2012 ACC Football Season Recap: Boston College Eagles

After a Disastrous 2012 Season, We Try to Find a Silver Lining for Boston College Football

After a Disastrous 2012 Season, it’s Tough to Find Positives for Boston College — Though We Do Try

Team: Boston College Eagles

W-L: 2-10 (1-7)

Postseason: N/A

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.

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week Nine (UPDATE: With Devin Burns Injury Note)

Can NC State Continue Its Hot Streak Against UNC, Or Will the Wolfpack Finally Cool Off?

The ACC continues to battle perception this weekend, as teams looking to differentiate themselves face tough in-conference tests. While it would be great for Duke’s feel-good story to continue versus FSU, obviously the league would suffer mightily with a Seminoles loss. And while the Heels may be the Coastal division’s best hope to finish with a team above .500, they might just be outmatched by a Wolfpack team gunning for their first division title. At any rate, just another exciting weekend of ACC football…

Game of the Week

NC State Wolfpack (5-2) (2-1) at North Carolina Tar Heels (5-3) (2-2): Opinions differ on whether or not this is an actual rivalry, and given State’s recent 5-0 run, maybe the real mistake is the Heels discounting it. And if their recent cold streak against the Wolfpack wasn’t enough, UNC also has a score to settle after last week’s last-minute loss to Duke; a crushing loss made worse by the Blue Devils clinching a bowl bid with the victory. If they hope to stop NC State, though, the Tar Heels must play better defense than they did last week. Duke came into that game with one of the worst rushing attacks in the country, yet managed over 230 yards on the ground. If State’s similarly terrible running game can have a performance like that, coupled with a serviceable effort from Mike Glennon, UNC has little hope to pull this one out. Prediction: NC State 26, UNC 23

The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time):

Clemson Tigers (6-1) (3-1) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-3) (2-3): Did Clemson’s defense wake up last weekend, or did the offense shut down? The answer is crucial for the Tigers, as they hope to finish the regular season on a much more positive note than last year. And it all starts tonight. If it weren’t already enough that Wake gets star receiver Michael Campanaro back, both of the Tigers’ starting cornerbacks are inactive tonight. So suddenly, an easy matchup between Clemson’s improving defense and the Deacs’ stagnant offense gets a lot more hairy. It’ll all come down to stopping the pass, but if Wake Forest can get a running game going — not out of the question against a questionable front four for Clemson — it could be a very long night for Dabo Swinney’s team. Prediction: Clemson 31, Wake Forest 27

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ACC 2012 Season Preview: Boston College Eagles

If Boston College Hopes to Win in 2012, QB Chase Rettig and the Offense Will Have to Show Vast Improvement in a New System

Team: Boston College Eagles

2011 W-L: 4-8 (3-5)

Head Coach: Frank Spaziani (20-19; three seasons)

Returning Starters: 17 (10 Offense, 7 Defense)

After 13 years of successful football, rife with postseason berths, Boston College missed a bowl game in 2011. They posted a losing record for the first time since 1997, and experienced their fourth consecutive decline in overall wins from the year before. Of course, for any program, this usually means you’re in a free fall, and it’s time for the coach to be shown the door.

Yet up in Chestnut Hill, athletic director Gene DeFillippo decided that head coach Frank Spaziani and his mustache will get one more go-around to try and right the ship. Even with 17 starters returning this season though, can he do so successfully?

In 2011, the Eagles’ offense was absolutely abysmal. They finished 100th in the country in passing yards, 82nd in rushing yards and a ghastly 112th in scoring, with just 18.2 points put up per game. Quarterback Chase Rettig was largely unimpressive, the receivers were non-factors and the running game just never quite got going without the school’s career rushing leader Montel Harris (lost early in the season to injury). To fix this, Spaziani changed direction on offense, bringing in offensive mastermind Doug Martin. Continue reading

ACC Football 2012 Standout Seniors Recap & Full List

Clemson Running Back Andre Ellington is One of Many Standout Senior Players in the ACC for 2012

On Monday, we reached the end of our “Standout Seniors” list, which highlighted 14 of the ACC’s best football players entering their final year of school. As mentioned, these were not always the teams’ star attractions, but the player deemed to have the most impact on the 2012 season, regardless of how quietly it came about.

Disagree with any of these picks? Let us know in the comments who you would have chosen instead. And as you’ll see immediately below, we’re going to need a new selection for BC.

