Personnel Preview: BC Offense

A detailed look at Boston College's offensive starters and key reserves for Saturday night's contest vs. the Irish.

Notre Dame
Boston College
Saturday, October 2nd
Alumni Stadium
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
8:00 EST


The Boston College Offense:

BC Offense '10 Rank Per Game ND Defense '10 Rank Per Game
Rushing Offense #93 115.00 Rushing Defense #98 189.75
Pass Offense #73 207.00 Pass Defense #92 244.00
Pass Eff. #75 124.32 Pass Eff. #69 125.99
Total Offense #92 322.00 Total Defense #103 433.75
Scoring Offense #90 21.33 Scoring Defense #85 27.75

Dave Shinskie, the 26-year-old signal-caller who posted a career-best yardage effort vs. the Irish in South Bend last season, has been removed from his starting role after a rough start to the season, exacerbated by a two-interception, fumble, and 130-yard passing effort in a shutout loss to Virginia Tech last Saturday.

Regardless, the Eagles remain a run-first offense, predicated on ball control, field position and playing most contests close to the vest in an effort to augment the efforts of their stellar, hard-hitting and opportunistic defense.

Anticipated Depth Chart

  Chase Rettig, Fr. 0-0-0 0/0 - -
  Mike Marscovetra, So. 8-13-92 1/1 61.5

Chase Rettig – January enrollee competed in the Under Armour All-America game last January in Orlando. Rettig has yet to attempt a collegiate pass but could start and will likely play Saturday vs. the Irish. According to's Matt Alkire, Rettig possessed a strong arm and pocket presence coming out of high school, though he showed sporadic accuracy.

As of Wednesday morning, I expect the 6'3" 210-pound Rettig to earn the start Saturday (or at least take the bulk of the snaps), though we'll update the situation as announced by Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani (and IrishEyes favorite from 2009).

Mike Marscovetra – The 6'4" 210-pound sophomore completed five of seven passes for 50 yards last week in a mop-up role vs. Virginia Tech. Marscovetra lost the starting job last fall to the now-deposed Dave Shinskie (279 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 INT vs. the Irish last year). As a true freshman last season, Marscovetra completed 10 of 16 passes for two touchdowns in relief during a blowout loss at Virginia Tech.

  RB Hgt/Wgt Rushes-Yards
  Montel Harris, Jr. 5-10, 200 167/306, 1 TDs
  Sterlin Phifer, RS-Fr. 5-10, 213 12/69 0 TDs

Montel Harris – The workhorse back has averaged 102 yards per game over the first three weeks. Harris piled up 1,457 rushing yards last season, scoring 14 touchdowns on 308 carries. Then a sophomore, Harris was one of just four players to carry the ball more than 300 times, piling up eight separate 100-yard rushing games in the process.

The Irish run defense produced its best outing of 2009 vs. Boston College last season in South Bend, limiting Harris to 38 yards on 22 carries while keeping him out of the end zone. The effort came one week after Harris torched North Carolina State for set a BC record 264 rushing yards and five touchdowns, largely from the newly-adopted Wildcat formation.

Harris enters Saturday's contest with 2,663 career rushing yards; with a 97-yard effort vs. the Irish, the junior would move into sixth place on the program's all-time rushing list. Should he stay for his senior season, Harris has a chance at Derrick Knight's (2000-03) school record 3,725 yards.

Sterling Phifer – Provided Harris with an occasional break in the first two contests, carrying 11 times for 70 yards including a 33-yard burst in the opener vs. Weber State. The redshirt-freshman scored the first touchdown of his career on a 22-yard reception during the season-opening win. Phifer was a non-factor in the team's only BCS matchup of the season, losing a yard on his only rush attempt vs. Virginia Tech 

  FB Hgt/Wgt Recpts-Yards
  James McCluskey , Sr. 6-2, 252  - -
  Codi Boek , Sr. 6-3, 239  - -

James McCluskey – The battering ram lead blocker has 20 career starts despite recovery from both a broken leg (suffered vs. the Irish in 2008) and a torn Achilles tendon over the last two years. McCluskey first earned a starting role as a redshirt-freshman in 2007, starting 11-win Eagles.  

Codi Boek – Senior special teams contributor also served as a backup quarterback, throwing four passes last season as the Eagles attempted to nail down a starter in September 2009. Boek started four games at fullback in 2008 after McCluskey's leg injury. Was considered a dual-threat QB at American River JC after the 2007 season.  

