2010 Record: (7-6, 4-4 in ACC)
Head Coach: Frank Spaziani (16-11 at BC, 9-7 in ACC)
Last Bowl Game: 2010 Fight Hunger Bowl (lost to Nevada 20-13)
CFBZ Boston College Links
9/10: at UCF
9/17: Duke (2010 result: won 21-16)
10/1: Wake Forest (2010 result: won 23-13)
10/8: at Clemson (2010 result: won 16-10)
10/22: at Virginia Tech (2010 result: lost 19-0)
10/29: at Maryland (2010 result: lost 24-21)
11/3: FSU (2010 result: won 24-19)
11/12: at NC State (2010 result: lost 44-17)
11/19: at Notre Dame (2010 result: lost 31-13)
11/25: at Miami, Fl
2010 Offensive Statistics:
Scoring: 18.5 ppg (last in ACC, 109th in Nation)
Rushing Yds/Game: 127.85 yds/game (9th in ACC, 90th in Nation)
Passing Yds/Game: 171.2 yds/game (10th in ACC, 97th in Nation)
Total Yds/Game: 299.0 yds/game (last in ACC, 109th in Nation)
2010 Defensive Statistics:
Scoring: 19.5 ppg (2nd in ACC, 19th in Nation)
Rushing Yds/Game: 82.62 yds/game (1st in ACC, 1st in Nation)
Passing Yds/Game: 226.9 yds/game (9th in ACC, 76th in Nation)
Total Yds/Game: 309.5 yds/game (1st in ACC, 13th in Nation)
2010 Misc Stats:
Turnover Margin: +0.62 per game (3rd in ACC, 22nd in Nation)
Penalties: 50.9 yds/game (5th in ACC, 54th in Nation)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders:
Passing: QB Chase Rettig, Soph (100 of 195 for 1238 yds, 6 TD, 9 INT)
Rushing: RB Montel Harris, Sr (268 for 1242 yds, 4.6 ypc, 8 TD)
Receiving: WR Bobby Swigert, Soph (39 rec for 504 yds, 4 TD)
Tackles: LB Luke Kuechly, Jr (183)
Sacks: DE Max Holloway, Jr (4)
Interceptions: CB Donnie Fletcher, Sr (3)
Athlon Sports: Military (vs Navy)
Phil Steele: Independence (vs San Diego State)
2010 was a strange season for Boston College. After two easy wins to start the season the Eagles dropped five consecutive games to teams that would go on to play in bowl games (four of those teams won their bowl game). After the 2-5 start, the Eagles beat Clemson and then the schedule turned in their favor with wins over Wake, Duke and Virginia. They closed the season with a quality win over an improved Syracuse team but then fell to the Wolfpack of Nevada in their bowl game to finish 7-6. On the defensive side of the football, the Eagles were one of the best 20 teams in the country. But on the offensive side of the football, despite Montel Harris, Boston College had one of the bottom 20 offenses in the Nation. Despite having a very poor offensive season last year BC does returns 8 starters including their QB, their leading rusher, and top three leading yardage receivers. On defense they return an impressive LB duo of Luke Kuechly and Kevin Pierre-Louis and also return a good tandem in the secondary in Jim Noel and Donnie Fletcher. After going 7-6 last year Boston College could be poised to be a surprise contender in the ACC but they do have a tough out of conference schedule highlighted by Northwestern (who I think is going to be better than most people think), a tough UCF team and an improved Notre Dame team. BC also draws the best two teams in the ACC in Virginia Tech and FSU. It won't be easy but the Eagles will definitely be a team to keep your eye on this year. To get a local perspective on Boston College we headed over to our favorite Boston College site SB Nation's BC Interruption. You can follow them on Twitter @BCInterruption and @BCHysteria.
Boston College finished 2nd in the ACC giving up only 19.5 points per game and return some key guys on defense. Who are some under-the-radar guys on defense that you see stepping up and providing help for Luke Kuechly, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Jim Noel and Donnie Fletcher?
The recent BC teams have relied heavily on defense putting the offense in good field position to score points. This year I think Kaleb Ramsey will be a name you will be hearing a lot during games. When healthy he gets to the QB a lot, and Coach Spaziani is riding on him to anchor a young inexperienced defensive front. Another name you might hear alot about is safety Albert Louis Jean, the former Miami recruit might get significant playing time, and his physical style could help the BC secondary which hasn't necessarily been jaw dropping in their physicality the last few years.
As a freshman Chase Rettig took over at QB during the season last year. What areas of his game does he need to improve to get BC to the next level offensively?
After the Dave Shinskie experiment went up in flames, Rettig was thrown to the wolves the second half of the season. One thing that Rettig did better than Uncle Dave was not force passes when the pressure was on. BC's offensive line struggled mightily at times, forcing Rettig out of the pocket, and he took far too many sacks. Rettig needs to figure out ways to dump the ball down to his tight ends and running backs if the pocket collapses. I'd look to TE's Lars Anderson and Chris Pantale to step up and help him to quickly pick up that skill.
Who are some newcomers that have a chance to step up and make an impact this year?
As I mentioned before, Albert Louis Jean will most likely have significant playing time on the defensive end of the ball. BC also has some solid recruits coming in at linebacker including Sean Duggan and Steven Daniels (who both went to Luke Kuechly's high school), whether Spaz uses them this upcoming season is still be to be seen. Another under the radar recruit you might hear about is Mehdi Abdesmad from Canada, a 6'6 defensive end who may get immediate action on defensive end.
What are the biggest reasons to be optimistic about Boston College football this year?
Gary Tranquill is gone, which was like a party for BC fans. As a season ticket holder who had to watch our offense struggle game in and game out this is a blessing. In comes Kevin Rogers, a seasoned OC who has had good success in college football with such QB's as Marcus Vick and Donovan McNabb, who can hopefully set Rettig on the right path. Also all of BC's offensive weapons are returning, including all of our TE's, WR's (including Colin Larmond Jr who was out all of last season) and All ACC running back Montel Harris. Another season to gel, with a new OC will hopefully make our offense better than it was last year. Finally, Chase Rettig isn't a freshman. Last season Rettig had to learn mighty fast, but the hope is that he will make that next step this season.
Looking at the schedule, what are the most important games this year?
Two games stick out to me as important for the 2011 Boston College Eagles. The first is the opening game against Northwestern. For the first time in five years, BC has a BCS conference opponent to open the season. NW is a good team that should be a great challenge for Boston College, and a win would be a great start to the season, while a loss could set the fanbase into a panic. The other big game for BC is the November 3 Thursday night nationally televised game against Florida State. FSU is expected to be a top 10 game this year, and if BC could somehow pull off an upset in front of a national audience, that would be HUGE for the program.
What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?
It's funny you ask that, I was talking to BCI's editor Brian the other day, and I said that I felt cautiously optimistic about this season. I said something on the line that "this team could come out of nowhere and surprise everyone", but then I thought about the coach. Spaziani just lacks the killer instinct to put this team over the top, and BC has a very difficult road schedule this year. That and the inexperience on the defensive and offensive line could put a damper on this season. Honestly it's tough to say, but if I were a betting man, I'd say 7-5.
This will be a successful season if BC can beat at least two of the following: Miami, FSU, VT, Notre Dame or Maryland. BC last season beat one team with a winning record, and it was Syracuse, which doesn't really count, because it's the Big East. In games against good teams, BC hasn't shown up. I want to see Spaz and the Eagles take out a good team, put the petal to the metal and surprise us all. Will it happen? Who knows.
Coming In August: ACC Preview
Next Preview: Baylor
2011 Team Previews
Big East- Louisville
Big Ten- Minnesota