After an easy game that didn't turn out to be so easy, the Irish are back on the road to face a Boston College team with two wins a probably-soon-to-be-fired head coach. Let's get the BC perspective from AJ Black from BC Interruption in this week's opponent Q&A
1. Boston College's season hasn't exactly gone as planned. What do you think has gone wrong this season?
Lots of things have gone wrong for the Eagles this season. The defense has been absolutely atrocious through the first 9 games, and ranks near the bottom in literally all defensive categories. Gone are the days of Luke Kuechly, Mark Herzlich and Mathias Kiwanuka, what you see now on defense is a shell of what BC and Notre Dame fans are used to. Secondly, we have no running game at all. Deuce Finch has disappeared, Montel Harris transferred after Spaz threw him off the team, and Andre Williams is hurt, and the offensive line is a disaster. Finally, Frank Spaziani is a terrible coach, and his decision making is awful. He plays conservatively, makes bone headed mistakes, can't recruit, and has terrible attrition rates with his seniors.
2. Chase Rettig is having himself a nice season despite the struggles of the rest of the offense. Give us a quick scouting report on Rettig. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Rettig has really turned around his career after two lackluster seasons at the Heights. This year we have seen a much more confident quarterback, who when given time, can make excellent passes. I think there are three things that have helped him tremendously this year. One, new offensive coordinator Doug Martin has installed a new fast paced system that is pass heavy. This allows four-five receiver sets that spreads the field for Rettig. However Spaz has clearly been tinkering with this as it has slowed down drastically over the season. Secondly, Alex Amidon is a fantastic receiver who makes big plays. Rettig didn't really have that in years past. Finally, Rettig seems more confident, is less likely to make bad throws, and commands the field instead of letting the defenses come at him
3. Luke Kuechly has moved on to the NFL (praise Touchdown Jesus), so who are the Eagles defensive players Notre Dame fans should watch out for on Saturday?
On defense? Really there are no "names" this year that you need to be aware of. Nick Clancy leads the nation in tackles, but I haven't honestly been impressed with his play all that much and his stats are bloated because BC's defense can't get off the field. The front seven is so non descript, and so unimpressive, that you won't even notice them. They apply no pressure, they make no sacks, and they are poor tacklers. The secondary is highlighted by Sean Sylvia, a cornerback who has made some big plays. But honestly, just prepare to watch a BC defense that can't tackle, cover or put pressure on the opposition.
4. What's your opinion on Notre Dame's impending move to the ACC, both from a football and non-football standpoint?
I have mixed emotions about Notre Dame moving to the ACC. On the one hand, I love having the Fighting Irish on board for all other sports. Basketball games will be a lot of fun, and your school profile is perfect for the ACC. On the other hand, I wish ND joined fully for football. BC fans love the ND rivalry--I realize ND fans feel differently, but having the other ACC schools get more of a crack of getting on your schedule is rough.
5. A quick look around the interwebs shows that Boston College fans are ready to put an end to the Frank Spaziani Era. If you're BC AD Brad Bates, do you cut ties after this season? If you do, who's on your short list of candidates?
Frank Spaziani is gone after this season. There is absolutely no way that new AD Brad Bates is going to risk his start with a man that has no business being a head coach. As I mentioned above Spaz is awful in all respects of his job, and fans are done with him. Players are getting run off the team for trivial reasons, he has a loser mentality and he is awful to listen to (seriously if you need some help sleeping listen to his post game presser on Saturday). Who do BC fans want to replace him? If you look at our boards, there has been a lot of clamoring for your defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. Also BC fans have been looking at SF 49ers OC Greg Roman, Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi and Cincinnati HC Butch Jones.
6. Any predictions for the game?
BC fans are going to thrash me for this, but I think BC is going to get spanked on Saturday. During pre season prediction time I thought BC could pull off an upset this weekend, but that was before I saw the ND defense. I think BC will struggle to move the ball all game and ND will put up points against a porous BC D. However, I think the BC crowd will help the Eagles stay in the game, ND wins but BC covers the spread of 18.5. Best of luck this weekend, this is a game I always look forward to.
Thanks again to AJ and the guys at BC Interruption!