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BC blows 14-point lead and game to No. 8 Florida State 09.28.13 at 7:03 pm ET
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Andre Williams and the Eagles were wrapped up by the Seminoles at Alumni Stadium. (AP)

Andre Williams and the Eagles were wrapped up by the Seminoles at Alumni Stadium. (AP)

CHESTNUT HILL — Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes and Florida State intercepted Chase Rettig and returned it for a touchdown as eighth-ranked Seminoles erased a 14-point deficit and beat Boston College, 48-34, Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Boston College falls to 2-2 and 1-1 in the ACC while No. 8 Florida State improves to 4-0, 2-0 in the ACC.

The Eagles got first quarter touchdown passes from Rettig to C.J. Parsons and Jake Sinkovec in building a 14-3 lead. Boston College scored on its first three possessions of the game while dominating the Seminoles in the opening quarter. The Eagles nearly intercepted Winston on his first two passes of the day and sacked him on the final play of the opening series.

Nate Freese‘s 24-yard field goal with 11:19 left in the second quarter put the Eagles up, 17-3. But from that point, Florida State and Winston dominated the game. Andre Williams had 100 yards rushing on his first 18 carries in the first half and finished with 149 yards on 28 carries, eclipsing 2,000 yards and moving into 13th place on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,067 yards.

Winston threw three second-quarter touchdowns, including a long 55-yard connection to Kenny Shaw down the right sideline as time expired in the first half, giving Florida State its first lead, 24-17, heading to the locker room. Winston escaped two potential tackles that would have ended the half tied before the long heave.

“It was devastating giving up that big play before the half,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “We had the kid [Winston] on the ground but we came right back out there.”

Florida State’s domination continued in the third quarter despite a 71-yard kickoff return by BC’s Myles Willis to open the third quarter. The Eagles were able to convert only a field goal out of the big return and Florida State posted another two touchdowns, one on the fourth TD strike of the day by Winston and another on 1-yard run by Karlos Williams. Willis also caught a 52-yard touchdown from Rettig in the third quarter.

“I am upset about the big plays,” Addazio said. “We let up too many big plays on defense. You can’t do that. That’s upsetting to me.”

Florida State took its biggest lead, 48-27, when P.J. Williams intercepted Rettig and returned it 20 yards with 13:41 left and capping a 45-10 run by the Seminoles.

Rettig fought back with his fourth TD pass of the day, a 17-yard strike to Parsons. With a chance to draw to within a score at the Florida State 20, Rettig was intercepted by Nate Andrews at the 1, sealing the loss for the Eagles.

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Andre Williams, Alex Amidon lead opportunistic Eagles to win in ACC opener 09.06.13 at 11:07 pm ET
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Andre Williams raced through the Wake Forest defense on his way to a career best rushing performance Friday night. (AP)

Andre Williams raced through the Wake Forest defense on his way to a career best rushing performance Friday night. (AP)

CHESTNUT HILL — Andre Williams rushed 35 times for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown while the Boston College defense forced three first-half turnovers to power the Eagles to a 24-10 win over Wake Forest in the ACC opener for both teams.

Playing on a short week and in a rare nationally televised Friday night game at Alumni Stadium, Chase Rettig managed an effective game, completing 7-of-14 passes for just 123 yard but two touchdowns as Boston College improved to 2-0 and 1-0 in ACC play.

Boston College took advantage of sloppy play by Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price and the Demon Deacons offense in the first half to score two touchdowns and take a 17-7 halftime lead.

On the opening drive, Josh Harris fumbled a pitch to the near sideline and Spenser Rositano recovered at the Wake Forest 27. After a one-yard rush, Boston College converted the turnover into a touchdown as Rettig found Alex Amidon on a bubble screen out to the left for 26 yards and an Eagles touchdown. Amidon finished with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.

After an exchange of punts, Wake Forest put together a 10-play, 76-yard drive, consuming 5:30 of clock. The drive was capped off by a 30-yard Price to Michael Campanaro connection for a touchdown.

