This week's Q&A may feel a bit funereal, and with good reason--Boston College is nearing the end of a dreadful season as well as the end of Frank Spaziani's tenure. I spoke with BC Interruption about what's changed for QB Chase Rettig, and what's gone wrong for the BC defense (everything, apparently).
1. So this is finally the end, right? The conference's greatest mustache is out following the season?
Absolutely, Frank Spaziani is a goner after Saturday's game. His fate was sealed when former AD Gene DeFilippo decided to retire/got forced out, and was replaced by Brad Bates. Word on the street is that Bates is already forming committees to start the search, that he plans on getting a big name and that money won't be an issue. BC fans couldn't be happier to hear that, mostly because Spaz is easily the most incompetent coach in college football. He can't coach in game, he is horrible at making at adjustments, his roster management is a joke, and he can't recruit.
2. I noticed that BC is allowing opponents to convert almost 51% of their first downs, which is not what one would call good. Is there something systemic that the Eagles are doing differently on third downs?
Not tackling? I don't know, BC's defense has been a giant sieve all season, and I don't expect them to change that on Saturday. The problem is systemic. BC's secondary plays the "Spaz cushion" which gives opposing wide receivers about eight yards, so the Eagles overmatched corners won't get burned. However this allows teams to make a choice, they can either slant and short pass BC to death, or if they have a player like Michael Campanaro or DeAndre Hopkins, they can just run past the secondary anyways. On the front line, BC is atrocious. They get no pressure on the QB, and no push on run plays, therefore allowing 3rd downs to be completed at a mind numbing rate.
3. Have things started to click for Chase Rettig this season? His passing numbers are better than they were in his first two seasons despite little support from the ground game, and BC's offense looks more productive in general.
I would say overall yes things have turned around for the junior quarterback. After a season and a half of looking completely lost, for the most part Rettig has looked much more confident and the signal caller BC has needed. However, BC's offense has begun to disintegrate, mostly because the offensive line and run game has been terrible. Rettig has been getting hit more often, and it seems like he's starting to see shadows and getting rid of the ball quicker then he needs to. Who can blame him though, he's been getting clobbered game after game for two plus years, I just want to see him make it to the end of the year in one piece.
4. Alex Amidon is having a great season and will in all likelihood cross the 1200-yard receiving mark this weekend. Last year he accounted for just 220 yards--what is it that's allowed him to make that sort of leap in production?
There is a few things that have accounted for Amidon's rise to the top in the ACC. One is Doug Martin, BC's offensive coordinator. He instituted a quicker pace offense (that Spaz has ripped to shreds over the season), that benefits a quick receiver like Amidon. Plus an injury to last year's leading receiver Bobby Swigert has allowed Amidon to fill that role, couple that with last year's yards leader Colin Larmond Jr. being relegated to Spaz's dog house, and you have a perfect opportunity for Amidon to emerge. He has had a great season, but he would have had a historic season if his hands were a little better. But beggars can't be choosers.
5. In what areas is the Boston College defense struggling this season?
All of them. God this season can't end soon enough. Enjoy the game Saturday.