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Tim Fox’s son finally gets his chance

10.31.10 at 11:26 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — With starters Alex Albright, Wes Davis and DeLeon Gause out on defense, Chris Fox – the son of former Ohio State and New England Patriots star defensive back Tim Fox – had his moment to shine Saturday.

Fox – a senior back-up cornerback but special teams standout – filled in Saturday for his injured teammates.

‘€œIt’€™s nice to get my chance, to feel like you did something important to help the team,” Fox said. “I’€™ve been waiting a while and it’€™s unfortunate when guys go down. We had a lot of leaders in Gause,
Albright and Wes but we have a lot of good guys that stepped up. It’€™s a job. You have to step up
and fill in shoes and I think we did it to the best of our ability and we’€™re going to keep doing it.’€

The cornerback finished with five tackles, including three solos, and broke up three passes and helped the Boston College defense keep the Clemson offense out of the end zone in a 16-10 win at Alumni Stadium.

While Fox hasn’t been spotlighted that much on defense, he’s been busy on special teams. He returned a kickoff for 13 yards and had two tackles and a pass breakup against Maryland, returned eight kickoffs for 130 yards at NC State, had a pass breakup against Notre Dame and returned four kickoffs for 93 yards against Virginia Tech.

He came to BC with some big credentials, earning 2005 Eastern Massachusetts Division 1 Player of the Year honors from the Boston Globe and All-Scholastic honors from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald while at Xaverian. He also earned Boston Herald All-Scholastic accolades as a junior and was Catholic Conference MVP honors as a senior.

He scored 16 touchdowns (nine receiving, seven rushing) and led the Hawks to a share of the conference title.

Chris is enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences and is the youngest of Deb and Tim Fox’s three children. Tim, of course, was an All-American at Ohio State under Woody Hayes and played 10 years as a free safety in the NFL. He played the 1976-81 seasons with the Patriots, before finishing his career with the San Diego Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Chris Fox, New England Patriots

Things we learned: BC 16, Clemson 10

10.30.10 at 5:31 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — The Eagles finally put it all together on Saturday. As a result, they’€™re taking the O’€™Rourke-McFadden Trophy with them.

The Eagles denied Clemson’€™s second half drives and held on for a 16-10 victory, snapping their five-game losing streak. The Eagles defense played to their potential against a potent Clemson attack and refused to give up big plays, keeping the Tigers offense from reaching the end zone. The special teams units pitched in, with three field goals from Nate Freese and a fumble recovery on a second quarter kickoff.

Entering the game with a five-game losing streak, their longest since 1998, BC played solid football on every side of the ball en route to their best game of the season. After throwing an early interception, Chase Rettig calmed down and leaned on Montel Harris, who continued his elusive running to give BC a 16-10 lead at halftime over Clemson.

Early on, the Eagles’ offense showed some hangover from last week’€™s game against Maryland, when they lost a heartbreaker, 24-21. With 11:59 in the first quarter, Rettig threw a pass intercepted by Rashard Hall for a 52-yard touchdown return. But despite inconsistent quarterback play, the BC offense has been sparked by the rejuvenated play of Harris in the past three weeks as he passed 3,000 career yards against Maryland.

Rettig recovered nicely and on the second BC drive, he threw a 40-yard pass to Ifeanyi Momah to bring the Eagles to the 2-yard line. However, Clemson executed a strong goal line stand and forced BC to settle for a 21-yard Freese field goal to bring the game to 7-3. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC, ACC Atlantic, Boston College, Brett Favre

Luke Kuechly would someday make a perfect Patriot

10.30.10 at 4:58 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — As you sit, listen and watch 19-year-old Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly answer questions, you think what a bright, tactful, prepared and gifted football player.

Then you think of the New England Patriots.

Bill Belichick has made a Hall of Fame career out of developing such players into cogs of the machine that has become the Patriots franchise.

Players that fly to the ball. Players that know their position on the field at all times and always seem to make the right play at the right time for the right reason. Like when he stopped Clemson’s Dwayne Allen a full yard short on 4th and 1, with BC clinging to a 16-10 lead with 5:17 left in the fourth.

“I knew they were going to try and isolate me,” Kuechly said. “They’ve run that play probably about three or four times on me and they got me once on it, I think in the first half. I kind of was expecting it again. I think what actually happened is he actually ran his route a little short because he didn’t get there and he was open and everything. I tried to bang him a little bit but he made the catch and I was looking over and I thought he ran his route past the first down [marker]. Man, I need to make a better play. But he ran his route a little short and helped me out a little bit.”

