On Saturday afternoon in a day of mixed weather at Boston College, the home team Eagles had somewhat of a mixed effort. That was still more than good enough to defeat the Maine Black Bears, 34-3. For BC, it is their first win of the season, moving them to 1-1.
Last week, the Eagles opened up their 2012 season with a blistering offensive attack which came down the field on Miami twice with ease. The start of the game was nowhere near awe-inspiring this weekend, however. Boston College was shut out in the first quarter as several of their drives stalled out, the Eagles fumbled several times, and some poor decisions were made on special teams. The Eagles got lucky on a few plays as well, the most notable of which was a drop by Maine which would have been a certain touchdown. Of the BC mistakes, those that stand out were a Tahj Kimble fumble into the end zone for a touchback, and a Rolandan Finch fumble inside the BC 20, from which Maine scored their only three points.
It took until about half-way through the second quarter before the Eagles finally started to limit their mistakes and get themselves into the game. The first of Chase Rettig’s three touchdown passes came with 7:09 left in the second quarter, caught by Spiffy Evans. Only a few minutes later, Maine fumbled deep in their own territory and BC turned it into a touchdown in two plays. There, Johnathan Coleman had his first career touchdown reception.
This was a 17-3 game at the half with Rettig making 50% of his passes and the Eagles at 229 yards of total offense (they finished with 385). In the third quarter, the game finally began to open up for the Eagles. Maine had the ball and drove it into BC territory, and it very well might have resulted in points, but the Black Bears had 1st & goal at the three come back on illegal motion, and they missed the subsequent field goal attempt.
Later on, Spiffy Evans, who had some rough instances earlier in the game as the punt returner, gave the Eagles their best return in years: a touchdown. This broke the game wide open, putting BC up 27-3. Moments later, BC intercepted Maine quarterback Marcus Wasilewski and needed only a brief drive to convert it into a touchdown to Alex Amidon. Most of the starters left the game in the fourth as Josh Bordner entered and BC ran out the clock, literally.
We probably did not learn much about Boston College today; the only lesson to take from it at all is the ever-present need for good fundamentals. Teams like Maine won’t be able to take advantage of mistakes like the ones BC made early, but better teams will. The Eagles need to cure their fumble-itis, because in most cases, it’s terminal if left untreated. Broadly speaking, Boston College played a first half that ranged from terrible to mediocre, but based largely upon the quality of the opposition and some later improvement, they were able to easily overcome those issues.
Chase Rettig’s stat line shows 16/32, 219 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Despite the low completion percentage, Rettig was fine. He came up well short of the gaudy numbers from the Miami game, but he was definitely good enough to win today and not bad overall. Another factor to take into account is that Maine may well have gotten more pressure on him than Miami did, if one can believe that. Rettig was officially sacked twice, but the Black Bears planted him on the ground a number of times. Still, when Rettig had time, he rarely made bad choices and threw the ball quite well. In general, the offense stalled out a lot more often against Maine than it did against the Hurricanes and didn’t play nearly as well this week, but it improved as the game went on.
We certainly did not learn much about the BC defense, aside from the fact that some guys need better hands to catch easy interceptions (this does not apply to Jim Noel, who had an excellent one in the second half). Boston College ultimately did what it needed to do on that side of the football, but it was not some smothering effort like they’re the Alabama defense. Simply put, Maine just isn’t that good on offense and it showed. Maine had a couple opportunities to do some damage but executed poorly almost every time. BC’s defense did not have to do much of anything spectacular to get by today.
Do yourselves a favor and don’t read too much into this game today. It could have been worse, but it could have been far better — though none of this matters now. The Eagles will not play a team as ineffective as Maine for the rest of the year, so take the win and turn your focus to the more crucial games on the schedule. A huge swing game comes next week at Northwestern.