Monday Morning Quarterback

The win over CMU was not a thing of beauty, but it was a very solid victory. Central Michigan may be a MAC school, but they play good football. There were certainly plenty of reasons to think they would give Boston College a tough time of it. In the first half that certainly looked to be the case, but it turned in the second half, resulting in a blowout.

Most experts had this one circled as a potential trap game for BC. A tough loss the week before coupled with some turmoil on the roster made the Eagles look vulnerable. Central Michigan is not just another MAC scrub either. They are a good team that has no fear of playing the big boys. But, the coaches got the kids ready and had a good plan to shut down the CMU offense.

It was not a perfect performance. The Eagles were flat in the first half and had trouble figuring out how to move the ball against CMU. Dave Shinskie looked like a guy still thinking about all those interceptions last week. Whatever the coaches said at the half worked, as BC game out and steam rolled CMU in the third quarter, turning a close game into a blowout.

It is the second half of the game that had some curious moves by the coaches. After the first ten minutes of the third quarter, the game was over as a practical matter. BC had scored three times to take a three score lead. Barring some extraordinary turn of events, BC was going to coast to a comfortable win.

CMU made one last shot at keeping it close with their final drive of the third quarter. LeFevour threw the ball four times, the last one picked off by Fletcher at the forty. BC threw it a few times and then punted away. That's when the CMU coach put up the white flag and pulled LeFevour for his backup. That's the universal sign that the game will now be turned over to the second team's guys.

Oddly, BC elected to leave Harris in the game and run him into the line. If there was one guy you take off the field at the first chance it is Harris. He is the only tailback right now. He has been carrying the load all season and is dinged up like everyone else on the team. Putting McCluskey in for the rest of the game would have been the wise move. The last thing BC needs is an injury to Harris.

Eventually, they took him out but only after he suffered what looked like a stinger. Every BC fan must have been hiding their eyes at the sight of Harris going off holding his shoulder. He is the one guy on the offense BC cannot afford to lose, even for a series. It seems the smart move would have been getting him out as soon as possible.

Along the same lines, we did not see Marscovetra until it was time to take a knee. At various times during the season, we heard about the importance of getting Marscovetra time in real action. That's why they planned to put him in during the first half of games. At Virginia Tech, they put him in when the offense was backed up in its own end.

In this one, they had a whole quarter to get the kid some reps. With no one else able to backup Shinskie now, it seems like this one was the perfect time to get Marscovetra into the game for an extended period. The CMU offense was dormant and the game was out of hand for a long time in the second half. Even putting him for a series in the third quarter would have worked. Instead, he got one play at the very end.

On defense, we saw some of the same. For some reason, Damik Scafe played just about every down. He has been banged up all season and this was a game where they could have got him some rest. It was well into the third quarter before we saw the second team guys on the line get time on the field. Guys like Holloway did not enter the game until the fourth quarter.

The point here is that it has been a long run of games up to the bye week. Not surprisingly, the team has a fair share of guys battling injuries right now. That's football and there is not much to be done about it. That's why there is a difference between injured and hurt. If you can play, you play and just live with the pain.

That said, when you have a chance to rest some guys, you take it. Spaziani ran a tough summer camp and is not letting off the gas much in practice. That's not a bad thing as BC is one of the better conditioned teams in the league. But, there is a limit. It seems like the Central Michigan game was a good time to back off a little, at least in the second half.


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