It wasn’t the biggest upset, nor was it the most convincing win, but when the fourth quarter came to a close, I would have willingly stormed the field.
Yes, the Eagles victory on Saturday was only a minor achievement; the team still holds a losing record, and will still need to pull off a minor miracle to be bowl eligible. For three quarters though, I, along with other fans, was able to escape the misery of the 2010 season and bask in what has sadly become an elusive victory. For the first time since early September, it was exciting to be in Alumni Stadium, despite an unimpressive turnout by the students.
As there always are, there were certainly areas that needed to be fixed. Gary Tranquil’s play calling, in my opinion, remains a pressing issue. With only a 6-point lead, the plays were called not to lose, rather than to win — reminiscent of the Tom O’Brien and Dana Bible era. In a season where I have only been able to criticize though, I’ll focus on the positives.
As has come to be expected, Montel Harris turned in another stellar performance, rushing for 142 yards on 36 carries, as well as recording a reception of 36 yards that was good for the Eagles only touchdown on the day. Andre Williams also showed flashes of his potential on Saturday, rushing for 24 yards on 5 carries.
After throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown early in the game, Chase Rettig settled in to finish the day going 9-of-16 for 136 yards with one touchdown. While not a spectacular performance, Rettig displayed one of the most important trait in a quarterback, bouncing back after a very rough start. Rettig clearly has the arm to be a successful quarterback at this level, and he is quickly proving that he has the composure as well. Saturday was certainly Rettig’s best performance of the season, but with the freshman quarterback improving each game, I fully expect him to continue to grow, especially with a stretch of “easier” games ahead of him.
The Eagles defense performed about as well as it could on Saturday, completely shutting down an offense that had scored 30 points a game heading in to the game. Besides a relatively anemic pass-rush, there simply aren’t too many things anyone can complain about. Perhaps the most impressive aspect about the play of the Eagles defense on Saturday was the energy with which it played. After sleepwalking through much of the earlier portion of the season (see first quarter against Notre Dame), the defense came out aggressive and determined, and the results speak for themselves. With easier games on the horizon, if the defense can continue to play at such a high level, the Eagles will have a legitimate shot at expanding their newly born win streak.
As a larger-than-usual group of students sung the Alma Mater, I couldn’t help find myself regaining my early-season optimism. With four winnable games left on the season, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, the Eagles will be bowl eligible come December.
About the Author
Written by Ian Boynton
Student at Boston College. Avid fan of St. Louis Rams, Boston Red Sox, as well as all Boston College Sports.