Frank Spaziani: ‘We didn’t start the season out to be 6-6′
|11.20.10 at 6:05 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Frank Spaziani had bigger expectations for his team this season.
Back in the summer, when the team was getting ready for the season, the Eagles head football coach didn’t expect to be celebrating the fact that his team became merely bowl-eligible with a win on Nov. 20 to improve to 6-5. Usually, the standards are much higher, beginning with making the ACC title game and then hopefully a related BCS Bowl bid as ACC champion.
But after five losses in a row, the Eagles head coach had to re-asses his expectations.
“The players and myself, we didn’t start the year out to be 6-6. We certainly have higher aspirations every year around here. Are we happy now to have won four games in a row? Absolutely. We have another game to play. We move on to the next week and then we’ll figure it out at the end.”
BC ends its regular season next Saturday in Syracuse, a former end-of-the-season rival from their Big East Conference days.
“It’s definitely good, but you’re not satisfied until the end of the season,” added sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly. “If we keep winning, and that’s all that were concerned about is continuing to win. You can never be satisfied because once you’re satisfied, everything else in the future kind of goes away.
It’s ironic that Montel Harris wasn’t available after Saturday’s 17-13 win over Virginia for several reasons. First, his 114 yards on 24 carries put him at exactly 3,600 for his career, good for second all-time on the BC rushing list behind Derrick Knight. But perhaps more than that, it was the junior tailback Harris, when the team lost its fifth straight to Maryland, 24-21, who said, “We’ll win the rest of our games and get to a bowl. I feel very confident of that.”
Unfortunately, call it fate or just bad timing, Harris was not available to say, “I told you so” on Saturday. Instead, he was at a nearby hospital having an MRI on his left knee, injured late in the third quarter, minutes after his four-yard cut back run put the Eagles ahead to stay.
Kuechly did manage to stay until the end and knocked down a “Hail Mary” on the game’s final play to preserve victory.
“It feels great,” Kuechly said. “The past couple of games have come down to the wire. I joke around with the coaches that we’re making them get older and taking years off their life because these games have come down to the wire. So, it was good that we were able to bat the ball down at the end of the game. We got good pressure by our guys up front and he threw it kind of short so it helped us out.”
Kuechly was in the room after the gut-wrenching loss to Maryland at Alumni on Oct. 23 and heard Harris’ prediction.
“We knew we had a great team,” Kuechly said. “We knew we had to just get things rolling. It took a few games in the middle of the season to figure things out. Now that we are figuring things out, we’re starting to roll again.”
Quarterback Chase Rettig started out 0-4 as a starter and has rebounded to win his last four starts and can feel momentum building.
“I definitely thought it was there for us to take,” Rettig said. “This whole week, we have been talking about ‘what team wants it more.’ Every game, it’s a new week and all you’re trying to do is win that game and not worry about anything else. We had that streak when we were losing. But, each week, I feel like our coaches instill is us that it’s yours to take. The older guys have definitely helped out. The captains are telling us that we’re alright and if we want this, like I said before, it’s ours. So it’s nice to be on a streak right now and we’re just trying to continue it into next week.