On the next drive, Rettig fired a 51-yard bullet of a pass over the deep middle to Amidon, who turned his body around in midair and came down with it at the Wake Forest 24. That spectacular play set up Nate Freese’s 33-yard field goal that gave the Eagles the lead for good.

The first quarter ended on another botched pitch play by the Deacons as Price fumbled at his own 28 and it was recovered by Bryce Jones at the 22. On the first play of the second quarter and the first play after the fumbled, Rettig rolled out to his right and fired a strike to Spiffy Evans for a 22-yard TD that put the Eagles up, 17-7.

Wake Forest had several chances to get back into the game, including a golden opportunity just before the half. With under a minute left, Freese dropped back at his 20 to punt. The kick was blocked and Wake recovered at the BC 3. They had four chances to punch it with :52 remaining. The Eagles, like they did a week earlier against Villanova, stopped all four chances, including a run stuff on 4th-and-goal from the 1.

Williams dominated the only BC scoring drive of the second half, carrying the ball six times for 39 yards, including the final five plays of the drive, capped off by a two-yard plunge that made it 24-7 with 1:54 left in the third.

Wake Forest had a chance to close the lead to 10 early in the fourth when they got within the BC 10. After converting a 4th-and-one from the BC 7, the Deacons had to settle for a 26-yard Chad Hedlund field goal that cut the Eagles’ lead to 14 at 24-10 with 10:17 left in the fourth.

After playing on a short week, Boston College hits the road for the first time next Saturday when they travel to the historic Los Angeles Coliseum to take on the Southern Cal Trojans.

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Boston College wears down tricky Villanova to win season opener 08.31.13 at 3:01 pm ET
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Bobby Wolford takes a handoff from Chase Rettig in the second half as Boston College beats Villanova in the season opener. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bobby Wolford takes a handoff from Chase Rettig in the second half as Boston College beats Villanova in the season opener. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

CHESTNUT HILL — Alex Amidon caught a career-high 13 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown while Chase Rettig completed 23-of-30 passes for 285 yards as Boston College overcame a first-half scare to beat Villanova, 24-14, Saturday at Alumni Stadium. The game marked a victorious debut for new Eagles head coach Steve Addazio.

Andre Williams ran for 114 yards and the go-ahead touchdown on 23 carries before leaving in the second half with a hamstring injury.

The highlight of the first half was a perfectly executed fake punt in which up-man Jamal Abdur-Rahman took the snap, put the ball between his legs as the rest of the line and punter Mark Hamilton ran to the right. Abdur-Rahman, after a delay, took off to the left and raced 47 yards for a touchdown that stunned Boston College and put Villanova up, 7-0.

But the Eagles responded, thanks in a large part to a fourth down conversion of their own. Facing 4th-and-1 at the Villanova 49, Andre Williams ran four yards for a first down. BC capped the drive when Rettig hit wide open fullback Bobby Wolford in the right flat for a one-yard TD.

Villanova responded again with a six-play, 75-yard drive. Facing a 3rd-and-14 at the BC 27, John Robertson hit Abdur-Rahman on a back screen that produced another touchdown and put Villanova up, 14-7.

The turning point of the game came midway through the second quarter as Villanova appeared to be on the doorstep of another touchdown. Facing a 4th-and-goal from the BC 1, Villanova decided to pass instead of run and Robertson’s pass was behind a wide-open Joe Price in the back of the end zone and the Eagles took over at the 1.

After Villanova forced a punt, Boston College got another huge break when the Wildcats tried another trick play that backfired. Villanova attempted a halfback option but Gary Underwood‘s pass for Price was badly under thrown and Bryce Jones intercepted.

BC was fortunate to go to the locker room down just 14-7 as the Wildcats owned the first half, out-gaining Boston College, 234-144.

The Eagles came out strong to start the second half, going 85 yards in seven plays on the opening drive, capped by a 49-yard TD strike from Chase Rettig to a wide-open Alex Amidon, tying the game, 14-14.

BC’s defense stiffened significantly, adjusting to the read option offense Villanova runs that looks very similar to the Chip Kelly offense made famous with Oregon and now the Eagles in the NFL.

