CMU 2-Deep Released
With the depth chart for the season opener up on BCEagles.com, 5 true freshmen are slated to see playing time against the Chippewas. Perhaps the biggest surprises are Alex Albright, who beat out highly-touted redshirt freshman Allen Smith at DE, and Roderick Rollins, named backup CB ahead of junior Brad Mueller. As rumored, Jeff Smith was named to the 2-deep at KR and PR and could also see time at RB; true freshman Jack Geiser out of Texas will be the team's long snapper; and Wes Davis, as expected, will back up Jamie Silva (who was the subject of an excellent Boston Herald article yesterday) at FS. Additionally, there's a good chance that Damik Scafe will see time at DT. Good to see TOB being willing to work some true freshmen into the mix. Some other thoughts:
-Austin Giles is listed as the starter at DE. With Smith not in the 2-deep at all, could we see Giles moved inside on passing downs with Smith brought on as a situational pass rusher??
-What of Clarence Megwa?? The redshirt freshman was superb in the McGillis spring game and, by all accounts, has impressed in practice, yet is not on the 2-deep. I'm expecting big things from the kid this year so let's hope he gets to see the field.
-Pat Sheil's absence and relatively quiet pre-season is also a cause for some concern, given the amount of publicity he received as a recruit. To be honest, I had hoped that he would beat out either Clif Ramsey or Carlos Huggins at one of the backup tackle positions. Having previously dated a girl who went to high school with Sheil my worry is that he may be sitting out with some sort of exotic, heretofore unknown venereal disease contracted from her. In all seriousness, however, my prediction is that Sheil sees snaps against CMU and works his way onto the 2-deep by early October.
-It appears that the Kevin Akins to LB experiment is for real and not just a product of my nightmares, and furthermore that Billy Flutie was not given a chance to challenge Ryan Ohliger for the starting kicking job. Seriously, the Akins thing just fucking boggles my mind. We're already deep and athletic at LB and thin at CB, what the hell is the point of taking a big, athletic kid who played very well in limited action at CB as a redshirt freshman and moving him to LB, a position he is woefully undersized for?? I hope Akins excels at LB but I'd rather see him moved back to the secondary, where he belongs. Even if Roderick Rollins excels as a true freshman and even if Brad Mueller finally lives up to his potential, that would STILL leave us thin at CB (Larry Anam is a converted safety, Taji Morris doesn't do anything for me, DeJuan Tribble is a very good player but undersized). Maybe Akins will be used as a hybrid LB/DB in nickel and dime situations--of course, that would require the staff actually installing nickel and dime packages in the first place.
It seems, according to this Herald article, that Jolonn Dunbar is emerging as a true leader on the defensive side of the ball. Can't wait to see the orange mohawk.
On to the game itself--I'll be honest and say that I don't know much about this CMU team, but I will say that I'm not as worried as some about recent reports that TOB is worried about the lack of enthusiasm being shown in late-summer practices. For one thing, this is common late in teams' preseasons, as guys are sick of running drills and want to go out there and hit people full speed. For another thing, I'm not sure how much enthusiasm I'd show about practicing the team's 4 plays on each side of the ball over and over again. ("Let's see, on offense we have...run right, run left, throw to the FB in the flats, and screen pass to the wideout--OK, today we're gonna work on run right until we get it down!!") That said, I stand by my earlier prediction of a 38-9 BC victory. BC will come out flat and the game will be frighteningly close, 10-6 maybe, at the half, but Matty Ice will rally the troops in the locker room (because Christ knows TOB won't do it) and the good guys will come out firing in the 2nd half and put away the Chippewas. I'm sensing a big game for LV Whitworth, and the Chips' QB controversy will not help their cause.
What the fuck does it say about the state of our program when the Winston-Salem Journal has higher hopes for our team's performance than its own coaching staff?? Incidentally, did anyone catch the TOB Show on WEEI last night?? I tried tuning in online but got an endless loop of commercials rather than the show itself. I'd be interested to hear what sort of softball questions the pre-screeners actually allowed through. ("Hey Coach O'Brien, big fan, my question is how do you plan to approach the OOC games this year?? BYU is a superb program with tons of history and Maine knocked off Mississippi State on the road two years ago. Those should be tough tests for BC and how do you plan to overcome them??")
BC has announced its tailgating hours for the upcoming season. With the exception of BYU (noon kickoff, 2 hours), 3 hours of tailgating will be allowed prior to each game with 1-2 hours allowed afterwards (except for the Virginia Tech night game, after which the lots will close immediately). Better, but still not good. BC needs to improve its tailgating situation as part of an overall campaign to draw a bigger fanbase--but that is the subject of a future post.
Finally, congratulations to Brian Toal for being named to the Butkus Award watch list.