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Maine’s recent track record for scaring the arrogance out of Bowl Subdivision schools was something Boston College coach Frank Spaziani knew he needed to make his team aware of.
The Black Bears aren’t just a nonthreatening Championship Subdivision team inserted in the schedule between the Eagles’ pressure-packed season opener against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Miami and Northwestern of the Big Ten.
They’re the punch that big schools never see coming.
In the Eagles’ locker room, Spaziani posted some of Maine’s scores against FBS teams to serve as cautionary tales.
Last year, they scared the smug off Pittsburgh by scoring 22 second-half points, before losing, 35-29. In 2004, they got into a battle with Mississippi State, and came out of it with their first win over an FBS team, 9-7.
But the first game Spaziani pointed to was in 2006, Matt Ryan’s junior year at BC, when the Black Bears came to The Heights. The Eagles won, 22-0, but by no means were they filing their nails at halftime.
“We showed them what it was like,” Spaziani said. “Different players, everything’s different, except there’s a lot of similarities.”
The last time BC lost to a Division 1-AA school was in 1978, when they traveled to Amherst and were shut out, 27-0. Since then, they’ve beaten 19 straight FCS schools. BC is 3-3 against Maine, winning the last three by a combined 120-0.
Still, the Eagles cannot afford to fall asleep on a team that was 9-4 last year, ranked eighth in the final FCS poll.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to respect every opponent,” said BC defensive lineman Kasim Edebali. “It doesn’t matter what conference they’re in, how big they are, because we expect everyone is going to bring their ‘A’ game. Therefore, if we’re not going to bring ours, we might lose that game.”
Spaziani believes he got the point across.
“We won’t know until we get out there exactly where their minds are,” Spaziani said. “But I think our guys, I think I’ve got a feeling they understand what it’s about every week. You’ve got to know your opponent, know who you’re playing against, respect them, know that they can beat you.”
Maine coach Jack Cosgrove watched the Eagles’ opener and was impressed with their rhythm, pass protection, and quarterback Chase Rettig. But he also knew they let one get away.
“They’ve got to be kicking themselves in terms of the game,” Cosgrove said. “I thought they were the far superior team.”
The pick six, the fourth-quarter fumbles, the field goals instead of touchdowns.
“It was really baffling how BC didn’t get that one,” Cosgrove said.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.