Yesterday's game certainly was a statement game for the Boston College Eagles, but in all the wrong ways. Hopefully you had a box of Tums near you last night, because if you were like me you needed it. It truly was a pitiful attempt by a team that has the talent to play much better than it actually did.
Instead of just looking at everything BC did wrong, the purpose of this post is to point out where BC failed and try and determine what steps for improvement BC can take moving forward.
We learned a lot about the team from their play against UCF. They showed us that their offensive line is a complete and utter disaster. Blame Chase Rettig all you want, but that O-Line was giving him no time to throw the ball. On many plays Rettig would hike the ball, and the defensive line would already be in the back field. The series where BC had 3rd and 1 and couldn't move the ball forward three feet on two plays was the perfect example of how disastrous the line has become. Offensive Line Coach Sean Devine needs to come up with better schemes than he has been, or BC is going to get killed against defenses like Florida State, Virginia Tech and Clemson.
Rettig is not free of blame either. He made quite a few bad reads last night, leading to the two interceptions. And for god sakes throw the ball with a little touch, BC needs a quarterback out there, not Jonathan Papelbon. Another criticism for Rettig was that he playing like he was being asked to make huge plays every time he was out there. He needs to figure out ways to make the small stuff work. It was very frustrating watching him throw the ball away on 3rd and 2 with an entire side of the field wide open for him to tuck it and run.
It was also clear that the loss of Ifeanyi Momah is going to be huge for the Eagles. Colin Larmond Jr. doesn't seem like a number one receiver, and was completely irrelevant in the game plan. Bobby Swigert looked good on the first series, but completely disappeared near the end of the game. Jonathan Coleman also was completely invisible. BC is going to need a wide receiver to step up and be Chase Rettig's go to guy, or else he is going to struggle all season. At this point I don't have a clue who that is going to be.
Should BC bring back Montel Harris next week? That is the million dollar question. Personally I don't think he will be that big of a difference with the way the offensive line has been playing. At this point, redshirting Harris and going with Andre Williams for the remainder of the season makes the most sense. Let Harris take his time recovering, and not waste his last season on this trainwreck.
So that new offensive system that Kevin Rogers was going to bring in, has anyone found it yet? Watching yesterday, it seemed like BC was running the exact same game plan that Gary Tranquill used last season. If I can call out BC's plays from my couch, than I can't imagine what the UCF Defense was thinking. I just don't get Spaz and Rogers' mind frame. The offense continued to call the same plays over and over again. Where were the screen passes when UCF's blitzes became too overbearing? Why not try a 4 or 5 wide receiver set? Why not line up Chris Pantale and Lars Anderson and have them catch more passes in the flats? Anything would have been better than the repetitive set of plays and formations Spaz and Rogers used all game.
We also found out that our defensive line still can get pressure against any offensive line. Luke Kuechly got his tackles, but honestly who cares? He is great, but he is just one player on a defensive system that is no longer elite. Not having Kaleb Ramsey was huge. Plus, the combination of Dillon Quinn, Kasim Edebali and Conor O'Neal are just not cutting it against the pass or the run. Jeff Godfrey and that option run killed BC, and any good future opponent should watch that, and run it over and over again until BC keels over like they did last night. Frank Spaziani needs to figure out a new combination on his defensive front. He has a ton of youth on his roster, he should consider giving them more playing time if the current starters continue to let up big plays, especially on third down.
Donnie Fletcher made some good plays in his return to the Eagles, but all in all the secondary let up too many big plays. True many of those catches were acrobatic, but that is still no excuse. Good defenses step up, they don't make excuses.
I am sure I am not the first person to say this, but BC is in big trouble. If they continue to play like they did last night, there is no sure win on their schedule--except UMass--. And forget about games against FSU and Clemson. Changes need to happen soon or this season is going to get really ugly.