As the first half rolled along Saturday afternoon, Boston College quarterback Dave Shinskie looked more like a minor league pitcher than a Division I quarterback.
Shinskie was throwing curveballs, changeups and seemed to perfect the old Tim Wakefield knuckleball as his passes headed in all sorts of directions, anywhere but to BC receivers. Needless to say our offense looked abysmal, at best, and the only reason we headed into the locker room up 6-3 was because of an outstanding defensive effort.
Listening to the murmurs of the crowd at the half, BC fans seemed to be losing their patience with the nonexistent offensive unit. Some Fans were visibly fed up with BC’s slug of an offense and headed for the exits before the second half even kicked off.
I would have been surprised that backup QB Mike Marscovetra’s name wasn’t flying off the tongues of Eagle Alums nearby, but he was even worse than old man Shinskie in the first half, completing as many passes to BC receivers as he did to Kent State defensive backs.
The running game wasn’t much better either as “superstar” tailback Montel Harris looked very pedestrian in the first half with 10 rushes for just 26 yards and zero catches to go along with it.
Conversations broke out that maybe Kent State was a lot better than people anticipated or that Chase Rettig should get a shot at leading the offense. I even began to wonder if former-BC and current East Carolina QB Dominique Davis might have been better suited to run the offense.
Skepticism was flying high on the Heights as the second half kicked off and the fair-weather attitude of BC fans was seeping through the cracks of a busted up offense.
But, just as fans were circling the wagons, calling for Shinskie to take a ride on the pine, the 26-year old began to show signs of life.
The offense came out of the tunnel poised for a much improved second half. Shinskie apparently went into the locker room Clark Kent and re-emerged Superman. Well, maybe I’m taking this a bit too far or completely blowing it out of proportion, but nonetheless “Uncle Dave” pulled off a 180-degree turnaround in the second half.
Shinskie led an opening 12-play 77 yard drive for the Eagles to start the third quarter, finishing it off by finding freshman receiver Bobby Swigert in the back of the end zone for 23-yard score, putting the Eagles up 13-3.
Just minutes later BC was back on offense and Shinskie was back to work hitting sophomore wideout Clyde Lee on a 31-yard just over the top of the defender for a touchdown.
BC’s offense looked like a well-oiled machine in the second half and Dave Shinskie was the conductor, who made it all happen. He was poised in the pocket, found the open man and even hit a few receivers in stride on their routes.
It was like watching very dark shades of Matt Ryan during his sophomore or even junior season.
He really hit his stride in the second half, completing 10-of-12 for 109 yards and two TD’s. The fans were getting excited and the whispers of skepticism and doubt were becoming loud cheers of encouragement and enthusiasm.
It was surreal but Shinskie was finally looking like a D-I quarterback.
Now, this isn’t to say that Shinskie won’t look sloppy the rest of the way or that he won’t make boneheaded plays that make you scratch your head, but at least now we have seen the potential first hand.
Sure, there are still plenty of kinks to be worked out and mistakes to be made, but if Shinskie can put the BC offense in a position to make plays the way that he did in the second-half on Saturday then we will have a chance against the Virginia Techs and Florida states of the college football world.