FOOTBALL: Lost Cause
Turnovers, Lack Of Offensive Execution Lead To BC's Second Straight Losing Season
Published: Monday, November 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — On Saturday, the Boston College football team faced off against Wake Forest at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, N.C., and was unable to make a late-game comeback, falling 28-14. The Demon Deacons were led by junior quarterback Tanner Price’s performance of 39-for-57, 293 yards and three touchdowns, and wide receiver Michael Campanaro’s ACC-record 16 catches for 123 yards and three scores. On the other side of the ball, the Wake Forest defense forced four turnovers, including three interceptions from quarterback Chase Rettig. An early injury to Andre Williams forced freshman running back David Dudeck into the lead role.
On Senior Day, the Demon Deacons took advantage of BC miscues to create an early advantage. With the Eagles’ first drive underway, Rettig was finding his rhythm with tight end Chris Pantale and receiver Alex Amidon. He hit Amidon for an eight-yard gain, followed by a short completion to his tight end, bringing the Eagles to midfield. Head coach Frank Spaziani decided to take the fourth-down risk, and went for it. Rettig took the snap, moved around the ensuing rush, and tried to hit Pantale over the middle again, but cornerback Kevin Johnson read the ball perfectly and grabbed the interception.
After the game, Rettig credited the Wake Forest defense with creating a tough atmosphere to throw on the turnover.
“They played well on fourth down on that first drive,” he said. “I just tried to make a play with my big man, Pantale. I had pressure in my face. It’s just unfortunate that we had the interception there.”
Following the pick, Price and the offense marched down the field to take the early lead. The junior quarterback targeted Campanaro with a 15-yard, first-down pass, followed by another third-down conversion to Lovell Jackson. A personal foul against Manny Asprilla brought the Demon Deacons to the five-yard line, where Price found a wide-open Campanaro in the end zone.
On the next BC series, Rettig once again proved shaken by a tough Wake Forest defensive unit. Starting with 7:39 left to play in the quarter, the offense looked to have brushed off the early struggles. Rettig found Swigert in the flat, and the wideout took advantage of some open field down the sideline to break away for 28 yards. On the following play, Rettig hit Dudeck for two yards on a swing pass, but Williams was stuffed on the next play for a loss of five, bringing up another third-down situation. Linebacker Mike Olson had solid coverage as Rettig looked to make a play downfield, and intercepted the ball for the Eagles’ second straight turnover.
The rest of the quarter saw back-and-forth play from both sides with neither team able to score, until Wake Forest took advantage of an exploitable BC defense to take a two-score lead. Once again, Price took control, mixing in a number of short passes and rushes. After driving down the field, Price found Campanaro wide open on a deep out pass near the end zone, giving the Demon Deacons a 14-0 lead.
The Eagles were the first to find the end zone in the second quarter, as Rettig looked to regain his composure and overcome his first quarter struggles. Unfortunately, this effort took a hit when Williams was brought down by a facemask in the middle of the quarter. After the play, the back remained motionless on the ground, and the medical staff rushed out to see his condition. Although it appeared to be a neck injury at first glance, Williams limped off the field on his own, and it was later confirmed that he had suffered an abdominal injury. He would not return to the game.
With the loss of Williams, the Eagles’ offense could only muster 12 net rushing yards on 21 carries. The Demon Deacons finished the day with 116 yards on 32 rushes.
Despite this loss, the Eagles’ offense continued to drive down the field, helped by the 15-yard facemask penalty on the previous play. Rettig showcased his poise, hitting Dudeck, Pantale, and Johnathan Coleman to move his unit down the field. Rettig capped the drive by hitting a streaking Amidon in the end zone to cut Wake Forest’s lead in half. With tight man coverage on Amidon, Rettig showed strong precision and lined the perfect ball to his target. On his end, Amidon was able to maintain focus and keep position through the tight defense.