Road gets tougher for Eagles
One of the problems plaguing the Boston College football team is the lack of consistently good practices with the key players needed to win games.
The Eagles’ latest setback was a 27-19 loss Saturday to Wake Forest, which dropped them to 1-4 with the next two games on the road against unbeaten Clemson and once-beaten (by Clemson) Virginia Tech.
“They say you practice how you play,’’ said middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who is definitely not one of the problems BC coach Frank Spaziani has this morning. “If you practice slow, then you are going to start slow in the game. That’s one of Coach Spaziani’s things - from the first whistle blown to the last, it needs to be important, because the game is practice.’’
The Eagles’ problem is that there are no guarantees who will be at practice during the week. The offensive line has been a mishmash throughout the season. The primary concern has been the back issues of left guard Nate Richman, who has been in and out of practice so many times Spaziani no longer expects him.
The defensive line is in similar shape, with the foot problems of tackle Kaleb Ramsey causing Spaziani to mix and match.
Yesterday, Spaziani tried to absorb the latest defeat. He called seven penalties for 56 yards “unconscionable. They are not trying to do it. But we can’t overcome some of that stuff. We have to get it corrected.’’
Led by quarterback Chase Rettig, the Eagles responded quickly to an opening Wake Forest touchdown by moving from their 24 to Wake’s 42 when BC was hit with a personal foul. The drive sputtered and the Eagles had to punt.
Later in the period, BC was hit with another personal foul, and offsides and illegal motion penalties have been prevalent in almost every BC game.
When you add in a lost fumble or an interception, you have a formula for losing.
Spaziani knows that precision in practice leads to better things on game days. What he needs, however, is to have the same players in the same positions doing the same thing each day and each week.
“It’s a major hindrance,’’ he said. “It’s one of the major contributors to what I call our sporadic play, because we have done [positive] things in spots.’’
Both of BC’s top running backs, Montel Harris and Andre Williams, were nicked Saturday. Harris’s left knee was jarred a few times, and Williams suffered a right ankle injury. Both were being evaluated yesterday.
Mark Blaudschun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.