So how do you handle the last month of the season?
Call Bobby Valentine?
Make each game a season and try to play with dignity?
These are the questions that Frank Spaziani must ponder as the Boston College football team absorbed another loss on Saturday.
Spaziani’s attitude was the same as it has been throughout the season. Keep forging ahead as you look for a solution.
“No battle has ever been won by a pessimistic general,” said Spaziani in his weekly conference call with the media on Sunday afternoon as the Eagles begin to prepare for Maryland next week. “There is still football to be played. We are trying to figure out how to correct some things. There’s never an end to trying to find a solution.”
Spaziani said he has looked at the tapes of the 31-17 loss to Tech ” We’ re still playing hard. We’re still making critical critical errors. That usually bodes for losses. It’s wearing on everybody.”
And like most of the previous 6 defeats, there was an “it’s always something” minute in the Eagles loss which dropped them to 1-6 for the season and puts them one-game away from elimination from post season football for the second straight season.
This moment came in the fourth quarter on Saturday when the Eagles finally showed signs of life after falling behind 31-3 in a truly horrendous start.
But when BC QB Chase Rettig and the offense came up with a pair of touchdowns the Tech margin had shrunk to 31-17.When the defense finally came up with a stop, Tech was forced to punt and BC had the ball near mid-field with more than 9 minutes left.
Plenty of time.
BC was called for a roughing the punter penalty. First down GTech.And then touchdown GTech which sealed the Yellow Jacket victory.
The numbers were truly frightening.
Third down conversions: BC 1-9 Georgia Tech 13-20
Total yards: BC 296, Georgia Tech 563
Time of possession: BC 16:15. Georgia Tech 43-37.
That’s just bad, losing football.
You could argue the “what if’s” about that mistake, just as you could go through each game the Eagles have lost.
It is a pointless argument.
Yes, the Eagles played hard until the end.
But in the end they lost.
Yes, they showed character?
But in the end they lost.
All of which means that Spaziani’s fate as the Eagles’ coach is almost certainly sealed. New BC Director of Athletics Brad Bates saw most of the game in person before hopping on a private jet at halftime to attend the Eagles’ home opener against Northeastern for the NCCA champion men’s hockey team.
The second part of Bates’ day was better than the first as the Eagles’ posted a 3-0 victory over Northeastern.
What he does regarding Spaziani’s fate is almost certainly no longer in doubt. When he will make his move is the only question.
Bates will be in his new office at BC on Monday morning.
The task at hand will be to keep the football ship floating for five more games. The arguments over making a change before the regular-season finale at North Carolina State on November 24th come down to one simple question: What is the best way for BC to get through the rest of the regular season?
The players, as they have all season, will absorb their latest disappointment, and then look to their next game against Maryland on Saturday.
The carrot to keep their attention, of course, is post season play.
For all the stuff that swirls around them regarding the fate of Spaziani, a basic element remains. Players like to play. Plain and simple.
BC has five games remaining. The promise of a playing a sixth game also is still alive. And while you can argue that there is no way that is going to happen, why not use it as a motivational tool until it is no longer available to use?
It’s the only thing left for the Eagles.
“Our kids have responded well,” said Spaziani. “We have to find a solution. The talent, I think, is there.”
A year ago, BC was in the same spot, with a 1-6 record with a game against Maryland coming up. The Eagles beat the Terps and finished the season with two wins in their last three games, including a season ending victory at Miami.
This season the sense of urgency is much more intense because Spaziani’s job is clearly in jeopardy. “We will see how this plays out’, ‘ said Spaziani.
The injuries to the much depleted defensive line. Defensive tackle Jaryd Rudolph left the Georgia Tech game in the first quarter with an injury and Spaziani said on Sunday that his status for the Maryland game has yet to be determined.
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