ACC: Tahj Kimble

Boston College rode Andre Williams all the way to a 2,000-yard campaign and postseason berth in 2013, successfully going back to its roots as a smash-mouth, physically tough football team.

But the Eagles will most certainly have a different identity when the 2014 season rolls around. The power run game will still be there, but many more spread principles will be featured on offense because the Eagles will likely have a dual-threat quarterback under center.

[+] EnlargeTyler Murphy
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertFormer Florida QB Tyler Murphy will be in the mix for BC's starting job this fall.
Chase Rettig did an admirable job as the quarterback this past season despite being a less-than-ideal fit for what coach Steve Addazio likes to run. Rettig emerged as a leader, and the ability to run play-action helped keep opposing teams off balance. The spread, however, was almost completely ignored because Williams and the run game gave the Eagles the best chance to win every week.

Williams and Rettig are both gone now, opening up other possibilities for the offense. Addazio has always preferred a dual-threat quarterback to run his system, and now he has several on the roster: Florida transfer Tyler Murphy and early enrollee Darius Wade headline the group and will compete for the starting job, along with Josh Bordner and James Walsh.

“The ability to keep our power run offense but to be able to diversify a little bit and spread it out a little bit will be great for us,” Addazio said in a recent phone interview. “We’ll be a little different. It’s early right now, but there will be more diversity in terms of quarterback runs and tailback runs. We won’t have one guy getting 42 reps.

“While there will be some elements that will look similar, we might be more in the shotgun, we might be camouflaging and diversifying with the power run game with the option, there could be a tempo component. We’ll be gravitating a little more toward where I’d like to get to.”

Murphy is the only quarterback on the roster with extended game experience and was recruited to Florida by Addazio. He is familiar with the type of offense the Eagles want to try and run. But Wade, a three-star prospect out of Delaware, also provides tantalizing possibilities. Addazio described him as a “dynamic athlete,” a player with a strong arm who can also run and extend plays. The hope is for Wade to be able to contribute as a true freshman this fall.

Without Williams, Boston College will split the rushing load more evenly. Tahj Kimble is expected back after rehabbing a torn ACL, while Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse look to build off freshman seasons in which they spelled Williams.

Addazio also expects the offensive line to be as strong as it was this past season. The Eagles do have to replace both starting tackles, but getting Florida transfer Ian Silberman into the program will help.

The biggest concern moving forward is developing playmakers on the outside. Addazio hopes Bobby Swigert can fill the role Alex Amidon had in the offense, but Swigert is returning from a knee injury so his status remains up in the air.

“We’ve got to get better out on the edge in terms of blocking the perimeter, catching the ball, winning one-on-one matchups,” Addazio said. “That’s not a quick-fix area. We’ve got to recruit and build.”

Addazio already showed what he has the potential to build after an impressive first season. The Eagles might look a little different on offense next season, but that is a good thing. What you see in 2014 will be closer to the vision Addazio has for this group in the years to come.

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 12, 2013
8/12/13
12:00
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Happy Monday, folks. Get your week started with some ACC reading.
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
5/07/13
11:30
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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.

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.

BC, VT cruise past FCS opponents

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
4:50
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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
8/29/12
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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.
Boston College held its final scrimmage of preseason training camp on Wednesday at Alumni Stadium. Here are the highlights, according to the team's practice report:

Offensive highlights: Junior quarterback Chase Rettig completed 7-of-13 pass attempts for 130 yards and one touchdown -- a 50-yard pass to Bobby Swigert on the opening series of the scrimmage. Backup quarterback Josh Bordner threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Johnathan Coleman in an overtime situation. Bordner finished 4-for-10 for 36 yards with the touchdown. Tailback Tahj Kimble had seven carries for 26 yards, and Colin Larmond Jr. led the receivers with three receptions for 61 yards.

Defensive highlights: Senior linebacker Nick Clancy led all defensive players with six tackles, and junior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis recorded four tackles and one pass break-up. Six-foot-7, 250-pound freshman defensive end Malachi Moore knocked down a Rettig pass at the line of scrimmage, and senior defensive tackle Bryan Murray also registered a pass break-up. Kasim Edebali recorded a sack during situational play.

Special teams highlights: Placekicker Nate Freese made field goals from 37 and 34 yards and finished 2-for-3 in field goal attempts. He combined to make 8-of-9 field goal attempts in the Eagles' four scrimmages. Gerald Levano punted three times, including a 33-yard punt on the 13 yard line and a 53-yard punt.

