Despite losing 42-31 to the Miami Hurricanes, last Saturday was not a bad game for the Eagles by any means. Quarterback Chase Rettig finally looks to be coming into his own and fulfilling his potential as a four-star recruit out of high school. He went 32/51 and threw for 441 yards, all with top targets wide receiver Bobby Swigert and tight end Chris Pantale out with injuries.
However, Rettig easily could have surpassed 500 yards passing if 10 of his throws were not dropped by his receivers. And, through fumbles and a pick-6 thrown by Rettig, the offense basically gave the Hurricanes 17 points.
Granted, though, it looks like the revamped schemes under new Offensive Coordinator Doug Martin is clicking, and has the potential to be a dynamic attack featuring a healthy balance of runs and passes. This clearly is a breath of fresh air compared to the atrocity of last season, where the Eagle offense ranked 111th in the entire Division I Bowl Subdivision in yards gained.
The defense is a different story. With two- time All-American linebacker Luke Kuechly now a Carolina Panther, many holes were exposed in the coverage, and Miami was able to exploit the unit with screens and short passes.
So what now? Well, this Saturday’s matchup against Maine, an FCS team, at Alumni looks to be a slam-dunk win for the good guys.
After that? The schedule gets a bit tougher to say the least. The Eagles travel to Northwestern, then play Clemson at home on Parent’s Weekend to close out the month. Considering that Syracuse put up 41 points against the Wildcats, and Clemson pounded us last year in Death Valley, I’ll predict a win against Northwestern, but a loss against the Tigers.
The Eagles play three straight away games in October. First, they play Army at West Point on Columbus Day Weekend, then have ACC games against Florida State and Georgia Tech. BC should be able to defeat Army, but playing Florida State at home could very well turn into a potential bloodbath like last year. Georgia Tech is an interesting team that relies on the option, and a team that BC has not played in recent years. That game will pretty much come down to defense, which right now is not one of BC’s strong points. BC ends the month playing Maryland at home, which should be an easy win, considering that Maryland’s program is much more in disarray from last year’s disastrous 2-10 season.
In November, BC goes down to Winston-Salem to play the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. Even though Wake beat BC last year, it was a close enough game that it could have gone either way. I’ll put my money on BC here, considering that Wake looked shaky in its opener, and last season’s newfound success is possibly a fluke.
The Eagles close out the year with a two-game homestand, and one away game. First, there is a game at home against the hated rival Fighting Irish, then Senior Day is a marquee matchup against Virginia Tech, then finally a trip to play NC State. All of these games look like probable losses. Even though we only lost to Notre Dame by two points in South Bend last year, Coach Spaziani is 0-3 against them lifetime. Virginia Tech is always a tough team, and NC State has a tremendous home-field advantage.
That adds up to wins against Maine, Northwestern, Army, Maryland, and Wake Forest, and losses against Florida State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and NC State.
That gives us 5 wins for the season. Not enough for a bowl, and definitely not enough to save Spaz.