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Preview: BC/NC State

Posted By Ian Boynton On Oct 7 2010 @ 4:56 pm In Boston College | No Comments

It has reached a point in the season where confidence is for the insane, and hope for the foolhardy. Many more losses, and the Eagles take themselves out of contention in the ACC. Even more distressing, the Eagles run the risk of being ineligible for a bowl game for the first time since 1998.

For a team that has suffered two home losses in a row, the first time since 1998 — if that date sounds familiar, read above two lines for a reminder — the Eagles have dropped two consecutive home games, the list of uncertainties is long, and the list of possible solutions quickly evaporating. The once-supposed strengths of this squad are becoming issues, and the initial issues are seemingly broken beyond repair. At quarterback, the Eagles have been playing musical chairs; injury and poor play interrupting each quarterbacks short stint as the starter. Defensively, the Eagles have been inconsistent; at times looking like a sieve, other times playing as they should have all along. Against Notre Dame, the Eagles defense allowed 21 points in the first quarter alone, only to give up just 10 points for the remainder of the game. In regards to the running attack, well, there wasn’t really one against Notre Dame – a factor of poor play from Montel Harris, and the highly touted offensive line.  Not much is clicking for the Eagles right now, and to put it simply, this season has been a disappointment across the board.

Heading this week to Raleigh to play the North Carolina State Wolfpack, the Eagles will face one of the best offenses in the ACC, and arguably the best quarterback in the ACC in Russell Wilson. An accurate passer, and a good athlete, Wilson will have no trouble picking apart the soft zone of the Eagles. If I were Tom O’Brien and Dana Bible, I would line up Wilson in the shotgun and let him dissect the defense that was exposed against the Fighting Irish. Unfortunately for Boston College, even if the Eagles do play stout defense, the offense will still need to put points on the board in order to win.

Even though the NC State defense is not prolific, well, does it matter what defense the Eagles are facing? At this point, the Eagles offense has been so ineffective, that even first downs are a major accomplishment (maybe now the band should bring back the “Eagles first down” chant?). Luckily for the Eagles, with Chase Rettig practicing Wednesday, it appears as if he will be the starter this weekend. Against Notre Dame, his 58-yard strike to Bobby Swigert was the Eagles only touchdown on the day. While Rettig is the best option at quarterback for the Eagles, the offense, barring any radical changes, remains an unexciting unit that is possible of simply not producing. Against NC State last year, Harris had a breakout performance with two school records, rushing for 264 yards and five touchdowns. If the Eagles have any chance at defeating a dangerous NC State opponent on the road, then Harris has to have another outstanding performance, something he has yet to do in 2010.

For an Eagles squad that has defied expectations (in a negative way, for the first time in years), and has many players playing well under their talent-level, something has to click at some point. The team cannot continue to play as poorly as they have. Whether it is through personnel changes, adjustments to the play calling (yes, please), or a sudden boost in motivation, this team will eventually raise its level of play. Whether or not that increase in level of play is enough to propel the Eagles into bowl play is yet to be seen, but when it happens, the Eagles should at least function like a proper football team. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, I do not see it happening this week. The Wolfpack offense is an explosive unit that will be able to move the ball and score points against the Eagles defense, and with Chase Rettig (assuming he is the starter) making his first road appearance, I do not see the Eagles scoring enough points to defeat the Wolfpack.

Prediction: NC State 31 – Boston College 17

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