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This week's Q&A features editor A.J Black from Boston College's BC Interruption. He was kind enough to impart some wisdom regarding the 2012 BC Eagles and his outlook on Saturday's game, Frank Spaziani's future, and more.
TN: The Eagles currently sit at 1-4 and are coming off of a road loss to Army. What were the expectations for the 2012 season and how has the fanbase reacted to this disappointing start?
BCI: Expectations were mixed depending on who you asked. For some they believed the hire of Doug Martin would revitalize the offense, and that Spaz would make adjustments to fix the defense. Others (like myself) thought this was going to be a tough year for the Eagles, and had little or no positive expectations from this team, because after all Frank Spaziani is still coaching the team. The latter group of naysayers have watched a season exactly as they projected, which is tough to watch, but exactly what they expected. Those who expected a better season have taken a front seat to the 2012 horror show that is the BC season.
TN: Boston College hired Brad Bates to the position of Athletic Director this week. How does this affect the future of head coach Frank Spaziani and the BC football program as a whole?
BCI: Frank Spaziani will be done at the end of the season. Bates told a Boston radio host this morning:
"I don't know that I would pin myself into saying never. At the same time, very seldom do I see those situations work out relative to the students in the program," he said. "When you have a shift in leadership midstream, I think it creates even greater disarray. There may be an immediate emotional response that you see a positive blip, but in the long term, there are very few situations where I've seen that work productively for the program or for the students."
So unless BC goes out and gets rolled week after week, without winning another game this year, I think Spaz won't be going anywhere. However once the season is over, he is done. Bates would have to be very unwise to hook his coach onto that trainwreck. BC will have a different head coach in 2013.
TN: How has quarterback Chase Rettig progressed as a signal-caller thus far in 2012? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
BCI: Rettig has improved drastically this year, and there are many things to point to when trying to understand his maturation. One, he is getting rid of the ball quickly, and making much better reads. In previous seasons Rettig held onto the ball much too long, and allowed the pressure to force him into bad passes. Secondly the offense is much more pass happy. Rettig gets to line up with five wides, and pick apart defenses in a system that is designed to be a much higher rate of completion. Finally, Alex Amidon has emerged as one of the best receivers in the ACC, something BC fans never even predicted. He is a play maker, and has done a great job helping Rettig stretch the field.
TN: Tell us a bit about Boston College's offensive philosophy and what they will look to do against the FSU defense. Who are some playmakers that ‘Noles fans should have their eyes on Saturday evening?
BCI: As I mentioned before BC has changed to a spread offense under Doug Martin. Gone are the years of running the ball and controlling the clock, now the Eagles try to not allow defenses to not make changes with a hurry up style. However in past weeks, this has gotten mucked down as BC has been slower to the line. The offensive line is a complete mess, if the Noles can get any pass rush up the middle they are going to get to Rettig, as Chase was sacked 5 times by Army (ARMY!) last weekend. In terms of play makers, keep an eye out for Alex Amidon and Johnathan Coleman, as well as running back Andre Williams who last week ripped off a 99 yard run against the Black Knights.
TN: The BC defense has struggled mightily this season, giving up almost 600 yards of total offense to Army last week. What have been the chief causes of this ineptitude and how are the coaches attempting to fix them?
BCI: Boston College's defense has been an unmitigated disaster this year. Gone are the glory days of Luke Kuechly, Mathias Kiwanuka and Mark Herzlich. After four years of Spaz, BC's defense can't tackle, can't apply pressure and allow opposing offenses to move the ball at 7 yard clips all game long. There are no real play makers this year, maybe Nick Clancy who leads the country in tackles, only because he has to stay on the field for most of the game. Florida State's speed is going to be a major matchup problem for the Eagles this weekend, and if the Eagles continue to miss tackles, they are going to get torn apart. How will the coaches fix this? Who knows, they haven't adjusted to anything yet, can't imagine they will at this point.
TN: How have the Boston College special teams fared in 2012?
BCI: The special teams have been mixed. Nate Freese has been a solid kicker, Spiffy Evans had one nice run back this season against Maine. Walk on punter Gerald Levano has been very inconsistent, as he was pivotal in BC's loss last week, shanking a punt out of bounds at the 50.
TN: What will the Eagles need to do to give themselves a chance to pull the upset in Tallahassee this weekend?
BCI: A batch of food poisoning at an FSU dining hall? I don't know, as you can tell I am very jaded about BC's chances this week. I love my college to death, but have little faith they will put up much of a fighting chance this weekend against FSU. Can you do me a huge favor, and just not hurt Chase Rettig?
Thanks to A.J and BC Interruption! Be sure to check out their content, including our answers to their questions, which will be up shortly.