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Putting The Past Behind Us and the Big Finish

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Brian: Linebacker Mike McLaughlin didn’t like what he saw last Saturday. Neither did a lot of Eagles fans, for that matter. Mac thought the loss to Virginia Tech really took the wind out of the sails of the Eagles, particularly the younger members of the team. So on Sunday, McLaughlin called a players-only meeting to help refocus the Eagles and put the Virginia Tech loss behind them:

"Anytime you go down to a place like that and play a team like that and, unfortunately, get beat like that, I think you kind of need to regroup a little bit," McLaughlin said. "[The meeting] was more focused on this weekend, N.C. State … You want to stay positive. You don’t want to focus on the negative. A good team moves on."

"I think the main message was to understand how good a football team we are, No. 1. That was the main thing. And No. 2, just how big this football game is coming up against North Carolina State. It's easy to say we've got a game against Florida State with (ESPN's) 'GameDay' coming or we've got a big game against Virginia Tech down at Lane Stadium."

"But this is the biggest game of the season, one because it's the next one, but two because of what happened last weekend and the position we can put ourselves in winning at Atlantic Division game. It doesn't get any bigger than this as far as standings and all that."

Do you think this players-only meeting will help refocus the Eagles? Do you like the display of leadership from McLaughlin in calling for the meeting on Sunday? And can the Eagles get past the beating they took to the Hokies to win this game tomorrow?

Jeff: I think the players only meeting couldn't have hurt anything. We know how big this game is in order for the Eagles to achieve what their goals should be for the season. Their goals should not be simply to make a bowl or to prove some people in the media wrong with their preseason predictions.  Their goals should have been to go back to Tampa and to keep their winning streak against Notre Dame alive.  

The week before the Notre Dame game has been historically bad for the Eagles.  Since 2001 BC is 2-4 in the games the week before the Eagles play Notre Dame and one of those two wins came against Bowling Green. Hopefully, the players on this team realize the importance of this game and are not still down because of the trip to Blacksburg or looking ahead to South Bend.

Brian: I think the Eagles 2-4 record the week before the game with the Irish is interesting. Remember though that given the 2 year break in the Notre Dame series, even the seniors have only faced the Irish twice and are 1-1 in the week leading up to Notre Dame. I think the more relevant stat would be how the coaching staff can recover and get this team back on track. Since Spaziani became the Eagles defensive coordinator, BC has gone 32-16 (.667) following a loss. Here's to hoping that Spaz will have the team motivated, particularly the defense, to play this weekend.

Dave Shinskie is also looking to put the past behind him and rebound from a horrible performance in which he went 1 for 12 passing, for 4 yards, 2 interceptions and 2 sacks.

"I’ve been through bad losses." "It’s almost going out in the first inning of a baseball game and giving up nine runs. Your ERA is going to be high.

You have to come back throw nine strong innings and hold them scoreless the next time. You’ve got to put it behind you. You have to do it or you’re not going to make it."

Do you expect Shinskie to rebound and have a good game tomorrow?

Jeff: Yes, I really do.  Shinskie has a lot of things going for him.  In his two previous starts at home against ACC opponents he has looked very good and both of those teams have a much better pass defense than NC State will bring with them Saturday.  Even though he is a freshman, he has plenty of experience through baseball of having poor outings he needed to bounce back from. Let's face it. If he never had poor outings he'd still be pitching and not the Eagles quarterback. Also if he never bounced back from them he wouldn't have lasted more than a season in professional baseball.

 

Big Finish

Brian: After getting torched by Riley Skinner and Thaddeus Lewis, will the NC State secondary rebound this weekend? Or do you expect Shinskie and the BC quarterbacks to have a big day through the air?

Jeff: He will probably put up his best numbers of the season.

Brian: Wow. You heard it here first.

 

Jeff: The ACC’s Atlantic Division – parity or parody?

Brian: There are some decent teams in the Atlantic this season but clearly they are being overshadowed by the success of the top three teams in the Coastal.

 

Brian: Is Tom O’Brien’s presence still felt in Chestnut Hill? How significant is TOB’s return to the Heights three years later?

Jeff: Yes. TOB's presence is absolutely still felt in Chestnut Hill.  Many players recruited by him are still there and as long as Spaziana is there I think BC will always have a TOB feel.

 

Jeff: The Big East extended their contract with the Meineke Car Care Bowl through 2013, and are currently negotiating with the ACC to renew their contract. Like the move?

Brian: Meh. This bowl is great for the local-area North Carolina teams, but how many bowls are we going to end up playing the Big East in? Champs Sports? Meineke Car Care? Orange Bowl every now and again? Let's branch out and get some games with other BCS conferences.

 

Brian: The National Championship Issue crunched some numbers to show that from 2000-2008, Boston College covered the spread the most of any ACC team (54.6 percent of the time). Your thoughts?

Jeff: That's still not a percentage that you would make money betting every time.

 

Jeff: Who you watching in other ACC action?  Wake-Clemson in the Heather Dinich's new "Atlantic Division team to beat" bowl?  Or Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech to see if Virginia Tech solidifies their trip to Tampa?

Brian: Both. These games are on at different times. Am I missing something here?

 

Brian: Last one, almost every blogger and journalist is predicting BC to win this game. Will this result in some sort of jinx? Do the Eagles get the W this weekend? What’s the final score?

Jeff: I hope they win. You predicted the Eagles to be 3-3 heading into this game and winning while I correctly had Boston College at 4-2 heading into this game but losing so we both had 4-3 after this week. I would stick with my original prediction here but NC State lost to Duke. If BC gets to the point that we expect to lose at home to teams that couldn't beat winless-for-years-in-the-ACC Duke in their home stadium, I doubt we'll have any readers so we might as well stop blogging and spend more time with our wives. BC in a shootout 38-27.

Brian: Hope you are right. Also, while you were right in predicting the Eagles at 4-2, I correctly predicted both games we have lost (Clemson and Virginia Tech). You had us losing to Wake Forest and beating Clemson, so ... it's a wash?

 

Pick 5

Brian: Last week I gained another game on Jeff finishing the week 3-2. This could have been 4-1, but Pittsburgh's goalline offense sucks. But I digress. I again have first pick this week.

  • NC State at Boston College (-3)
  • Arkansas (+24.5) at Florida
  • Iowa (+2.5) at Wisconsin
  • Northwestern (+14.5) at Michigan State
  • Central Michigan (-6.5) at Western Michigan

Jeff:

  • Texas (-3) vs. Oklahoma
  • Georgia at Vanderbilt (+7.5)
  • Wake Forest (+7) at Clemson
  • USC (-10) at Notre Dame
  • Virginia Tech (-3) at Georgia Tech