ACC: Rolandan Finch

We wrap up our series looking at the strongest and weakest position for each team in the ACC with Boston College.

Strongest position: Linebacker.

The Eagles return two of their starters from a year ago, and they are going to try to build their defense around them. Steele Divitto and Kevin Pierre-Louis are going to be relied upon to be the leaders of this group as it takes on a more aggressive scheme under new coordinator Don Brown. Anybody who watched UConn over the last several years saw how their linebackers thrived in the scheme. Divitto and Pierre-Louis were extremely productive a year ago and have the opportunity to be even better now. Divitto finished second on the team with 92 tackles, while Pierre-Louis finished fifth with 85. Leading tackler Nick Clancy is gone, but the Eagles do return six of their top seven players on the depth chart from a year ago.

Weakest position: Running back.

Coach Steve Addazio has said the depth is alarming here, and for good reason. Andre Williams established himself as the No. 1 back with a terrific spring practice, but there really is nobody reliable behind him at this point. Rolandan Finch is gone, while Tahj Kimble is coming off a knee injury and his status for practice remains up in the air. David Dudeck is the backup going into August, so it seems pretty clear the Eagles are going to have to rely on the two running backs they signed in February to play immediately. Addazio has said repeatedly he wants to be a physical team and to establish the run first. But he does not have the types of backs he did at Temple a year ago. Still, Williams did show potential this spring. Just a little more depth would help this group out tremendously.

For more on this series, click here.
By all accounts, Boston College has very little in the way of depth at running back and receiver -- two major areas of concern for the Eagles as fall practice nears.

Coach Steve Addazio, in fact, called the depth at running back "alarming" because there is essentially nobody proven behind Andre Williams. Rolandan Finch is gone; Tahj Kimble is coming off ACL surgery and his status for practice remains up in the air. That essentially leaves David Dudeck as the backup going into August, and the Eagles hoping one of the two running backs they signed in February can come in and play immediately.

While the Eagles were happy with the way Williams stepped up this spring, depth is absolutely necessary at the position -- especially when you consider the way this team plans on running the ball.

"Depth is obviously a major concern," offensive coordinator Ryan Day said in a recent phone interview. "It’s something we’re trying to address, but at the same time we can’t draft anybody so we’re going to have to manage the best we can. Dudeck did a good job this spring. He hasn’t played much running back. He got throwing into the fire last year, but he’s getting better. He’s going to have to provide some depth."

The Eagles don't have anybody proven at receiver beyond Alex Amidon, either. Addazio said it appears as if Bobby Swigert will miss this season and take a medical redshirt because of setbacks to his injured knee. Spiffy Evans will be relied upon to take on a much bigger role this season, and Day mentioned Dan Crimmins as a player who needs to step up as well.

"We need that group right there to come along faster than they did this spring," Day said. "They’ve been challenged by the head coach himself, by myself by their position coach. Alex has played a lot of football here, but overall, that’s a pretty young group. Alex has to help those guys come along and show them how it is to be a Division I college receiver, and the work it takes. The challenge has been set forth with those guys."

Boston College spring wrap

May, 7, 2013
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2012 record: 2-10

2012 conference record: 1-7 (sixth in the Atlantic Division)

Returning starters: Offense: 8; Defense: 8; kicker/punter 1

Top returners:

QB Chase Rettig, TB Andre Williams, WR Alex Amidon, DE Kasim Edebali, DT Kaleb Ramsey, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB Steele Divitto, PK Nate Freese

Key losses:

LT Emmett Cleary, RT John Wetzel, TE Chris Pantale, LB Nick Clancy, SS Jim Noel

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Williams* (599 yards)

Passing: Rettig* (3,065)

Receiving: Amidon* (1,210)

Tackles: Clancy (145)

Sacks: Pierre-Louis* (2)

Interceptions: Spenser Rositano* (3)

Spring answers:

1. The players are buying in. First-year coach Steve Addazio said the one thing he felt great about this spring was the team’s willingness to adjust to the staff and its changes. “This is a group of guys that really took well to tough coaching, to accountability, to the concept that we need to be a real team and we need to be accountable to each other, and build some physical and mental toughness.”