After forcing Villanova to punt on their first two possessions, Boston College took its first lead on its third possession of the second half. They needed just two plays to march 60 yards. Rettig hit Wolford for 34 yards on a swing pass down to the Villanova 26. Andre Williams took the handoff on the next play and ran 26 yards off the right side untouched for a touchdown with 4:40 left in the third.

BC appeared to take a two-touchdown lead on a 22-yard pass from Rettig to Amidon but an illegal block below the waist wiped it out with just under 11 minutes left in the fourth. BC added to their lead when Nate Freese connected from 39 yards to put the Eagles up 24-14 with 5:18 left in the fourth.

With Villanova driving down the Boston College 21 and threatening to get within three points, Josh Keyes forced a Robertson fumble and Kasim Edbali recovered it with just over three minutes left. Sean Sylvia intercepted Robertson with 1:59 left to seal the win for Addazio in his debut at Boston College.

Boston College opens the ACC portion of their schedule on a short week, playing next Friday night with a home game at Alumni Stadium against Wake Forest.

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Chase Rettig: Eagles need to ‘scratch and claw’ for bowl eligibility 08.09.13 at 12:58 pm ET
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Senior Chase Rettig leads the Boston College Eagles into the 2013 season. (AP)

Senior Chase Rettig leads the Boston College Eagles into the 2013 season. (AP)

CHESTNUT HILL — It’s no secret that if the Boston College Eagles are going to turn around a trend that saw them win just six games in the past two seasons, quarterback Chase Rettig is going to lead the way.

But the senior quarterback, who is going through yet another change in offensive coordinators, knows the process is going to be deliberate. His focus is on Villanova and the opener Aug. 31 at Alumni Stadium. Work on winning that game and then go from there, with the end goal of bowl eligibility.

On media day at BC, he was careful not to put a number on the wins he thinks he and the Eagles can reach this season.

“I don’t know if you can do that,” Rettig said. “Right now, we want to win the opener because last year we didn’t. I think we’ve had better teams than our record has shown the last two years. But momentum is key. We have to win the opener and then scratch and claw, do whatever we can to get into bowl eligibility, and that’s just the mind-set. If it’s more than that, then it’s more than that. That’s what we’re going to try and do. Our work ethic is what’s going to control it, try to be better than our opponents this year.”

New coach Steve Addazio went a step further in taking the heat off his quarterback, at least to start the season.

“Number one, beyond a doubt, if you can’t play defense, you’re not going to win,” Addazio said. “It’s all about great defense. If you don’t play great defense you’re not going to win. It centers around playing great defense. You better be great in special teams, and I’m a big believer that your quarterback has to play real well.”

Addazio was asked about the back-up QB battle between Josh Bordner, Mike Marscovetra and three other QBs on the roster.

“Productivity in camp. You have to be productive. Have to watch Josh move the team,” Addazio said. “You either move the team or you don’t. You either move the team or you don’t. I’m glad if you complete 92 percent in 7-on-7. I really don’t care about 7-on-7. I want to see you move the team when you get hit. I’m going to judge that and evaluate that. Obviously, we hold Chase accountable to the same standards but he’s coming in as the starting quarterback right now so we’re going to protect him a little bit more.

“Some of the other guys, we’ll probably not going to protect as much. We’re going to throw them into the fire a little bit and see how they go, and find out who’s going to take those spots. You find one guy standing up. There’s been plenty of times in history here at Boston College a guy gets in there and does so good he doesn’t give it back to the other guy. It’s all there. It’s all open. Nothing’s forever. Right now, Chase is the starter. Right now, Josh is battling Mike for that second spot. The second spot could always become the first, I guess. Right now, that’s our mindset for sure. We have a clear path, for sure.”

In the fourth game of the 2010 season, Rettig made his debut at BC playing against Notre Dame. In a 31-13 loss to the Irish, he connected on a 58-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Swigert but had to leave the game due to an ankle injury. After missing the following game, Rettig earned the starting quarterback job and led the Eagles to the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, where he completed 14 of 34 passes for 121 yards.