Opening camp: Boston College

August, 3, 2012
8/03/12
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As ACC teams begin to start practicing again, Andrea Adelson and I will have a quick preview of each team to get you caught up on the basics. Next up to open camp …

School: Boston College

Start date: Monday

Projected finish at ACC media days: Fifth in the Atlantic Division

Biggest storyline: New faces. Boston College will look a lot different when it opens the season against Miami: No Luke Kuechly. No Montel Harris. And a complete overhaul of the offensive staff. Former BC assistants Kevin Rogers and Ryan Day are now coaching at Temple, where Harris transferred after he was dismissed from the team in May for a repeated violation of team rules. The Eagles are now under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin. When compared to last season’s coaching staff, four of the five offensive assistants have changed. BC had one of the worst offenses in the country last season, ranking 112th in scoring offense. This overhaul will either be exactly what the Eagles need, or it will be yet another bumpy transition year.

Biggest position battle: Running back. This group is still crowded, even without Harris on the roster. Rolandan Finch, Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble will be competing for carries. Finch led the team in rushing attempts (157) and yards (705) as a sophomore. Williams is a 6-foot, 220-pound power runner who has 219 career attempts for 978 yards and six touchdowns. Kimble had eight receptions out of the backfield last season and 43 carries.

Who needs to step up: The linebackers. Kuechly accounted for 535 tackles in three seasons. The Eagles won’t replace Kuechly with one person, but senior Nick Clancy and juniors Steele Divitto, Andre Lawrence, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Sean Duggan and Nick Lifka are talented players eager to emerge from Kuechly’s shadow.

Opening camp:

ND's 2012 opponents, Week 10: BC

July, 27, 2012
7/27/12
10:30
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Week 10: Nov. 10 at Boston College (at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass.)

Time/TV: TBA

Series: Notre Dame leads all-time, 12-9

2011 record: 4-8 (3-5 ACC; fifth place, Atlantic Division)

Head coach: Frank Spaziani (20-19, three years)

Returning starters: Offense: 9; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

QB Chase Rettig, RB Rolandan Finch, RB Tahj Kimble, RB Andre Williams, WR Colin Larmond, WR Bobby Swigert, TE Chris Pantale, LT John Wetzel, LG Bobby Vardaro, RG Ian White, RT Emmett Cleary, DE Kasim Edebali, DT Kaleb Ramsey, DT Dominic Appiah, DT Dillon Quinn, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB Steele Divitto, LB Sean Duggan, CB Jim Noel, SS Spenser Rositano

Key losses

RB Montel Harris, TE Lars Anderson, C Mark Spinney, DE Max Holloway, LB Luke Kuechly, CB Donnie Fletcher, FS Hampton Hughes, P Ryan Quigley

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Rolandan Finch* (705 yards)

Passing: Chase Rettig* (1,960 yards)

Receiving: Colin Larmond* (528 yards)

Tackles: Luke Kuechly (191)

Sacks: Max Holloway (2.5)

Interceptions: Luke Kuechly (3)

Three questions for ... ACC blogger Heather Dinich:

Coach Frank Spaziani and players talked a lot this spring about how the worst thing to happen in the 2011 season was the campaign ending, as BC made strides late. Is it possible to build off that momentum in 2012?



Heather Dinich: BC doesn’t have much choice but to answer that with an emphatic ‘yes’ because the Eagles open the season against Miami. That game will set the tone for both programs, and we’ll learn a lot about both of them in Week 1. Voting members of the media picked BC to finish fifth in the Atlantic Division this fall, ahead of only Maryland. The key to whether or not they surpass that is how quickly the offense executes the playbook of yet another offensive coordinator. Offensive lineman Emmett Cleary told me at media days that too much has been made of the turnover at the coordinator position -- that it’s just football and they can learn it. That’s coming from a BC offensive lineman, though -- they’re smart guys. The lack of continuity there will be a factor for some players.



All-everything players Montel Harris and Luke Kuechly are gone, but there is plenty of depth both in the backfield and at linebacker. Can those units maintain production this season?



HD: There’s talent and depth at both positions. Of course, BC would like to have the ACC’s record-setting running back on its roster, but the Eagles will survive without him, especially since the offensive line should be one of the more improved units on the roster. Rolandan Finch and Andre Williams combined to rush for 1,222 yards and seven touchdowns last year. Tahj Kimble had 43 carries and eight catches. At linebacker, nobody can replace Kuechly, but Steele Divitto is sure gonna try. Kevin Pierre-Louis could also be one of the more talented linebackers in the ACC.



Given recent seasons, staff turnover and the mysterious dismissing of Harris, it would appear -- at least on the surface -- to be a do or die year for Spaziani. How does BC respond this year?

HD: Yes, I think his job is on the line. The Eagles, at the very least, must go bowling for Spaz to keep his seat cool. At least that’s my guess. I have little doubt that BC responds like it always does -- with a chip on its shoulder. Spaziani told me at ACC media days that he has a chip on HIS shoulder, and those are the types of players BC recruits, too -- solid, hard-working, blue-collar guys who simply love the game. They’ll play for anybody. BC might not be the best team in the ACC, but you can always expect the Eagles’ best effort.