2. Running back Andre Williams can be a star. Addazio has made the running game a priority, and Williams is going to have to carry the load, especially after the departure of Rolandan Finch. “I thought Andre had one of the best springs of anybody,” Addazio said. “… I just really am impressed by him.”

3. Ryan Day helped ease the transition on offense. The Eagles’ first-year offensive coordinator was previously on staff as the receivers’ coach, so the players had an easier time adapting to yet another change in coordinator. For Rettig, Day is his fourth coordinator, but no introductions were necessary.

Fall questions:

1. Depth across the board. Addazio said “depth is a problem right now” and it put the staff in a predicament this spring because they wanted to promote toughness, but also keep guys healthy. While he did say the staff “developed the lineup up front,” the team can’t afford injuries to key players.

2. Can the defense get back to its traditionally stingy self? BC returns eight of its top nine tacklers from last season, but the defense has been learning a new attacking scheme under first-year coordinator Don Brown. Things can only get better, as BC ranked No. 111 in rushing defense last season, and No. 100 in total defense. How quickly the Eagles improve, though, depends upon the learning curve this summer.

3. The running game. It was nonexistent last season. While BC’s top running back proved to be dependable this spring, there are still plenty of questions behind him, and this goes back to the issue of depth in No. 1. The Eagles still have Tahj Kimble and David Dudek, but the two combined for 58 carries last season, when BC’s rushing offense was No. 115 in the country.
The rest of the ACC wraps up practice this weekend. Here is a look at what to watch at each spring game.

BOSTON COLLEGE

When: Cancelled.

UPDATE: Boston College decided to cancel its spring game, set for Saturday, because of the tragic events that unfolded in the area this week. Though there is no game, these are still three keys for the Eagles as they move into the offseason.
  • Chase Rettig. Rettig has been through one coordinator too many during his career with the Eagles, and now he has to learn a new system that is not exactly the pro-style brand more suited to him. Coach Steve Addazio has said he will not force Rettig out of his comfort zone this year, but how Rettig handles yet another change is definitely something to watch.
  • The run game. Addazio has placed a heavy emphasis on the run game this spring. Does he have the talent and depth to improve the dreadful numbers from a year ago? With Rolandan Finch gone, senior Andre Williams has been the guy left to shoulder the load this spring. He says, "Bring it on."
  • More aggressive D? This will be a good chance to see how Don Brown has gone about revamping the defense. We have all heard how he wants to be more aggressive this year. Let's see it.
GEORGIA TECH

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. (Note: There is a threat of rain so a decision on whether the game will be played as scheduled will be made later today. As of this morning, the game is still on.) NC STATE

When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m., ESPN3
  • The quarterbacks. Starting to sound like a theme, right? Coach Dave Doeren has said he will not name a starter after spring practice. Pete Thomas and Manny Stocker are still learning the new system, and Doeren says, "They're getting better. I told somebody the other day: I just don't think it's fair to make a decision on a guy that doesn't know your offense yet. I think we've got to give those kids a chance to play football without thinking. We're not there yet."
  • The secondary. This group will have three new starters when fall rolls around, and much less game experience. Juston Burris is listed as the starter at the cornerback spot David Amerson leaves behind, while Hakim Jones and Jarvis Byrd are set to take the open safety spots.
  • The defensive ends. There is still open competition at both defensive end spots, according to the depth chart the team released ahead of the spring game. Art Norman and Forrest West are battling for one spot, while Mike Rose and Darryl Cato-Bishop are competing for the other.
SYRACUSE

When: Saturday, noon.
  • Terrel Hunt vs. Charley Loeb. Hunt has reportedly gotten more of the first-team reps as the spring has gone on, but this is a good chance for both quarterbacks to make an impression on their coaches -- especially with Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen headed to Syracuse in the summer.
  • Defensive line. There is no question Syracuse has to work on building depth here because of several losses the group has taken. One player to watch is Iowa transfer John Raymon, who has worked at both tackle and end this spring.
  • Quinta Funderburk. Funderburk sat out last season after transferring in from Arkansas. He has made a few highlight catches during the spring scrimmages to catch some attention, and with Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales gone, Funderburk has an opportunity to become a go-to receiver on this team.
VIRGINIA TECH

When: Saturday, 3 p.m., ESPN3
  • Logan Thomas and the offense. So, how does Thomas look under new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler? His rebound from a mediocre 2013 is going to be huge for the Hokies this season.
  • The running backs. Nobody has really stepped up to take the starting job, although Trey Edmunds has had a good spring, including 86 yards and two touchdowns in the last scrimmage. JC Coleman, also vying for the job, is not expected to play because of a leg injury.
  • Brandon Facyson. It's no secret the Hokies need some help in the secondary, and every single report out of Blacksburg points to the freshman cornerback as being the next star on defense.
WAKE FOREST

When: Saturday, 1 p.m., ACC Digital Network
  • The receivers. One of the big goals this spring has been to find another receiver to complement Michael Campanaro. Orville Reynolds, who moved from running back, has so far turned some heads with his performance, so keep an eye on him.
  • New faces. Two players who have drawn raves on defense this spring are defensive linemen Desmond Floyd and Johnny Garcia. In fact, coach Jim Grobe believes his defensive line has been a bright spot this spring because the group has been able to develop some depth.
  • Competition. This will actually be a scrimmage, not a game, because the Deacs simply do not have enough offensive linemen to split the team in two. At last check, Wake had seven healthy offensive linemen after Cody Preble injured his ankle in the last scrimmage.
The message new Boston College coach Steve Addazio has delivered from the moment he met his players has not wavered: he wants to be a physical team with a power run game.

Andre Williams' ears perked up. Power run game? He can do that.

With the departure of Rolandan Finch, Williams has emerged as the No. 1 option at running back for the Eagles this spring. After the team's scrimmage last weekend, Addazio called Williams a "real power back," and described him as strong and powerful. Williams stands 6 feet, weighs 220 pounds and has come to embrace his new role.

"In previous years, I feel like I've been working on maybe being more of a finesse back," Williams told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation. "I played behind Montel Harris, and he really inspired me in certain ways, but this year I realized I'm a different type of runner, and I accepted that and I’m really trying to play to my strength this year. The fact the offense is the way it is now, we have a lot of power in there, and it really suits my strengths."

Interestingly enough, Harris just finished his senior season playing for Addazio at Temple in 2012 after transferring from BC. So Williams called Harris for some advice.

"He told me Coach Addazio has a different way of coaching," Williams said. "He could be strict or stern at times, but we're going to be fresh for the games. I could definitely see Coach Addazio has a way of making practice less about physicality and more about mental toughness. It's still a physical day out there, but I don't feel like we're trying to beat a dead horse on certain issues. It's more trying to prepare ourselves mentally to put ourselves in game situations rather than memorize a certain play or anything like that."

Boston College struggled to run the ball last season, ranking No. 115 in the nation in rushing (90.9 yards per game). Some of that is a function of the Eagles trailing in many games. But the bottom line is they simply could gain no consistency with their backs or their offensive line. Williams had a few 100-yard games last year, but calls last season "nothing to hang my hat on. I'm really just putting everything last season behind me and starting fresh on this year."

So with the emphasis on the run game, can Williams get to 1,000 yards for the first time in his career -- in the final season of his career?

