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ACC schedule changes approved 10.03.12 at 3:36 pm ET
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The ACC Wednesday announced new scheduling formats that take effect next year.

In an effort to maintain rivalries and competitive balance, the ACC is partnering each basketball team with two opponents for to games per season. Boston College will play Notre Dame and Syracuse twice, once home and once away.

The Eagles will play their remaining 14 conference games against rotating opponents with five home-only games and five road-only games.

In football, the ACC elected to stay with an eight-game conference schedule. BC will play the other six teams in the division, one crossover rival, and one rotating team from the other division.

In baseball, the ACC announced that beginning in 2014 the championship will feature 10 teams in a six-day event that begins as double-elimination and shifts to single-elimination for the semifinals and finals.

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Frank Spaziani: ‘We’re going to a different stratosphere now’ 09.08.12 at 7:09 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Frank Spaziani made no bones about it Saturday after his team’s 34-3 cakewalk over Maine. The win is great but the Eagles have to play a lot better over the course of their remaining 10 games if they have any chance of seeing positive results.

They trailed 3-0 after 15 minutes despite dominating play. They couldn’t convert yards into points and, as a matter of fact, they gave Maine its only points on red zone turnover.

“I have a new bald spot in the back of my head,” Spaziani said. “It was an inauspicious start. Those things are there. They need to be corrected. We are not going to be able to go the rest of the season, playing the schedule that we play, doing that. [After the first quarter] we tried to let our players know it’s a football game. It’s 60 minutes and you’ve got to keep playing.”

And that starts with Northwestern on the road at Evanston, Ill. next Saturday.

“We’re going to a different stratosphere now,” Spaziani said. “We’ve got two games under our belt. We’re going on the road. It’s a game that we need to play well. We took some steps forward in areas, but we’ve got 10 tough games coming up and we’ve got to get better. There are some good things out there but we’ve got to get better.”

One area where the Eagles most certainly took steps forward was on defense, starting with a red zone stand when running back Duece Finch fumbled at the BC 18, giving Maine the ball at the Eagles 10.

But the defense allowed only a 19-yard field goal, Maine’s only points of the day.

“Anytime you give up the ball in the red zone like that, a field goal [allowed] is palatable, depending on the situation,” Spaziani said. “The defense did a good job keeping Maine out of the end zone.

BC also dug in on third down, allowing Maine just three first downs on 18 third-down tries.

“That is always one of our MOs,” Junior linebacker Steele Divitto said. “You want to stop them on third down, get off the field and get the offense in and give them a shot. The offense did an awesome job taking care of the ball. They were a little sloppy in the beginning but they responded well.”

BC allowed just 193 yards on 73 defensive snaps. BC’s offense compiled 385 yards on 74 snaps.

NOTES: X-rays on Chase Rettig‘s back following Saturday’s game were negative. He has taken several big hits near the sidelines in the first two weeks and his back became sore in the second half. “It’s fine,” Rettig said afterward. “I took some hits last week and today and I just need to get in the tub this week.” Rettig finished 16-of-32 for 219 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. “Chase was fine,” Spaziani said. “He had a winning effort. There is a lot of improvement he needs to make off of this one. He’s a good player but he made a few mistakes that we need not to make. We need him to be almost perfect. That’s what we’re looking for.” … Fullback Jake Sinkovec also had X-rays on his right foot after the game. Those were also negative.

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BC CB Al Louis-Jean to miss ‘several games’ due to injured left foot 08.14.12 at 2:58 pm ET
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Boston College starting cornerback Al Louis-Jean injured his left foot in practice on Monday and is likely to miss “several games,” according to coach Frank Spaziani.

The Brockton native played 10 games as a true freshman last fall, recording an interception and a forced fumble along with 15 tackles and three pass break-ups.

Louis-Jean injured himself the same day teammate Chris Pantale underwent surgery on his right foot that will keep him sidelined for approximately eight weeks.

The senior tight end has 77 receptions for 797 yards and five touchdowns over his first three years with the Eagles. In 12 games last season, the Wayne, N.J., native caught 21 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns.

Earlier this summer, Pantale was named to the preseason watch list of the John Mackey Award, which is given to the most outstanding collegiate tight end.

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Albright to Herzlich: ‘Don’t do too much’ 08.13.10 at 6:59 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Much has been written and said about linebacker Mark Herzlich and his attempt this year to return from a rare form of bone cancer and play a red-shirt senior year for the Boston College Eagles.

What hasn’t gotten a lot of focus is the concern from his teammates who know how badly he wants back. Teammates like senior defensive end Alex Albright. The senior from St. Xavier high school in Cincinnati can see the desperation all over Herzlich’s face, especially since the news over the summer that he suffered a broken right foot, delaying his conditioning and his eventual return to the team.

“You can even see it when he was out there for the first practice, he wasn’t practicing but he was out there with his helmet,” Albright said. “He’s always antsy, he’s jumping around, he wants to be out there practicing. It’s difficult to watch. I’d rather him not jump back into it if he’s not 100 percent sure because there’s too much risk involved with something like that.”