That was the season the Eagles lost five straight, falling to 2-5, only to rally and win the next five and become bowl eligible. The Eagles lost to Nevada 20-13. Rettig threw for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns during the season.

After a 4-8 season in 2011, the Eagles fell to 2-10 in the 2012 season, Rettig started all 12 games and threw for 3,055 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season. His season QB rating was a career high 115.6. He connected with junior wide receiver Alex Amidon 78 times for 1,210 yards. Those are numbers Rettig and the Eagles offense have been building on this spring and summer.

“It’s been good,” Rettig said during media day at The Heights. “We had some in the spring but we didn’t really use it as much as we do now. We’re just trying to get used to it. Some guys are getting more acclimated. Different people have different learning curves so being a senior, being a quarterback, I know more. I’m trying to be an extension of Coach Day and Coach Addazio and get everyone on the same page.

“You don’t want to just go out there and run as many plays as you can for no reason. You want each play to be executed as a team and be worth something. Use tempo and be in control. When I’m in [huddle] right now, I can lead. Approach, demeanor, how you handle yourself in all the situations, I think those three years of experience have rubbed off and now I know how to handle those situations and just trying to be a voice on the team. The best way to do that is to set a standard, you set goals that other guys believe we can get to and then you live by those and expect it every rep off the field, on the field and in certain situations. That’s what I’ve been trying to do.

“You have to work harder than the guy you’re going to be lining up against on Aug. 31. Against the defense in practice, you have to handle yourself the best you can because we’re responsible for our success. It starts with the person, then grouping more people, then the unit, then it’s the team and then it’s the whole program. You just have to be responsible and accountable and that’s what we’re stressing in this program right now.”

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Clemson’s second-half surge ends BC’s early bid 09.29.12 at 9:46 pm ET
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Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd goes over BC safety Sean Sylvia (19) to score a touchdown in the first quarter of Saturday's game in Chestnut Hill. (AP)

After three games and one win over an FCS opponent, Boston College had yet to find a spark offensively, especially early on. However, against the most dynamic offense they’ve seen this season, the Eagles did just that in the early going of their 45-31 loss to Clemson on Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

The Eagles led 21-17 late in the first half before Clemson turned on the jets as quarterback Tahj Boyd and the Tigers racked up 576 yards of offense, finishing the game on a 28-10 run. The Eagles showed they could do some damage on offense, but they couldn’t keep up with this type of performance from the Tigers, something Eagles coach Frank Spaziani knew well going into the game.

“Those Clemson payers are very good players and they’ve done it to a lot of people,” Spaziani said. “I don’t think we were too complicated. If anything, we tried to make sure we were fundamentally sound and not be too vanilla but also got our guys lined up and let recognition go.”

Junior quarterback Chase Rettig finished the day 25-of-43 for 341 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. BC’s solid aerial attack produced a career-high 193 yards receiving for junior Alex Amidon (the third-highest total in school history). Where BC struggled, though, was in its attempt to establish a consistent ground attack. The Eagles finished the day with 51 rushing yards on 28 attempts, good for an average of 1.8 yards per carry.

“Any game where we’re moving the ball well is a fun game to be in, regardless of what they’re doing on the other side,” Rettig said of the high-scoring affair. “It puts a little edge on it, when it goes back and forth. It was fun, but we just have to do better, execute better.”

Clemson had a chance pull away from BC early, bursting out to a 17-7 lead with momentum after scoring on the first play of the second quarter. However, after his offense sputtered once again, BC sophomore safety Sean Sylvia picked off a deep bomb from Boyd that triggered two straight scoring drives from the Eagles. It was a huge stop for the BC defense that spent much of the game trying to contain the Tigers and give its offense a chance to respond.

“It kind of puts more on our shoulders because the offense is putting points on the board,” Sylvia said. “We have to take more ownership, start stopping some people.”