"Absolutely, I think I can get 1,000 yards," he said. "If I don't get 1,000 yards, I'll be really disappointed. I'm confident, I have no doubt in my mind, I'm going to get to 1,000 yards this year."
There was plenty of football this past weekend in the ACC. Here's a quick recap of everything that happened, according to each school's website or report that was emailed to the media:

VIRGINIA

The following information is according to Jeff White's report:
  • The Orange roster included the first-team defense, the Blue roster the first-team offense. Each quarterback saw time on both sides during the scrimmage, which the Orange won 18-15.
  • Redshirt sophomore quarterback David Watford entered the spring game atop the depth chart, followed by redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert and then redshirt junior Phillip Sims. Watford finished 5-for-10 for 55 yards. Lambert completed 21 of 36 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, and Sims was 8-for-18 for 89 yards.
  • Junior running back Clifton Richardson finished with 41 yards (on 11 carries), junior Kevin Parks with 20 yards (on 11 carries), junior Khalek Shepherd with 20 yards (on six carries) and redshirt freshman Kye Morgan with 18 yards (on 11 carries).
  • Led by Brent Urban (3.5), sophomore end Trent Corney (two) and redshirt freshman linebacker Mark Hall (two), the defenses were credited with 14 "sacks" Saturday.
MARYLAND
  • The Terps held a scrimmage at Middletown High School in Middletown, Md., Saturday.
  • Taking handoffs from quarterback Dustin Dailey, running back Joe Riddle rushed for more than 100 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run.
MIAMI
  • The Hurricanes held a 90-minute scrimmage on Friday night that included goal-line and red zone scenarios, and two-minute drills, in front of 3,000 fans at Naples High School. The first-team offense went 60 plays and the second team had 55 plays.
  • Quarterbacks Stephen Morris, Ryan Williams and Gray Crow combined to throw five touchdown passes to three different receivers. The Canes were without receiver Phillip Dorsett, who was in Gainesville with the track team at the Florida Relays.
  • Dallas Crawford had two receiving touchdowns, while Rashawn Scott and Allen Hurns combined for three scores.
  • Anthony Chickillo, Tyriq McCord and Kelvin Cain led the defense with a sack each.
BOSTON COLLEGE
  • BC held its first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday in Alumni Stadium. The team practiced for the first half hour and then ran through a number of series with rotating quarterbacks. All four quarterbacks -- Chase Rettig, Josh Bordner, Mike Marscovetra and Christian Suntrup -- saw time.
  • Rettig started and led the team to the only touchdown on a 5-yard pass to C.J. Parsons. Bordner played in five series and rushed for 33 yards.
  • Defensively, junior Sean Sylvia returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.
  • Running back Rolandan Finch has left the team for personal reasons.
GEORGIA TECH
  • Sophomore quarterback Vad Lee ran for a pair of touchdowns, including one 60-yard touchdown. Redshirt freshman Justin Thomas rushed for a touchdown, set up by his own electrifying 40-yard run.
  • Redshirt freshman Beau Hankins had an interception on a pass thrown by Thomas.
  • Senior Jeremiah Attaochu had a tackle for loss and Coray Carlson had a fumble recovery.
  • The catch of the day actually belonged to walk-on Marty Alcala, who had an acrobatic reception on a 30-yard pass from Thomas.
  • Matt Connors rushed for a 12-yard touchdown.
  • Junior wide receiver Darren Waller, who was injured, was cleared to play.
WAKE FOREST
  • The Deacs continued to emphasize takeaways at their scrimmage on Saturday.
  • According to the Winston-Salem Journal, linebacker Mike Olson was sidelined while recovering from shoulder surgery. Nose tackle Nikita Whitlock missed the scrimmage because he was back home in Wylie, Texas, attending the funeral of a member of his family. Cornerback Merrill Noel was in uniform, but did not play because of a sore shoulder.

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 8, 2013
4/08/13
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Big night for hoops!

