Skip to content

And in that corner… The Boston College Eagles

Sep 29, 2010, 1:33 PM EDT

Weber State v Boston College Getty Images

As the Irish enter the second quarter of their season, they travel to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College. It’s a another great rivalry game for the Irish, pitting the only two Catholic colleges playing D-I football against each other.

While last year’s contest went the way of the Irish, the decade has been dominated by BC, with the previous six meetings going to the Eagles. This year’s Boston College team sits at 2-1, but is coming off a dispiriting loss at the hands of Virginia Tech. It’s tough to tell what kind of team the Irish face with BC’s wins coming against Weber State and Kent State, but if there’s anyone that can do it, its Bill Maloney, the proprietor of the popular Boston College blog Eagle in Atlanta. Bill was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, and even kinder to talk Jay, one of the founding fathers of the defunct blog Blue-Gray Sky, out of retirement for a quick Q&A.

We asked, Bill answered. Hope you enjoy.

Inside the Irish: It seems as if there’s plenty of concern amongst Eagles fans, and while
BC still sits at 2-1, that one loss is certainly disheartening. What’s
morale like for fans?

Morale is mixed. People are excited about the start of the Chase Rettig
era. But those same people are a little disheartened by how Frank
Spaziani handled the qb depth chart. Many predicted Shinskie’s struggles
and wish that the staff had given Rettig more snaps though the spring
and summer.

ITI: We’ll get to the quarterback situation later. What’s wrong with the
running attack? It looks like both Harris and Phifer are putting up
decent numbers, yet BC is only rushing for running for 115 a game.

The running attack has two problems. One, the offensive line has not performed up to its usual standards. Montel
Harris is doing what he can but he can’t make something out of nothing on every play.

I
think other teams have also made a point to shut down BC’s ground
attack. They wanted Shinskie to beat them through the air. And as we saw
against Virginia Tech, that was a good idea.

ITI: How do you feel BC is progressing under Frank Spaziani in his second year as coach?

I was not a fan of the Spaz hire but give him credit for producing a
wining season given all the issues BC faced last year. The next few
weeks will be a better test of what Spaz is or isn’t capable of as a
coach. BC has enough pieces to compete for the division title. Will Spaz
have them ready and have aggressive gameplans? That remains to be seen.

ITI: So Shinskie is out and you’re reporting that freshman Chase Rettig will
be getting the start. What can Irish fans expect out of him, or Mike
Marscovetra?

Rettig is a true freshman, so no one has ever seen him play. The
buzz based on his high school film and the spring game is that he has a
strong arm and is a quick study of offenses, however he lacks accuracy
and touch. I expect them to slim down the playbook and give him a just
few things to do.

If Marscovetra sees action it will be because
Rettig did not perform well. Marscovetra is fine, but tends to make the
dump off throw and still has trouble with pocket awareness.

ITI: Obviously the return of Mark Herzlich is one of the stories of the
year. How has he looked since coming back? How good has BC’s defense been?

Considering all that he’s been through — including missing summer
practices — Herzlich has been amazing. He looked a little rusty early
on but was very good against Virginia Tech. His speed doesn’t seem to be
at 2008 levels, but I don’t know if that is because of the cancer, the
stress fracture, the rod in his leg or just not having enough time to
prepare for the season. Regardless, he’s been a huge addition to the
team and I expect him to get better as the season progresses.

I
think the scores of these games have been a little misleading and that
BC’s defense has been very good. The playmakers are all at linebacker
but the front four and secondary are experienced and decent players.
Notre Dame will be their toughest test but pass heavy offenses play into
BC’s bend but don’t break schemes.

ITI: What does BC need to do to win this football game?

I think BC
needs to confuse Crist and force him into bad throws. On offense, I
think they need to put it on Montel Harris’ shoulders and not Rettig’s.
If the BC offensive line plays well, the team can win.

ITI: Gut Feeling?

Making your debut as a true freshman on national TV against Notre Dame
really only has two outcomes. It will be a horrible failure or a
storybook success. I am leaning towards success. I think BC doesn’t need
Rettig to do much. If he can make a few throws and avoids mistakes, the
BC defense will do the rest.

*****

Special thanks to the Eagle in Atlanta, one of the best sources for BC news on the web. He’s worth the add on Twitter as well.

  1. TLNDMA - Sep 29, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Enough pieces to challenge for the division title? The man is delusional. You have no QB. Look at the growing pains Crist is going through. They have true frosh, playing his first game. The BC team is always at it’s best when it gets solid QB play. That is highly unlikely this year.

  2. Mike - Sep 29, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    We’re all delusional when it comes to our teams, and fans tend to come out on the optimistic side when it comes to guessing at unknowns.

  3. R Irish - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    I think it is going to be a very good game. Since ND is hungrier for a win, I will bet on the Irish pulling out a win in a tough and close contest.

  4. Kurt R - Sep 29, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Keith, is the second quarter of the season a joke? There are only three quarters. You’re math is fuzzy! Still love your articles, though.

  5. borromini - Sep 30, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    2nd third of the season…that’s what he meant…I think. :-)

  6. tom - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Only 3 quarters? I guess then they will be thirds….

  7. Jennifer - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    I’ll 2nd that, guys.

  8. dan - Sep 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    really, one word is what we will pick on the guy for. great articles keep up the good work keith.

  9. Mike - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    If *you’re* going to criticize small details, check *your* grammar.

  10. Bob - Oct 1, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    TNLD–BC has been a player in it’s division the past 2 years since Ryan left. They made it tot he ACCCG when Chris Crane and then Dominique Davis were the QB. Both players were very mediocre at best. Last year, they went 5-3 in the ACC and were not eliminated from the division title until the last weekend. Guess who was the QB then? True frosh Dave Shinskie. If Rettig replaces Shins, it means he’s probably better than him, which means they have a better QB than they did last year.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!