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For the third time in four games, Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig threw the ball at least 40 times on Saturday.
It’s part of the reason he’s been one of the most effective passers in the Atlantic Coast Conference, coming into the loss to Clemson averaging a conference-leading 317 yards per game.
But it’s also a sign of how much the Eagles have had to lean on their passing game.
Against the Tigers, Rettig threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, completing 25 of 43 attempts. He was sacked twice (left tackle Emmett Cleary had to scrape him off the ground after one hit) and picked of twice, but when he’s throwing it as much as he has been, hits and picks are part of the deal.
“It’s just whatever’s working for us in the game,” Rettig said. “I thought we ran the ball better today. We were giving them a little trouble passing the ball, so [offensive coordinator Doug Martin] put in some more pass plays.”
The Eagles’ running game was the second-worst in the conference coming off a performance in the loss to Northwestern in which their three running backs combined for 21 carries for 25 yards. Against Clemson, Andre Williams got 22 of BC’s 28 carries and gained 61 yards, including a 30-yard score on the Eagles’ first possession, by far their longest run of the season.
Coach Frank Spaziani said he was encouraged by the rushing attack against Clemson, and even though he was leery of Rettig throwing the ball so much, he said it was a function of playing from behind.
“One of the positives is we held the ball, we ran the ball,” said Spaziani. “We got in a situation where throwing it dictated it a little bit more. But I think we were on pace there for a little while to maintain what we wanted to do offensively.
“We certainly don’t want [Rettig] going back all the time. You saw he got hit a couple times over there, and that’s not good to expose him like that. But when you’re down by 17, you’ve got to throw.”
Clemson had no answer for Alex Amidon, who had 193 yards on eight catches, the most by a BC receiver since Gerard Phelan’s 226 aganist Miami in 1984.
Amidon’s biggest play was a 49-yard touchdown on which he raced safety Jonathan Meeks across the field to the end zone.
“He was just being Alex,” Rettig said. “He never stops. He probably played every snap. He played well.”
Amidon was one of eight pass-catchers for the Eagles, who took advantage of Clemson’s man coverage.
“If people are going to play man against us, then we’re going to use our guys we have against them,” Rettig said.
Finch takes a hit
Rolandan Finch, the Eagles’ top rusher last season, slipped out of the three-deep depth chart, a combination of performance and personal issues leading to the demotion.
After missing the season opener with a foot injury, Finch had rushed for 110 yards on 25 carries, second on the team behind Williams. But Finch was ineffective in the loss to Northwestern, carrying eight times for 19 yards, with no touches in the fourth quarter.
“Deuce has had some performance issues and then he’s got some other things that were clouding his picture,” said Spaziani. “He’s working his way through it, and that’s where he’s at. He’s on the team practicing and we’re putting the best guys out there that we feel give us the best chance to win. That’s the best way to characterize it.
“There’s a whole bunch of stuff going on, but everybody’s got stuff going on. His performance hasn’t been what we need.”
After being handed a four-game suspension by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for recruiting violations, Sacret Heart High wide receiver David Coggins decommitted from Boston College.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.