2012 report cards: Boston College

January, 16, 2013
1/16/13
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With bowl season officially in the books, it’s time to see who made the grade and who didn’t in the ACC. We’ll start team-by-team report cards today, going in alphabetical order:

BOSTON COLLEGE

OFFENSE: The hire of Doug Martin as offensive coordinator was a definite upgrade for the Eagles, but their inability to run the ball was a glaring weakness. BC finished No. 115 in the country in rushing offense at just 90.92 yards per game. More was expected from Andre Williams, Rolandan Finch, and Tahj Kimble. The offensive line improved, but was still not up to the standards of O-line U, standards BC fans came to expect during the Eagles’ 12-year run of bowl games. The highlight was the passing game, led by receiver Alex Amidon, who was a first-team all-ACC selection and finished No. 11 in the country in receiving yards per game with 100.83. Quarterback Chase Rettig improved under Martin, but BC made too many mistakes and lost the turnover battle more often than not. Grade: C

DEFENSE: This was a major disappointment for a program that had grown accustomed to the defense being its strength. In recent years, even when the offense struggled, the defense was good enough to keep the team in position to win the game. That wasn’t always the case this season. There was no Luke Kuechly, there was no game-changer, and the defensive line was ravaged by injuries and didn’t have the depth to overcome it. BC was No. 111 in the country in rushing defense, No. 100 in total defense and No. 74 in scoring defense. BC struggled mightily to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and to make plays in opponents’ backfields. Grade: D

OVERALL: There is a reason Frank Spaziani was fired the day after the regular season ended. It was a miserable season for the program and its fans, as BC reached rock bottom in 2012. The Eagles ended the season with four straight losses, their only FBS win of the year was against Maryland and its fifth-string quarterback, and the Eagles missed a bowl for the second straight season and finished last in the Atlantic Division. During Spaziani’s tenure, an accumulation of problems were never solved, and there was too much turnover on the staff. Some problems were inherited, as former coach Jeff Jagodzinski made some recruiting missteps, and there were also season-ending injuries to key players, which led to a crippling lack of depth, especially on the defensive line. Instead of getting better, though, BC continued to regress. Grade: F

Back to bowl: Boston College

December, 24, 2012
12/24/12
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Boston College has a new coach and a new outlook.

Is that enough to get the Eagles back into a bowl game in 2013?

Great question. What we do know is this: Steve Addazio will bring passion, energy and excitement to the sideline. He will bring a much more physical brand of football, both on offense and defense. Those are certainties. The bigger issue is whether he has the talent and personnel to turn a two-win team into a six-win team in his first year.

At this point, I am going to say the chances are remote, but not impossible. There are pieces to work with on both offense and defense. Chase Rettig, record-setting receiver Alex Amidon and special teams standout Spiffy Evans all return. Linebackers Steele Divitto and Kevin Pierre-Louis are back to anchor the defense. New coordinator Don Brown, who spent the past two seasons at UConn, will no doubt utilize these two players in his aggressive new scheme, which will feature plenty of blitzes. At UConn this season, linebacker Sio Moore finished second in the Big East with eight sacks.

But I have to wonder whether the Eagles will be able to play the physical running style Addazio prefers. The BC running game this year was virtually nonexistent, averaging about 90 yards per game to rank No. 115 in the nation. Is it good news or bad news that the four backs in the regular rotation all return? Andre Williams, Rolandan Finch, Tahj Kimble and David Dudeck are all scheduled to be back. Three starters on the offensive line are scheduled to be back as well.

Working on the run game is the No. 1 priority, especially since Boston College has its top receiver and starting quarterback returning. If the Eagles can establish the run, then they won't have to rely on Rettig throwing the ball 467 times next season. And they will be much more effective with play action, which should help as well. Addazio comes from the spread-option offense philosophy, so the personnel he has does not quite fit what he generally has done with his offenses, but he told me he is going to do what fits his personnel best.

There is no doubt that Boston College will look like a different team. But it probably won't be enough to get the Eagles back to a bowl in 2013.

ACC predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2012
11/21/12
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You don't want to be reading while you eat your turkey, so chew on this first ...

