Brian: Normally, I'd thoroughly enjoy watching Navy embarrass Notre Dame on national TV in the largest media market of the country, or hearing about how Louisville recorded their first shutout in Big East play with a 26-0 whopping of UConn. But the Eagles so utterly depressed me on Saturday, I wasn't able to revel in other programs' misery. Let's start with the likes. What, if anything, did you like from the Eagles performance on Saturday?
Jeff: There's really nothing I liked from Saturday. The defense only gave up touchdowns when Maryland was given a short field but they could've held to the Terps to a field goal at least once. The offense scored a season high against a legitimate opponent but didn't do enough. We had more than half of the fourth quarter to erase a 3 point deficit and couldn't. One of the TDs was fairly lucky.
Brian: Where can the Eagles improve? Do you think they can show improvement in those areas? Or this late in the season, are the Eagles problems so fundamental that they can't easily be corrected in BC's remaining five games.
Jeff: The Eagles can eliminate some mistakes and beat the Marylands of the ACC and beat everyone who isn't as good as Maryland. Last week we needed four turnovers to stick with Florida State on the road. This week, Maryland needed to win the turnover battle to win the game. If we were even with turnovers against Maryland we win that game. The Eagles should be able to win at home against Maryland regardless, but the toughest win for Rettig and this team right now will be the first one in conference.
Brian: The bad news doesn't stop with BC's 24-21 loss to Maryland, their fifth straight loss overall and fourth straight loss in conference. On Saturday, the Eagles lost three of their senior defensive leaders to injury.
Wes Davis suffered a neck injury in yesterday's loss and was taken off in a stretcher. He was released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital on Sunday, but his immediate return to the field is in doubt. Senior DE Alex Albright, who was having arguably the best season of any Eagle defender, is now lost for the season after suffering a broken right fibula. Finally, senior cornerback DeLeon Gause suffered cartilage damage in his right knee and like Davis, his immediate return is in question.
Losing three of your senior defensive leaders can be deflating to a team in and of itself. Nevermind the fact that the Eagles are on a five game losing streak and are now losing games against very beatable opponents, at home, in front of a three-quarters full Alumni Stadium crowd.
Has Spaziani lost this team? Relief isn't likely to come this weekend against a Clemson team that finally got the Georgia Tech monkey off their back and are playing their best football of the season. Do you have any hope of BC turning things around and becoming bowl-eligible, or has Spaz lost complete control at this point. Your thoughts?
Jeff: First, I was actually pleasantly surprised with the crowd at Alumni. I had feared it would be much worse.
As for the injuries, Albright was having a really nice season so it is such a shame he is out for the rest of the season since he's been injured for much of his career. For Davis and Gause, let's hope to get some good news this week.
Regarding Spaz, why would you say he's lost the team now? If he lost the team, he lost it when we got shutout by Virginia Tech. He then moved Shinskie from starter to third string against Notre Dame and back to starter against N.C. State. Yanking him in both the N.C. State and Virginia Tech games for Marscovetra who gave us no spark off the bench. Rettig has not been great but the team has been competitive in the two games he's started. Spaz might actually be getting the team back a little, if anything. The defense can't blame the offense for Saturday because they had no takeaways and failed to make some plays when given opportunities.
One thing you can say for sure is that our record would be no worse than 2-5 if Shinskie had started and played the entirety of every game so far this season. He is still the only QB to win an ACC or meaningful game under Spaz. I think Rettig is the right choice for the rest of the season but whether we finish 2-10 or 7-5 there will be so many what-ifs. I'm also wondering if Herzlich should be playing middle linebacker with Kuechly at strong-side and KPL at weak-side.
Saturday will be a tough game but there is no reason we can't win. Maybe that will be the day things start to click a little more for Rettig and Tranquill allows him to do enough for us to win the game.