It’s exactly for that reason that Albright knows Herzlich will push his limits to show he can return to his 2008 self, when he picked off six passes and dominated the ACC from his linebacker position on the Eagles defense, earning conference defensive player of the year honors.

“I just don’t want Mark to do too much,” Albright said with a tinge of fear. “I don’t want him to feel like he has to be like he was his junior year when he was Defensive Player of the Year. I don’t want him to feel like he has to do it all. I want him to just be a member of this defensive corps until he feels comfortable getting back into the swing of things.

“I just don’t want him to feel like he has this burden of expectation on himself where he feels like he has to come out and do everything. I just want him to take it slow. The last thing I want is for him to get injured again or something happen.”

But if Herzlich can return to his old self and join the likes of Albright and fellow St. Xavier high school product and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, Luke Keuchly, then BC could be going places. And Albright knows it.

“I think we expect to win every game, just as every team does,” he said. “I don’t think [expectations] too dissimilar from last year, though. We’re out here to prove people wrong. Last year, people picked us to win two games. This year, people picked us to finish fifth in the ACC or something. We want to be first. We always want to be first.We want to go to the Orange Bowl, we want to win the ACC. That’s our expectation, to go as far as we possibly can.”

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Herzlich can’t catch a break at 1:59 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — An injured right foot is the latest physical hurdle Mark Herzlich has to clear to return to the game he loves.

The fifth-year senior All-American linebacker and Butkus Award finalist was in line to return from his successful bout with Ewing’s sarcoma – a rare bone cancer – when he was diagnosed with a broken right foot and held out of practice at Boston College.

Herzlich sustained the stress fracture while training six weeks ago. Until that injury heals, Herzlich has to stay on the sidelines and was unable to take part Friday’s first full practice with pads.

“It’s frustrating, but I obviously have dealt with much worse than a foot fracture,” Herzlich said. “Whatever it is, it’s sidelining me right now. I just need to try to get back. It’s another thing to hurdle.”

On Friday, for his press conference inside the Conte Forum media room, Herzlich wasn’t wearing a cast or even a protective boot on the right foot but rather a loosely-fitting, untied running shoe for comfort.

Herzlich, the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is hopeful to be ready for the season opener with Weber State on Sept. 4 after announcing Friday that X-rays and MRIs showed “significant healing.”

“Right now it’s kind of wait and see, see how it progresses. There’s no jumping into it too soon, so we are going to be overly cautious with it and make sure it gets fully healed. The last thing we want to do is come back too soon and have it linger throughout the season,” Herzlich added, before predicting, “I’ll be back by the first game, but most likely much sooner.”

Sources with knowledge of the injury told WEEI.com Friday there is doubt as to whether Herzlich will be healed enough to play in the season opener – something head coach Frank Spaziani confirmed Friday afternoon.

“Mark’s situation is Mark’s situation,” Spaziani said. “When he’s back, that’s total speculation as far as I’m concerned. Until he gets out there and does it, we’re all rooting for him. You have to take him out of the equation, I think.”

While Herzlich is being held out, he is back to being a glorified assistant defensive coach for such stars as linebacker Luke Kuechly and pass rusher Alex Albright, just like he was in 2009 when he was recovering from Ewing’s sarcoma.

“I’m frustrated for Mark because I know what this means to him and what he’s trying to accomplish,” Spaziani added. “When you cannot assist like you think you want to assist, there’s a little bit of that frustration in there and I understand his frustration. We have to take it as it comes and I think we’ll be fine. It’ll be that much more sweeter when he gets to the goal.”

After four days of workouts and walk-throughs, the BC Eagles had their first day of practice in pads on Friday afternoon on campus.

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BC by the skin of its teeth 09.26.09 at 7:01 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — The last thing quarterback Riley Skinner wanted to hear was a word of consolation after fumbling away a near-certain victory Saturday afternoon at Boston College.

But BC senior Mike McLaughlin, in his first game back from an Achilles injury, came over and offered them to the Wake Forest signal caller anyway as Eagle players danced around celebrating a 27-24 overtime win against the Demon Deacons at Alumni Stadium.

“I don’t think he really wanted to hear much from me but I was just telling him I’ve watched him for four years now and he is a heckuva football player,” McLaughlin said. “As far as just a true football player, it really doesn’t get any better than him. And I said, ‘I don’t know if you were trying to make a play but you’re a heckuva football player, and I can’t wait to watch you for the next eight or nine weeks and keep your head up and go win a bunch of games.’ I know they will.”

With Wake driving down to a first and goal at the BC 4 and needing just four more yards for game-clinching touchdown in OT, the Demon Deacons called for a sweep to the outside but Brandon Pendergrass went the wrong way causing Skinner to call an audible to himself and he rolled out on what appeared to be a naked bootleg to the left.

“We had a speed sweep called to the right and the running back went the wrong way,” Skinner explained afterward. “I kind of froze when I saw this happening because I didn’t think he would be going a different way. When I started running, I tried to put the ball in my other hand and get back to the line of scrimmage but the BC defender just got his hand in there and knocked it out. It was bad ball security by me and it was just a sloppy play all the way around.” Read the rest of this entry »

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