Replacing a QB, Part 4: Life after Foley
Although he didn’t get the national acclaim of Doug Flutie, Glenn Foley’s time at the Heights was almost as important. He, along with Tom Coughlin, helped spark a BC football renaissance after the final Bicknell years. In his final year BC went 9-3 and upset No. 1 Notre Dame. The team averaged 34 points a game and Foley threw for 3,397 yards.
Who followed Foley?
Mark Hartsell. Hartsell was a local product with a big frame and an even bigger arm. His first year as a starter was on the frustrating side. He completed 159 of 257 passes and was responsible for 1,864 yards of total offense. The offense also regressed in 1994, averaging only 22.6 points a game. With an inconsistent attack, the team fell to 7-4-1.
What is different for 2008?
Hartsell was not a great QB, but a coaching change also played into his struggles. For all his supposed offensive acumen, the play calling and QB coaching under Dan Henning was curious. Henning’s gameplans became utterly predictable and Hartsell often looked lost out there.
What is the same for 2008?
Great returning Tight End. Check. Veteran D expected to carry the team. Check. Holes to fill at running back. Check. The situation that Crane is stepping into certainly has many of the same elements as the Foley-Hartsell transition.
Hartsell’s first year as starter was my first as a BC student. I remember the overwhelming frustration amongst all the fans. I don’t expect a similar outcome this year. While 1994 and 2008 have some spooky parallels, Crane is a fifth year Senior and working with his same offensive coordinator. We will probably see an offensive drop off, but nothing close to the 12 point-decline that happened 14 years ago.