BC Football Hold First Scrimmage

Boston College held its first scrimmage of the spring practice session. The defense outplayed the offense as the new offense has yet to settle in with the players.

BC fans hoping that a quarterback would instantly step up and emerge from the pack in spring practice will have to temper their expectations. The defense was stout but the offense struggled in Saturday's scrimmage, the first of the season for the Eagles.

"We've got a very young football team… this is a little bit of a project," said Frank Spaziani after the game. "We made some progress, and it got better as the game went on. But we have a lot of work to do."

Dominique Davis took the majority of the snaps under center and finished with 9 completions on 22 attempts for a total of 64 yards. He threw 3 interceptions and no passing touchdowns. He also ran 5 times for a net total of 10 yards.

Justin Tuggle, a redshirt freshman who seems to be the top challenger for the starting job, looked solid but unspectacular in more limited action. Tuggle finished with a line of 9-for-11 for 87 yards, throwing one touchdown – a floated pass to Jordon McMichael into the corner of the end zone – and one interception. Codi Boek, the third stringer, went 7-for-14 for 61 yards.

Jeff Smith showed flashes of the talent that has endeared him to BC fans despite his constant battles with injury. Smith led the team with 13 carries for 42 yards – including a pair of touchdowns. Montel Harris and Josh Haden each ran 12 times for 33 and 32 yards, respectively.

The game's top receiver was redshirt freshman Clyde Lee, who made 4 catches for 59 yards. Junior Ryan Lindsay also opened some eyes, hauling in 3 catches for 52 yards, including a touchdown.

The offense overall only scored four touchdowns in over 70 minutes of scrimmaging, with two of those coming late in the game during drills starting at the 10 yard line.

"They're getting better at adjusting [to the new offensive scheme]," said Spaziani. "It's a process, especially for the young players."

The biggest differences, according to Spaziani, are in the blocking schemes, which his offensive line is still struggling to pick up.

"I'm proud of the way our offensive line went out there and worked because they're really shorthanded right now, but… they need to get a lot better at execution. The performance wasn't great."

On defense, Mark Herzlich appears not to have missed a beat during the offseason.Hhe picked up right where he left off, picking off Davis for a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the game. Herzlich also had 4 tackles.

"That guy #94 is pretty good," laughed Spaziani.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Clancy was also impressive on defense for BC. Clancy had two interceptions, including a pick of Tuggle that he returned for a touchdown.

Kaleb Ramsey returned from injury to lead the defense with two sacks.

The kicking competition appears to be as wide open as the battle under center, as Ryan Quigley and Steve Aponavicius each struggled. Aponavicius missed field goals of 35 and 40 yards before chipping through a 30-yarder late. Quigley missed a 46-yard field goal attempt very wide left, but he was perfect on extra points.

Game Notes

-Davis started the game strong, going 5-for-7 in the first two drives – including a 12 yard rifle to Colin Larmond through traffic while rolling to his left. But the day turned for the worse on the very next pass, when he threw it right into Herzlich's numbers for a pick-6. From there, Davis began to struggle, and the drives with Davis under center featured mostly short passes.

-DeLeon Gause had Davis's number on Saturday. In the first sequence after a brief halftime break, Davis fumbled and Gause was there to scoop it up and run it back for a touchdown. On the next play, Davis was flushed out of the pocket and badly underthrew his intended receiver; Gause was there to pick it off.

-Redshirt freshman Alex Atiyah, a 6-5, 245 pound quarterback from Pennsylvania, actually had the game's most impressive play, launching a tight spiral to Lindsay for 26-yard touchdown pass. It was Atiyah's only pass in the game.

-Codi Boek had some strong passes during his time at QB. He got good air under his throws, but he struggled with accuracy. In Boek's first drive, he floated a 12-yard completion to Clyde Lee along the sideline to get the offense across the 50, and later found Lindsay with a 17-yard slant to get down to the 24. But the drive fizzled out from there, and Boek's pass to Flutie in the end zone on 4th down sailed over his head.

-The offense was victimized by yet another problem that seems to have carried over from last year – a low snap. On Tuggle's second drive, he scooped up a low snap and responded by firing into traffic; Clancy was there to pick it off and take it the other way for a touchdown.


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