Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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.


Eagle1 said...

I'd be interested to know what rules Jags has in place with regard to off-the-field activities. When Henning replaced Coughlin, the rumors around the school were that Henning was a "players's coach," not a disciplinarian, and that this was the biggest reason for the program's demise. In contrast, Coughlin was rumored to have an extensive list of rules re: what players could and could not do outside of campus, e.g., no player allowed in MaryAnn's in the 72 hours before the game.

Leather D said...

curious. that's one word for it.

see also:
- abonimable
- mind-numbing
- horrific
- infuriating

Big Jack Krack said...

I wish we could forget the Henning years - a bad hire by a bad AD. Whatever his rules may have been, they weren't very effective, and BC quickly moved in the wrong direction, both on the field and off. We had some good wins in 94 (ND, Pittsburgh, Syracuse), but we had some bad losses as well. By 95 everyone could see what was happening, and 96 was the disaster with the gambling scandal. They all looked like a bunch of idiots.
I don't know Jags rules, either - but my impression is that he is much more in control of these players and keeps them focused much better. He's no Tom Coughlin - but he's no Dan Henning either, thank goodness.

johnoatesforthree said...

so with another terrible report about the offense's most recent practice(4 INTs, 8 sacks), is it time to worry? i'd been optimistic about the team up until this point.

BCBCBC said...

Its dumb to get worried about the offense based on the scrimmages. Would you be worried about the defense if the offense had a great game?

Eagle1 said...

I saw last year's scrimmage, and I thought that the offense wouldn't score a point all season. So much for that. Consider that this year's defense looks even better than last year's. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

America said...

I posted this before but its worth doing again.
I used to work for the team, doing the video work, when I was in school and I learned that you really can't judge the offence from practice when they are going up against the 1st team d. The Defense become so familiar with our playbook they have a huge advantage over the offence. They pretty much no what's coming and can jump routs.
I would be more worried if the Defense was giving up a ton of big plays.