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NC State routs BC; Eagles fall to 2-3

10.09.10 at 7:58 pm ET
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The wheels are quickly falling off the wagon known as the 2010 BC football season.

The latest hazard to crop up came Saturday in Raleigh in the first road test of the season as North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-17 blowout of the Eagles.

It was BC’s third straight loss and also their largest margin of defeat.

The BC defense was unable to find an answer to Wilson, who went 38-for-51 with two picks. Senior linebacker Mark Herzlich was the recipient of one of Wilson’s mistakes, his second interception of the season.

The marquee match up of the day was Tom O’Brien against his former team led by second-year coach Frank Spaziani. O’Brien was at BC for ten years until he left following the 2006 season. BC, (2-3, 0-2 in the ACC), had won the last three meetings with the Wolfpack until Saturday.

The Eagles started quarterback Dave Shinskie who regained his starting posistion after an injury to freshman Chase Rettig and a poor performance by Mike Marscovetra left Spaziani with no other option. Since going 2-0 to start the season, the Eagles have been outscored, 94-30, in losses to Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and N.C. State.

NC State scored its first touchdown off of a blocked punt in the BC end zone which was recovered by D.J. Green to put the Wolfpack up 10-0. NC State never looked back and captured a dominating win over the Eagles on all sides of the ball.

Shinskie turned in another disheartening performance. Shinskie went 7-for-24 with 89 yards passing, one touchdown, and two interceptions. NC State defender C.J. Wilson intercepted a Shinskie pass for a 28-yard touchdown early in the third quarter, putting the Wolfpack up 34-10 and sealing a win for NC State.

Shinskie was replaced in the second half by Marscovetra who later threw a 67-yard pass to Alex Amidon in the fourth quarter for the Eagles’ only points in the second half. Amidon had a big day, highlighted by his touchdown catch, catching three passes for 102 yards.  Marscovetra also threw an interception, providing little hope that he can be the long-term solution the Eagles desperately need at quarterback.

Junior running back Montel Harris had 14  rushes for 53 yards, providing little help for a BC team that was behind early in the game.

Boston College will face #23 ranked Florida State next weekend in another ACC Atlantic battle for the Eagles.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, dave shinskie, frank spaziani

Eagles turn to Shinskie again

10.08.10 at 3:12 pm ET
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After being benched for his three-turnover performance in a 19-0 loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 25, 26-year-old sophomore Dave Shinskie will start once again for the Eagles this Saturday against NC State (4-1, 1-1 ACC). Shinskie will start after his replacement, freshman Chase Rettig, injured his ankle in the first half of the Eagles’ 31-13 loss to rival Notre Dame. Rettig showed some promise against Notre Dame, launching a 58-yard TD pass to freshman Bobby Swigert in the first half.

Sophomore quarterback Mark Marscovetra replaced Rettig against the Fighting Irish and had opportunities to earn a starting job while Shinskie watched from the sidelines. It seems coach Frank Spaziani lost confidence in Marscovetra after the sophomore threw two interceptions while failing to lead the Eagles (2-2) to a single score in the second half.

Shinskie has struggled greatly this season, but he now has the opportunity to prove some doubters wrong after regaining the starting job once again. The quarterback issues have placed serious burdens on the offense and defense, and the Eagles (2-2) likely will continue to struggle until some stability is found at quarterback.

Read More: Chase Rettig, dave shinskie, mark marscovetra,

Five Things We Learned: Rettig can’t take flight

10.03.10 at 12:57 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL ‘€” This is not – by any stretch of the imagination – the way Chase Rettig had it planned in his mind this week.

Boston College and Notre Dame kicked off the 20th chapter of the ‘€œHoly War’€ rivalry with plenty of storylines for both teams. But there was none greater for BC fans than the anticipated debut of true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig for the Eagles.

Rettig’€™s debut was cut short near the end of the first half with an ankle injury that had him leave the field for the rest of the game. Prior to the injury, the Eagles had shown signs of life but an early Notre Dame lead and a putrid second half led to a 31-13 defeat at the hands of the Fighting Irish.