Boston College: Montel Harris, RB (yes, we did start this list a while ago)

Clemson: Andre Ellington, RB

Duke: Sean Renfree, QB

Florida State: E.J. Manuel, QB

Georgia Tech: Tevin Washington, QB

Maryland: Joe Vellano, DT

Miami (FL): Mike James, RB

NC State: Mike Glennon, QB

North Carolina: Erik Highsmith, WR

Pittsburgh: Ray Graham, RB

Syracuse: Ryan Nassib, QB

Virginia: Steve Greer, LB

Virginia Tech: Bruce Taylor, LB

Wake Forest: Scott Betros, LB

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Far-Too-Early 2012 ACC Football Power Rankings (May 15)

For the Time Being, Florida State’s Still in the ACC, and Currently Sit Atop Our Power Rankings

As we creep along further into the lengthy college football offseason, we also have another installment of our early power rankings for the entirety of the ACC. As always, we take into account what’s happened both on and off the field (WHY, SAMMY WATKINS?!). This will be revised monthly throughout the offseason.

1. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 1): Based on recent news, you’d think FSU was more of a marketing opportunity than a football team, yet this years’ ‘Noles actually look pretty good. As we’ve given thought to previously, it’s all about how E.J. Manuel responds to the pressures of being a top-10 squad that will make or break them.

2. Clemson Tigers (LW: 2): Clemson remains at number two, only because the distance between this team and numbers three through 14 is a much wider gulch than most will let on. Even if the Tigers’ drop their Watkins-less opener against Auburn, there’s little that says this team can’t run through much of its remaining slate.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 3): We still have no idea about this offense as it’s currently comprised. Will the O-line mature quickly enough? And the run-game? The pistol offense will be getting some play time during games, but we’re unsure how much. Just a lot of uncertainty for the Hokies, much of which gets glossed over because of its defensive strengths.

4. NC State Woflpack (LW: 4): If you read anything this offseason, you’d think the Pack were a two-man team. And you’d probably be right. Mike Glennon and David Amerson run things on their respective sides of the ball, and as long as no one messes up that dynamic, this will be a fun team to watch. The opener versus Tennessee should tell us a whole lot. Continue reading

ACC Football Standout Senior 2012: Boston College

A Healthy Montel Harris Could be the Key For a Boston College Offense That Struggled Without Him in 2011

While we won’t be naive (and/or like Rick Reilly/Peter King/insert-your-own-cliched-columnist) and claim there’s some sort of pristine or pure honor in playing out your four years that other players just don’t get to experience, we’d still like to point out the senior players that are likely to stand out in 2012. These players have put in the time during their college careers, and now serve as the cornerstones of their respective teams’ potential success this season.

We’ll be going team-by-team to identify the “standout senior” that’s key to his team, and why. Have a different thought on the matter? Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.

First up, for Boston College, it’s fifth-year senior running back Montel Harris, who’s hoping to come back strong from 2011’s injury-plagued season, and a spring practice session that ended far too early for anyone (coaches or fans) to get a true look at him in his final season of eligibility. Continue reading

Far-Too-Early 2012 ACC Power Rankings (April 16)

Florida State Will Rely Heavily On QB EJ Manuel This Season. Is He Up for the Task?

With spring practices nearing completion, we have another installment of our early power rankings for the entirety of the ACC. As always, we take into account what’s happened both on and off the field, and try not to read too far into what happened in practices this spring. This will be revised monthly throughout the offseason.

1. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 1): The O-line may seem shaky, and the jury’s still out on whether quarterback E.J. Manuel can truly carry this offense, but that hasn’t stopped the hype in Tallahassee. Predicated on defense last year, the Seminoles won’t be above leaning on what should be one of the best units in the country again, if need be. But if forced to go that route, their ceiling may be winning an ACC title — rather than the national championship.

2. Clemson Tigers (LW: 2): A lot’s changing for the Tigers, who are raising the bar for the program after a 10-4 campaign in 2011. New defensive coordinator Brent Venables has hit the ground running since his arrival, and by all accounts his more aggressive style is already rubbing off on a group that desperately needs to improve upon last season’s performance. On the offensive end, fans will be curious to see how much they incorporate the pistol offense, and how well Tajh Boyd adapts to both the new scheme, and new pressures of being the league’s most highly-touted signal-caller.

3. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 3): Dissatisfied with offensive production, Virginia Tech has also given the pistol a shot this spring, with varying results. While the team has incorporated the spread with Logan Thomas‘s mobility as the focal point, it appears they’re mixing things up to see what works best with the inexperienced offensive line. Both attacks have their own respective challenges, and it’ll likely come down to which projects best over the course of the year.

4. NC State Woflpack (LW: 4): Off-the-field issues have played a much larger part in NC State’s spring than the program would’ve liked, and the question marks are starting to pop up about how successfully they can really be in 2012. More and more, it’s appearing as if Mike Glennon will have to shoulder much of the load — something that may improve his draft stock, but could also force them to be far too one-dimensional in a year they were originally projected to break through in the ACC. Continue reading