FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Taking The Next Step
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Sixty minutes. Sixty minutes for 12 games. That’s all a team has to prove itself during the college football season.
It’s even less time for a quarterback. A quarterback will likely be under center for around 30 minutes of each game. He has just 30 minutes to prove he is the real deal. To prove he is an elite quarterback. To prove he has made the jump from a flashy high school recruit to a college standout.
Chase Rettig has not yet put together the full 30 minutes in his audition. During his 21 games between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he’s shown minutes of greatness. He’s also shown minutes of being a true freshman thrown into the fiery wrath of the ACC. He’s shown minutes of Matt Ryan, followed by minutes of a quarterback who’s still finding his feet. He’s shown minutes of a quarterback that is the ultimate student of the game, followed by minutes of a quarterback who has played under four different offensive coordinators in just over two years.
For Rettig and Boston College, the 2012 football season is all about showing 30 minutes of Chase Rettig.
Inconsistency stands between Rettig and the win column. It stands between Rettig and the ACC’s elite quarterbacks. It might even be what’s standing between Rettig and the BC greats.
It’s his biggest challenge to overcome this fall. And it looks like it’s finally Rettig’s time to do it.
It’s not something he’s blind to. Chase Rettig knows the one thing he needs to have this season is consistency. Play a full 60-minute game for 12 games, and the questions about Rettig as a quarterback will disappear.
“There’s parts of last year you can watch where you can see me and the rest of our team on an elite level some plays,” Rettig said. “But we just need to build consistency, and all that stuff will take care of itself. I think if I can stay in this offense and not get out of it, just stay in the reads, it’ll take care of itself that way.”
Game One of the 2012 campaign is in the books, and Rettig did almost everything he needed to do. Save for one interception, the California native had a career day, completing 32-of-51 passes for 441 yards and two touchdowns. It was absolutely a step in the right direction. It was almost a complete game from Rettig and the offense, but they came up a few minutes short.
“We played for 550 yards of offense,” Rettig said after the game. “I thought the offense played good. The only thing I can come back to is third-and-ones. We didn’t convert a couple of third-and-ones and just not scoring touchdowns when we were in the red zone. We had a couple good looks, a couple good plays—we’ve just got to finish them.”
Finishing games was where the Eagles went wrong in 2011. A 4-8 season left a bad taste in the mouths of the players, coaches, and fans alike. Negativity surrounded the program throughout the offseason. Yet Rettig feels that his team was a few fourth quarters away from a completely different outcome.
“We just didn’t win enough close games last year, or else our record could have been flipped if we had,” he said. “To fix that, obviously just win. That’s all people in the program really care about. Just win.”
Of the 30 minutes and 32 seconds his offense had the ball during each game last year, Rettig would absolutely like a few of those minutes back. The minutes of inconsistency led to BC not being able to finish out many of its games, and that may have taken a toll on the mentality of the Eagles.
“We just hung our heads a little bit too long, and we weren’t able to find the wins in the fourth quarter last year that we did my freshman year,” Rettig said. “Hopefully we can get back to playing four quarters of football this year and finishing games and finishing drives on offense and scoring touchdowns instead of field goals.”
“The difference between average and good”
Playing four quarters of football is exactly what new offensive coordinator Doug Martin has in mind for Rettig and the offense. After he was hired at BC last December, Martin was quick to watch every single game that Rettig has played while donning the maroon and gold. What he came away with was flashes: times when Rettig would march the offense down the field for a touchdown, but other times when the offense went stagnant for too long.
“I’ve seen the [inconsistency] on films,” Martin explained. “I’ve seen [Chase] look dynamic, and I’ve seen him not look dynamic. The key is for him and for our entire offense to have a standard of performance that’s very high, that we keep high, and that we maintain each week.
“That’s the definition of a great player: they show up the same way every week. That’s exactly the challenge I’ve thrown out to [Rettig].”
Martin sees overcoming inconsistencies on the field as Rettig’s biggest challenge as a quarterback in order to step into the “elite” group of QBs in the ACC.
“Absolutely, and I think that’s the biggest challenge for the whole offense,” Martin said. “There are times the offense played well last year, and other times they didn’t. That’s the difference between average and good.”
While consistency is what Rettig needs in order to take the next step as a quarterback, having a full season in Martin’s newly instituted offense won’t hurt either. The system is designed for quarterbacks like Rettig to thrive in, and both he and Martin see great opportunity in the new offense.