Eagles Prepare for the 'Flash'

September 10, 2009 - 7:40 am
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When it comes to Boston College's preparation for its tilt Saturday against the Kent State Golden Flashes of the Mid-American Conference, one particular danger stands out: The Golden Flash. That would be Kent State'€™s fifth-year stud running back Eugene Jarvis. Standing tall despite being just 5-foot-5 and 170 pounds, this little menace is not being taken lightly by the Eagles defense. "I think he's a very good back, very good. I thought he was very good last year and was injured, wasn't healthy," BC coach Frank Spaziani said. "I suspect we'll see the back I saw on film a couple of years ago when we were getting ready for the season-opener last year." BC's meeting with the Golden Flashes is the second in a three-game series with the MAC foe. The Eagles handled Kent State last year, 21-0, in the season-opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium. They will meet again next season when Kent State returns to Alumni Stadium. Coming off a week in which he did a little bit of everything in Kent State'€™s 18-0 win over Coastal Carolina, Jarvis is leading the nation in all-purpose yards with 265. Jarvis ran the ball well (27 attempts for 141 yards and a touchdown) caught the ball (3 for 30) and added special teams to his resume for the first time with five punt returns and a kick return totaling 94 yards. '€œHe'€™s a big concern. He'€™s real fast, real explosive. It looks like he is smart, he'€™s an experienced back. He'€™s obviously got the speed and quickness and all that,'€ BC linebacker Alexander DiSanzo said. '€œBoth of the running backs jump out at you, not just Jarvis, but the other kid, [Andre] Flowers, as well, they both jump out at you as good backs. Both are very fast and run between the tackles well.'€ Coming off of a 54-0 shelling of Northeastern, the Eagles and their young crew of linebackers face more of a challenge in Jarvis and Kent State. '€œOur coaches talk a lot about their running back, he appears to be a very good player,'€ middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said. '€œOur coaches are just harping we got to get him down. He'€™s not very big but he'€™s definitely very quick, very fast . . . that will be another challenge that I just have to face.'€ Said Spaziani: "Same old, same old. Fundamentals. Do what we do. Take care of the little things, hopefully they'll be in the right position to tackle him." The Eagles' depth at linebacker has been tested early this year with the loss of All-American Mark Herzlich for the season with Ewing's sarcoma, coupled with injuries to senior Mike McLaughlin (Achilles) and sophomore Will Thompson (shoulder). The Eagles' current alignment has them starting true freshman Kuechly in the middle with sophomore Dominick LeGrande on the strong side and redshirt freshman DiSanzo manning the weak side. Kuechly was the biggest surprise coming out of the Northeastern game as he led the team with seven tackles (six solo, with 1.5 for loss) as the main man calling the plays on defense. It certainly will be an adjustment for the young man, but he seems to have the poise to pull it off. '€œI think all the upperclassmen really kind of helped me ease into the game with all the different calls," Kuechly said. "On defense we try to stay pretty basic with what we are calling on defense. So, it was a little bit easier to get into the flow of the game without having to think too much about what we were calling." There still is a pretty steep learning curve for the freshman, both physically and mentally, as he adjusts to life on a major college football team. '€œIt'€™s a lot different, everyone is a lot bigger, stronger and faster '€” like everyone says coming into college, and it'€™s true," he said. "In high school you can do things '€” now I can'€™t do this anymore, because everyone is a lot more grown up than they are in high school." The defense is banding together to make sure the new man in the middle is ready to call the plays, and make the plays, for the duration of the season. '€œEveryone on the defense [is helping]," Kuechly said. "Mike McLaughlin has really helped me through everything, Will Thompson, those guys have really done a good job helping me through stuff." QB Carousel to Continue A week after four different quarterbacks took their time under center, it appears that the position will continue to be divided this Saturday. "We had more data to figure things out, but this will be a little bit different," Spaziani said of the quarterback evaluations heading into the contest. "I envision both playing because I don't see .. there are things in the game you don't see in practice." Dave Shinskie and Justin Tuggle continue to split repetitions in practice (according to Tuggle) and it looks like neither will be named the permanent starter anytime soon. Shinskie offered some self-evaluation on his performance against the Huskies before looking forward to the Golden Flashes. '€œI thought things went well for a first game, but we have a lot of things to work on," he said. "You know, ironing out some small things. Myself, I need to carry out my fakes a little bit more, get up to the line and call the plays a little quicker. Just small things, no big things. Just working on them in practices is going to be a big key this week and the weeks to come." Shinskie said he felt fine on Sunday after the game, which surprised him considering he had cracked his ribs in camp. '€œI thought my ribs would hurt a little more, but I felt fine,'€ Shinskie said. '€œI've got to make some quicker decisions to get rid of the ball a little quicker, but I felt great.'€ Hits aside, it is now time to set the sights forward. '€œThis team we'€™re playing is going to be a lot better defensive-wise," Shinskie said. "A little quicker, a lot quicker. Games are going to just get quicker and faster going on. I was watching Miami and Florida State, those guys fly around the ball. So, just being able to make decisions a little bit faster will be the key in the coming weeks.'€ Both Shinskie and Tuggle would like the issue of who is No. 1 on the depth chart resolved, but at the same time, they have faith in the coach and look toward what is best for the team. '€œWhatever happens, happens. Whenever coach makes a decision, it'€™s going to be a good decision,'€ Shinskie said. Said Tuggle: '€œThe situation is just how the situation is. There is not much I can say about it. All I just do each and every day is just focus on myself. If I start looking at that, I might lose focus on other things that might be important to getting this team moving. That would be negative for the team.'€ The two quarterbacks certainly say the right things. When it comes to the play on the field, as long as they perform well, Spaziani probably won't mind continuing having the argument deep into November.

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