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November 16, 2012
Know Your Enemy: Boston College
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Each game, we'll get the inside look at Virginia Tech's opponent by talking with the opposing team's beat writer. This week, we spoke with EagleAction.com senior writer Eric Hoffses to get the inside look at Boston College.
1) Is there one or two main reasons for this season's struggles? Or is it more than that?
Hoffses: There are many reasons why Boston College rolls into this game with only two wins. If you want to look at a high-level explanation it's a mix of injuries combined with bad recruiting.
BC went into this season with enough of a core of good players that many thought could lead them to 6 or 7 wins. In summer camp, tight end Chris Pantale went down with a foot injury and was lost for the first month of the season. Pantale was a player on the Mackey watch list and was considered one of the best tight ends in the country. On defense, the best defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey has played a limited amount this season because of a leg injury. On top of that, the best cornerback, Al Louis-Jean has missed the entire year with an injury. Those were three major injuries that the team couldn't afford.
Really nobody has stepped up to replace those players. In general, BC's depth is very weak and has hurt the team.
2) The Chase Rettig/Alex Amidon connection has been strong. Is that the key for the BC offense, when those two get going?
Hoffses: That's definetly a big key and if Rettig is going to pass for a lot of yards then Amidon will be involved. However, BC's running backs have been a big key to the offense scoring points this year. There were four games in which the Eagles scored 30 or more points and in 3 of those games the running backs came up huge. In the opener against Miami, Tahj Kimble had 130 yards receiving out of the backfield. Against Maine, the team had 166 yards rushing (they average around 70 a game). Also, against Army, Andre Williams ran for 191 yards. Williams and Kimble are both injured right now so someone else in the backfield had to step up.
3) What's the latest with linebacker Nick Clancy? Can the defense recover if he can't play?
Hoffses: Clancy's status is uncertain heading into Saturday and there's a good chance he won't play. Clancy has had a big year making tackles, and you can't take anything away from his level of grit and high energy. Clancy was a player who couldn't break into the lineup until this season though. In fact, he wasn't even inserted as the starter until right before the first game. Many thought that sophomore Sean Duggan would be the new MIKE filling in for first round pick Luke Kuechly, and people were actually comfortable with that. I for one was shocked that Duggan didn't get picked to start so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on Saturday.
4) Did hanging with Notre Dame give any motivational or morale boost?
Hoffses: It might make some of the younger players more confident that they can hang with some of the best players in the country. However, I don't think it gave a boost to morale.
5) How is BC treating the VT game, since the Eagles have long been eliminated from a bowl?
Hoffses: The players were saying that last weekend's game against Notre Dame was their bowl game, so I'm not sure what that means for this weekend's game. I will say that the seniors are excited for this one because it's senior day. However, BC doesn't have that many seniors that contribute on the roster.