In Saturday’s season opener at Alumni Stadium versus Miami, the Boston College Eagles lost 41-32 in a game that wasn't decided until the final two minutes. Though BC made several mistakes down the stretch and their defense was ineffective against the run, the story of the day for Eagles fans was the impressive offense attack by the home team.
Junior quarterback Chase Rettig threw for 441 yards, the sixth-highest single game total in BC history. New offensive coordinator Doug Martin introduced a game plan that featured short outs in the flat, intermediate passes in the middle of the field and play action rollouts, all of which Rettig executed to perfection. It provided a refreshing change of pace for fans, who over the past few years have been subjected to a stale offense characterized by third down runs and shotgun draws.
Rettig completed 32 of his 51 passes, despite a number of drops by BC receivers. 10 were caught by WR Alex Amidon, who led the Eagles with 149 receiving yards. RB Tahj Kimble, though, may have been the star of the game: Not only did he have 50 rushing yards on 10 carries, he also caught eight balls for 130 yards, including a key fourth quarter touchdown.
The Eagles had started out the game hot, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives. But Miami then outscored BC 41-6 until Kimble’s TD reception. Hurricanes RB Duke Johnson had two touchdown runs of over 50 yards, and Rettig was intercepted for a score after staring down a WR to end the first quarter.
Other than that mistake, Rettig showed the precision, poise and leadership that made him such a highly regarded recruit. He engineered the Eagles down the field on two drives in the final quarter, one for a touchdown, the other three inches away from a score. Had they scored on the drive, a two-point conversion would have brought BC within a field goal with just over two minutes left.
BC still has a ways to go to put up a winning season, however. The defense, which has been a strength in recent years, needs to improve quickly. If there’s one area, though, that current head coach and former defensive coordinator Frank Spaziano can be trusted in, it’s defense. BC also had two crucial fumbles in the fourth quarter; ball security and defensive gameplans should be at the top of the list of areas to work on in practice this week.
Despite the loss, Eagles fans should be pleased with Saturday’s performance. Chase Rettig and Doug Martin seem to be working quite well together, and that’s without the presence of top targets Bobby Swigert and Chris Pantale, who are both sidelined with injuries. If the offense can continue to execute and the defense improves, once those players return BC may have a chance against some of their tougher opponents this season.