Miami vs. Boston College Eagles Preview
~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray ~
It’s been a long summer. Just like Tom Petty sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Well friends and fellow Canes fans, the waiting is almost over. This coming Saturday our beloved Miami Hurricanes travel into the Chestnut Hill area of Newton, Massachusetts and take on the Eagles of Boston College. Like last year, I’ll be taking a look at our Canes opponents every week to try to gauge what will be in store for us. With Boston College being our first opponents, it’s not as easy to predict who will start at certain positions and such. Boston College has had some significant injuries both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. So I’m going to take a shot at it and we can always discuss on the blog if there are any changes.
OFFENSE: Boston College returns 9 starters from last season including:
- Chase Rettig #11, Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 212 pounds, Class Year: JR
As Chase goes, so do the Eagles. Chase had a Heisman-like performance last time he was on the field against the Hurricanes. Come to think of it, most QB’s did last year. Besides that he completed 54% of his passes for 2011 with 12 TDs and 9 INTs. This all computed to a quarterback rating of 12.2.
Wide Receivers and TEs:
- Colin Larmond #1, Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 202 pounds, Class Year: SR
- Alex Amidon #83, Height: 5-foot-11, Weight: 185 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Jonathan Coleman #14, Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 208 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Mike Naples #89, Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 240 pounds, Class Year: JR
The Eagles where dealt a blow to their receiving ranks when both their top receiver and tight end went out with injuries. Chris Pantele, a senior tight end, and Bobby Swigert, the best returning receiver from last year, will be watching from the sidelines due to injuries. Lammond, who went 1,220 yards on 68 catches last year, is the deep threat the Canes need to worry about. Amidon and Coleman combined for almost 900 yards on 55 receptions. Look for the Eagles to use RB Tahj Kimble in the slot as an option. Mike Naples finished 2011 with 1 catch for 8 yards and was primarily a blocking back behind Pantele.
- Andre Williams #44, Height: 6-foot-0, Weight: 222 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Rolandan Finch #28, Height: 5-foot-10, Weight: 209 pounds, Class Year: JR
There was a sigh of relief that went out through the ACC defenses when word spread that Montell Harris would no longer be playing for the Eagles. That faded quickly when we were reminded that he didn’t play last year against Miami either when a 3-8 team embarrassed the Canes at home. This year, look for the Eagles to rotate Williams and Finch as different situations arise. Finch, or “Deuce” as he is known, is a bruiser who had a career day against Maryland last year rushing for 242 yards. It’s just a hunch, but look for Chase to use both of these guys out of the backfield on short passes if the Canes are not able to apply pressure at the line of scrimmage.
Ian White #62, Center, Height: 6-foot-5, Weight: 303 pounds, Class Year: JR
Bobby Vardaro #76, Guard, Height: 6-foot-5, Weight: 301 pounds, Class Year: SO
Harris Williams #64, Guard, Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 301 pounds, Class Year: SO
John Wetzel #73, Tackle, Height: 6-foot-8, Weight: 302 pounds, Class Year: SR
Emmett Cleary #77, Tackle, Height: 6-foot-7, Weight: 303 pounds, Class Year: JR
As Miami was once known as quarterback “U,” Boston College should be known as O-Line College. Through the past 10 years the Eagles have turned out numerous offensive lineman that have gone on to have productive years in the NFL including Lions tackle Gosder Cherilus, a first-round draft pick in ’08; Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood, second round in ’06; Giants guard Chris Snee, second round in ’04; Patriots center Dan Koppen, fifth round in ’03; Cowboys tackle Marc Colombo, a first-round pick of the Bears in ’02; and most recently Anthony Costanzo, a first round pick of the Colts in 2011. Obviously they are teaching the offensive line something up there and it is working. With all the injuries to their receivers, the Eagles will need to work extra hard as teams will be gearing up for the run.
- Kasim Edebali #91, Defensive End, Height: 6-foot-2, Weight: 249 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Kaleb Ramsey #96, Defensive Tackle, Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 302 pounds, Class Year: SR
- Dillon Quinn #92, Defensive Tackle, Height: 6-foot-6, Weight: 292 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Brian Mihalik #99, Defensive End, Height: 6-foot-8, Weight: 285 pounds, Class Year: Soph
The Eagles got some good news when Ramsey was granted an additional year due to an injury that kept him out of every game but the opener last year. They will be strong and have depth at the DT position. On the outside, they are a bit weaker as they only accounted for 11 sacks last year. Add to that Max Holloway, the leading end from last year, left school early. This will be a good test for the Canes to open the inside up. If that doesn’t work, look for more runs to the outside.
- Steele Divitto #49, Linebacker, Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 220 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Kevin Pierre-Louis #24, Linebacker, Height: 6-foot-1, Weight: 212 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Sean Duggan #34, Linebacker, Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 228 pounds, Class Year: SO
A lot of people are thinking that now that Luke Kuechly no longer roams the middle, teams can come in and have their way with this Eagles defense. Not so fast, my friends. Kevin Pierre-Louis has stepped into this spot and will fill in nicely. No he is no Luke, but will get the job done. This year’s linebacking crew will be a bit smaller than last year’s, but should have decent speed are very instinctive and are capable of making plays. Again, this will be a good test for our offensive line.
- Jim Noel #23, Defensive Back, Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 185 pounds, Class Year: SR
- C.J. Jones #6, Defensive Back, Height: 5-foot-11, Weight: 178 pounds, Class Year: SO
- Manuel Asprilla #21, Defensive Back, Height: 5-foot-10, Weight: 167 pounds, Class Year: SO
- Josh Keyes #25, Defensive Back, Height: 6-foot-2, Weight: 208 pounds, Class Year: SO
The Eagles did well in the secondary allowing only 8 passing touchdowns in 12 games. There top corner is Asprilla, who comes off last year with 30 tackles and 3 break ups. While the Eagles do lack a true lock down corner, they do have depth and due to that competition they have created, they have pushed themselves to be better. One thing they will need to be more effective with will be a productive pass rush to force the opposing teams QB into bad decisions.
- Nate Freese #85, Kicker, Height: 6-foot-0, Weight: 181 pounds, Class Year: JR
- Gerald Levano #32, Punter, Height: 6-foot-2, Weight: 210 pounds, Class Year: SR
As far as kickers go, Nate Freese has been consistently inconsistent. Although going 10 for 16, he did hit a career long back in 2011 with a 52 yard field goal. Freese also connected on 4 field goals over 40 yards in length, yet missed a 23 yarder. If he can put it all together, he may be the difference is a few games and the difference between if Boston College goes bowling or not. After a few years of waiting in the wings, Gerald Levano gets his first crack as the punter for the Eagles.