BC football notebook

Eagles still battling curious case of the road woes

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / November 12, 2009

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They have won six games and are bowl-eligible for an 11th straight season. They have a chance to win their third Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division championship.

And yet, as the Boston College Eagles resume their season Saturday at Virginia after an off week, they are still on a mission: They have not won a road game - a puzzling state of affairs for a program that has taken pride in a reputation as “road warriors’’ over the last several seasons.

From 2005-08, BC was 13-7 on the road, including 8-2 the last two seasons.

This season, BC is 0-3 away from home. This is the latest BC has gone into the season without a road win since 1989, when the Eagles beat Army on Veterans Day.

“We’re thirsty,’’ said quarterback Dave Shinskie. “We haven’t won on the road. It’s not we’re scared or didn’t try. We just have to find a way to get a win, we have to bring the enthusiasm we have at home on the road.’’

Coach Frank Spaziani says there is no magic formula.

“You have to play good defense, you have to take care of the ball, and you have to play smart,’’ said Spaziani. “It’s a learning thing, too. Mature teams learn to play on the road. It’s a little bit about focusing. And you have to make sure you take care of little details. The better you are helps.’’

Bay Stater on team
Virginia has a local connection in junior center Jack Shields, who lives in Duxbury and went to BC High. Shields has been a solid part of the Cavaliers’ offensive line . . . This will be the Eagles’ first trip to Charlottesville. BC hasn’t faced Virginia since 2005 and is 3-0 against the Cavaliers . . . Spaziani spent nine years (1982-90) at Virginia as a member of George Welsh’s staff. BC offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill also was a member of Welsh’s staff (1999-2000) . . . Virginia’s season has gone in streaks. The Cavs lost their first three games, bounced back with a three-game winning streak, and have lost their last three games, including a 52-17 pounding by Miami last week. If the Cavs lose to BC, they will clinch consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1980-82 . . . The Eagles are reasonably healthy going into the game. Middle linebacker Mike McLaughlin (hamstring) is back at practice, but defensive end Alex Albright (ankle) did not practice yesterday.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at