Sounds a lot like what Belichick talked about two weeks ago when he described how Devin McCourty impressed him in film study as a mere rookie, and what impressed him so much about Ray Lewis coming out of the University of Miami. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC, Bill Belichick, Boston College, Devin McCourty

First take: BC holds off Clemson, snaps skid

10.30.10 at 3:12 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Chase Rettig earned his first win as the starting quarterback and tailback Montel Harris had 178 yards of total offense, as Boston College snapped a five-game losing streak with a 16-10 victory over Clemson Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

With Harris rushing 36 times for 142 yards on the day, Rettig passed only 16 times, completing nine. One of those completions was 36 yards to a wide-open Harris for second-quarter touchdown, giving BC its first lead at home since Kent State on Sept. 11. Rettig overcame another struggling effort early, throwing an interception to Rashard Hall, returned 52 yards for Clemson’s only touchdown of the day.

Kicker Nate Freese hit all three of his field goal attempts – twice from 36 yards and once from 21 – in support of a staunch defensive effort. All-American linebacker candidate Luke Kuechly picked off a pass near midfield with 1:42 left in the fourth and then knocked down a “Hail Mary” attempt as time expired to seal the win for the Eagles.

BC improved to 3-5, 1-4 in the ACC and visit Wake Forest next Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Clemson

Halftime analysis: BC leads Clemson, 16-10

10.30.10 at 2:00 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL–  This is what the Eagles should look like.

Amidst their recent struggles, the BC team has played solid football on every side of the ball. After throwing an early interception, Chase Rettig regained his form to make some big throws and Montel Harris continued his elusive running to give BC a 16-10 lead at halftime over Clemson. The Eagles defense also played well against a potent Clemson attack and refused to give up big plays, holding Clemson to only one third-down conversion in the half. Even the special teams units have pitched in, with three field goals from Nate Freese and a fumble recovery on a second-quarter kickoff.

BC (2-5, 0-4 ACC) and Clemson (4-3, 2-2 ACC) met in Chestnut Hill for this year’€™s battle of the O’€™Rourke-McFadden Trophy. The trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the BC-Clemson football game to commemorate the rich football traditions of both schools. The Eagles have won four of the last six meeting but have lost two consecutive games to Clemson. The Boston College Gridiron Club initiated the award in recognition of Clemson’€™s welcoming of BC into the ACC.

Since 2003, BC has been one of the conference’€™s top teams ‘€” but this year is proving to be an exception. BC, trying to snap a five-game losing streak, will have to go through a Clemson team that has had played well this year but lost a few close games to high-ranked teams like Miami (FL) and Auburn.

Last week’€™s game against Maryland was one of BC’€™s better performances, as the Eagles rallied in the second half but fell just short.The BC offense has been sparked by the rejuvenated play of Harris in the past two weeks as he passed 3,000 career yards against Maryland but inconsistent quarterback play has given opposing teams too many scoring chances in recent weeks.

This week started no differently. With 11:59 in the first quarter, Rettig threw a pass intercepted by Rashard Hall for a 52-yard touchdown return.

Rettig recovered nicely and on the next BC drive, threw a 40-yard pass to Ifeanyi Momah to bring the Eagles to the 2-yard line. However, Clemson executed a strong goal line stand and forced BC to settle for a 21-yard Freese field goal to bring the game to 7-3.

Clemson responded with a 64-yard drive that ended in a Chandler Catanzaro field goal to bring the Clemson lead to 10-3.

In the second quarter, BC mounted a 62-yard drive that encompassed over nine minutes but once again failed to score in the red zone, leading to a 36-yard Freese field goal.

The next Ryan Quigley kickoff was fumbled by Clemson and recovered by BC linebacker Steele Divitto at the Clemson 36-yard line. The resulting play led to a 36-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Harris to give the Eagles a 13-10 lead. It was the Eagles’€™ first lead at home since a Sept. 11 win against Kent State.

Possibly the most surprising statistics were that BC did not punt once in the first half and recorded 220 offensive yards while holding Clemson to only 92.

The half ended strangely as coach Frank Spaziani and the Eagles made the call to let the clock run down while inside the Clemson 20-yard line. The BC offense had established a solid rhythm after Catanzaro missed a Clemson field goal from the 26-yard line. Fans booed, hoping for a more aggressive approach to finish the half. Freese nailed another 36-yard kick to bring the lead to 16-10 as the half expired.

Rettig finished the first half going 4-for-6 attempts with 91 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Harris had another big half, carrying 23 times for 109 yards and his only reception came on his 36-yard touchdown catch. Harris recorded his fifth game of the season with over 100 yards to continue his assault on the BC record books.

