Kent State at Boston College: Offenses


Kent State’s offense catches Boston College at what would appear to be a decent time. If you want to go off of last week’s performance, the Eagles’ defense is playing soft in pass coverage, and I’m sure there will be plenty of chop-licking in Kent State’s video room while watching game film. Can they put the points on the board, however? And can Boston College’s offense keep things going from last week? All this and more will be assessed in the days ahead.

Scoring and total offense

In Week 1 of the 2010 season, both the Eagles and the Golden Flashes put up points in bunches. The BC offense was responsible for 31 of the 38 points scored, while Kent State’s took credit for 34 of the 41 points.

The Eagles managed 411 yards of total offense against Weber State, while Kent State was just a hair better at 412 yards against Murray State. The breakdown of those yards, however, was somewhat different: for BC, it was 223 pass, 188 rush, while for Kent State it was 275 pass, 137 rush. That would lead you to believe that the Golden Flashes are more inclined to pass, but as you’ll see in a moment, that was not the case last week.

Passing and receiving

I had suspected last week that Boston College would run about twice as much as they passed, as they had early in the season last year, but the ratio didn’t quite get up that high. Of the Eagles’ 56 offensive plays, it was 33 rush, 23 pass, for about a 59%-41% rush-pass selection. Granted, if you turn a few more passes into rushes you’re there, but it seemed like Gary Tranquill wanted to get the quarterbacks a little more involved on Saturday. The results were decidedly mixed.

Dave Shinskie, who saw all but three of the passing plays in the game, started out 7-10 but closed 3-10 to compile a very average stat line: 10-20, 185 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT. His eventful first play (following a delay of game) began with him lining up behind Thomas Claiborne as opposed to Nate Richman, then throwing a horrible pick. He would close out the first half having gone 7-9 with two touchdowns. Later on, he would add another interception and have a dreadful second half to balance out his day. Mike Marscovetra, only throwing three balls, had two completions and a touchdown. There was virtually nothing to evaluate.

Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith, a sophomore, had a very nice afternoon. He went 24-35 for 275 yards with 3 TD and an INT. Last year, he was one of the three Golden Flashes quarterbacks we saw at Alumni Stadium, going 9-14 for 71 yards, with a TD and INT. Two of his receivers, Sam Kirkland and Jacquise Terry (a running back), also had nice days. Kirkland caught nine balls for 126 yards and a TD, while Terry got into the end zone twice on only four catches, including a 49-yard TD strike from Keith.

Overall, Kent State passed 35 times and ran 39, but weren’t quite as successful at the run as BC (as you’ll shortly see).

Clearly, the receiving hero of the day for the Eagles was Johnathan Coleman who, in his first collegiate football game, caught three passes for 98 yards, including an impressive 44-yard catch-and-run. It seemed like everyone caught a ball on Saturday, but nobody had more than three receptions (which will happen with only 12 completions in a game).


What else can we say that hasn’t yet been said about Montel Harris? He had only 115 yards yesterday and only a touchdown on 19 carries, but it was a fine day for him. The offensive line created the necessary gaps for him and backup Sterlin Phifer, who also seems to be an acceptable player with some upside. The Eagles ended up with nearly 5.7 yards per rush attempt, which was a good bit better than what the Golden Flashes managed.

Kent State rushed 39 times with the bulk of the carries split between senior Eugene Jarvis and junior Jacquise Terry. Their total amongst seven men was 137 yards, working out to only 3.5 yards per carry. We’ll get more into the defense tomorrow, but Boston College seems to still be adept at stopping the run, so it’s not likely the Golden Flashes will have a lot of success in this department. For what it’s worth, last year Kent State went only a dismal 60 yards on 29 rush attempts against BC, or just a little over two yards per carry.


Boston College’s offense scored zero points in the second half against Weber State. Their only seven points were thanks to DeLeon Gause’s lucky INT for a touchdown.

Kent State was 6-16 (38%) last week against Murray State on third down, but went a perfect 3-3 on 4th down. BC was 1-1 on 4th down, but only 3-9 (33%) on third down against Weber State.

Weber State dominated the time of possession against the Eagles, holding the ball for over 37 and a half minutes. Their opening drive of the second half by itself lasted almost half the 3rd quarter, though BC held them to just a field goal. Kent State controlled most of the clock last weekend with 33:22 of possession.

The Golden Flashes turned the ball over twice in their ballgame, while BC turned the ball over three times against the Wildcats.


The only area of any real concern to the Boston College offense player-wise is at quarterback. Dave Shinskie responded from the early interception to have an acceptable first half, only to follow it up with a dreadful second half. If we were giving out grades, I’d say his overall performance was about a C or a C-; nothing more, nothing less. Like I said on Saturday, that’ll get it done against Weber State, but not much of anyone else on BC’s 2010 schedule. Weber State’s defense isn’t that good, which would have to give most people pause. In the end, no real damage was done as BC won by three scores, but he’s a guy you’re going to have to keep an eye on to see which way this thing goes. If he continues to be hit-or-miss, is Mike Marscovetra necessarily the answer? I don’t know. For one thing, we barely saw him last week; not to mention, we barely saw him last year. The spring game was probably the most snaps we’ve ever seen him take in one performance. It could turn out that neither Shinskie nor Marscovetra are capable of leading this offense, and that the future is a redshirted dude from California. This week will be another week to see where we’re at with regards to the QB position, though I don’t think we’ll learn anything concrete until Frank Beamer and the Hokies roll into town.

As noted in Miscellaneous, BC’s offense scored a whopping zero points in the second half last weekend. The offense just flat fell asleep. The game seemed to already be in hand by then (which is hardly an excuse to sleepwalk through the rest of the game), but after having put 31 on the board in the first half, it’s pretty hard to believe that the Eagles couldn’t even manage a field goal.

Kent State’s opening act this year was far better than their first win last year, where they beat FCS team Coastal Carolina 18-0. It would seem they’re a little better at putting up points than last time, and they’re likely to pass the ball most of the time given (1) BC’s crappy pass defense last week, (2) BC’s respectable run defense, and (3) Spencer Keith’s improved play. Like Weber State went to the air, so too will the Golden Flashes.

Tomorrow: Defenses & Special Teams