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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’s final preseason scrimmage ends on high note 08.23.12 at 12:35 pm ET
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Second-year QB Josh Bordner hooked up with junior wideout Johnathan Coleman for a 13-yard touchdown pass, ending the Eagles’ fourth and final scrimmage on Wednesday positively.

Last season’s starting QB Chase Rettig connected on seven of his 13 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Rettig hit Bobby Swigert with a 50-yard bomb on the opening drive. The junior quarterback passed for 1,960 yards last season.

“The defense was in a cover-2, and he had the middle read,” Rettig said, according to a school release. “It worked out well. He ended up making a good run and catch.”

Bordner finished 4-for-1o with 36 yards and the touchdown connection which happened in the overtime simulation.

Senior wideout Colin Lamond Jr. led all receivers with 61 yards on three catches while Swigert followed up with two receptions, 58 yards and a touchdown.

Tahj Kimble led the scrimmage in rushing with 26 yards on seven carries. Mike Javorski and Ted Davenport each had five carries, while Paul Maglio rushed for 11 yards on three carries.

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Alex Amidon, Justin Simmons shine in BC scrimmage 08.20.12 at 10:52 am ET
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Coach Frank Spaziani's Eagles are preparing for their Sept. 1 season opener against Miami. (AP)

The BC football team took the field for a situational scrimmage Sunday at Alumni Stadium.

The third scrimmage of preseason training camp featured six game-simulated end-of-half/fourth-quarter situations in which the offense and defense squared off with limited time on the clock as well as a limited number of timeouts.

Junior wide receiver Alex Amidon led all receivers with seven receptions for 84 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown reception from junior quarterback Chase Rettig. Rettig completed 18-of-32 passing attempts for 168 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions to lead the first-team offense. Freshman defensive back Justin Simmons highlighted the team’s defensive effort, picking off a pair of second-team quarterback Josh Bordner passing attempts. Bordner completed 6-of-9 attempts for 55 yards.

In all, a total of 12 receivers caught at least one pass, including four tight ends: sophomore Jarrett Darmstatter, sophomore C.J. Parsons, freshman Dan Crimmins and redshirt freshman (and Andover native) Brian Miller.

“Some of the tight ends have stepped up,” coach Frank Spaziani said in a press release. “Those guys have been better. C.J. Parsons has been productive.”

Senior running back Mike Javorski (eight carries) and converted tailback Ted Davenport (10 carries) shouldered the bulk of the afternoon’s rushing attempts. Javorski also registered four receptions for 24 yards on Sunday.

In addition to Simmons, sophomore defensive back Manuel Asprilla intercepted a Rettig pass intended for Amidon at the goal line, and senior linebacker Nick Clancy picked off a Rettig pass that was deflected by Mehdi Abdesmad a few plays later.

“We’ve got a lot of nice young guys on this football team, and if they come through and play well, good things can happen, and Justin is one of them,” Spaziani said. “He’s as advertised.  We did our homework and everything that you do on kids. He’s a good prospect.”

Boston College hosts Miami in its season opener on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 3:30 p.m.
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QBs Chase Rettig, Dave Shinskie shine in BC’s first spring scrimmage 04.03.11 at 11:23 am ET
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From Boston College media relations:

Sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig completed 11-of-16 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns Saturday in the Boston College football team’s first intrasquad scrimmage of the 2011 spring practice season. The air attack was on display all afternoon in new offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers’ debut as junior QB Dave Shinskie completed 8-of-10 passes for 97 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Mike Marscovetra (11-13, 86 yards) and redshirt freshman Josh Bordner (5-13, 32 yards) also saw action.

Sophomore Alex Amidon led all receivers with four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Senior Ifeanyi Momah also had four catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

All-America linebacker Luke Kuechly led the defense with eight tackles, followed closely by sophomore linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, who had seven tackles and a pass breakup.

The Eagles will scrimmage again next Saturday at noon in Alumni Stadium. The annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, April 16. Admission is free.

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Frank Spaziani: ‘We didn’t start the season out to be 6-6′ 11.20.10 at 6:05 pm ET
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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.

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