Notes from the game:

Right tackle Rich Lapham was taken out of the game with a left knee injury and he will not return. Lapham is a 6′€™8′€™’€™ sophomore who is a crucial member of the strong BC offensive line.

Standout linebacker Luke Kuechly recorded six tackles, including his 100th tackle of the season. A true freshman, Kuechly has been amongst the nation’€™s best and vital member of a strong linebacker trio in Chestnut Hill.

Read More: ACC Atlantic, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Clemson Tigers

Things We Learned: Maryland 24, BC 21

10.23.10 at 6:20 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL’€“ This is getting old for BC.

A fourth-down rushing attempt by Montel Harris fell just short of the first down, sealing the Maryland victory. Harris, who put up a great game with 27 rushes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, also committed a game-changing fumble at his own 38 in the first half. It resulted in a go-ahead touchdown. Chase Rettig threw a pair of interceptions.

The first set up Maryland’€™s third touchdown and the second killed a momentum-generating drive late in the first half. Despite a fourth quarter rally from the Eagles, the BC offense fell short of the comeback with a 24-21 loss’€”their fifth straight defeat.

Three BC starters were also injured in the game, included safety Wes Davis who was rolled off the field on a stretcher. Senior DE Alex Albright suffered what appeared to be a serious right ankle injury in the first quarter. He was spotted on crutches on the sidelines in the second half and didn’t return.

“I didn’t get the official word from the doc but it did not look like he was going to be out there pretty soon,” Spaziani sounding an ominous tone.

Turnovers have killed BC all year and this game was no different.

‘€œObviously three turnovers to zero was a tilting factor in the game. We just don’€™t have the winning edge right now,’€ said coach Frank Spaziani. ‘€œUntil we get it, we’€™re going to be doing the horseshoe thing’€¦getting close.’€

The Maryland offense responded to the challenge thanks to some BC miscues and an impressive first half by quarterback Danny O’€™Brien, taking a 21-7 lead into halftime. Maryland struck first with a 48-yard drive that finished with a 2-yard touchdown pass from O’€™Brien to wide receiver Torrey Smith. The Terrapins converted two fourth downs on the drive against a BC defense that had been stingy up until Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC Atlantic, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Maryland Terrapins

Coming up just short… again: Maryland 24, BC 21

10.23.10 at 5:31 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — For the second straight week, it was a matter of inches. And for the second straight week, Boston College came up just short.

On Saturday, as BC was trying to avoid its first five-game losing streak since 1998, a fourth-down rushing attempt by Montel Harris fell just short of the first down, sealing a 24-21 Maryland victory. Harris who put up a great game with 27 rushes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, also committed a game-changing fumble at his own 38 in the first half. It resulted in a go-ahead touchdown.

True-freshman quarterback Chase Rettig threw a pair of interceptions. The first set up Maryland’€™s third touchdown and the second killed a momentum-generating drive late in the first half. Despite a fourth quarter rally from the Eagles (2-5, 0-4 ACC), the BC offense fell just short of the comeback, failing to move the ball with two chances after cutting the deficit to three.

Three BC starters were injured in the game, included safety Wes Davis who was rolled off the field on a stretcher with a neck injury. He was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for precautionary tests after reporting movement in all extremities.

Maryland (5-2, 2-1 ACC) won in New England for the first time since beating BC at Foxboro Stadium, 31-13, on Sept. 14, 1985. A crowd of 36,078 turned out at Alumni Stadium, as the Eagles dropped their third straight game at Chestnut Hill.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Maryland

Wes Davis wheeled off on stretcher

10.23.10 at 3:36 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College free safety Wes Davis was taken off on a stretcher after being injured with 3:47 left in the third quarter of the game against Maryland at Alumni Stadium.

Davis was on the far side of midfield in front of the Maryland sideline making a play when he was hit. He was immobilized and lifted onto the guerney and wheeled off following a 10-minute delay.

Moments later came the announcement that Davis suffered a neck injury but had full movement in all extremities. He was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for further evaluation.

The injury to Davis was the most severe of a rough day for the Eagles. All-American candidate and the team’s leading sacker Alex Albright left in the first quarter with a right ankle injury.

Cornerback DeLeon Gause suffered a knee injury late in the third quarter and limped off the field. His return was questionable.

Read More: ACC, Alex Albright, Boston College, DeLeon Gause

Halftime Report: BC trails 21-7

10.23.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL’€“ Turnovers are killing Boston College.

And so is inconsistent quarterback play. Montel Harris, who put up a great first half with 84 yards on 16 carries, also committed a game-changing fumble at his own 38. It resulted in the go-ahead touchdown. Chase Rettig threw a pair of interceptions. The first set up Maryland’s third touchdown and the second killed a momentum-generating drive late in the half.

