This week, we have an interview with Joe Micik, editor-in-chief of the Boston College sports website, Soaring to Glory. Micik knows his stuff about Boston College football, and took some time out of his day to answer a few questions for this week’s football game.
1.) GT rushed for a shade under 400 yards last week against the Eagles defense. With Maryland potentially employing a similar option attack, how will BC try to stop Devin Burns and Wes Brown on the ground?
Joe Micik: They won’t. If you’re familiar with Occam’s Razor – the simplest explanation is usually the best – then one need look no further than how BC has “stopped” opposing run games so far. They haven’t, so it probably stands to reason that BC wouldn’t here, either.
Statistically, the Maryland run offense this year has been about as lousy as BC’s run defense, so I would be inclined to think this is an even matchup, but if the Terps decide to give the Eagles different looks and run an option, BC will probably come out on the losing end of it. Army and Georgia Tech both nuked this defense back to the Stone Age with the option, and the coaching staff rarely makes adjustments, so unfortunately for BC, there’s that.
2.) People have been calling for Frank Spaziani’s head since the preseason. With the team off to a 1-6 start, is there any worry that the team has lost belief in their coach? And how could the uncertainty over how long he’ll be in Chestnut Hill affect the play on the field?
JM: I have been calling for Spaziani’s head since last year. He is an awful head coach and a constant source of embarrassment for my alma mater. He helped ruin a program that used to win 8-10 games a year. Whenever you watch a BC game and hear the announcers praise Spaz and then offer some hokum filler like “he’s really well-liked by the fans,” it’s BS. Only a small minority still supports him, especially after the last couple games. The Fire Spaz bandwagon has reached capacity and now we have people sitting on the roof and hanging off the doors.
There have been local media articles recently saying that the players still support the coach, but sometimes you hear rumblings that not everyone on the roster is so supportive. It’s all second hand information, but I do suspect it is true. Our players might not have the most talent in the world, even relative to the rest of the ACC, but they do have pride. I think they are playing as hard as they can for themselves and their brothers in the maroon and gold. I don’ t think that will change, even with the likely prospect of a new coach next year. To be honest, I wouldn’t be shokced if the team was tuning him out at this point.
More on the coaching situation: there is a general consensus amongst BC fans that with our new AD, Brad Bates, Spaz is gone at the end of the season at the latest. This is a source of far more optimism than uncertainty. BC has been in decline since the day he took over, and I think the day he goes is the day new life is breathed into the program.
3.) Chase Rettig has 13 touchdowns on the year and is having his best season since arriving at Boston College. How much of the blame can be placed on his shoulders? Is he one of the few bright spots with the Eagles? What’s the scouting report on him this year?
JM: Rettig is better this year, but I think his situation is very unfortunate. His offensive line has been of more help to him this season, because in the previous few, they couldn’t pass block to save their lives (or his). We used to be “O-Line U,” but that’s a thing of the past. Now that he’s getting a little more time and he’s improved the decision-making a little bit, his TD:INT ratio is much better. Lately, I think Rettig is getting more rattled because the other teams are getting to him more.
The turning point may have been the Army game, where a defensive line that is on average almost 80 pounds lighter than BC’s offensive line was able to sack Rettig five times. The completion percentage has dropped and he’s perhaps a little off his game, but we saw long periods of him playing well. His situation is unfortunate because I think if he had a good offensive line all three years, he’d probably be regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC right now. He’s not perfect, but he is tough and a leader.
Rettig is one of the last people I would blame this year. He has absolutely been a bright spot.
JM: I would actually offer that Rettig has been BC’s best player. Amidon, however, has been a close second. After those two, nobody comes all that close. I would say Amidon’s success can be attributed to a couple of things: (1) Bobby Swigert/Chris Pantale’s injuries and Colin Larmond, Jr.’s placement in Spaziani’s “doghouse” made Amidon the go-to receiver from Day 1, (2) Rettig’s improved accuracy, and (3) hard work on his own part. It’s clear that he took the time to get better and make the most of his opportunity, and I think some teams have been caught sleeping on him in that regard.
Rettig and Amidon have developed a good on-field rapport, and I think there’s a certain level of comfort there on Rettig’s part. He hasn’t gone to him heavily in every game, but Rettig seeks him out more often than not.
JM: Back when I did best/worst-case scenarios for the season, I had this as a BC win either way because I thought Maryland would be stuck with us at the bottom of the ACC again. Clearly that’s not so. I think that on-paper, the Terps are probably better, but the BC fans will roast me if I go against the family, so to speak. I think this will probably be a relatively low-scoring game, but I’ll say 24-21 BC. I have about 50% confidence in that pick.
Great stuff, Joe! Really appreciate the insight although we disagree with the outcome of the game, of course. Be sure to follow Joe on Twitter @SoaringToGlory for some very good football coverage. Also, check out his website tomorrow as our interview will be up tomorrow.