Northwestern 24, Boston College 17: First Reactions To A Tough Loss

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: Chase Rettig #11 of the Boston College Eagles is slow to get up after he is sacked in the fourth quarter against the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2011 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.The Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Boston College Eagles 24-17. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Well that wasn't very fun, was it?

Boston College came in as the favorite, played like they weren't and lost. They were out coached and outplayed and the Eagles sent a pretty packed Alumni Stadium home to suck on their wounds and think about how to fix this mess for the Central Florida game. Let's look at what went well and what didn't in today's game.

Positives

-- Chase Rettig threw for 375 yards today. Even with my high expectations I didn't expect him to put up such gawdy numbers. He hit open receivers--most of the time--and converted a bunch of third and longs, something we didn't see much of last year.

-- At times the offensive line game Rettig more than enough time to throw the ball. As my friend Dave said "Most QB's operate on a timer in their head, Rettig was working on a calendar"

-- Ifeanyi Momah had a monster game. Going into this game I thought Colin Larmond Jr. would have had the big game, but for the most part he was invisible. On the other hand, Momah had 8 catches for 157 yards. Not a bad game for the senior captain. Just wished he didn't look so gassed in the 4th quarter.

-- Defense made some big stops when they had to. It may have been too little too late but it was nice to see them finally stop Kain Colter on 4th and inches.

Negatives

-- Northwestern had 427 total yards. Completely unacceptable. They moved the ball at will against BC and the Eagles were lucky that the Wildcats only put up 24 points.

-- Albert Louis Jean ... enough of the 8 yard buffer for the corners. He got burned by Jeremy Ebert on multiple occasions. The positive was that the Kain Colter didn't torch them with long plays, but he did pick them apart with the short and intermediate throws. That has got to stop.

-- Chase Rettig again. Can someone please show him what to do when a pass rush comes after him? Taking a sack and not throwing a pick is fine when you are in the pocket--but not with 4 seconds left---. And throwing the ball away and taking an intentional grounding penalty is probably the easiest penalty to avoid.

-- The play calling. So is Kevin Rogers just going to be the aerial version of Gary Tranquill? Great BC threw the ball a lot. Woohoo we won't have the worst passing game in the country. But where were the 5 wide receiver sets, Chris Pantale, trick plays....anything other than short hooks and slants? Coach Spaziani said on Friday that BC had a bigger playbook this year....I didn't see that yesterday.

-- Andre Williams really struggled cutting between the tackles yesterday. He looked hesitant and didn't do much against a defense he should have shredded. After the first play of the game where he ripped off the 69 yard run, Williams managed only 2.14 yards a carry. Also he missed his blocks on blitzes on numerous occasions yesterday--though he did make a great block on the final drive. I wonder if his injury was slowing him down.

Final Thoughts

Though the Eagles lost, we can't bury ourselves in doom and gloom just yet. Chase Rettig showed that with a few adjustments -- getting rid of the ball earlier, pocket presence -- he will be a good QB for the Eagles and be able to put up points. The defense showed bright spots as well. We are just going to need to see if they can do it for an entire game. Next week BC has UCF who sport a stellar defense. Offensive Coordinator Kevin Rogers is going to need to open up that playbook and try some new things or else that Canes-Knights defense is going to be all over Rettig. Also it is very clear that BC needs Montel Harris back. He claims he was going to only miss the first game, Spaz and the coaching say otherwise. This may be the biggest story going into Week 2.

 

Quick note: I did not speak about specifics about the offensive and defensive lines. I was at the game and had a hard time picking out who was who from my seats. I will have more thoughts on them once I watch a replay of the game.

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