Rettig beat out sophomore Mike Marscovetra for the start after coach Frank Spaziani decided the offense needed a change from quarterback Dave Shinskie. The BC coaching staff had originally intended to redshirt the touted quarterback but early struggles from Shinskie prompted Spaziani to change his plans after a 19-0 shutout at the hands of Virginia Tech.

The Eagles looked stunned out of the gate after the Fighting Irish, led by quarterback Dayne Crist, jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Notre Dame returned the kickoff to midfield on the opening kickoff and four plays later Crist ran the ball for a 7-yard touchdown.

The Eagles were unable to respond in their first three drives after Rettig was unable to complete a pass on his first four attempts. Notre Dame proceeded to score on two of their next three possessions to bring the score to 21-0 with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. Crist threw two touchdowns to Kyle Rudolf and Theo Riddick in addition to his scramble score.

After failing to reach a first down on their first three possessions, BC scored when Rettig completed a 58-yard touchdown strike to freshman receiver Bobby Swigert, the team’€™s longest pass of the season. On Notre Dame’€™s next drive, sophomore Luke Kuechly recovered a Cierre Wood fumble in Irish territory at the 45-yard line.

Suddenly, Boston College had some desperately-needed life. The Eagles failed to reach the end zone but freshman kicker Nate Freese drilled an impressive 49-yard field goal to cut the Irish lead to 21-10. Freese’€™s field goal was BC’€™s longest since a Sando Sciortino 49-yard kick in 2002. However, an ankle injury to Rettig forced the BC offense to substitute Marscovetra early halfway through the second quarter. Rettig’€™s return to the field remained questionable for the rest of the first half after going 5-for-10 attempts with 72 yards and a touchdown.

Irish running back Armando Allen’€™s fumble on the next drive was recovered by BC safety Dominick LeGrande to the ND 13-yard line but Marscovetra was unable to move the ball for the Eagles, resulting in Freese’€™s 25-yard field goal. Thanks to a suddenly resolved defense and a deep pass by Rettig, the Eagles reduced their deficit to 21-13. Neither team reached the end zone for the rest of the half but Notre Dame struck back with a 37-yard field goal from David Ruffer to give the Irish the halftime lead of 24-13.

The second half began with the announcement that Rettig would not return to play for the Eagles. With Marscovetra at the helm, the offense was not able to replicate any success to the tune of zero points in the second half. Notre Dame scored their fourth touchdown on Armando Allen’€™s two-yard run that put the Fighting Irish up 31-13.

Allen’€™s score proved to be the last points of the game with neither team scoring in the fourth quarter. For the second straight game, Boston College failed to score any points in the second half while trailing. The crowd of 44,500 in Alumni Stadium left disappointed after the Eagles’€™ second straight loss, both to rivals ND and Virginia Tech.

Decisions to be made on quarterbacks following injury

Players, fans, and coaches left the game wondering what could have been if the debut of Chase Rettig had not been cut short in the first half. After struggling to communicate and connect with his receivers, Rettig settle down and showed promise at quarterback for the Eagles. Rettig showed comfort in the pocket and was even willing to scramble when the talented Irish defense applied pressure. Most importantly, Rettig avoided double coverage and refused to give the ND defense a chance to create turnovers. After the game the X-ray of the left ankle of Rettig was ruled negative but was sprained.

‘€œI’€™m pretty sure I was leaving the pocket and I did a spin move back and I think a defender that was trailing me just slid into my ankle. So I sprained my ankle. We’€™ll know more tomorrow,’€ said Rettig as he described his injury.

The decision will have to be made if Rettig will be able to return in the future or if the BC coaching staff will seek a medical redshirt for the freshman quarterback.

Marscovetra’€™s performance showed why Rettig took over the starting job in their week long competition to replace Dave Shinskie. Marscovetra looked completely out of sync with the offense and was unable to lead BC to a single score in the second half. The sophomore quarterback finished with 22-for-37 attempts with 193 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Bobby Swigert had a game high 137 yards on 7 receptions including BC’€™s only touchdown of their past two games. Turnovers, penalties, decision making, and play calling were once again problems for the Eagles offense. Eagles fans should be disappointed that the offense continued to struggle without much improvement after failing to score a point last Saturday.

Numerous passes were dropped by the young receiving core of the BC offense and running back Montel Harris was unable to break free from the Irish defense. Harris had 15 rushes for 28 yards and was consistently stopped at the line of scrimmage as Brian Kelly and the ND coaching staff was able to focus on preventing the elusive junior from finding open field.

‘€œThere are certain things that we have to be able to do. We have to be able to run the ball,’€ said Spaziani. ‘€œWe left a lot of plays out there. We dropped a few passes that would have helped. We can’€™t go back and keep throwing the ball all over the place.’€

BC defense exposed early by Fighting Irish

After giving up no more than 20 points in any of their first three games, the BC defense gave up 21 points to the Fighting Irish in the first quarter. Dayne Crist exposed the defense for 203 yards, two passing touchdowns, and one rushing score. Brian Kelly’€™s offensive game plan took advantage of open spaces over the middle of the field and simply gained more points than the Eagles offense was capable of scoring. Junior defensive back Donnie Fletcher was able to come up with Crist’€™s only interception in the second half but the Eagles were unable to take advantage.

Armando Allen found multiple holes in the BC offense to the tune of 90 yards on 19 carries including his 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The talented linebacker corps of the Eagles was unable to close the gaps quick enough to stop Allen or reach Crist, coming up with only one sack.

‘€œI don’€™t think it’€™s as much as what they’€™re doing to us as what we’€™re doing to ourselves,’€ said Luke Kuechly. ‘€œWe came out flat. They start rolling like that and getting down in the red zone and there’€™s not much you can do. We had good play calls we just couldn’€™t execute on defense.’€

Kuechly extended his nation-leading streak of double-digit tackles to 13 with a 14 tackle performance against the Irish.  Senior defensive tackle Damik Scafe forced two fumbles, resulting in six points for BC in the first half. Senior linebacker Mark Herzlich recorded only two tackles in the game in his return to the Holy War after missing last season’€™s contest while battling Ewing’€™s Sarcoma.

Notre Dame’€™s offense was one of the most talented units that the Eagles defense will face this season but the result was disheartening considering the weight placed on the defense’€™s shoulders by the team’€™s offensive struggles. After another week of offensive futility, it is clear that the burden placed on Kuechly, Herzlich, and the rest of the defense is as heavy as ever.

Notre Dame regains control of Holy War

Boston College entered the twentieth edition of the Holy War with a chance to tie the series against the Fighting Irish. The Holy War highlights the matchup between the only two Catholic universities that play in the FBS. The winner of the game is awarded two trophies each year, the Frank Leahy Memorial Bown and the Ireland Trophy. The Eagles had won the previous six contests dating back to a 21-17 victory in Alumni Stadium on Oct. 27, 2001. After their second straight defeat to ND, Boston College now trails 9-11 in the series that dates back to 1975.

Irish coach Brian Kelly won his first meeting of the rivalry while Frank Spaziani moves to 0-2 in his tenure as head coach of the Eagles. Officials from both schools agreed in June to an extension that will face the programs off six more times through 2019. The next meeting will take place next year in South Bend where the Irish won last year’€™s matchup 20-16.

Eagles struggling at wrong time

The Eagles finished their four-game home stand to begin the season at 2-2. BC’€™s two victories were against Weber State and Kent State but they have struggled mightily against athletic teams like Virginia Tech and ND. BC should have finished no less than 3-1 to start the season in Alumni Stadium. The next five games on the Boston College schedule are against opposing ACC Atlantic division teams. This means one thing: the Eagles must get their team together.

BC will travel to face a talented NC State team next Saturday. NC State (4-1, 1-1 ACC) had been ranked #23 until losing to Virginia Tech 41-30 Saturday. The Eagles must find a way to win against Atlantic foes in order to have a hope at turning the corner on their early struggles.  Three of their next five games will be away from the friendly confines of Alumni Stadium, where BC has traditionally thrived. However, the two straight BC losses have been the first time that they have lost consecutive games at home since 2003.

Read More: Boston College, Chase Rettig, Notre Dame,

Injured BC QB Chase Rettig won’t return to debut

10.02.10 at 10:39 pm ET
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The anticipated debut of true freshman Chase Rettig was cut short in the first half when Rettig suffered an ankle injury. Rettig was injured on a scramble that set up Nate Freese’s 49-yard field goal.

Sophomore Mike Marscovetra filled in for Rettig for the rest of the half with Rettig’s return questionable. At the start of the second half, it was announced that Rettig would not return to the game, leaving Marscovetra at the helm with the Fighting Irish leading 24-13.

Rettig finished the first half 5-10 attempts passing with 58 yards and a touchdown. Marscovetra was 4-7 attempts with 47 yards in relief. There have been no signs that coach Frank Spaziani will choose to play quarterback Dave Shinskie so far in the contest.

Read More: Boston College, Chase Rettig, Mike Marscovetra, Notre Dame

Halftime summary: Notre Dame 24, BC 13

10.02.10 at 10:11 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College and Notre Dame kicked off the 20th meeting of the ‘€œHoly War’€ rivalry with plenty of headlines present for both teams but none greater than the anticipated debut of true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig for the Eagles.

Rettig beat out sophomore Mike Marscovetra for the start after coach Frank Spaziani decided the offense needed a change from quarterback Dave Shinskie. The BC coaching staff had originally intended to redshirt the touted quarterback but early struggles from Shinskie prompted Spaziani to change his plans after a 19-0 shutout at the hands of Virginia Tech.

Saturday’€™s contest began with little encouragement for the Eagles after the Fighting Irish, led by quarterback Dayne Crist, jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Notre Dame returned the kickoff to midfield on the opening kickoff and four plays later Crist ran the ball for a 7-yard touchdown.

The Eagles were unable to respond in their first three drives after Rettig failed to complete a pass on his first five attempts. Notre Dame proceeded to score on two of their next three possessions to bring the score to 21-0 with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. Crist threw two touchdowns to Kyle Rudolf and Theo Riddick in addition to his scramble score.

After failing to reach a first down on their first three possessions, BC scored when Rettig completed a 58-yard touchdown strike to freshman receiver Bobby Swigert. On Notre Dame’€™s next drive, senior linebacker Mark Herzlich forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore Luke Keuchly in Irish territory at the 45-yard line.

Suddenly, Boston College had some desperately-needed life. The Eagles failed to reach the end zone but freshman kicker Nate Freese drilled an impressive 49-yard field goal to cut the Irish lead to 21-10. However, an ankle injury to Rettig forced the BC offense to substitute Marscovetra early halfway through the second quarter. Rettig’€™s return to the field remained questionable for the rest of the first half after going 5-for-10 attempts with 72 yards and a touchdown.

Irish running back Armando Allen’€™s fumble on the next drive was recovered by BC safety Dominick LeGrande to the ND 13-yard line but Marscovetra was unable to move the ball for the Eagles, resulting in Freese’€™s 25-yard field goal. Thanks to a suddenly resolved defense and a deep pass by Rettig, the Eagles reduced their deficit to 21-13. Neither team reached the end zone for the rest of the half but Notre Dame struck back with a 37-yard field goal from David Ruffer.

With Rettig’€™s return questionable and continued inconsistency by the BC offense, the Eagles will have to make sure they can find ways to score against the Irish in the second half. At the end of the first half, the Fighting Irish lead 24-13 in a nationally televised showdown between the two Catholic programs.

Read More: Boston College, Brian Kelly, Chase Rettig, Dayne Crist

Frank Spaziani: ‘We don’t know’ QB yet

09.29.10 at 12:52 pm ET
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Boston College football coach Frank Spaziani refuted a report that the Eagles already selected freshman Chase Rettig to start Saturday night’s game at home vs. Notre Dame. Speaking on the ACC Football Coaches Media Teleconference on Wednesday afternoon, Spaziani said: “That hasn’t been announced yet. We don’t know who we’re going with yet.”

