FOOTBALL: Eagles Ready For Tricky Yellow Jacket Defense
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Chase Rettig will have to keep an eye on his blind side the entire game this weekend against Georgia Tech‘s 3-4 defensive front. The Yellow Jackets’ tricky defensive formation, even with an interim defensive coordinator, will constantly try to confuse the Boston College quarterback.
“It is complicated sometimes, being in the odd front with four linebackers,” Rettig said. “Those defenses tend to be more mobile and trying to confuse the quarterback and make him make bad decisions. If we see things we didn’t see in film this week, we’ll be sure to talk about them on the sidelines.”
The odd defensive front with only three defensive linemen should make it easier for running back Andre Williams to find gaps.
“It’s always a little bit easier to run against an odd defense just because the D-Line—there’s only three of them,” Williams said. “They have holes.”
There will be some element of surprise on Saturday, though, since this will be the Yellow Jackets’ first game without their old defensive coordinator, Al Groh.
“I’m not really to sure what they’re going to give us on defense because the defensive coordinator left over the bye week so we’re just trying to prepare for everything,” Williams said.
Both BC and Georgia Tech have struggled with consistency, and a strong fourth quarter could make the difference on Saturday.
“Any team that has lost many close games has created some awareness of how much goes into winning a football game and how much one must put forth to win a football game,” Rettig said. “Georgia Tech has been in two overtime games in which they lost. They are very hungry, and we are too.”
Burdened by a four-game losing streak, the Eagles have been working even harder to get a win.
“It’s hard,” said senior offensive tackle Emmett Cleary of the team morale. “I’m not going to say it’s not affecting people, because whenever you put so much into something and it’s not going well, it has some effect. The reason why I love our team is because we’ve been practicing better than ever, guys are playing their asses off, and we just have to win.”
Players Supporting Spaz
The BC players have heard the criticism of head coach Frank Spaziani, but they said that they have felt prepared by the coaches heading into games this season.
“I feel we are very prepared this season,” said sophomore wide receiver Spiffy Evans. “I would not blame anything that has happened this season on the coaches because they are not playing the game. They are upstairs making the game plan, but it’s not them out there making the plays or not making the plays. As for the losses, we take full responsibility as a team and as a unit.”
The Eagles showed confidence in their coach and said that execution on their end has been the reason for poor results so far this year.
“Coach Spaz has been here for a while, and he’s been on some very successful teams,” added linebacker Steele Divitto. “It’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’d been the defensive coordinator for so many years. It’s about just everyone buying in and trusting that we’re going to get it done.”
Senior safety Jim Noel said the perception that Spaziani doesn’t fully care about the program is misguided.
“Spaz cares tremendously about this program,” Noel said. “I think he’d give his own life for this program, and that’s what people don’t really see from the outside and that’s what the players see on the inside. He’s just gone about the same business as he has since day one, since he got the head coaching job.”
Some players have been using their own personal goals as motivation during this rough stretch.
“The way that coach Spaz states it is ‘the huddle is getting smaller,’” Williams said. “At 1-5, not everybody is going to be in it for the right reasons, but for those people that have dreams and aspirations, win or lose, you still have to come out and get better. You can’t really be worrying about a win or a loss or what’s going on here and there with the coaching staff and the players. You have to figure out how to focus on what you want to get out of it.”
Chris Pantale continues to test his ability after a preseason ankle injury sidelined him for four weeks. BC hasn’t found consistency at the tight end position in Pantale’s absence, but the senior captain is excited about his potential for the rest of the season.
“It’s very exciting, and I was a little more nervous than I’ve been in the past years playing because you never know [after an injury] what kind of condition you’re in, but I was mostly just excited to be out there with my team and help them in any way possible,” Pantale said.