Eagles need something to build upon
Each game has become a season. The long-term goals of a winning season and going to a bowl game are no longer options for Boston College. Winning the next game, winning any game, for a team that has lost seven of its first nine is now an accomplishment.
It would be a building block for next week, and the week after that.
There will be other factors involved when BC hosts North Carolina State today at Alumni Stadium.
Former Eagles, and current Wolfpack, coach Tom O’Brien is making his biennial return to The Heights, where he spent 10 years rebuilding a program.
BC’s senior class - as small as it is - will play its final home game.
But overall, the feeling is different for BC, which had not failed to make a bowl game in 12 years.
“It’s really frustrating, it’s tough,’’ said junior right tackle Emmett Cleary. “As a team, you have to rebound from that [38-7 loss to Florida State] and you’ve got to go back to work and focus on the next task.’’
This week’s task is beating a North Carolina State team that at 5-4, needs one win to become bowl-eligible. The Wolfpack are coming off a roller coaster, two-week stretch in which they were blanked, 34-0, by Florida State, before shutting out North Carolina, 13-0.
Leading the way for the Wolfpack on offense will be quarterback Mike Glennon, who reminded BC coach Frank Spaziani of a former Eagles quarterback when he first saw him as a true freshman four years ago.
“I remember saying, ‘Look at this kid,’ ’’ said Spaziani. “He looks a lot like Matt [Ryan] physically and how he throws the ball. And he was in the same offense.’’
Glennon comes into the game with 20 touchdown passes, more than twice the amount thrown by BC’s Chase Rettig (eight). But the Eagles also have to worry about an aggressive defense that leads the nation in interceptions with 19.
In addition to the Wolfpack, Spaziani also must coach against O’Brien, a longtime friend and colleague.
“I don’t like it,’’ said Spaziani. “I’d rather play someone else.’’
N.C. State needs this win, but so does BC.
“We’re trying to build something and go forward,’’ Spaziani said. “But winning this Saturday is the most important aspect.’’
Nate Richman, who has been in and out of the lineup because of a back injury, has been cleared to play and is listed as the backup to John Wetzel at left tackle. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (ankle) and cornerback Jim Noel (ankle) are out . . . BC will finish the season with games at Notre Dame and Miami . . . O’Brien is 0-2 as a visiting coach against BC . . . BC linebacker Luke Kuechly could be playing his last home game if he decides to pass up his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Early projections have Kuechly being taken in the middle of the first round.
Mark Blaudschun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.