Rettig and Mike Marscovetra have been battling in practice this week for the right to replace Dave Shinskie, who has struggled in the early going for the 2-1 Eagles. On Saturday, BC lost to Virginia Tech 19-0, the Eagles’ first shutout in 12 years.

“We’ve made the change because we weren’t satisfied with the production we were getting at that position,” Spaziani said. “So, we decided to go in a little different direction here. What we’re expecting [from the new QB] is a winning performance.”

Spaziani said he has no deadline for choosing the new starter. Said the coach: “I know this: On Saturday night at 8 o’clock, we’ll have one of those guys out there. That’s our timetable.”

Notre Dame heads to Alumni Stadium with a 1-3 record under first-year coach (and Boston-area native) Brian Kelly. After opening the season with a win over Purdue, ND lost heartbreakers to Michigan and Michigan State (in overtime) before a 23-point loss to Stanford last Saturday.

“Notre Dame, despite their 1-3 record, they’re a very good football team,” Spaziani said. “They’re big, strong and fast, and they’re extremely well coached. They have all the pieces in the puzzle there. They’ve just run into a little bit of a buzzsaw early on in the new regime. I’m looking for a very, very good football team to come in here, a very hungry team.”

Notre Dame won last year’s meeting, 20-16, to end a six-game losing streak to BC and take a one-game lead in the all-time series, 10-9.

“When you’re playing Notre Dame, it really doesn’t matter what the record is,” Spaziani said. “Notre Dame is Notre Dame. They’ve got good players, they have good coaching, they have obviously a tremendous tradition. It’s Notre Dame.”

Read More: Chase Rettig, dave shinskie, frank spaziani, Mike Marscovetra

BC hockey ranked No. 1 in preseason poll

09.29.10 at 8:18 am ET
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Coming off its 2010 NCAA championship, the Boston College hockey team earned the No. 1 spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll released this week. Coach Jerry York‘s Eagles had 28 of the 34 first-place votes and amassed 504 points. They sit 42 points ahead of North Dakota, which is followed by Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Yale. Other New England teams in the top 15 include Maine (7), New Hampshire (8) and Boston University (14).

BC opens the season Oct. 9 at Northeastern. The Eagles will raise their 2010 championship banner on Oct. 29 before their home opener against Merrimack.

Read More: Boston College, Jerry York, NCAA hockey poll,

Chase Rettig expected to start at quarterback Saturday

09.29.10 at 7:12 am ET
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According to a Boston Globe report, true freshman Chase Rettig will be the starting quarterback Saturday night when Boston College takes on Notre Dame. Coach Frank Spaziani had said following Saturday’s shutout loss to Virginia Tech that Rettig and Mike Marscovetra would battle for the right to replace Dave Shinskie.

Rettig is a highly regarded, 6-foot-4, 205-pounder from San Clemente, Calif.. The Eagles were expected to redshirt him, but with Shinskie struggling and Marscovetra failing to impress in stints off the bench, Rettig appears to have won the job.

Read More: Chase Rettig, dave shinskie, Frank Spaziano, Mike Marscovetra

Shinskie: ‘I should be the starting quarterback’

09.25.10 at 5:14 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Call it supreme confidence, leadership, misplaced bravado or simply whistling past the graveyard but Dave Shinskie believes he should still be the starting quarterback of the Boston College football team this season.

Even after he was intercepted twice and lost a fumble in Saturday’s 19-0 loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC opener for 2010.

It was the first time in 148 games Boston College was blanked from opening kickoff to final gun since the Hokies did it on the same field Oct. 8, 1998, the year before a quarterback named Michael Vick came to Blacksburg, Va.

There will be plenty of calls for head coach Frank Spaziani to change the starting quarterback this week with Notre Dame on the docket for next Saturday night at Alumni Stadium. And Spaziani admitted after the game he may have already made up his mind to go to either Mike Marscovetra or Chase Rettig.

“What if I have already?” Spaziani quipped, before adding that he won’t let the mystery linger. “We’re not going to go out there and let them line up on their own like gym class.”

But Shinskie isn’t ready to give up the ship.

“I think I should be the starting quarterback,” Shinskie said afterward. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes into being a starting quarterback and I think I have that. That’s all I have to say.”

Shinskie finished 11-of-25 for just 130 yards and two interceptions and a lost fumble. His first interception – picked by Jayron Hosley in the end zone stopped BC’s first real threat in its tracks after reaching the Tech 10. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC football, Boston College, dave shinskie, frank spaziani

What we learned: Virginia Tech 19, Boston College 0

09.25.10 at 3:15 pm ET
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Five Things We Learned: Eagles shut out by Hokies

Virginia Tech and Boston College faced off in an ACC opener on a scorcher of a day for each squad. Game-time temperature was 86 with the readings on the field well over 100.

It was their first meeting in Alumni Stadium since a 28-23 Eagles win two years ago, when it was Virginia Tech that couldn’t manage an offensive touchdown. BC had won 10 of the last 11 games at Alumni entering Saturday. But it was evident early on that the Alumni advantage would not be enough to inspire their offense and keep Virginia Tech from taking revenge with an impressive 19-0 shutout of Boston College on Saturday in front of a crowd of 42,317.

It was the first time BC was shutout since a 17-0 loss to the Hokies on Oct. 8, 1998.

Hokies make opening statement: After winning the coin toss in the ACC opener, the Hokies chose to defer the opening kickoff to their opponents, sending the Eagles a firm message: Beat us with your offense. It was all too clear that the Eagles were not up to the challenge. Running back Montel Harris was able to find the open field for large chunks of yardage to the tune of 111 yards on 19 rushes but he was unable to find the end zone.

‘€œThe offensive line was giving a good push, we just weren’€™t able to finish drives and put points on the board,’€ Harris said. ‘€œWe’€™ve been running a lot of the same plays this week, just trying to make sure with repetition we’€™ll be able to execute our plays and it seemed to work for the time being but we just weren’€™t able to finish off drives. That’€™s what we needed to win.’€

Freshman kicker Nate Freese‘€™s 47-yard field goal attempt fell wide right in the second quarter, the first missed opportunity of his career at BC after making all four of his attempts against Kent State.

Shinskie couldn’€™t handle the ACC heat: The 26-year-old sophomore quarterback looked very uncomfortable and wilted in the heat. The former minor league pitcher threw a shutout on Saturday but was unable to even finish the game before being replaced in the second half. It was 86 degrees outside but the Hokies made sure to add some extra heat. Dave Shinskie looked uncomfortable in a backfield constantly faced with pressure by the Virginia Tech defense. After showing some signs of growth and promise in contests against Weber State and Kent State, Shinskie clearly was unprepared to handle a talented and tenacious Hokies defense. Shinskie went 11-25 with 130 yards and two interceptions and a fumble. Every drive Shinskie faced serious pressure and was unable to maintain any inkling of awareness or composure long enough to provide a legitimate test for the Virginia Tech defense. The VT defense finished the game with six sacks on BC quarterbacks.

Mike Petraglia takes a closer look a quarterback controversy brewing at The Heights.

BC defense all Eagles have to lean on: While it was clear the offense could not put points on the board, the Eagles defense played a solid game against a potent Virginia Tech attack that was given great field position thanks to three BC turnovers. Linebackers Luke Kuechly and Mark Herzlich were constantly in on defensive stops that forced the Hokies to kick four field goals. One of the lone bright spots for the Eagles in the game was created when Kuechly tipped a Tyrod Taylor pass, resulting in Herzlich’€™s first interception since a November 29, 2008 game against Maryland. The BC fans in Alumni for Parents’ Weekend cheered loudly for Herzlich, proud of his comeback from Ewing’s sarcoma. He finished the game with seven tackles as well. Kuechly led the BC defense and finished with 16 tackles, his 12th straight game with double-digit tackles. Freshman linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis also continued his impressive first year with the defense as he recorded 11 tackles, proving that BC has one of the top linebacker units in the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC football, Boston College, dave shinskie, montel harris
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