When Matty Ice’s “number” was retired at halftime of the BC win over UConn yesterday, there was more life in Alumni Stadium than there has been all season. And it wasn’t just long-time BC fans who felt the excitement. Even young BC students and fans who don’t remember him leading BC to national contender status back in 2007 stood up and cheered because they appreciate his legacy here. Or maybe it’s just because he’s on their fantasy teams. But either way there was significance to Matt Ryan’s big return.
To put it lightly, BC football has been overmatched and often non-competitive since Matt Ryan left. They’ve had award winners in Luke Keuchly, Mark Herzlich, and Andre Williams and made some bowl games, but it really hasn’t been the same since Ryan left. Both a coaching and quarterback carousel has forced a freefall in the Boston College program that was supposed to be fixed with the hiring of Steve Addazio. As we’re seeing this year, that just hasn’t happened.
In Matt Ryan’s best season here, he threw for 4507 yards and 31 touchdowns. His career totals were 9313 yards and 67 total touchdowns. His stats, win totals, and now his successful NFL career show he is the best thing to happen to Boston College in the past 20 years, which is why he was honored.
But all today’s halftime spectacle did was bring attention to that fact that BC hasn’t been even close to being a national contender since he left. After Jags left, Spaziani couldn’t bring wins to the team, going 4-8 in 2011 and 2-10 in 2012. Then Addazio came in and started off a respectable 14-10, but has since lost all but 1 ACC contest.
As for quarterbacks, Rettig put up a solid career stat line but never led BC to any more than a 7 win season. And Tyler Murphy brought a dual-threat ability we rarely see at BC but still only won 7 games that season.
Now in these past two seasons we’ve had to endure some of the worst offensive play we’ve ever seen here.
Seeing Matt Ryan brought back a nostalgia for so many BC fans that just want to see their team be great again. The memory of him throwing for two touchdowns in 2 minutes in a top-10 showdown against Virginia Tech in 2007 is one of the best in BC history. We haven’t had a memory like that since then and that’s the reason so many is BC fans are calling for a program change.
And as long as things keep going as they are and as long as BC can’t find a star quarterback like the ones we see now in the ACC (Watson, Jackson) it’ll be a long while before we enjoy good times like we did with Matt Ryan. Unfortunate as that may be.
At least we got to see a glimpse of the history on Saturday, and at least the current Eagles rewarded his presence with their best performance of the season.