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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

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Spring Storylines: Boston College

The defense isn’t the issue: seven starters return from a group that led the A.C.C. in total and rush defense a year ago. The issue, as has been the case in each season since Matt Ryan departed for the N.F.L. following the 2007 season, will be quarterback play. The revolving door of contenders under center began with Dave Shinskie, who started four of B.C.’s first five games but did not attempt a single pass after Oct. 9; continued in part with Mike Marscovetra, who tossed a pair of interceptions in a loss to Notre Dame and was not heard from again; and ended with a true freshman, Chase Rettig, who could have used a redshirt season. Boston College can only hope that Rettig’s first-year struggles lead to improved results in 2011; the season might depend on it, in fact.

Chase Rettig’s development at quarterback. The Eagles will play some defense, as they have for the better part of the last decade. Wholesale improvement, on the other hand, the type of improvement that manifests itself in the win column, will only come with a more consistent effort offensively. Returning Montel Harris is of enormous benefit, but B.C. needs to find better play under center: enter Rettig, who in turn enters his sophomore season as the clear starter at quarterback. The hope is that he uses the spring to develop the type of rapport with his offensive teammates that was hard to come by in 2010, thanks to his mid-season insertion into the starting lineup.

The new offensive coordinator. Gary Tranquill’s retirement allowed Frank Spaziani to make what seems to be an upgrade at offensive coordinator: Tranquill’s replacement is Kevin Rogers, formerly the quarterbacks coach of the Minnesota Vikings. His experience coaching quarterbacks on this high level was clearly a major selling point for Spaziani, who understands the importance of Rettig’s development.

Finding a new left tackle. Anthony Costanzo’s departure opens up a significant hole on the left side of the offensive line: not to continue to harp of Rettig and his importance to this offense, but finding a replacement on his blind side should be of paramount to B.C. and offensive line coach Sean Devine. Will it be John Wetzel, a junior who played in 14 games as Costanzo’s reserve over the last two seasons? Will B.C. move another junior, Emmett Cleary, over from right tackle?

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  1. 31southst says:

    Rogers seems like a clear upgrade over the disaster that was Gary Tranquil, but it’s not all about experience. Tranq had a ton of experience and was awful.

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