The speech that Boston College coach Frank Spaziani gave the Eagles earlier in the week will basically be the same one he will give his team before it plays Clemson on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Spaziani, who has had a bunker mentality for most of the season as he tries to turn the Eagles back into a winning program in a matter of weeks, will tell his team… that they have played well in their first three games.
He will tell them they have played well enough to win all three of those games.
He will tell them that in a perfect world they should be 3-0 and feeling good about where they are going.
But then he will tell them that this is a world in which, no matter what you think, or how it happened, you are judged on the final outcome, which has made the Eagles’ a 1-2 team.
He will tell his team that is time for the Eagles to go out and show Clemson, the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the world of college football that BC is better than it’s record.
He will tell them that if they want to silence the critics and the doubters, BC will have to simply go out and play the way they have at times–but certainly not all the time-during their games against Miami and Northwestern (losses) and Maine (win).
One of Spaziani’s favorite coaching mantra’s is “Expect the unexpected.”
Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney and his team would be well served to do that Saturday afternoon. They will be facing a Boston College team that will try anything and everything in looking for an early edge.
The Eagles have spent their bye week getting ready for this game which they are attacking with the intensity of a BCS game to determine the national championship.
BC’s season is not literally on the line, but in a figurative sense it very well may be. The Eagles need to beat Clemson to regain a sense of confidence which is steadily eroding.
Anyone looking for positive signs can use the return of wide receiver Bobby Swigert, who has been sidelined since training camp with a knee injury, the absence of Clemson all purpose WR/KR Sammy Watkins, who has an abdominal problem and did not make the trip to Boston, and the uncertain state of mind of the Tigers who are coming off a tough loss at Florida State.
Swigert helps an’ offense, which, led by QB Chase Rettig, has been consistently productive.
After 3 games Rettig is the leading passer in the ACC with 951 passing yards, 6 TDs and only 1 interception. But an inconsistent running game and a propensity for making mistakes in the Red Zone have put the Eagles in a precarious situation.
Swigert’s return should help.
When asked what Swigert adds to the BC offense, Spaziani said. “First of all he is good,” said Spaziani. “He adds experience, has made plays, he’s our most consistent catcher. He’s a leader. He’s a tough. Besides the obvious things you can see, there is a lot of intangibles.’
Swigert’s presence will add to a wide receiver corp which is fairly deep. “”This is a group you can win with,” said Spaziani.
The running backs are a different situation.
Rolandan Finch has been shuffled to the bottom of the depth chart. Tajh Kimbl (leg) is out with a leg injury, which leaves Andre Williams and a virtually untested freshman, Dave Dudeck, who has been converted from strong safety, as the back-up. “We haven’t had a running back step up,’ said Spaziani. “We’ve solidified a few things and tried to make things a little bit more running back friendly for them. We need to run the ball better.”
The Eagles need to do everything better. And they need to do it quickly. But most of all they need to win a game, by any means. Clemson is a better team. If the Tigers play to their potential, they will win the game no matter what Boston College does, no matter what Spaziani says to his team.
But that doesn’t always happen and it doesn’t happen a lot with Clemson, which has been consistent in its talent level and inconsistent in its performance level.
Spaziani is rolling the dice here on the game, on the season and perhaps on his career at BC as a head coach. The game plan will include every possible play, every possible way to maximize what BC has and what Clemson does not.
“I like the way we are practicing, I like the way we are approaching this game,” said Spaziani.. “But it’s like I told the team before. You should be unbeaten. Now it’s time to go out and play like an unbeaten team and show people what you can do.”© Copyright 2012 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy