Miami at Boston College: 5 Big Questions

5 of 5

1. What will BC fans see out of Doug Martin’s new offense?

Now this is the one that BC fans are asking most, and I will give you a hearty and resounding “I don’t know.” There’s a lot of optimism surrounding Martin’s hire and that’s great, but as mentioned in earlier previews, expectations should be tempered to a reasonable level for right now.

This offense is not going to go from the effluvial stench of the FBS basement to Stanford of the Andrew Luck days overnight, if ever. There is no reason BC shouldn’t improve, because we were at the bottom, but it’s unclear if all of the problems BC had last year have been amended this year.

Boston College’s success offensively last season came from one place and one place only: the running game. Though it wasn’t even in the top half of the ACC in terms of productivity, BC pounded the run a lot and controlled the clock, giving us the low-scoring games that put the defense in a position to secure the win. That doesn’t really mesh with what we know of Martin’s philosophy, which seems to be pass-oriented. The less BC relied on Chase Rettig to win the game for them, the more they won, and while I hate to pick on Rettig, that’s the truth. In the Maryland, NC State, and Miami wins, Rettig threw the ball 12, 13, and 17 times, respectively. Even against UMass, the only other BC victory last season, Rettig had 22 attempts.

Martin’s job will be to make Rettig and the entire passing game better, but he inherited an offense where the pass was scaled back because it didn’t work. If we’re to have any hope of running a modern offense then we can’t stick with the ground-and-pound forever, and perhaps Martin can change that, but if the game is put on Rettig’s shoulders, I can’t tell you what will happen. It might come down to that, though.