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BC Notebook

Freese in need of kickstart

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / September 4, 2011

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The mistakes will be reviewed, worked on, and hopefully corrected. But one phase of Boston College’s 24-17 loss to Northwestern yesterday at Alumni Stadium may be ominous.

Kicker Nate Freese, who showed a stronger leg during training camp, missed field goals of 31 and 40 yards, making only a chip shot of 19 yards in three attempts.

If the Eagles are going to complete rallies or win close games, they need to be automatic from 40 yards and in with their kicking game.

“The kids fought hard, played to the end,’’ said coach Frank Spaziani. “But we need to play smart. We need to play with a lot more efficiency.’’

The Eagles also need to toughen up considerably on defense, after allowing 424 total yards, including 227 rushing.

With a young defensive line, Spaziani said he will take this week to assess the situation and see what changes must be made.

“We have to take a hard look at where we are and how we are going to help ourselves,’’ he said.

Not so fast It was BC’s first opening loss since 2003 . . . Although there were some bumps and bruises, only defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey (foot) left and didn’t return . . . Linebacker Luke Kuechly led the Eagles with 18 tackles, reaching double digits for the 23d straight game, the longest active streak in the country. Kuechly also notched his fifth career interception . . . Sophomore linebacker Steele Divitto had his first career sack and a career-high seven tackles . . . Defensive end Max Holloway had his sixth career sack . . . Cornerback Al Louis-Jean became the first true freshman to start in the secondary for the Eagles since Donnie Fletcher in 2008. Louis-Jean got the nod because of Fletcher’s back injury.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at blaudschun@globe.com.