After a weekend off, Virginia Tech gets back to work today for Boston College next Saturday. The Hokies need to beat the Eagles, then Virginia in its regular season finale to extend their bowl streak to 20 years.
Here’s a look at what’s going on with the Eagles …
** Boston College dropped to 2-8 overall after a punchless 21-6 loss to Notre Dame last Saturday. The Eagles managed only two field goals against the Fighting Irish’s tough defense, finishing with 300 total yards, only 53 of which came on the ground.
It was BC’s sixth loss in seven games. Its only win in that time came against a Maryland team on its last legs at quarterback. Before that, the Eagles’ only win was against Maine, an FCS team, in September.
** This might be the last home game for head coach Frank Spaziani. The fourth-year head coach is now 22-27 at Boston College, having watched the Eagles’ win total drop from nine wins the year before he took over as head coach in 2006, to eight in 2008, seven in 2010, four in 2011 and two this year. That’s not a favorable trend.
BC hasn’t beaten a ranked team since Jeff Jagodzinski was coach in 2008, losing 11 straight since Spaziani took over. The Eagles haven’t lost nine games in a season since 1989. They haven’t lost 10 games since 1978. Both are a possibility this year.
** The offense might be struggling, but quarterback Chase Rettig is doing OK. The junior has 2,808 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He’s thrown for at least 200 yards in nine games this year, topping 300 yards three times, including a 441-yard effort against Miami in the opener.
Receiver Alex Amidon has been his favorite target. The junior leads the ACC with 73 catches for 1,157 yards. He also has six touchdowns.
That’s about all that’s gone right offensively for the Eagles. They’re 118th nationally in rushing offense and last in the ACC, averaging only 72.5 yards per game.
The running game took a hit when Montel Harris was dismissed from the team last winter. Rolandan Finch, who led the team in rushing last year, has been plagued by fumbles and personal issues this year. Until running seven times for 40 yards against Notre Dame last week, he hadn’t played since the middle of September against Northwestern.
The Eagles might be out of options otherwise, though. Andre Williams is out with a strained abdominal muscle and Tahj Kimble is out for the year with a knee injury.
BC is 10th in the ACC in both total offense (358.0 ypg, 95th nationally) and scoring offense (20.5 ppg, 104th nationally).
** Defensively, Boston College hasn’t been a whole lot better. The Eagles are giving up 228.4 rushing yards per game, 11th in the ACC and 116th nationally. Those stats are skewed by two awful games against option teams. Army ran for 516 yards — 516! – and Georgia Tech ran for 396 yards.
Remove those and the Eagles haven’t been as bad as the stats look against the run. Maryland ran for only 97 yards a few weeks ago. Wake Forest ran for 116 two weeks ago. Notre Dame ran for 184 yards last week but took 40 carries to do so.
BC has been pretty average at defending the pass, though. allowing 241.6 yards per game. The Eagles have only six sacks all year and 33 tackles for a loss. The first is tied for last nationally with Eastern Michigan. The second is second to last by one TFL to Central Michigan.
** Injuries have hurt this team. In addition to the running backs, BC probably has lost wide receiver Bobby Swigert for the year with a knee injury. He led the team with 44 catches last year to go with 470 yards.
Offensive guard Ian White missed the Notre Dame game with an ankle injury. Linebacker Nick Clancy suffered a concussion. Another linebacker, Kevin Pierre-Louis, missed the game with a leg injury.
The defensive line has been beat up too. Tackles Kaleb Ramsey (leg) and Jaryd Rudolph (ankle) both missed the Notre Dame game. Both started games earlier this year.
** Vegas favors the Hokies. Virginia Tech opened as an 8.5-point favorite. It looks like it’s up to 9 points now.