Concerns mounting following loss

The Eagles suffered their earliest loss of the season under Jeff Jagodzinski losing their home opener to Georgia Tech on Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

I didn't make it up to Alumni Stadium for this weekend's game because of a strange summer flu that hit me on Friday morning. The last time I was as sick for a BC game, the Eagles visited Chapel Hill in 2005 with Quinton Porter at the helm.

Different season, different scenario, same nauseating result.

The Eagles left all of their fans and probably themselves feeling sick after dropping their home opener to Georgia Tech in a game they didn't necessarily deserve to win, but easily could have.

"I don't think we made enough plays and Georgia Tech made the plays when they had to make the plays," said Head Coach Jeff Jagodzinski following the loss, succinctly summing up a game that featured six turnovers (3 on each side), three missed field goals, and a safety.

Boston College quarterback Chris Crane turned the ball over three times in the third quarter and took a safety in the fourth, creating doubt in Eagle nation that he can be the guy to lead this team to a return trip to the ACC Championship Game.

"I just need to work on taking the hit and putting the ball on target," said Crane following the game, in what was probably the understatement of the day. Crane completed 18 of 35 passes, missing on several high percentage throws and displaying an alarming lack of touch and accuracy.

We'll get back to the quarterback situation in a bit.

Perhaps of equal concern to BC fans was the injury to running back Josh Haden in the first half that forced the freshman running back to miss the remainder of the contest after a brief cameo following the initial injury. Luckily with a bye week coming up and two OOC games following, the Eagles should have a healthy Haden for NC State on October 4th barring no major ligament damage. And fellow-frosh Montel Harris showed good quickness and an ability to hit the hole in the fourth quarter. But in the meantime it adds an additional level of uncertainty to the 2008 season that took a 180-degree turn on Saturday.

The big question in Chestnut Hill now surrounds the quarterback position. Can Crane rebound in his next two games and rebuild his confidence? Or will the coaching staff look for alternative options among the stable of raw freshmen, namely Dominique Davis, Chris Johnson and/or Justin Tuggle? Will we see a QB-by-committee situation?

This is the first real test for the Jagodzinski regime as last year they, for the most part, coasted through the season with no major issues apart from B.J. Raji's ineligibility and Brain Toal's shoulder. They certainly never had to deal with a quarterback controversy.

In the weeks to come, Crane will need to demonstrate he can a). hit open receivers, b). make better decisions with the football and most importantly c). regain control of this team. The images of him sulking on the sideline in the fourth quarter were eerily reminiscent of Matt Ryan's predecessor, the aforementioned Porter, and not Matt Ryan.

If a fifth-year senior quarterback doesn't have control of the team and can't manage the game, it might be time to look to the kids. If the coaching staff thinks they stand a better chance of winning with the quarterback BC fans saw on Saturday than what's on the sidelines, it could be a long year in Chestnut Hill.

Michael Chevallier is the publisher of EagleInsider. He can be reached at eagleinsider@yahoo.com.


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