|Making his debut Thursday, redshirt freshman Josh Bordner led the Eagles to their only TD. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)|
Eagles adjust goals
Out of bowl mix, focus on progress
The day after one phase of Boston College’s football season ended (elimination from bowl contention) with Thursday night’s 38-7 pounding by Florida State, the Eagles were back at practice, trying to regroup, refocus, and find a way to win a game.
It has been rough, as shown by BC’s 2-7 record, a mark that guarantees a first losing season since 1998, and also the end of a 12-year bowl run, which the Eagles use as a recruiting tool.
With three games remaining - at home against North Carolina State next Saturday, and at Notre Dame and Miami - there are no guarantees of anything. But the Eagles are not looking past next week.
“We want to win against North Carolina State, that’s our mind-set right now,’’ said All-America middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Just how the Eagles do that has become an even larger question, spreading to the quarterback position, where redshirt freshman Josh Bordner came in for starter Chase Rettig in the second quarter against Florida State, and provided BC’s only offensive spark of the evening.
Coach Frank Spaziani said that while he is not going to a two-quarterback system, Bordner will see more playing time over the next three games.
Rettig’s progress has slowed, which is disturbing to many fans who look at the 2-7 record and BC’s worst defeat since being pounded, 48-14, by Virginia Tech in 2009, Spaziani’s first year as head coach.
When Rettig was asked if he had a message for BC fans, he said, “I would tell them to just hang in there. When you are a fan and a spectator it is completely black and white. No one cares if you complete a 15-yard pass, and on the next series you turn the ball over. No one cares if injuries are a reason you are not winning, or if being young has to do with your not winning. There’s no gray area with fans. But every game the guys are getting better, everyone is learning. Next week we have to be better than we were this week.’’
That will not be difficult. The Eagles hit the self-destruct button almost immediately Thursday night when a Rolandan Finch fumble at the BC 7 quickly resulted in a Florida State touchdown. By the half it was 28-0, and the game was over.
Yesterday, Spaziani tried to block out the growing criticism of his job performance and the direction of the program, and focus on the task at hand, winning the next game, and the game after that, and the game after that.
It will not be an easy task, nor is there a quick fix. The Eagles are young and banged up. Against Florida State, BC basically played with a running back depth chart that included Finch and no one else.
“After watching the tape, we just made too many mistakes to beat a team of that caliber,’’ said Spaziani, who conceded that keeping his players focused would be more difficult without the prospect of a bowl game. “Human nature would say that task would be more difficult. It certainly will be a challenge, but there is other stuff on which we can focus.’’
Spaziani said one benefit of using younger players is they are getting on-the-job training. “You can’t teach experience,’’ he said. “Now, what they are going to do with it is the question.’’
For now, BC will simply focus on winning its next game, which has been the toughest task of all.
Mark Blaudschun can be reached at email@example.com.