Can Denny Dimes lead the Eagles to greatness?
On Monday, Boston College released an injury update on starting QB Phil Jurkovec and the news was not great. Jurkovec is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a hand injury, putting a massive dent in the aspirations of Eagles fans for this season.
That leaves us with backup QB Dennis Grosel. Those of us who saw him play last season know that not all is lost! Grosel played the entire season finale last year against Virginia, after Jurkovec was out with a minor injury, and tied Doug Flutie’s single-game passing yards record of 520 in the process. He’s a capable QB, but it should also be noted that Virginia was basically blowing BC out by the 2nd half of that game. Such a performance would be more meaningful and would inspire more hope for this season if it was a W.
Nonetheless, Grosel is capable of a decent season as an ACC starter, even if not a top-tier talent like Jurkovec. So let’s take a look at each game this season and see how BC’s outlook has changed and what record we expect them to end with.
Week 3 @ Temple
This game should still be a win, but the odds are going to significantly drop. I had BC’s odds at about an 85% chance of success before, but the Jurkovec injury during the week of the game should drop them to about 70%. I still believe this BC team is better than Temple overall, but it’s a sudden change to the offense and Grosel hasn’t been practicing nearly as much with the starters, so it could be a tough turnaround and I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see an upset. But let’s call it a W for now, putting BC at 3-0.
Week 4 vs Mizzou
Before the injury, this game was going to be a toss-up because of how much a shoot-out it was going to be. It easily would’ve been a “last possession wins the game” type of affair due to the teams’ high-powered offenses and mediocre defenses. But with Jurkovec out and Grosel still settling into his starting role, BC’s offense will be stunted against what should be a powerful Tigers group. Mizzou probably runs away with this one, because just a few stalled drives from BC would put them far behind the competition. BC takes its first loss to go 3-1.
Week 5 @ Clemson
With Jurk they probably had a 15% chance of winning in Death Valley. Make that 5% with Grosel. BC drops to 3-2.
Week 6 vs NC State
Now here’s a game outlook that keeps changing. In the preseason, many expected this game to be pretty much a toss-up and potentially the match-up between the two teams most likely to get 2nd place in the Atlantic. Then NC State floundered against Mississippi State and looked pretty average, meaning maybe BC could sit in the driver’s seat for this one. Then the Jurkovec injury update was announced. So let’s still call this one a toss-up, putting BC’s record at either 3-3 or 4-2.
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 @ Louisville
Here’s a game that BC was solidly favored in but is now a toss-up. Both teams will have a bye week coming into this game, so there isn’t any advantage to be had there. Last season BC won by just a TD, 34-27, and Louisville returns their star QB Malik Cunningham in a new-look offense that may start to represent where head coach Scott Satterfield is taking the team for the future. The Cardinals will still struggle this season with some growing pains after losing their top 2 WRs and RB1 from last year, so it’s still anybody’s game. BC’s record could be as low as 3-4 or as high as 5-2 after this game.
Week 9 @ Syracuse
This game should still be a win. Grosel is definitely a quality-enough starter to beat the worst team in the Atlantic, and the Orange will find it difficult to stop the plethora of weapons he will have at his disposal. The Syracuse offense is also pretty weak, so the BC defense will have an easier time stopping them. BC improves to 4-4 minimum, or as high as 6-2.
Week 10 vs Virginia Tech
I’m going to call this one a pretty likely loss. Virginia Tech looks a lot better this year after beating UNC to start the season, and this game was still pretty much a toss-up when Jurkovec was healthy, so BC should be a decent underdog now. A win wouldn’t be totally shocking, but for the sake of this exercise, BC’s record drops to 4-5 worst-case, 6-3 best-case.
Week 11 @ Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech is an unpredictable team this year but should still be an underdog to BC with Grosel. Denny Dimes will have very much settled into his starting role by now and should be running the offense at a decent clip. With weapons like Zay Flowers, Trae Barry, the hopeful return of Jaelen Gill, and others, Grosel should be able to perform well enough to come out of this one on top. BC improves to a record between 5-5 and 7-3.
Week 12 vs Florida State
FSU looks pretty bad right now after losing to FCS opponent Jacksonville State on a shocker of a last play, but they should get better over the course of the season as the team gets acclimated and fluke plays to lose a game happen less. I still like BC’s odds in this one and think they should be favored, but FSU has a lot of talented players on their team and shouldn’t be underestimated. On a bad day, BC theoretically loses this one and could drop as low as 5-6. On a normal day, they should probably win and climb as high as 8-3.
Week 13 vs Wake Forest
Here’s another toss-up. BC would probably have been solidly favored against the Demon Deacons with Jurkovec and it would have been a good game in which the Eagles could probably pull away in the 2nd half. With Grosel in at QB, expect this one to be a grind with both teams potentially fighting for a bowl berth. BC could drop as low as 5-7 or rise as high as 9-3.
- Best-case scenario: 10-2
- Worst-case scenario: 7-5
- Best-case scenario: 9-3
- Worst-case scenario: 5-7
This ain’t that bad! It certainly dashes many of the hopes BC fans had of potentially challenging Clemson for the ACC Atlantic crown or making our way to an NY6 bowl game, but there’s still the potential for a solid season in here with Grosel at QB. He’s not bad, he’s just not as great as Jurk. The Eagles probably end up somewhere in the middle, at 6-6 or 7-5, leaving the Daz 7-win curse intact for another year.