It was almost another home run week for the predictions, but Virginia lost at home to North Carolina. (Still can’t believe how poorly UVa played in that one with so much still on the line.) The final tally last week was 6-1 for a grand total of 71-17 (80.7 percent) heading into the final week of the regular season.

This weekend is big-time. We’ve got rivalry games. ACC versus SEC. Bragging rights. All that good stuff. Can the ACC get it done?

You betcha …

Florida State 28, Florida 14: This game is in Tallahassee. It won't be a nail-biter. A defensive struggle at times? Sure, but Florida State is the better team with the better quarterback, and it will score. The Seminoles might be a bit naive to think they can still play for the national title, but fans should expect them to play as if the championship game was on the line because it is -- the state championship.

Clemson 31, South Carolina 17: Yeah, you read that right. And holding Clemson to fewer than 40 points will be a victory for the Gamecocks’ defense. No, Clemson’s defense isn’t championship-caliber, but it’s good enough to make South Carolina miss Marcus Lattimore. Quarterback Tajh Boyd will have the edge, and Clemson will snap its three-game losing streak to South Carolina.

Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 17: The ACC’s magic ends here. The Yellow Jackets turned the corner in the ACC, but the weaknesses in the defense will again be exposed against better competition. The Dawgs roll at home behind an outstanding defense that will be disciplined enough to slow down the spread option.

Vanderbilt 27, Wake Forest 10: Vandy is one of the hottest teams in the SEC right now, having won five straight. The Deacs are playing to become bowl-eligible, but they’re doing it with an inept offense that ranks No. 114 in the country in scoring (18.27), No. 111 in rushing (98.36) and No. 117 in total offense (300.55).

NC State 31, Boston College 21: This game isn’t going to be a complete blowout, but the Eagles won’t be able to stop Mike Glennon and NC State’s passing game. In what is likely to be coach Frank Spaziani’s last game as head coach of the Eagles, running back Rolandan Finch will give ‘em a chance, and the they'll give their usual relentless effort but come up short on the road.

North Carolina 38, Maryland 10: No, this isn’t the Big Ten blog. If it were, the score might be 52-3. OK, OK, I’ll stop. Seriously, injuries have been too much for Maryland to overcome this year, and the Tar Heels should have no problem closing the season with a home win.

Miami 41, Duke 38: This game went from meaning everything to meaning nothing -- unless you’re in either program. Once Miami declared itself ineligible for the postseason, Georgia Tech automatically won the Coastal Division. Odds are coach Al Golden is selling his players on finishing 5-3 in league play. Duke’s defense, meanwhile, continues to struggle against ACC opponents.

Virginia Tech 21, Virginia 20: Um, yeah. In what will never been deemed an instant classic, the Hokies will barely become bowl-eligible and take advantage of a mistake-prone Virginia team. If the Hoos were still playing for bowl eligibility, this might be a different story, but they squandered that opportunity last week and will now face a Virginia Tech in Blacksburg team with everything to lose.

BC, VT cruise past FCS opponents

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
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Boston College and Virginia Tech each won Saturday. Here are quick recaps:

Boston College 34, Maine 3: Maine jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and it took about a quarter for Boston College to find its rhythm. The story of the day was Spiffy Evans, who had his first touchdown catch and first punt return for a touchdown, and set a career-high with 155 all-purpose yards in the victory. Running back Rolandan Finch was able to play after sitting out the Miami game with a foot injury. He led the team with 90 yards rushing, but also lost a fumble early in the game. Tahj Kimble also lost a fumble at the goal line, or the Eagles would have had more points.

Receiver Alex Amidon just missed out on his second straight 100 yard game, after finishing with 99 yards receiving and a touchdown. Boston College plays at Northwestern next week.

Virginia Tech 42, Austin Peay 7: The Hokies also got off to a slow start on offense in this game, but they cruised to the victory and avoided any sort of upset on just five days' rest.

