Team: Boston College Eagles
W-L: 2-10 (1-7)
Top Offensive Performer: Alex Amidon, WR
Top Defensive Performer: Nick Clancy, LB
The talk heading into the 2012 season was that new offensive coordinator Doug Martin would be letting the reigns loose on a passing game that had been ranked 100th in the nation back in 2011. And sure, that did happen. The Eagles were ranked 45th in the country in passing yards per game this past season, and QB Chase Rettig — once thought to be a lost cause in a failing system — threw for more than 3,000 yards (nearly equaling his previous career total). But despite the increase, it didn’t really result in points scored. BC scored 19.8 points per game this season; more than last season’s paltry 18.2, but the team only moved from 112th to 111th in total scoring offense year-over-year. That average was also boosted by a four-game stretch in which they scored 31 points or more three times (but won just one of those contests).
Where Martin and the Boston College offense failed most, however, was the running game. After career leading rusher Montel Harris left the program this summer, the Eagles struggled to find any real consistency with his replacements, Rolandon “Deuce” Finch and Andre Williams. But it’s not entirely right to blame the backs, when it was Martin’s system that really caused the issue. In 2012, Boston College ran the ball just 345 times (versus 437 times in 2011). Predictably, the Eagles’ run game was a disaster as a result of the rushing/passing inequity, only racking up 90.5 yards per game (119th in the country). Even more predictably, Doug Martin is no longer with Boston College and will be taking his one-dimensional offense back to New Mexico State next season.
Defensively, the story may as well start and end with linebacker Nick Clancy. Tasked with stepping into some big shoes left by all-world former Eagle Luke Kuechly, Clancy managed to live up as best as anyone could. Anchoring the defense, the senior tallied 145 tackles (most in the ACC), while being an all-around force for an otherwise hapless unit. After allowing just 23.5 points per game last season (43rd in the FBS), the BC defense let up 29.7 in 2012 (76th). They were 85th in takeaways (19) and amazingly, dead last in the nation in sacks, managing to get to the opposing quarterback just six times over the season’s 12 games. For all the toughness and aggression they were commended for last season, this year was another situation entirely, as they allowed 30 or more points six different times — including a four-game stretch where they let up nearly 42 points per game (all losses).
To no one’s surprise, head coach Frank Spaziani was let go once the season ended. Over his four-year stay at the program’s top position, the Eagles’ winning percentage would drop precipitously, landing them in the conference basement. With new coach Steve Addazio in place, Boston College hopes to begin the long road back to the top of the conference. But it won’t be easy, as evidenced by this year’s awful performance. On the bright side, though, there’s also nowhere to go but up as Addazio looks to bring some new energy to Chestnut Hill.