mike Marscovetra – who will probably also get snaps on Saturday – would likely take over.

Senior Wildcat quarterback Cameron Higgins has received several honors over his Weber State career, with the most notable as becoming the 2008 Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year. With another 2,855 yards this season, he will finish his collegiate career as the all-time conference leader in passing yardage. In 2009, Higgins went 289-454 (63.7%) for 30 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with 3,326 yards.

The Eagles have lost receiver Colin Larmond for the season due to injury, and lost senior Rich Gunnell to graduation. The receiving corps for BC will therefore feature a few more young guns, including freshman Shakim Phillips. Ifeanyi Momah, Clyde Lee, Chris Pantale, and Billy Flutie are a few of the experienced receivers and tight ends we’ll see this season.

The Wildcats, for their part, lost Tim Toone – the dreadlocked “Mr. Irrelevant” who happened to be their leading receiver. Some of their returning receivers include Joe Collins and Mike Phillips. Tyrell Francisco (senior TE) was lost for the season due to injury.


Weber State lost their lead rusher, Trevyn Smith, to graduation. He amassed a little over 1,000 net yards last year. Smith’s replacement, Bo Bolen, got 88 carries last year for 442 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Whereas Weber State is more of a pass-first team, BC has become a rush-first team, and why not when you have the star of the offense in the backfield. Montel Harris ran it into the end zone 14 times in 2009 and with another big season, the junior can emerge on the national scene. The Eagles will make Montel do much of the work on offense, especially if the quarterbacks begin to struggle. A good BC offensive line should be able to help him out.


The Wildcats put up a lot of points and yards last year in FCS and have been a playoff team for the last few years. I don’t have to tell you, however, that there’s typically a pretty big disconnect between “good for FCS” and “good for FBS.” “FBS good” is usually way better than “FCS good,” and BC is looking like they might be “FBS good” this year. While I expect Weber State to go to the air and try to hit some big plays, and noting the fact that BC’s pass rush was lacking last year, BC is the best team they’ve faced since Utah in 2008, and I don’t think they’ll be all that successful. For as good as Higgins can be under center (30 touchdowns), he can also be equally as bad (20 interceptions), and the BC defense will probably give him a bad day.

Similar to how BC played in their first game last season against Northeastern, I expect Montel to do a lot of the work, with Shinskie (and probably Marscovetra late in the game) to pass when necessary, working out to about a 2:1 rush-to-pass ratio.  When comparing these two offenses, I give BC a comfortable edge.

Tomorrow: the defenses and special teams