Talking Boston College With BC Interruption

This week I caught up with Brian @ BC Interruption and we talked a bit about Montel Harris, Chase Rettig, and what led to the end of BC's lengthy bowl streak. I answered some of Brian's questions over at BCI.

 

Generally speaking, it looks like the defense is the main culprit behind Boston College’s poor season. What happened to that side of the ball?

I don’t think it has been the defense that’s been the main culprit behind Boston College’s poor season. I mean, I see what you’ve done here, but in my opinion, the defense has held up relatively well considering how much time they’ve been on the field this season. As individual units, the defensive line and secondary are just OK. The strength has been in the linebacking corps anchored by All-American Luke Kuechly.

But if I had to point to a side of the ball that’s been the main culprit for BC’s 2-7 start, it would have to be the Eagles’ offense. Not the defense. Aside from the I-AA game against UMass and the road game against Maryland where BC ran all over the Terps run defense, BC hasn’t gotten much of anything going on offense all season.

It certainly doesn’t help when your offensive coordinator leaves the team for health reasons after the second game of the season. It also doesn’t help when you lose the ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year to injury. That said, there were a number of red flags on offense last week against Florida State that lead me to believe Spaz has basically thrown in the towel in terms of putting together an offensive game plan that puts the players in a position to win. See also:

-          Run, run, pass, punt offensive sets

-          Running back-to-back draw plays on 2nd and 21 and 3rd and 21 against the ACC’s top run defense

-          Calling 11 run plays to just 2 passes, eating up over 7 minutes of clock down 31 in the fourth quarter

-          And punting from the FSU 43 at the end of that drive, again, down 31 with four minutes to go

 

Aside from tackling machine Luke Kuechly, who are some guys on BC’s defense we should keep an eye on or be worried about?

Kuechly is a huge presence on D. He seems to stand head and shoulders above everyone else on defense. After all, he leads the D in total tackles (150), solo stops (80), assisted tackles (70), tackles per game (16.67), tackles for loss (8.5) and even interceptions (2). Other than Kuechly, keep an eye on Max Holloway and Kasim Edebali on the defensive line. The entire D Line wasn’t very effective in the blowout loss to Florida State but has the ability to break through the line and disrupt the State passing game.

In the defensive backs, Donnie Fletcher is basically the only starter left from the preseason depth chart. The secondary has been decimated by injury or player departures / suspensions and now features six (of eight) true freshmen or redshirt freshmen on the two-deep.

What’s the status of Montel Harris? Is he going to be back next season for another run at Ted Brown’s ACC rushing record?

Spaz and the coaching staff decided to shut Montel down after the Clemson game. Harris, along with DT Kaleb Ramsey, will apply for a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA and will hopefully return for a fifth year. Both suffered season-ending injuries, appeared in less than 30% of BC’s games this year, with none of them coming past the midway point of the season, which are the criteria the NCAA looks for in granting these waivers. So now, we wait ...

If he returns, I’d imagine he’ll easily break Ted Brown’s ACC rushing record next season. I say if because I’m not really clear what Harris’ motivation to return will be. Will BC have a new coach? Will DeFilippo roll the dice and stick with Spaziani another season in hopes that he can turn this thing around? Does Harris want to come back and play? Will the NCAA even grant a medical hardship waiver for Montel? Unfortunately, we have lots of open questions and not a lot of answers at this point.

Have you seen progress from Chase Rettig this season, or are you getting the sense that he just doesn’t have much upside? Basically, how optimistic are you about the future of this offense if Rettig is running the show as a junior or senior?

I haven’t seen much progress from Rettig this season, but the jury is out on whether that is on him or on some other factors. Those factors include, but are not limited to: an offensive line that continues to regress under Spaz, a key injury to senior WR Ifeanyi Momah in the season opener against Northwestern and an offensive game plan that simply does not put Rettig or the offense in a position to be successful.

I wouldn’t say that Rettig has regressed -- as his numbers have been fairly consistent with last season’s totals – but I wouldn’t say he’s made much progress either. It’s hard to be optimistic about the future of this offense with Rettig when he’s completing just a hair over 50 percent of his passes and the offensive game plans have been downright miserable under Spaz, OCs Kevin Rogers and now Dave Brock.

If this is it for Spaziani, how will Boston College’s football program fill the moustache shortage created by his absence?

If Spaziani is given a pink slip at season’s end, it will be a brutal two year stretch for moustaches on the Heights. First it was Al Skinner, then Spaz? Hopefully the AD would hire someone like Dave Wannstead or Howard Schnellenberger to counterbalance the loss of Spaz’s stache. Having three of the highest profile men’s varsity head coaches facial hair-less is not a good look for the Eagles.

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