You can bemoan the Eagles quarterback issues. Or the struggles of the running game. Or the offensive line. Or even the defense falling asleep in the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Irish.
But if there was one statistic that is telling of just how far off the rails this season has already gone, look no further than last Saturday's box score line for penalties:
12 penalties, 120 yards
Wow. To put that number in perspective, consider that the Eagles averaged just 5 penalties per game for 43.5 yards in 2009. BC also didn't eclipse the 100-yard mark for penalties all of last season and hadn't been called for over 100 yards of penalties in 34 games, a streak that dated back to the 2007 home game against Florida State.
This isn't meant to be a total admission of guilt. I think that some of the calls on Saturday were a bit questionable, especially the pass interference calls. But the holding calls on the offensive line killed BC.
Only six times in the last eight seasons have the Eagles gone over the 100-yard mark for penalties.
|2010||Notre Dame||Home||12||120||L 31-13|
|2007||Florida State||Home||8||121||L 27-17|
|2007||Notre Dame||Away||15||131||W 27-14|
|2003||Wake Forest||Home||14||107||L 32-28|
If there's good news in all this, it's that in each of the last three meetings against the Irish, the Eagles have committed far more penalties against Notre Dame than they averaged in a season (1.5 more yards than they averaged in 2009, 53 more yards than the 2008 average and 69 yards more than the 2007 average). Emotions can run high in the Holy War and the Eagles may be more apt to lose their temper or commit more mental errors. Or maybe the fix is in. Either way.
But if BC doesn't reel in the number of penalties and mental mistakes this weekend against N.C. State, it's just one more factor that will make it extremely tough to return from Raleigh with a W.