Cunningham a tall task for BC
Louisville’s dual-threat QB tough to stop
Boston College wide receiver Ezechiel “Zeke” Tieide played a significant role preparing the Eagles for Saturday’s ACC match at Louisville.
BC coach Jeff Hafley didn’t have a quarterback on the roster with the athleticism to mimic Louisville’s dynamic dual threat Malik Cunningham for scout team.
Cunningham is a knockoff version of the Cardinals’ Heisman Trophy-winning QB Lamar Jackson, who is tearing up the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. Tieide, a 6-foot-2, 202-pound, redshirt junior from Lachine, Quebec, played quarterback at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H.
“Zeke is a wideout for us and he’s a big guy and he played quarterback this week for the scout team,” said Hafley. “The guy was unbelievable and he’s a big guy that can run and was a quarterback at one time.
“We needed that look this week, a guy who can run and is strong and can make guys miss and at times throw the ball. We rely on that and I appreciate Zeke and the guys who give us their all to win. I have a tremendous amount of respect for them.”
For his contributions to the defensive game plan, Tieide earned a trip to Louisville, where he can watch Cunningham up close. Cunningham gave the BC defense heartburn in the Eagles’ 34-27 victory in 2020. Cunningham led Louisville in rushing with 133 yards on 17 carries while completing 19-of-31 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s not he’s just like this runner … he’s a thrower and he sits back in the pocket and can throw the ball,” said Hafley. “He can throw for 300 yards a game and he can run it. What that guy does for his team in incredible. I think he’s a phenomenal player and quarterback. I think it all goes through him.”
Louisville is fifth in the ACC in scoring (32.4 ppg.), total offense (453.1 ypg.), rushing (176.6 ypg.), and fourth in passing (276.3 ypg.)
Cunningham has 165 completions for 2,150 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has rushed for 449 yards on 104 carries with four touchdowns.
“This is the most athletic offense I’ve seen on tape,” said Hafley. “They give you different looks and different formations but what is different about them is the speed of the quarterback.”