2011 BC football breakdown, Part II: Quarterback


Alright, now to the players. Boston College’s quarterback play over the past two seasons has been, to be blunt, sub-par. Yes, the future is now (so to speak) with Chase Rettig under center, and we all expect things to get better, but we’ve experienced some rough moments in getting to where we are at the quarterback position in 2011.

In a sad statistic, Eagles quarterbacks only threw for a total of thirteen touchdowns the entire 2010 season, spread over three guys (Rettig, Dave Shinskie, and Mike Marscovetra). For purposes of comparison, the top TD thrower in FBS last year, Bryant Moniz of Hawaii, tossed 39 by himself. If you’re an Eagles fan, however, I don’t have to tell you how utterly pathetic BC’s offense was last year in all phases. The good news is that it’s a new season and there is nowhere to go but up, particularly for some of the young men I’m about to discuss.

Chase Rettig | 7 | Sophomore
Projected starting quarterback

I have said it in the past on occasion and I will say it again: this is Chase Rettig’s team. He will be the starter for the entire season barring injury, a freak accident (such as an anvil falling out of the sky like in Looney Tunes), or performance that is so tremendously and incomprehensibly awful that it necessitates one of the players below taking over and BC football being set back by years. The good news is that I’m hopeful the first won’t happen and I’m confident the latter two won’t.

The stat line he compiled in an abbreviated 2010 left much to be desired (100/195, 1238 yd., 6 TD, 9 INT), but with a full season and previous league experience, 2011 should bring in some real improvement from Rettig. In particular, the Eagles will need to see chase work on developing his arm strength further and improving his accuracy. I am personally hopeful that we will see improvements in his decision-making as well (something which recent previous quarterbacks did not accomplish – if he makes any strides at all, therefore, it’s a success).

Dave Shinskie | 15 | Junior
Projected backup quarterback

Uncle Dave has had several turns at the helm of the Boston College offense, with forgettable results. Still, when it comes to the hierarchy of the 2011 depth chart, Shinskie is probably the best choice for the second spot. He is the most tenured quarterback on the team, which I suppose counts for something (at least as far as the coach is concerned), but he struggles in a number of areas, the paramount of which (in my opinion) are accuracy and decision-making. Shinskie is the kind of guy who will lock in on one receiver throughout the entirety of a play and needlessly throw the ball into triple coverage. His awareness could use some work too: I’m probably overstating it, but it always bothered me when I and everybody else watching knew that the sack was coming, but he didn’t seem to, because he stood there in statuesque fashion right before he got decked. Additionally, as I wrote back in April following the Spring Game, “When he does scramble out of the pocket to avoid the rush, he runs like someone with two pockets filled to the top with loose change.”

It’s possible that he may have improved over the offseason, but he isn’t my choice to lead this team now or probably ever again. Number two on the depth chart, yes; number one, no.

Mike Marscovetra | 16 | Junior

I don’t know where Mike Marscovetra will land on the 2011 depth chart (probably #3), but I do know with complete assuredness it won’t be the top spot and it almost certainly won’t be the second. Someone who bases their opinions of BC football solely off of the stat sheet (and there are a few of those passing as journalists these days) may look at his and be slightly fooled – they’ll see the highest passer efficiency on the team at 109.65 and a 58.6% completion percentage, though they’ll also see two touchdowns and four interceptions. (In fact, all three of BC’s quarterbacks from last season threw more interceptions than touchdowns.) To be perfectly honest, however, he is not anywhere close to ACC caliber for a starting quarterback, and we enter 2011 with two years of empirical evidence to that end.

In the 2010 Spring Game, Marscovetra was very good, leading some (like myself) to endorse Spaz giving him a shot at the start of the season when it was clear Shinskie had not improved. When he got it, however, we all jumped off the bandwagon and got onto the Rettig Express. In 2011’s Spring Game, he did the exact opposite of 2010 and extirpated any faith Eagles fans may have had left in him. Borrowing another quote from my April article, “when Marscovetra throws the ball, nobody in the stadium — himself included — knows where the hell it’s going or who is going to catch it.” It’s unlikely that he will fall below third string, but frankly, I would not be thoroughly surprised if it happens (it would require either Bordner or Cranmore to prove that they are far more up to the task).

Josh Bordner | 8 | RS-Freshman

Shane Cranmore | 9 | RS-Freshman

Christian Suntrup | ?? | Incoming recruit

The three men listed above are unknown quantities (or not far from it) to Boston College fans. Whether by redshirting or having just arrived on the team, none of them has taken a snap in a real college football game yet. Hell, to my knowledge, Suntrup doesn’t even have a number yet. He will, however, and it’s quite possible that someday, this will be his team, but not today. Suntrup has been touted as a solid bet for the future, but that’s something to assess down the road.

The coaches will almost certainly stick a redshirt on Suntrup, and Bordner and Cranmore, for better or for worse, will probably see little or no action this season.

Boston College quarterback play last season was well below where it needs to be if the Eagles are going to contend. It’s a shame too, because with the way the Eagles defense played last year, if BC had any decent offense at all, they may have won the ACC Atlantic. With a new offensive coordinator and some more experience under Rettig’s belt, however, there is a chance we will see some real improvement in 2011 (though any improvement at all would be a plus).

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