Junior running back Tony Gregory blocked a punt and ran for his first career touchdown. Running back Michael Holmes also had his first two career scores with runs of 2 and 9 yards. Receiver Corey Fuller also had his first career touchdown, catching a 30-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Virginia Tech spread the ball out to 10 receivers in its first game without D.J. Coles, out for the season with a knee injury.

Logan Thomas finished 15-of-23 for 212 yards and two scores in three quarters of work. Virginia Tech plays at Pitt next week.

BC depth chart remains in flux

August, 29, 2012
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Injuries have taken a toll on Boston College so far this preseason, leaving its depth chart in flux as it prepares to play Miami in the opener Saturday.

Coach Frank Spaziani said Wednesday on the ACC coaches conference call that he is unsure whether running back Rolandan Finch will be able to play against the Hurricanes. Finch sprained his foot in an early scrimmage and is not listed on the depth chart for the game. All Spaziani could say for sure was that Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble will play.

"It remains to be seen where we go after that," Spaziani said.

As for Finch's status, Spaziani said, "Every day he gets better. We go on the practice field and we’ll see where he’s at and how much he can do and we’ll make a decision after today. He’s going to be better. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, Saturday or next Monday, we have to see on the field."

Boston College will definitely be without tight end Chris Pantale, who broke his foot early in camp. Mike Naples, the next player up, also is injured. That leaves sophomore C.J. Parsons listed as the starter, with redshirt freshmen Dave Bowen and Liam Porter behind him. None of them have ever played in a college game.

"We’ve had to improvise and rely on the talent we have here, and the coaches putting the offense together," Spaziani said. "We have names and different ways to deal with it. That’s just how we’ll handle it. We’ll have to see how the game unfolds."
Boston College receiver Bobby Swigert will miss the season opener next week against Miami with a left knee injury, coach Frank Spaziani announced Friday.

Swigert was hurt during the team scrimmage Wednesday after making his only catch. In the announcement, Spaziani said Swigert will be out for several weeks. Expected to start this season, Swigert appeared in all 12 games last season and led the Eagles with 44 catches for 470 yards and three touchdowns.

Injuries are really mounting for the Eagles, who will be without at least three starters against Miami. Tight end Chris Pantale (foot) and cornerback Al Louis-Jean (foot) also are out for the Miami game. Running backs Rolandan Finch, Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble also have been banged up during preseason camp.

BC backfield takes another hit

August, 16, 2012
8/16/12
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The bad news just keeps coming for Boston College this summer.

Featured tailback Rolandan Finch, the team’s leading rusher last season, injured his foot in Wednesday night's scrimmage, according to the Boston Herald.

“I hate to say it, but it is his foot, but it’s a little too early to say more,” coach Frank Spaziani told the paper. “We put some ice on it and do the usual routine, X-ray and MRI.”

The Eagles had recently announced the news of injuries to starting tight end Chris Pantale and cornerback Al Louis-Jean. Boston College was already missing one of its top rushers, as Montel Harris was dismissed from the team in early May.

In Wednesday's scrimmage, junior tailback Andre Williams carried the ball seven times for 18 yards and two touchdowns, which included one touchdown in goal-line simulation. Freshman George Craan, who also scored one touchdown in goal-line simulation, carried five times for 12 yards. Senior Mike Javorski carried the ball nine times.

The good news is that the quarterbacks played well.

Starter Chase Rettig completed 14-of-21 passing attempts for 259 yards and one touchdown. He completed passes of at least 12 yards seven times, including a 72-yard touchdown to senior Colin Larmond Jr., passes of 30 and 35 yards to junior Alex Amidon, and a 26-yard completion to junior Johnathan Coleman.

“I’m looking for him [Rettig] to run the operation, make good decisions, and, right now, run our offense,” Spaziani said, according to the team's scrimmage report. “We did a couple new things out here today, gave him some more stuff to do. I thought the quarterbacks -- they looked fine. I think he’s been practicing well.”

He's going to have to play well, too, if the Eagles are going to overcome all of these injuries.