  WR Hgt/Wgt Stats
  Ifeanyi Momah, Sr. 6-6, 240  5 rcpts/65 yds/1 TDs
  Clyde Lee, So. 6-0, 193  10 rcpts/102 yds/1 TDs
  J. Coleman, Rs-Fr. 6-4, 214  8 rcpts/173 yds/0 TDs
  Bobby Swigert, Fr. 6-1, 180  5 rcpts/66 yds/1 TDs

Ifeanyi Momah – Tall, powerful target presents an immediate matchup problem for the Irish outside, especially in the occasional Cover Zero (man-to-man) looks the secondary began to employ last week vs. Stanford. Momah redshirted last season but made his presence felt in the Eagles' 17-0 win over the Irish in their last trip to Chestnut Hill, blocking a Notre Dame punt to set up the Eagles with a first down inside the Irish red zone.

Momah, who has also appeared at defensive end this season, has four career touchdown receptions including a 17-yard grab in the 2010 season opener.  

Clyde Lee – Appeared in all 11 games last season after serving a redshirt-year in 2008. Lee leads the Eagles in receptions including nine for 96 yards and a touchdown over the last two contests.  

Johnathan Coleman – Leads the team with 173 rushing yards though 98 occurred in the season-opener vs. FCS opponent Weber State. At 6'4" 215, Coleman serves as part of a potentially tough red zone duo with the massive Momah, though the redshirt-freshman has yet to hit pay dirt in three career games.  

Bobby Swigert – The true freshman target has caught five passes and a touchdown over the last two contests. A versatile athlete, the Ohio prep performer was an all-conference defensive back while playing both wide receiver and quarterback in three varsity seasons. Swigert also serves as a backup punt return option for veteran DeLeon Gause.  

  TE Hgt/Wgt Stats
  Chris Pantale, So. 6-6, 248  5 rcpts/63 yds/ 1 TDs
  Lars Anderson, Jr. 6-3, 240  4 rcpts/43 yds/ 0 TDs

Chris Pantale – Has five receptions and a touchdown to his credit this season though he was shut-out last week vs. Virginia Tech. Pantale has posted 16 career starts including the nod in last year's loss to the Irish, a game in which he snared a 22-yard reception on 3rd and 12 to set up BC's only touchdown of the day. Started 11 games last season as a redshirt-freshman.

Lars Anderson – Started both of the last two contests in the Eagles' preferred two tight end sets. Anderson has started 13 career games including last year's 20-16 loss to the Irish in South Bend. As the Eagles move tight end ("F-Back"), Anderson's main function is to pave the way for Harris as another lead blocker in the backfield. Anderson caught eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown last season and has two receptions in excess of 30 yards in his career, including one in the 2010 season-opener.  

  Offensive Line Hgt/Wgt Experience
  LT Anthony Castonzo, Sr. 6-7, 308 44 Starts
  LG Emmett Cleary, So. 6-7, 300 7   Starts
  C Nathan Richman , Jr. 6-6, 300 13 Starts
  RG Mark Spinney, Jr 6-4, 282 1   Starts
  RT Rich Lapham, Sr. 6-8, 323 28 Starts

Anthony Castonzo – One of the top left tackles in college football, Castonzo has started every game since he set foot on campus (44 consecutive) and is a member of the pre-season Watch List for the Lombardi Award and a first-team All-America selection by Lindy's magazine. The senior captain is also a Rhodes Scholarship nominee. He's started each of the last three contests vs. the Irish (in which the Eagles hold a 2-1 edge) and was a key cog in Montell Harris' 8 100-yard rushing efforts last season.

Castonzo allowed just one sack in 650 snaps last season and graded out with just nine missed assignments in the 2009 season. The senior has allowed just two sacks since the start of his sophomore year.

Emmett Cleary – The redshirt-sophomore appeared in 12 games last season, starting four while earning the left guard nod in each of the Eagles three 2010 contests.

Nathan Richman – Has started 13 career games including 10 at left guard last season. The redshirt-juniors head-to-head matchup vs. Irish nose guard Ian Williams serves as a key to Saturday's contest and to the power running approach of the Eagles.

Mark Spinney – Started his first career game last week vs. Virginia Tech after appearing in seven contests last year. A redshirt-junior, Spinney sat out two season before cracking the lineup in 2009.

Rich Lapham – The 5th-year senior is the largest (tallest and heaviest) member of the Eagles front and a veteran of 28 starts including two straight vs. the Irish. Top Stories