Eagles Hope To Suppress LeFevour
|10.29.09 at 8:20 pm ET|
If you looked at Boston College’s schedule this summer and saw Central Michigan the week after Notre Dame, you probably thought that the Eagles would be getting a bit of a breather before heading into the final month of the season.
Well, you would be wrong.
This is not a trap game for the Eagles. In fact, if you are a Central Michigan Chippewa, this may be a trap game for you.
“I think it is more of a trap game for them than us,” senior center Matt Tennant said. “They are 7-1 and are going to be ranked in the Top 25 here soon. We are the ones with the freshman quarterback, guys transferring and everything. We are the ones with nothing to lose, we can just go out there and play, we don’t have to worry about those things.”
Boston College is 5-3 (3-2 ACC) and has been a very up-and-down team this year. Granted, things on Chestnut Hill have gone a little bit better than expected so far, but it is still definitely a team in transition. Central Michigan has won seven straight, including a win over Michigan State, after losing to Arizona in its season opener. The Chippewas have votes in every single poll. Another win over a BCS conference opponent will probably set them into the national rankings and towards a major bowl game. So, Tennant is right, Central Michigan does have more to lose than Boston College. The Eagles are trying to scrap together a respectable season whereas the Chippewas are a rising star.
The star has a name, too: Dan LeFevour. The senior quarterback is near the top of a bunch of NCAA career active lists. First in total offense and career completions. Second in passing yards. Third in touchdown passes. The only other two NCAA quarterbacks on those lists are Colt McCoy (Texas) and Tim Hiller (Western Michigan). You may have heards those names . . . once or twice, perhaps.
LeFevour is a big guy at 6-foot 3-inches, 238 pounds. That is tight end big (actually, LeFevour is the same height as the Chippewas starting tight end, David Blackburn, but outweighs him by five pounds). He can throw. He can run. People say he reminds them of a certain quarterback who plies his wares in the swamps of Florida.
“He reminds you of [Tim] Tebow,” sophomore cornerback Donnie Fletcher said. “He can run, he can throw it. He is pretty hard to bring down in the open field. He makes good reads, has a strong arm. Pretty good quarterback.”
If you are compared to Tebow, that means you are probably a pretty good college quarterback, a runner with size and determination. At the same time, if you share career high lists with McCoy, that means that you also are a well-above average pocket passer. Sound deadly?
It could be.
The Eagles have had a fair amount of trouble stopping opponents’ passing games this year. The soft spot of the Boston College defense is underneath. Opponents have been running routes to clear out the linebackers from the middle and hitting receivers for five yards, gains that often become eight or nine yards. On the outside, the cornerbacks do not play press coverage and quarterbacks know they can hit wide receivers on four-yard slants or outs and let them run.
This hurt Boston College last week against Notre Dame, most evidently on the winning touchdown. Jimmy Clausen hit Golden Tate on a medium corner route and Tate shed Fletcher and raced to the end zone. The Eagles figured they would cede the yardage and make the tackles, as they had all year. But, with a guy like Tate, that is playing with fire and BC got burned.
Central Michigan does not have a receiver like Tate, but that does not mean they have cupcakes on the outside either. The Chippewas depth chart says they start three wide receivers (as opposed to a fullback), all of them upper-classmen — seniors Bryan Anderson and Kito Poblah along with junior Antonio Brown. Of the three, Brown has the best numbers with 48 catches, 544 yards and seven touchdowns on the season but Anderson (33 catches, 436 yards) and Poblah (30 catches, 342 yards) both have numbers similar to the Eagles’ top receiver, senior Rich Gunnell (32 catches, 439 yards, 4 touchdowns).
Boston College does not have a guy like LeFevour under center, and as such, the Eagles feature more of a running game. Still, it is saying something about LeFevour and his receiver corps to have three guys with that level of production.
The Eagles will need to put some pressure on LeFevour, as they have been wont to do this year. That said, hitting LeFevour and actually knocking him down are two separate things entirely.
“He is a big kid, six-three, 240, you know?” defensive end Alex Albright said. “I wouldn’t have a lot of trouble taking on guys, too, most guys are shorter than me. Just lower my shoulder and hope for the best. I think the best thing we got to do is just hit him, you know? Just take advantage of free shots on the quarterback.”
- To Meter and Chach: A Chippewa is a tribe of Native Americans also known as the Ojibwe, located in the northern United States and Canada. The French refer to them as Salteurs. The name “Chippewa” is the English term for “Ojibwa.” From the Central Michigan media guide, “The university’s goals are to use the name with honor and respect, increase supportive connections between CMU and Native Americans, and improve efforts to sensitize students, faculty and staff to Native American traditions and cultures.” Just saying.
- Freshman running back Rolandan Finch, who is expected to take up much of the slack after the departure of Josh Haden from the team, will probably be a game-time decision with some type of illness. Coach Frank Spaziani said that Finch is undergoing blood tests and other medical tests. It is believed Finch has some type of flu or strep throat.