Ten Things From The Northeastern Game

Boston College opened the 2009 season in impressive fashion. The Eagles dominated the under matched Huskies of Northeastern, taking control from the opening snap and winning big in front of a holiday crowd at Alumni Stadium. The win is the first in the Frank Spaziani era and his second as head coach of the Eagles.

Northeastern is Terrible

You could probably easily discern this from the 54-0 score, but the Huskies are just a horrible team. It is hard to evaluate how good BC is after so easily dominating NU from the opening play.

It wasn't just their overall lack of size or speed, but the special teams were horrendous. The punter and punt coverage were some of the worst I've ever seen. They managed to make Rich Gunnell look like Devin Hester as he returned one punt for a score and had a chance at another.

Crowd Better Than Expected

Considering it was a crummy opponent and a holiday weekend the 33,000-turnout was a pleasant surprise. As usual the student section was packed and the freshman class appeared eager and excited. It looks like the efforts of the Boston College marketing department paid off.

Spaz Was Nervous

Spaziani admitted to having "more pre-game jitters than usual", although he did settle in quite nicely after the opening kickoff. One thing that struck me was that the team did appear well coached. They had zero turnovers and just three penalties and avoided coming out flat against a weak opponent. Spaz said, "for this team that was a perfect beginning."

Kuechly Is A Player

Kuechly finished with a game high seven tackles but that only tells half the story. He is big and quick off the ball and was all over the field Saturday. He certainly impressed in his debut. He is the leader of our young linebacking corp. That's impressive for a freshman.

Six True Freshman Played

Jim Noel, Conor O'Neal, John Wetzel, Michael Marscovetra, Rolandan Finch, and Kuechly all played. Noel is freakishly tall at safety and not afraid to come up and make a play, although he did seem over-aggressive at times. Finch led all rushers with 8.4 yards per carry including one long 48-yard rush and a touchdown. He lacks top line speed but could be effective between the tackles. Marscovetra completed all three of his pass attempts.

Students Salute Herzlich

The students came out in full force to support Herzlich. The eye black was a cool tribute to Mark and a great way to show their support. What better way to honor the most accomplished and inspiring student-athlete in recent memory?

Herzlich Looks The Part Of A Coach

Dressed in the white BC polo, Herzlich looked like another coach on the sideline. He even wore Spaziani's yellow towel over his shoulder during the game. He talked with the younger linebackers throughout the game and adds another set of eyes for the team.

Herzy will be good at whatever he decides to do in his life. Despite the fight with cancer, he has grabbed onto his new role as student coach and is attacking it just like he tackles ball carriers. If playing football is not in the cards, don't be surprised if coaching is in his future.

Bowman Brings The Hit Stick

Marcellus Bowman destroyed Northeastern's starting quarterback with a powerful shoulder though his chest knocking him out of the game. He followed this up with another bone crushing hit on a running back. This is a sign of things to come for Bowman.

One of the keys to the Spaziani defense is the big hitter patrolling the middle. Bowman may not be the fastest guy in the world, but receivers will be thinking about him when they come over the middle. That's what this defense needs this year more than ever.

Harris Looks Improved

Harris is stronger and faster and he showcased it on BC's first play from scrimmage. He looked like Barry Sanders the way he shimmied through a pile of Huskie defenders, then took off for a touchdown. He finished with 113 yards and two scores.

No Resolution At Quarterback

The quarterbacks finished a combined 15-of-22 for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Shinskie was the best statistically completing 7-of-10 passes, including a nice 30-yard strike to Billy Flutie. He will likely get the start next week but none of these guys looked significantly better than the others.

Tuggle started the game and was 3-of-5 with one TD, but his release still seems awkward at times. Marscovetra and Boek each played briefly when the game was already way out of hand. Spaziani said of the quarterback play, "it gives us more data to help manage our problems."

Until the coaches break down the game film today, there was not much they could say about the competition. In all probability, they will not find much in this one to change their minds on the pecking order. Next week against Kent will probably determine the depth chart for the rest of the season.


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