Sep 15, 2012; Evanston, IL, USA; Boston College Eagles defensive back C.J. Jones (6) celebrates with defensive back Jim Noel (23) after recovering a Northwestern Wildcats fumble during the second quarter at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
Saturday's game was by far one of the most frustrating games to have watched during the Frank Spaziani era. Just from a simple eyeball test, it seemed as if the team did not improve at all or adjust to any of the mistakes they made in the first two games. There were fumbles, dumb penalties, poor tackling, and a very weak rushing attack. But let's take a step back today and look at the good, bad and VERY bad from Saturday's game.
Chase Rettig - Poor kid. Plays one and a half season where he struggles, and has a running game and some semblance of a defense, now he comes into his own and he stuck on his own island of awesomeness. Seriously, what can you say bad about this kid? Again he did what he had to do, made no turnovers, and did reasonably well feeling the defensive pressure. Rettig deserves accolades for his performances, but with the production shown around him, he too will be stuck in obscurity.
Red Zone Defense - Really struggled to find a second positive thing to say about this game, but can you imagine what the score would have been if BC floundered between the 20's? The tone of this week would have gone from bad, to very ugly quickly. The Eagles did a solid job keeping the WIldcats out of the endzone, and forced a turnover when C.J. Jones recovered a fumble. If only there was a way to translate that success to the other 60 yards of the field where it seemed like a Northwestern track meet.
BC doubled their sack total - Going into the game BC had one total sack the entire season. They got two on Saturday. Small victory?
Drops - As Jeff talked about earlier today, these drops seem to be endemic with this team. None of the wide receivers have been immune to this disease. Alex Amidon dropped what could have been a touchdown catch in the end zone, Johnathan Coleman dropped a sure 1st down catch in Northwestern territory, and Spiffy Evans continues to struggle. The only playmakers who seem to not be effected by the drop bug are the tight ends, but that's because they have been completely invisible and not relevant as receivers the first three weeks.
Television Coverage - I find it absolutely unacceptable that fans living in the Boston area could not watch this game unless they had Verizon FiOS or DIRECTV. I find absolutely appalling that BC students couldn't even watch the game on campus because it wasn't on TV. Also BTN is the clownshoes of college football coverage. How many plays did they completely miss because the camera man was watching the wrong guy? And the announcers seemed to be the only two guys who don't know how to pronounce Carolina's rookie LB -- say it with me now "LUKE KEEEEK-LY." There you go.
Also, why didn't BC communicate the start time of their Sesquicentennial Mass at Fenway Park? Obviously the mass should take precedent over a football game, but wouldn't BC want to make a day out of this? Go to Mass, and then watch the game at a restaurant that BC rents out? Seems like poor planning and communication all around.
"Shoulda Woulda Coulda" - Only took Frank Spaziani three weeks to give his dissenters another whopper of a quote. He actually had a few this week, including not having a clue what to do with Rolandan Finch and claiming he doesn't know what he has on a team until Week 6. Sometimes it's very difficult to be a fan and hear these things. I can't imagine how the players feel.
Other possibilities: Offensive play calling
The Running Game - Spaz seems to think that our offense has to have the running backs perform in order to work. I think he is partially right there. If Rolandan Finch / Andre Williams / Tahj Kimble can only manage 2.5 yards a carry and make careless turnovers, what is the point? As I mentioned before BC struggled all over the place trying to run the ball, and numerous offensive series stalled when they lost yards on a run. BC seriously needs to scrap the finesse running game, and throw a few I formations in there and run power sets. The draws from the shotgun are just not working, the plays are too clunky and the backs aren't quick enough.
The Defense - What's left to say that hasn't already been said. If you played a drinking game where you had to drink every time an Eagle missed a tackle, you probably would still be drunk. BC couldn't stop anything against Northwestern--unless it was in the red zone--and let the Wildcats rack up 560 yards. Northwestern is a solid peer football program, but they aren't that good. I shutter to think what Clemson and Florida State will do to this defense unless Spaz and Bill McGovern make adjustments.
The Penalties - If your defense is floundering, and getting the opposing offense off the field is a challenge, then making stupid penalties is completely inexcusable. In the first quarter BC held Venric Mark to a short gain, but a bad late hit by Kevin Pierre-Louis kept the chains moving. Again in the second quarter the Eagles looked undisciplined when Nick Clancy was called for another late hit. They can't let their emotions get the best of them.
Other possibilities: Rolandan Finch's Fumble, The BTN Announcers, Frank Spaziani's In-Game and Between Game Adjustments