2011 Season Preview: Boston College players to watch, history and trends

The Clemson Sports Blog

Boston College QB Chase Rettig's main contribution as a true freshman against Clemson last year was handing the ball to RB Montel Harris 36 times for 142 rushing yards in the 16-10 Eagles win. (AP photo/Steve Cannon)

Boston College QB Chase Rettig's main contribution as a true freshman against Clemson last year was handing the ball to RB Montel Harris 36 times for 142 rushing yards in the 16-10 Eagles win. (AP photo/Steve Cannon)

Our analysis on the starters, top backups, history and trends for the Boston College Eagles coming to Death Valley on October 8…

2010 Record: 7-6 (4-4 ACC, fourth in Atlantic Division)

2011 Boston College Schedule

Sept. 3 NORTHWESTERN

Sept. 10 at UCF

Sept. 17 DUKE

Sept. 24 MASSACHUSETTS

Oct. 1 WAKE FOREST

Oct. 8 at Clemson

Oct. 15 OPEN

Oct. 22 at Virginia Tech

Oct. 29 at Maryland

Nov. 3 FLORIDA STATE (Thursday), ESPN, 8 pm

Nov. 12 NC STATE

Nov. 19 at Notre Dame

Nov. 26 at Miami

Boston College coach Frank Spaziani holds The O'Rourke-McFadden, The Leather Helmet trophy after the Eagles beat the Tigers 16-10 in Chenut Hill, Ma.

Boston College coach Frank Spaziani holds The O'Rourke-McFadden, The Leather Helmet trophy after the Eagles beat the Tigers 16-10 in Chenut Hill, Ma.

Coach: Frank Spaziani (16-11 career record, 9-7 in ACC [1-1 vs. Clemson], third year as head coach at BC, 15th year at school).

Offense (2010 ranks): Multiple (Total offense: 109th/Rush offense: 90th/Pass offense: 97th)

Defense (2010 ranks): 4-3 (Total defense: 13th/Rush defense: 1st/Pass defense: 76th).

2010 Special Team Ranks: Net punting – 34th/Kickoff returns – 118th/Punt returns – 104th/Punt return yardage defense – 26th.

2010 Misc. stats: Turnover margin – 22nd/Fewest penalties – 51st/First downs – 116th/First downs allowed – 27th/Third down efficiency – 107th/Red zone efficiency – 76th/Red zone defense – 80th/Time of possession – 87th.

Outgoing starters: 8

2011 Starters (2010 stats)

Returning Offense (7)

QB: Chase Rettig (Sophomore, 1,238 passing yards/51% cmp/6 TD/9 INTs).

RB: Montel Harris (Senior, 1,243 rush yards/112 rec. yards/8 rush TD).

TE: Chris Pantale (Junior, 31 receptions/338 rec. yards/1 TD).

WR: Bobby Swigert (Sophomore, 39 receptions, 504 rec. yards/4 TD); Ifeanyi Momah (Senior, 19 receptions/296 rec. yards/3 TD).

O-line: RT Emmett Cleary (Junior, 6’7 300, 15 career starts); C Mark Spinney (Senior, 6-4 282, 11 career starts).

New Projected Starters (4)

WR: Alex Amidon (Sophomore, 39 receptions/504 rec. yards/4 TD).

O-line: RG Harris Williams (Redshirt freshman, 6-4 307)/RG Ian White (Sophmore, 6’5 288/3 career starts); LG Nathan Richman (Senior, 6-6 300/20 career starts); LT John Wetzel (Junior, 6’8 303).

Boston College QB Chase Rettig started nine games last season as a true freshman and passed for 1,238 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions. (AP photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Boston College QB Chase Rettig started nine games last season as a true freshman and passed for 1,238 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions. (AP photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Outlook: New offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers has the luxury of a returning QB, in Chase Rettig, to engineer the Eagles’ offense, which finished 109th overall last season.

Running back Montel Harris is gunning for school and ACC records when he steps on the field this September. Harris is under 200-yards from the Boston College career yards mark and 1,003 from the ACC career rushing record. It’s been a slow recovery process for the senior from a knee injury sustained against Clemson late last season. He was held out of the BC spring game.

Hoping for a healthier crew this season, Eagles should have one of their more talented and deep wide receiving corps in the ACC back to help the young QB. Sophomore Bobby Swigert led the way with 39 catches for 504 yards and four touchdowns last season.

The o-line had issues with health and adjusting to a new coach in 2010 – BC lists two starters back in center Mark Spinney and right tackle Emmett Cleary, but left guard Nathan Richman has 20 career starts as well between bouts with injuries.

Returning Defense (7)

D-line: DE Max Holloway (Junior, 36 tackles/14 TFL/4 sacks); DT Kaleb Ramsey (Senior, 39 tackles/7.5 TFL/2.5 sacks).

LB: MLB Luke Kuechly (Junior, 183 tackles/10.5 TFL/1.5 sacks); WLB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Sophomore, 93 tackles/2.5 TFL).

DB: CB Donnie Fletcher (Senior, 56 tackles/5 INTs/3 PBU); DB Jim Noel (Junior, 36 tackles/4 INTs/1 TFL); FS Okechukwu Okoroha (Junior, 27 tackles).

