FOOTBALL: Players Still Upbeat, Offense Looks To Rebound
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
One might presume there’d be little hope, or upbeat feelings, from the Boston College football players after 1-6 start to the 2012 season.
Yet at the team’s weekly media day on Wednesday, the players were in a positive, confident, and lighthearted mood. Each player entered the media suite wearing one of the special Wounded Warrior jerseys Under Armour designed for the game this weekend.
Lose this Saturday against Maryland, though, and that attitude may change. A loss would drop the Eagles to 1-7 on the year, but more importantly, a blowout in front of home fans would end any enthusiasm the team has left. Fifth year senior Nick Clancy, who ranks fourth in the nation in tackles, doesn’t want that to happen.
“We have a winning tradition,” Clancy said. “My class doesn’t want to be known as the class that screwed it up.”
The offense, which looked as if it would carry BC this year, hasn’t been as successful the past couple of games as it was to start the season. After scoring 30 points in four of their first five contests, the Eagles tallied a combined total of only 24 against Florida State and Georgia Tech. FSU has a dominant defense that’s ranked second in the nation, but Chase Rettig was only able to manage 122 passing yards in that game.
The slumping aerial attack continued in the first half against Georgia Tech, when BC put up a mere three points as it fell behind 28-3. But the offense charged back after halftime, and scored two touchdowns in the span of four minutes. Unfortunately, a fumble in the fourth quarter stopped any momentum the Eagles had, but the passing game was at its best since the first half of the Clemson game.
“We could move the ball against [Georgia Tech],” Rettig said. “It was third downs that gave us trouble. The guys on the offense, we can move that ball when we need to. It’s just a matter of execution.”
The execution, though, has not been up to par of late. BC was 1-for-9 on third down conversions in Atlanta, compared with the Yellow Jackets’ 13-for-20 conversion rate. Based on those numbers alone, it could have potentially been a worse loss for the Eagles.
As he has been all year, Rettig is confident in the offense. The junior ranks third in the ACC in passing yards per game, and wideout Alex Amidon ranks fifth in the nation in receiving yards. Beyond those two players, however, offensive bright spots haven’t been so consistent.
The lack of a steady run game has stalled the offense at times. Running back Andre Williams has been solid as of late, but he only racked up 24 yards in the first half of the game at Georgia Tech, finishing with 51 yards and a fumble. Williams will certainly be looking to get back on track Saturday.
Six-foot-four wide receiver Johnathan Coleman had a stretch of three straight games with a touchdown catch earlier in the year, and looked as if he would emerge as an outside deep threat alongside the shifty Amidon, who works from the slot. But Coleman only has only brought in three catches for 42 yards in the previous two games.
Instead, the Eagles may find a second true receiver on their roster returning from injury. Bobby Swigert, who initially played against Clemson after recovering from a knee sprain, has produced 102 yards over the last two games. Tight end Chris Pantale saw his first action of the season last weekend, and responded with a touchdown catch.
If BC has any chance to defend its snow-filled 28-17 victory against Maryland last season, they’ll need to get someone else involved other than Amidon.
Honoring the Wounded Warrior Project
The Eagles will be sporting a new look on Saturday, as Under Armour has created custom-made uniforms for BC. The uniform, which has images of an American flag across the shoulders, is part of Under Armour’s UA Freedom Initiative. The uniforms will be auctioned off with proceeds going toward the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I think those people that serve our country, defend us, our rights that we have here, deserve our utmost respect,” said head coach Frank Spaziani. “Any tribute we can pay to them, as small as it is, is well-deserving. We try to get that message across to our players. I understand it as well as anybody. Hopefully the youth of America will understand it, too.”
Greg Joyce contributed to this report.