Looking for turnaround, BC opens with tough test
Boston College coach Frank Spaziani took a seat at the interview
table with a baseball bat in hand, joking that he didn’t want any
His team, on the other hand, will have a very tough test when it
opens the season.
Coming off their first losing season since 1998, the Eagles – in
a pivotal year for Spaziani and Co. – will open with a conference
game, against ACC foe, Miami, on Sept. 1.
Boston College went 4-8 last season, 3-5 in the league.
”I have this bat here,” he said before taking questions on
media day. ”This is for batting practice. You know how batting
practice pitchers are – no forkballs or definitely no curves. Right
down the middle.”
Entering his fourth season as the coach of the Eagles, Spaziani
knows the trend has been downward his first three years. Eight
wins, seven and, then, a disappointing 4-8 mark last year, matching
the school’s fewest win total since 1998. The Eagles also saw their
string of 12 consecutive bowl berths come to an end.
”The trend with wins and losses is very obvious with
everyone,” he said. ”But the program is going north, not south. I
understand where we’re at and we want to win – and the players
The Hurricanes won’t make it easy at the start. The opener will
be a rematch of last year’s season finale for both schools, a 24-17
victory by Boston College in Miami.
”Someone told me – I heard this last year – that the bad thing
about playing bad teams early is they don’t know they’re bad,” he
said. ”Early in the year, nobody knows who’s any good – it takes
five, six, seven games before things settle out.
”As far as opening up with a team of Miami’s caliber, hey
listen it’s the same for them,” he continued. ”They don’t have
any game ahead of time. Let’s get on with it and find out where
we’re at. It’s a long season. It’ll give us a good barometer real
fast where we’re at, and we’re excited about it. We’ve got
But they’re short-handed for now. BC lost fifth-year senior
tight end Chris Pantale for what the coach called a ”significant”
amount of time with a broken foot suffered in practice on
”They system is flexible enough to move on,” Spaziani said.
”We’ll just do things a little different, that’s all. We’ll have
different packages. He’s one of our fifth-year seniors and
leadership and all that. That intangible is going to be missed on
Quarterback Chase Rettig likes that the Eagles can focus on one
team for three weeks after last year’s struggles.
”It’s a good way – we don’t have classes before that game –
we’ll be able to prepare for just football,” he said. ”For the
younger guys that are going to play this year, it’s a good way to
show what real college football is like. They’re a very athletic
team on offense and defense. I think it’ll be a good test for us to
open up the year.”
Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, who is expected to fill a large
void left after the graduation of the nation’s leading tackler,
Luke Kuechly, figures it’s a great way to start after last
”I look it as what we need. We need to start off with a strong
opponent like Miami,” he said. ”Miami has a great reputation as
being a power house in the ACC.
”I knew we would work even harder because they believed they
should have won that game. They are going to come into Chestnut
Hill with even a little more chip on their shoulders.”
Miami went 6-6 last season, 3-5 in the ACC.