|The BC QB race||09.12.09 at 8:48 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL – Frank Spaziani realizes when it comes to quarterbacks, two heads are not better than one.
The quarterback in the undeniable leader of the offense, if not the entire team and it’s practically impossible to go through a season platooning signal-callers. About the only place it works is at the post-game press table, where Justin Tuggle and Dave Shinskie shared the time as smoothly as they have on the field.
In the first two games, in which BC has outscored Northeastern and Kent State, 88-7, Shinskie and Tuggle have taken the reigns of the offense two series at a time. But now, with the ACC opener on the horizon next week at Clemson, Spaziani knows the time for experimenting is over.
“We never talked in those terms, as far as ACC play but there is a point where in order to make progress, we can’t practice the way we’re practicing right now,” Spaziani said. “We would have liked to have done it sooner and then we would’ve made some more progress. But that’s where we’re at. It’s a long journey with this team. You still have to understand that it’s still a very, very young football team in a lot of aspects.”
A very, very young team that’s about to send one quarterback into the teeth of the Tigers down in South Carolina.
“I think we’re both ready to do this, take the job,” Tuggle said after his 6-for-12 performance for 150 yards. “It’s just a matter of who and when they’re going to announce it. We’re both capable of going out there and scoring touchdowns and getting the job done. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”
Tuggle, a redshirt freshman, may have made the play of the game when he along with running back Montel Harris sold the play-fake, allowing Colin Larmond, Jr. to get open for a 57-yard TD pass on the first drive of the game.
“I think each and every day we go out to practice, we work to lead this team,” Tuggle said. “It’s not going to be a big (decision). It’s not like we’re going to jump into a role that you’re not accustomed to because this is what we’ve been doing all summer, preparing to lead the team. It’s not going to be that big of a deal, whoever gets it, me or Dave. We’re both ready. We both went out and performed the last two Saturdays and we’re just ready for whatever task lays at hand.”
Shinskie, meanwhile, completed 9-of-16 passes for 73 yards, a 21-yard TD pass to Rich Gunnell. He was intercepted once.
“Anxious, yeah. But at the same time, why spoil a good thing?” Shinskie seemed to be asking as if he already knew his fate. “Every day we go out and we tell each other, ‘We’re going to get this done.’ If he names one of us as a starter, it’s not going to change. We’re still going to go out and support each other, no matter who’s in.”
“That’s definitely (true),” Tuggle added. “I agree with what he’s said. We want to know who it’s going to be but there’s a bigger issue going on. We have to lead the team, both of us. I tell Dave every game, ‘We have to do this. We have to lead this team.’ And he agrees. We have to be page as everyone else and we have to be positive.”
Spaziani has been leaving the offense in the hands of his coordinator Gary Tranquill, a 69-year-old offensive guru.
“It’s been fine,” Spaziani said. “It’s really a tribute to those guys’ coaching over there. It just validates Gary and that staff and those guys and what they’ve done. They know how to coach and they know what to do. They’ve got a plan and I couldn’t be more happy.”
Indeed, Spaziani may already know his man for the QB job already.
“I would have like things to separate and make it more clear,” Spaziani said. “This is where we’re at and it’s worked out well so far.”
Even true freshman Michael Marscovetra and Codi Boek got into the game under center, with Marscovetra throwing an incomplete pass. Boek was the only QB not to throw a pass.
But for all intents and purposes, this has been a two-horse race. And it’s in the home stretch.