Weekend rewind: Scrimmage reports

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
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Not every school in the ACC gives scrimmage reports, but for those that do, I'll gladly post the highlights. Here's a look back at what happened in the ACC this weekend, according to each school's report:

BOSTON COLLEGE

Offensive highlights: Quarterback Chase Rettig completed 6 of 10 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown -- a 15-yard pass to running back Rolandan Finch, who also had eight carries for 37 yards. Freshman Harrison Jackson led the receivers with five receptions for 50 yards.

Defensive highlights: Defensive end Brian Mihalik had two tackles for a loss of 10 yards, including a sack. Senior captain Jim Noel had the lone interception.

Special-teams highlights: Kicker Nate Freese made all three of his field-goal attempts -- 30, 35 and 25 yards.

Quotable: “It was a good start, good first series and then it tailed off,” coach Frank Spaziani said. “We got soft and had some execution issues, but in general the scrimmage gives us a good idea where we’re at right and we’ll look to improve for the next one.”

CLEMSON

Offensive highlights: Sophomore receiver Charone Peake caught three passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns -- one a six-yarder from Cole Stoudt, the other 37 yards from Morgan Roberts. (Six quarterbacks got reps.) Jaron Brown caught the other touchdown pass of the scrimmage, a 56-yarder from first-team quarterback Tajh Boyd. Sammy Watkins had two receptions for 35 yards, the first two completions on the first drive of the scrimmage from Boyd. Boyd finished 5-for-10 for 105 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also had a 32-yard rushing touchdown. Rod McDowell was the top rusher with nine attempts for 46 yards. Clemson’s running backs tallied 109 yards on 22 carries on the day, nearly a 5.0 average per carry. Andre Ellington played sparingly to give the other young backs some experience.

Defensive highlights: Xavier Brewer had seven tackles, a sack and a pass breakup. Kellen Jones, a transfer from Oklahoma who is not eligible this season, added six tackles, including two for loss, while Jonathan Meeks had five tackles. Tig Willard had three tackles and one of his two pass deflections led to an interception.

Special-teams highlights: Spencer Benton made a 55-yard field goal. Chandler Catanzaro made three of his four attempts, from 36, 39 and 41 yards.

Quotable: “It was a good first scrimmage,” said coach Dabo Swinney. “We made some mistakes, but they are correctable. I thought the defense played well. We saw a lot of activity around the ball. Xavier Brewer had a good scrimmage, as did Lateek Townsend. He was involved in three sacks and that was big.

“We have made good progress this first week. There is still much to do, but I like the attitude of this team. They come to work. They go about their business.”

MIAMI

Offensive highlights: Mike James rushed for a team-high 137 yards on 13 carries with three touchdowns, including a 51-yard burst down the sideline. Duke Johnson had 49 yards on nine carries and four touchdowns -- three rushing and one receiving. He took a screen pass from Stephen Morris 37 yards for a score.

Morris and Ryan Williams showed good footwork to elude pressure in the pocket and scramble for yards when needed. Morris completed 24 of 36 passes for 193 yards with four touchdowns, with one interception. Williams threw for 121 yards and three scores on 12-of-17 passing.

Johnson led all receivers with 44 yards. Malcolm Lewis caught three passes for 42 yards, while Kendal Thompkins hauled in a team-best five catches for 22 yards.

Defensive highlights: A.J. Highsmith had a team-high nine tackles, while Tyrone Cornileus, Tracy Howard and Ramon Buchanan all recorded seven tackles apiece. Anthony Chickillo, JaWand Blue and Cornileus each recorded a sack.

Quotable: “We’ve been saying it all camp: Mike [James] looks quicker,” coach Al Golden said. “He has always been strong but now he looks healthy.

“[Duke Johnson] found [the end zone] a couple of times today. He has a low center of gravity and a knack for diving and finding the end zone.”

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ACC SCOREBOARD

Monday, 12/22
Saturday, 12/20
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
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Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12