This is becoming an embarrassing trend.
Boston College is coming off its fourth consecutive loss in as many weeks even after what could be seen as their overall best performance of the season.
The Eagles entered Saturday’s game as 21-point underdogs to the same Florida State team that found themselves overmatched by an otherwise inferior BC.
That was a clear sign that BC may finally be living up to the hype, or better yet the annual anticipated underperformance.
But, as everyone in the country was selling high on the Eagles and even the most loyal BC fans were contemplating calling their bookie and taking the Seminoles as a 21-point favorite, something happened.
The Eagles showed up.
It wasn’t the same Shinskie led crew who had turned the ball over 14 times in 5 games and thankfully we didn’t have to endure another quarter of Marscovetra indecision.
Obviously, Rettig wasn’t quite the savior, 9-for-24 and 95 yards, that Eagle faithful had hoped for when he stepped on campus. But, the gutsy freshman was able to do the one thing that neither Shinskie nor Marscovetra could, give the team a chance to win.
Rettig was able to sustain a few drives, with the help of sudden reemerged tailback Montel Harris, and even converted on a couple third downs to at the very least give kicker Nate Freese a shot at three-points.
And then of course there’s the biggie, the turnovers.
Even with his inexperience and raw talent, the freshman QB was able to do the one thing that neither of his elder predecessors seemed capable, hold onto the football.
Rettig didn’t turn the ball over once on Saturday, although there were a few iffy decisions, and he left the Eagles with a positive in the plus/minus category for the first time since Kent State visited Chestnut Hill in week 2.
With some time to rest and a few points on the board, BC’s defense proved their tag as one of the nation’s best defenses as well, allowing a potent Seminole offense just 24 points and forcing Heisman hopeful Christian Ponder to turn the ball over four times.
I must either be finally accepting reality or maybe I’m just becoming delusional because even after dropping a winnable game against the Seminoles and falling to an unthinkable 0-3 start in the ACC, I was actually encouraged by the performance.
The defense looked outstanding, holding Florida State’s running backs to just 104 yards on the ground, and outside of the game clinching 42-yard reverse kept the Noles from converting on any big gains.
Not to mention the sudden emergence of two stars in the defensive backfield. Junior Donnie Fletcher and Sophomore Jim Noel came up huge for BC against the Seminoles and their talented receivers.
Fletcher intercepted one pass in the second quarter and had another wiped off due to an interference penalty.
As for Noel in his first career start for the Eagles, the local Everett, MA native picked Ponder off twice and returned the latter of the two 41 yards to house for the Eagles only touchdown score on the day.
The two DB’s kept BC in the game and ignited the fire under what has been nothing other than a lifeless BC secondary this year.
But, believe it or not the offense showed some signs of life as well.
Montel Harris seemed to be brought back to life, busting out of the gate with a 72-yard scamper on the Eagles first play from scrimmage on his way to a 191 yards on the ground.
This outburst in the ground-game also opened up some passing lanes for the receivers and made Chase Rettig’s day just a tad bit easier.
Rettig didn’t have a great day statistically but he did give the BC faithful exactly what they’ve been getting excited about all year.
The youngster proved a superior decision maker to both Shinskie and Marscovetra during his stint on the field and he also showed poise under pressure, showing an ability to step up in the pocket in a way that no Eagle QB has this season.
It seems as though BC did everything right on Saturday. They established the run, won the turnover battle, kept Ponder in check and even sustained some offensive drives.
So, with almost too many positives to keep track of, the only question left is what do they have to do to win one?
It’s a frustrating feeling that is shared among players, coaches and fans.
Now, the overwhelming sentiment expressed by all parties is “what else can we do”?
All the bases seem to be covered. All the glaring weaknesses have been dealt with. What now?
Well, at this point, the only answer is consistency.
We aren’t going to face a team at the caliber of Florida State and Virginia Tech or with the offensive firepower of an NC State each week.
If we can continue with this sort of play against the Maryland, Duke and Virginia’s of the world then there should be some sighs of relief in our future.
But, without consistency from all aspects of the team, there could be a lot of disappointing losses and foul language to fill the void.
So, let’s pray that Chase can find some form of comfort in this offense and hope that the rest of the team can pick up the pieces in the meantime.