Boston College spring wrap

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
11:30
AM ET
2011 overall record: 4-8
2011 conference record: 3-5 (5th, Atlantic)

Returning starters: Offense: 9; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 1

Top returners
LT John Wetzel, RT Emmett Cleary, LG Bobby Vardaro, RG Ian White, TE Chris Pantale, QB Chase Rettig, RB Rolandan Finch, RB Tahj Kimble, RB Andre Williams, WR Coin Larmond, WR Bobby Swigert, DE Kasim Edebali, DT Kaleb Ramsey, DT Dominic Appiah, DT Dillon Quinn, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB Steele Divitto, LB Sean Duggan, CB Jim Noel, SS Spenser Rositano

Key losses
C Mark Spinney, TE Lars Anderson, DE Max Holloway, LB Luke Kuechly, CB Donnie Fletcher, FS Hampton Hughes, P Ryan Quigley

2011 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Rolandan Finch* (705 yards)
Passing: Chase Rettig* (1,960 yards)
Receiving: Colin Larmond* (528 yards)
Tackles: Luke Kuechly (191)
Sacks: Max Holloway (2.5)
Interceptions: Luke Kuechly (3)

Spring answers

1. Chase Rettig makes strides: Rettig was thrown into the fire early, and he has endured plenty since, with injuries, new schemes and last year's 4-8 campaign. Now a junior, and playing for another new offensive coordinator, Rettig has the command of the offense and should benefit from playing behind an experienced offensive line.

2. More running back depth than BC probably hoped for: Montel Harris and Andre Williams couldn't go in the spring game. Then Tahj Kimble injured himself early in the contest. Finch, who played a lot last season with Harris sidelined, ended up shouldering the load, and it will take a group effort this season with Harris out of the picture. Injuries and a dismissal gave BC a better look at its backfield talent than it had probably hoped for, but the group effort this spring should benefit the Eagles come fall.

3. Defense looking to build off 2011 finish: Coach Frank Spaziani said the worst thing about last season was that it ended. BC is hungry to build off its 4-8 campaign, as the team hopes to carry the momentum from winning two of its final three games. A long offseason gave the defense time to think about that finish, which was keyed by a unit that held each of the final three opponents to fewer than 20 points.

Fall questions

1. Who will replace Luke Kuechly? The short answer is no one. Kuechly's legend will only continue to grow with each passing day. But the Eagles do return plenty of talented linebackers, led by Steele Divitto and Kevin Pierre-Louis. It will take a collective effort and then some for the linebackers to make up for the loss of Kuechly, but their attitude in trying can certainly rub off on the rest of the defense.

2. What happened with Harris? The school's all-time leading rusher was dismissed from the team after the spring for a repeated violation of team rules. The backfield is used to playing without him after his injury-plagued 2011 campaign, but the suddenness of Harris' departure -- which Spaziani will not get into -- has to have some effect on his former teammates, especially with Harris having been primed to chase the ACC's career rushing record this season.

3. How will the offense transition under Doug Martin? Spaziani said he was impressed with the unit coming out of the spring, but a fifth offensive coordinator in five years has to be challenging for the players. Martin has said he is looking to increase the pace, and he'll have nine starters back to work with come preseason camp.
Frank Spaziani has said repeatedly this spring that a football team can never have enough running backs.

Never will that be more evident for the Boston College coach than now, as Eagles all-time leading rusher Montel Harris has been dismissed from the team for repeated violation of team rules. It is hard to replace a guy like Harris, who missed most of last season and almost all of this spring with a knee injury. His credentials:
  • The ACC's leading rusher in 2010 and its preseason player of the year last season
  • BC's all-time leader in rushing yards (3,735), carries (786) and 100-yard games (22), and third in school history in touchdowns (27)
  • The conference's active leader in rushing yards and carries
  • Within striking distance of the ACC career rushing yards record (NC State's Ted Brown — 4,602 yards from 1975-78)

Now BC is forced to move on without Harris, as it will turn to the trio of Andre Williams, Tahj Kimble and Rolandan Finch for more production.

Finch and Williams, entering their redshirt junior and junior seasons, respectively, are the elder statesmen of the group. Finch has carried the ball 185 times in his career for 839 yards and four touchdowns, with almost all of that production coming last season. With Williams and Kimble both missing most of the spring game with injuries, Finch rushed 27 times for 196 yards. The knock on him, however, has been ball security.

Williams has 978 career yards and six touchdowns on 219 carries. Kimble, entering his redshirt sophomore season, made strides this spring after 156 yards and a touchdown on 43 carries last season.

The responsibility for picking up the ground game is now on the shoulders of those three with one of the school's all-time greats officially out of the picture.

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