BC (2-4, 0-3 ACC) won the coin toss against Maryland (4-2, 1-1 ACC) and elected to kick off to a Maryland offense that managed to score seven points against Clemson last Saturday.

The Maryland offense responded to the challenge thanks to some BC miscues and a huge first half by quarterback Danny O’€™Brien, taking a 21-7 lead into halftime at Alumni Stadium. BC lineman Alex Albright suffered a right ankle injury and his return to the game is questionable. Albright has 4.5 sacks on the year for the Eagles, leading the team.

Maryland struck first in Alumni with a 48-yard drive that finished with a 2-yard touchdown pass from O’€™Brien to wide Torrey Smith. The Terrapins converted two fourth downs on the drive against a BC defense that has refused to give up long plays.

Boston College responded with their longest touchdown drive of the season, capped off by Rettig’€™s 3-yard pass to Bobby Swigert. The drive covered 75-yards over 8 minutes, nine seconds and tied the game at 7-7. The drive meant much more for BC than just seven points; it was the type of drive that BC had failed to finish off all season.

The Eagles entered Saturday’€™s matchup against ACC Atlantic opponent Maryland with a chip on their shoulder after last week’€™s close 24-19 loss to Florida State’€”the fourth straight loss for the Eagles. The Eagles played some of their best football this year against Florida State, giving the ranked Seminoles a fight for an entire four quarters.

The reemergence of Harris began with a 72-yard run on the first play from scrimmage for the Eagles against the Seminoles. Also, sophomore defensive back Jim Noel made his second start for BC after recording two interceptions’€”one which he returned 43-yards for a touchdown against Florida State.

One highlight for the BC faithful was Harris’€™ 84-yard first half which pushed the junior over 3,000 rushing yards for his career. Harris is fourth on the all-time rushing list and now trails all-time leading rusher Derrick Knight who had 3,725 yards in his heralded career.

However, BC would soon be hindered by miscues that have cost them countless games so far in the season. Montel Harris fumbled at the BC 38-yard line to set up an O’€™Brien touchdown to wide out Ronnie Tyler for a 9-yard completion, putting the Terrapins up 14-7. Only a few minutes later, Rettig threw an interception to Antwine Perez at the BC 33-yard line, leading to another O’€™Brien touchdown to Kerry Boykins for a 6-yard completion.

Down 21-7, the Eagles attempted to mount one final drive before the end of the half, but Rettig’€™s pass to Swigert was intercepted by Perez’€”his second pick of the game’€”with 21 seconds left in the half.

O’€™Brien finished the first half 14-for-23 attempts with 98 yards and three touchdowns. Rettig have an uninspiring half going 5-for-11 with 24 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. BC will need to enter the second half with a team dedicated to preventing turnovers, creating scoring opportunities, and limiting the effectiveness of Maryland’€™s passing game.

Read More: Boston College, Chase Rettig, Danny O'Brien, Maryland

BC falls just short against Florida State

10.16.10 at 3:29 pm ET
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Led by its defense, Boston College stood on the cusp of a major upset, taking a 19-17 lead over Florida State early in the fourth quarter. But the No. 16 Seminoles rallied at home, with wide receiver Bert Reed taking a reverse and weaving 42 yards for a touchdown to give FSU a 24-19 victory in Tallahassee.

Boston College fell to 2-4 on the year and 0-3 in the ACC. But they came tantalizingly close to shocking their opponents. With BC trailing, 17-9, late in the third quarter, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich tipped a pass from FSU quarterback Christian Ponder, with defensive back Jim Noel hauling it in (for his second pick of the day) and running 41 yards to the end zone. The pick marked the fourth FSU turnover of the day; BC, meanwhile, did not turn the ball over once.

The extra point brought Boston College within a point, and soon, the Eagles took a lead at the start of the fourth quarter on a 38-yard field goal from Nate Freese.

But FSU (6-1, 4-0 in the ACC) countered with its touchdown, set up by Greg Reid‘s 24-yard kick return of a pooch kick that took the ball to the 48 yard line, which gave the Seminoles a short field for the winning score.

The Eagles defense picked off Ponder three times. Meanwhile, BC quarterback Chase Rettig was 9-for-24 for 95 yards. Running back Montel Harris gouged the Seminoles defense for 191 yards on 26 carries.

Boston College will return to Chestnut Hill on Oct. 23, seeking its first conference victory of the year against Maryland.

Read More: bert reed, Chase Rettig, christian ponder, Florida State
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