Going from trading punches with ACC rival Miami in the season opener to facing FCS underdog Maine will be a test in itself for the Boston College football team: A test in concentration. Maine might not be a FBS team, but they went 9-4 last season, gave Pittsburgh its biggest scare of the season, and finished eighth in the final national rankings. Calling it a trap game might be exaggerating, but BC can't afford to fall asleep at the wheel against the Black Bears, and the Eagles know it.
"We're not preparing any different for Maine," said linebacker Nick Clancy.
Coach Frank Spaziani's laundry list of improvements ranged from the defense to the running game to the kicking game.
"We measure against ourselves," he said on an ACC teleconference. "Once again the opponents, everybody's got players that can beat you. It's a well-coached football team. They were eighth in the nation last year in their division. There's not too much difference in college football today. So, having said that, we look at ourselves and we know whether we're getting improvement or not and that's the bar that we use."
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Areas to focus on from Game 1 to Game 1: Well, there's a lot of areas that we need to focus on. Obviously, we need to play better defense. That's the first thing that stands out about some of the problems that we had. We certainly have to shore up our pass and our run defense. We'd like our kicking game to get a little bit better. I think we have some issues there that we have to address. And we'd like to run the ball a little bit better among other things.
Evaluation of the offense: It was a very positive step, a tremendous amount of improvement over there, albeit a sampling of one. But we had no samplings of it last year, so yeah, we like what we're seeing over there, but there's always areas to improve on and we certainly need to build on what we did over there and go forward with it. That's what we're trying to do.
New system and maturity of key players: I don't know if I could put a percentage on it. I do know this: The cohesiveness over there on offense was excellent from Day 1 when everyone arrived on campus here. Doug [Martin, the offensive coordinator] is certainly an excellent football coach and he has an enthusiasm and he has a plan. Chase [Rettig, BC's quarterback] is everything that I've been saying he is. He's a student of the game and he wants to do well. So a lot of that stuff has meshed together.
Was Rettig's pick-six a momentum shifter: There's ebbs and flows in all of the games and there's momentum shifts. I don't think it was a momentum shift that wasn't reversed, or “OK, this is where the game turned.” It certainly was a big play, and kudos to them for making it. But we came back later on and had some opportunities to put the ball in the end zone and didn't do it. That's the way it is with all games, there are plays that you can turn the game around. That was a momentum shifter, but I don' think it was a determining factor in the game.
Deuce Finch and Colin Larmond's health: Deuce is 100 percent now, and he's been practicing full-go. Last week, we were a little bit cautious with him because he was 100 percent but he had just gotten thrown into the fire a little bit. He'll be ready to go. Where he's at in the depth chart will be determined by this week's practice. Colin left the game with a lower leg injury, and that remains to be seen how he participates this week. We'll find out more tomorrow.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell