Don't write off Boston College
ACC title hopes still exist
By Steve Conroy
Monday, November 3, 2008 - Added 16h ago
The Boston College football team is eight games into its season and the Eagles are right where they were predicted to be in the preseason. The Eagles are fourth in the six-team ACC Atlantic Division and on the far outside looking in on the national polls.
But while they need a little help to get back in the race for the ACC championship, they don't exactly need a miracle for things to line up in their favor. Division-leading Maryland has a two-game edge on the Eagles in the loss column, but the Terrapins have Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Florida State - all losable games for the Terps - before they finish the regular season with a trip to Chestnut Hill.
The two other teams ahead of BC are Florida State and Wake Forest and each has a one-game lead on the Eagles. BC plays both teams in the coming weeks.
So it's not inconceivable for the Eagles to land in Tampa for the title game as the Atlantic Division representative.
The Eagles just need to get their own house in order, especially on offense. In Saturday's 27-21 loss to Clemson, Chris Crane threw the ball 39 times with only 116 yards to show for it. The fifth-year senior made a terrific play on a fourth-and-4 situation in the fourth quarter on which he flung off a would-be tackler and found Brandon Robinson in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a short-lived lead. But that was it for the offensive highlights.
"We didn't have an aggressive game plan," BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski said. "We didn't want to turn the ball over. Could we have done better? Yeah. I thought we left some yards on the field, in particular in the passing game. But it is what it is."
Jagodzinski is caught in a catch-22. After Crane threw six costly interceptions in the previous two games, Jagodzinski's No. 1 priority was to cut down on the turnovers. BC did have two costly fumbles, but Crane did not throw an interception. But the cautious approach took some sizzle out of the offense.
"You can't have it both ways," said Jagodzinski. "We could sling it downfield, but I'm not going to have what I'm trying to avoid, which is the multiple-turnover game. You don't even give yourself a chance that way."
Asked what the happy medium was, Jagodzinski responded: "That's a good question. At some point, you've got to go make a play."
Earlier in the season, Jagodzinski had worked backup QB Dominique Davis into the mix, even giving him most of the Rhode Island game in which the redshirt freshman did little more than hand the ball off. But the coach said that Crane remains his best option at quarterback.
"If I thought that Dom was the best guy to go with now, then I would," Jagodzinski said.
However they do it, the Eagles must pick up the pieces and move forward. They are on the second losing streak of the Jagodzinski era. They must keep it as short as the first (two games) if they want to reach their goals.
"I don't think you ever feel good about losing a ball game, but I know who my guys are," he said. "I know that they'll fight you for 60 minutes."
Wide receiver Clarence Megwa will miss the rest of the season after breaking both bones in his lower leg on a play in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss. The junior will undergo surgery today. . . .
With Billy Bennett on indefinite suspension, Jagodzinski said he probably will stick with Ryan Quigley on kickoffs and Steve Aponavicius on field goals.