The Defining Game, Defining Moments

Every season has a defining game.  The victory over Florida State Seminoles was it for the Boston College Golden Eagles’ 2009 season regardless of what happens for the remainder of the season.

A bit premature?  I think not.  In snatching a second straight victory from jaws of defeat over an ACC opponent, the Eagles found a patient, composed starting quarterback for the next four years and matched the Sports Illustrated’s prediction for the team’s total and ACC victories this season.  Looking ahead, apart from perhaps Virginia Tech, am I the only person who thinks all of the games are winnable?  Do NC State, Notre Dame, Central Michigan, Virginia, UNC and Maryland scare you?  They certainly don’t scare me.  Yes, NC State is no longer a push-over, Notre Dame is 4-1 against decent competition and Central Michigan is making news, but the point is that five games into the season, this BC team will be Bowl eligible because they’re going to win more than one game the rest of the way.  This isn’t delusional optimism, it’s a fair statement of where BC (and rest of the mediocre ACC) stands.  And considering this season started with no starting quarterback and a decimated defense, there’s great satisfaction in that.

The defense didn’t look particularly good during the game, but it did the job it needed to do.  They made two big plays: a fourth down, goal line stand in the first quarter which led to a touchdown on the other end and a third down hold in the fourth quarter that led to a field goal miss.  Before, in-between and after those big plays, the defense got shredded by FSU’s passing game, helped in no small part by the inexplicably conservative game calling by Boston College early in the second half that kept the defense on the field forever.  The two plays, though, allowed BC to first take charge, then stop the bleeding.  They bent, but did not break, and that was enough.

It was enough because Boston College now has an undisputed starting quarterback in the 25 year old freshman David Shinske.  He was patient and poised in the face of pressure, something he no doubt picked up in his seven year journey through minor league baseball.  I looked forward to watching this game because I wanted to see what Shinskie picked up in his years in professional baseball.  I was pleasantly surprised–shocked may be a better word–in how good of a football player he was.  His accurate passes and decision-making didn’t suggest he was out of football for seven years.  The way he drove the team down the field for four touchdown drives, in a composed, methodical, skillful manner reminded me of, dare I say it?, Matt Ryan.  No, there were no Ryan-like magic moments, but from what he showe, those games will eventually come.   I mean no offense to Chris Crane, but Shinske is the worthy Ryan successor.

Am I too optimistic?  Why shouldn’t I be?  This guy has been out of football for seven years but has given this team the needed stability at the position.  He’s only a freshman.  He’s only going to get better.

Combined with what appears to be a pretty decent running game, the future of BC football is suddenly looking much brighter.


3 Responses to “The Defining Game, Defining Moments”

  1. 1 Chris Schroeck October 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I totally missed this post, but I agree that Shinskie has overall looked good. (He was pretty shaken up at VT, but he’s a freshman, and they were also a lot better than us.) My big problem with the team now is that they seem to be back in the O’Brien mode, where they get a lead and sit on it way too long and let the other team back in the game. The Wake Forest win was just plain lucky. If the running back goes the right way on that last play, we win. But it didn’t have to be that way. We let them back in with “prevent” defense and hyper-conservative offense. We did the same thing with FSU, although at least in that game we won by driving it back down the field to score.

    I am optimistic about the rest of the season, but I would feel better about it if we would just try to put teams away when we’re ahead, instead of clamming up. I think spaziani was a bad choice as a head coach.

    • 2 joesas October 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm


      I watched that FSU game (the only game, pro or college, I watched this year) and that prevent defense-conservative offense nonsense to start the 2nd half drove me crazy. “Hello? You play to win,” as Herm Edwards used to say. I say better lucky than good, but it doesn’t hurt to help yourself by trying to score, especially because we’re half way competent on offense.

      Not sure about Spaz yet, but the thing is, he’s apparently a good recruiter and we need that badly.

      As for V-Tech, I consider that a “write off” game. Never had a chance, never expected to have a chance, so you move on. Tomorrow’s much bigger for sure.

  1. 1 A Thirteen Month Anniversary « The World According to Joe Trackback on November 2, 2009 at 7:03 am

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