The Boston College coaching staff is just beginning to tap into the athleticism and dual threat capabilities of quarterback Thomas Castellanos.
The 5-10, 196-pound, sophomore from Waycross, Georgia, established himself as an ACC prototype in his second career start, a 31-29 loss to No. 3 Florida State in the league opener for both teams on Saturday at Alumni Stadium.
Castellanos attacked the Seminoles’ vaunted defense in the air and on the ground during a second half rally that fell just short. The transfer from Central Florida completed 20 of 33 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown. Castellanos led the Eagles in rushing with 95 net yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.
Since 1996, only 22 FBS quarterbacks have thrown for 300 yards and rushed for at least 95 against an AP Top 25 opponent. Of those 22 quarterbacks, 18 were from the ACC and a few of them were named Lamar Jackson.
BC co-offensive coordinators Steve Shimko and Rob Chudzinski will make greater use of Castellanos’ dual threat components when the Eagles (1-2) travel to face the Louisville Cardinals (3-0) next Saturday (3:30) at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium.
“I think that game gave him a lot of confidence playing against players who can run and he was one of the faster and better players on the field,” said BC head coach Jeff Hafley. “I think we can keep adding, giving him more stuff to learn.
“I think each week you are going to see more tweaks and some new this and that. But then again, some of his biggest plays were when he was moving around either throwing to his receivers down field on when he would take off himself. I’m excited to see where we as a staff can take him and at the same time, we have to be careful.”
Castellanos has showed the ability to scramble, extend plays and make use of all his receivers against a secondary that had previously stoned LSU and Southern Mississippi. Four of the BC wide receivers had a reception of 25 or more yards and Castellanos opened the scoring with a 32-yard catch and run to Lewis Bond at 10:53 of the first.
Senior wide receiver Dino Tomlin led the group with a 52-yard reception, the longest of his career. Speedster Ryan O’Keefe was the top target with six catches. When the final stats were tallied, 205 of Castellanos’ 305 passing yards were yards after catch.
“We had a lot of big catch and runs in that game and I think a lot of that had to do with him keeping the play alive,” said Hafley.
“Thomas does a really good job keeping his eyes downfield when he scrambles. He keeps his eyes down the field and he sees it pretty well and give credit to the wide outs for coming back to the ball.”
Of the school record 18 penalties issues against the Eagles, two of them extended a 75-yard FSU scoring drive with an edict from the back pages of the rules book. The Eagles’ defense was on the wrong side of two “delay of game disconcerting signals penalties” on the Seminoles’ drive that tied the game 10-10 at 10:23 of the second quarter.
A Google search revealed that a delay of game disconcerting signals penalty “occurs when a defensive player imitates the offensive signal, specifically the quarterback in cadence, with the intention of causing confusion among the offensive team.”
“I think in every game there are some good calls and I think in every game there are some missed calls,” said Hafley. “I am still trying to figure that one out.”
Changes in Latitudes
There is no room for scheduling consistency in an age where conferences run their own networks and dictate kickoff times to generate the broadest exposure for their brand.
BC has been the exception to that rule so far this season. The Eagles opened the 125th campaign in school history with three straight home games, all of them with a noon kickoff.
The Eagles will have to break that pattern with a trip to Louisville and a midafternoon start.
“This is going to be different and I’m going to be challenging them on it when I build a plan for how we are going to win this game,” said Hafley. “We have had the same Friday Saturday every week and now it is going to be different, a 3:30 game on the road.”
“We have to understand this is a business trip and I think we will. We have to put in the work and then we have to handle to the road. I’m going to count on the leaders and count on the coaches to help me out.”