Monday Morning Quarterback

It is football season and time for commentators to begin offering their opinions on the season. What good is to have a platform to express your opinions if you cannot second guess the guys making the hard decisions for their teams. Monday Morning Quarterback is all about second guessing and criticism. In this inaugural edition, we take a critical look at some things from game one.

After a 54-to-0 thumping of a struggling FCS program, there is not a whole lot to criticize. Even if BC played a high school team, they would not score 54 points if they made a bunch of mistakes in the game. That's not to say they did everything right. In the first game of the Spaziani Era, Monday Morning Quarterback found some nits to pick with the new coach and his approach to the game.

The first puzzler is the decision to play Marcovetra in the game. OK, the staff likes him and he put up a spirited fight for the starting job. Those are good things and point to a future more promising than many assumed when he committed to the Eagles last year. That's all good news.

That said, he did not win the starting job in practice and he did not unseat Tuggle or Shinskie for the backup job. He is a freshman, after all, and still adjusting to life as a college football player and student. No one expected him to play this year.

So, why did they play him at all? The coach says he has not established a pecking order amongst any of these guys, but that is obviously not correct. Tuggle and Shinskie are going to be running the offense this year. The only way Marscovetra or Boek play after next week is if the two starters go down to injury. How likely is it that both presumed starters go down to injury?

Every coach in college football says the same thing about quarterbacks. The best thing for them in their first year is to sit and learn. They watch film, sit in meetings, study their playbook and learn how to be college players. Putting a guy on the field at this point is more likely to retard his development than to accelerate it.

Along the same lines, why was Tuggle given so few chances to throw the football? His stat line was 3-of-5 for 56 yards. This is a kid who needs to work on his mechanics as a passer. In a laugher like this one, getting him as many reps throwing the ball would seem like a sensible goal. He is not going to get better at throwing the ball by handing it off to Haden and Harris.

In fairness, the coaching staff has had plenty of time to assess Tuggle in the summer. Maybe he is destined to be a running QB. On the other hand, it is the job of the coaches to teach a guy how to become a passer. No one comes to college as a fundamentally sound quarterback. Getting as many reps as possible for the young man in a meaningless game is the best way to move him along developmentally.

In comparison, Haden and Harris got 26 of 34 carries in the game. Both will get the bulk of the carries this year. The staff obviously wanted to get them as much work as reasonable in this one to get them ready for the season. That makes perfect sense. Get Finch some carries to get his feet wet, but spend the game getting the two starters plenty of reps. Why not do the same with Tuggle?

Again, it is hard to find much fault with a game that ended in a 54-to-0 blowout. If BC wanted to do it, they could have doubled that score by keeping the peddle to the metal for the whole game. Instead, Spaziani emptied the bench and gave everyone a chance to play. That speaks well of him from a sportsmanship point of view. Running up the score on a hapless opponent is not what we expect from BC.

That begs the question. Why in the world did BC schedule these guys? Every program is scheduling FCS teams these days. It makes sense to get a tune up in early before hitting the heart of the schedule. Florida scheduled Charleston Southern, for example. If the best program in the land can schedule a cupcake, everyone else will feel justified following suit.

Then again, there are cupcakes and there are cupcakes. Northeastern is one of the worst FCS schools in the country and are probably headed for extinction in a few years. They have no chance to put up any fight against a program like BC. A UNH or UMass can at least compete for a half before the talent takes over the game.

This is not on the coach. He does not set the schedule. The AD, however, has to think about this stuff when looking for tune-up games. The fans are paying a lot of money to attend games at BC. Most accept there will be one or two softies on the home slate. But, bringing in canon fodder is not in anyone's best interest.


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