New Projected Starters (4)

D-line: DT Dillon Quinn (Sophomore, 11 tackles/1 TFL); DE Kasim Edebali (Sophomore, 13 tackles/1.5 TFL).

LB: SLB Steele Divotto (Sophomore, 20 tackles/0.5 TFL).

DB: DB Dominick Legrande (Senior, 27 tackles/0.5 TFL).

BC defensive backs Jim Noel (23) and Okechukwu Okoroha (27) will both man the Eagles' secondary this season. (AP photo/Michael Dwyer)

BC defensive backs Jim Noel (23) and Okechukwu Okoroha (27) will both man the Eagles' secondary this season. (AP photo/Michael Dwyer)

Outlook: Junior MLB Luke Kuechly led the nation in tackles with 183 last season and takes the mantle of LB leadership with Mark Herzlich’s graduation. As a freshman first-team All-American in ’10, Kevin Pierre-Louis completes a strong duo for the Eagles.

The secondary returns three of their four starters and 75 percent of their interceptions from last year. Freshman four-star prospect Al Louis-Jean may find his way into the regular rotation as well with a unit stacked with seniors and juniors.

Off a team that only had 20 sacks all last season, two of the Eagles’ top three in sacks are back with junior DE Max Holloway and senior DT Kaleb Ramsey.

Returning Kicker/Punter (2)

PK: Nate Freese (Sophomore, 22-25 on FGs, 10-14 from 30+ yards).

P: Ryan Quigley (Senior, 41.5 yards per punt/37.8 net yards per punt).

Outlook: BC could have one of the best kicker units in the nation between PK Nate Freese and P Ryan Quigley. Freese hit a career-long FG of 49-yards as a freshman last season and Quigley hit a 71-yard punt last year.

Notable Backups (2010 stats)

RB: Andre Williams (Sophomore, 461 rushing yards/2 TDs).

WR: Colin Larmond Jr. (Sophomore, 596 rec. yards/5 TDs in 2009 – missed 2010 with knee injury); Shakim Phillips (Sophomore, 1 reception/9 rec. yards).

TE: Lars Anderson (Senior, 257 career rec. yards – had a good spring).

DB: CB Al Louis-Jean (Freshman, four-star prospect).

Clemson University's DeAndre McDaniel intercepts a pass in the third quarter of their game against Boston College University on Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson University's DeAndre McDaniel intercepts a pass in the third quarter of their game against Boston College University on Saturday afternoon.

Clemson/BC recent history: Clemson has lost three of their last five against the Eagles – falling 16-10 last season in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles rode RB Montel Harris to victory with 36 rushes for 142 rushing yards, which snapped a five-game losing streak for Boston College in 2010. Kyle Parker was 21 for 39 passing for 176 yards and two interceptions on the day. Clemson’s lone touchdown came from a Rashard Hall pick-six in the first quarter.

Last time in Death Valley, the Tigers stifled BC for 55 total yards in a game with two lightning delays and torrential downpours – Clemson won 25-7.

Clemson players versus…Boston College: Last year’s game was memorable in the wrong way for RB Andre Ellington as he injured his toe in the fourth quarter against the Eagles. In his career against BC, Ellington has carried 23 times for 87 yards with no touchdowns – two catches for 17 yards as well.

All with only one game against BC statistically, TE Dwayne Allen caught seven passes for 57 yards, WR Bryce McNeal grabbed four for 43 yards, WR Jaron Brown had catches for 15 yards, TE Brandon Ford caught two passes for 14 yards and WR DeAndre Hopkins had one reception for 21 yards.

Punter Dawson Zimmerman averaged 54 yards in ’10 and 44.8 in ’09 on seven punts. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed two of three FG attempts with a 31-yarder made and 44 and 36-yard attempts off the mark.

Clemson safety Rashard Hall intercepts a ball and runs it in for a touchdown in the first quarter in Chesnut Hill, Ma.

Clemson safety Rashard Hall intercepts a ball and runs it in for a touchdown in the first quarter in Chesnut Hill, Ma.

Safety Rashard Hall was one of Clemson’s leaders the last two seasons with a 52-yard pick-six in last year’s game and five tackles with an interception in 2009.

Totaling up the notable defensive stats, DT Brandon Thompson posted nine tackles in three games, safety Jonathan Meeks put up four tackles and an interception in two games, DE Malliciah Goodman grabbed four tackles (sack, three for loss) in two games, and CB Xavier Brewer had four tackles and a pass breakup in one game.

Trends: Favored team has lost three of five – home team is 3-2 in that stretch. BC is 4-4 in ACC road games over the last two seasons.

2010 Schedule/Results

Sept. 4 WEBER STATE – W 38-20

Sept. 11 KENT STATE – W 26-13

Sept. 25 VIRGINIA TECH – L 19-0

Oct. 2 NOTRE DAME – L 31-13

Oct. 9 at NC State – L 44-17

Oct. 16 at Florida State – L 24-19

Oct. 23 MARYLAND – L 24-21

Oct. 30 CLEMSON – W 16-10

Nov. 6 at Wake Forest – W 23-13

Nov. 13 at Duke – W 21-16

Nov. 20 VIRGINIA – W 17-13

Nov. 27 at Syracuse – W 16-7

Jan. 9 vs. Nevada – L 20-13

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