In Notre Dame, the Eagles gave the Irish all they could handle. And as a Boston College fan, I don't know how to feel.
On one hand, BC kept themselves in this game the entire 60 minutes, something they have struggled to do all season. But on the other hand the Eagle' blew numerous opportunities and capped off the first half with a signature Spaziani "piss away the end of the half."
There were a few stories here that dominated the game. The first was the impressive play the BC defense. Notre Dame looked like they were going to dominate the game early with a quick score by Jonas Gray and a field goal by David Ruffer. But BC wasn't going to let themselves get run out of South Bend.
Tommy Rees -- who as a side note has a long way to progress -- never looked comfortable and the BC secondary continued to keep Michael Floyd and the Irish wide receivers in front of them limiting them to the short stuff. This forced Notre Dame to punt the ball a whopping eight times during the game and gave Max Holloway the opportunity to snag an interception in the third quarter. The Kuechly monster finished with 14 tackles, just one shy of the all-time school record of 523.
While the BC defense kept the Eagles in the game, the BC offense did everything possible to allow the Irish to take over the game. Chase Rettig had one really solid drive in the first half where he hit Chris Pantale for a 21 yard pass. But after that it was just a giant mess for the sophomore QB. At one point Rettig threw 10 straight incompletions, which kept the BC defense on the field and prevented the Eagles from establishing any sort of offensive rhythm. Was it the fault of the wide receivers, the offensive line, coaching or Rettig himself? That is a question to be debated.
It's hard to be too mad about this game. Most of us, this author included, completely wrote off the Eagles before the game even started, yet BC stuck around the entire game. Notre Dame, on the other hand, did just enough to win, but they should count their blessings. A better coached team would have been able to take advantage of the Irish offensive ineptitude. But to quote Spaz "it is was it is." For the Eagles, that is another loss, to our rival, a loss that was filled with missed opportunities.
This is just another loss which has added to the misery of being a BC fan. Another alum and a fan of the blog said it more eloquently than I ever could have:
"I remember really looking forward to college football Saturdays. It wasn't so long ago, really. I would start early in the morning, hang the BC flag up outside the house and try to finish the chores by 11 while watching Herby and Corso on College Gameday. Then I might write an opinionated, ironic post on some message board, get a pot of chili going, and watch pieces of the other games that were on before enthusiastically settling in for Clemson or FSU or ND with my wife, the dog and a few Octoberfests. For home games, we'd trek up to Chestnut Hill early to watch warmups, roam the stadium during the game to mingle and cheer with friends, and hang out afterwards until being evicted from campus.
I forgot there was a game today until 9:30 this morning when I tired of Alex Witt on MSNBC and changed the channel to ESPN to watch what I assumed would be Sportscenter. Instead, it was College Gameday and bunch of SEC highlights. I remembered that we're playing too, but to be honest I still don't know what time the broadcast starts. It's Notre Dame, and it's on national television. Don't get me wrong - I'll tune in for some of it, but that's not really the point. Today, it feels like a joyless obligation borne out of our shared history rather than an established rallying point for my fellow alums and, along with pumpkin pie and apple picking, one of the primary staples of an excellent New England autumn.
Gene and Spaz, you've destroyed what I loved about college football.
- Steve (Boston College '05)