Eagles don't typically mix well with Hurricanes. Of the twenty nine times that the University of Miami and Boston College have met on the gridiron, the 'Canes have picked up 23 wins, and from 1985 through 2006, the Eagles dropped 15 straight to Miami. However, the last two meetings between the schools have gone BC's way, offering hope that the Eagles have finally figured out a winning strategy for weathering the Hurricanes. Can they make it three?
Boston College and Miami will get together for the season (and Atlantic Coast Conference) opener Saturday at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA (3:30 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN/WEEI).
The Eagles enter the season needing a change of course. Three straight seasons have wielded fewer and fewer Eagles victories, and last season's 4-8 performance, which resulted in the end of a twelve-year BC bowl streak, was the low point in the Frank Spaziani era.
Spaziani, who is 20-19 in three seasons as the Eagles' head coach, is unquestionably on the hot seat entering the 2012 campaign, and with the planned retirement of Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo -- a big Spaziani supporter -- at the end of the month, another year of under-performing may force Coach Spaz into the nearest unemployment line.
Unfortunately, injuries have already taken a toll on the Eagles roster, claiming the services of senior tight end Chris Pantale, junior wideout Bobby Swigert and sophomore defensive back Albert Louis-Jean, three players who were expected to contribute this year. Still, the Eagles have talented players, such as junior starting quarterback Chase Rettig (3,198 career passing yards, 18 TD, 18 INT), who is also in need of an improved season.
Miami, meanwhile, was .500 last season (6-6) and ended its season with a 24-17 loss to Boston College. Rettig had two touchdown tosses for BC while Rolandan Finch had 22 carries for 96 yards and Pantale grabbed four passes for 70 yards and Swigert had 67 yards. Jacory Harris tossed for 245 yards and one score, but was intercepted four times.
Harris is no longer under center for the 'Canes, though. Junior quarterback Stephen Morris will start the year and will be responsible for sparking a very young Miami offense. Only one member of the offensive line, junior right guard Brandon Linder, has at least two years of experience. Aside from Morris, senior running back Mike James and redshirt senior wide receiver Kendal Thompkins will be looked upon to help move the chains this season.
Miami is a 2 1/2-point favorite over the Eagles, and the over/under is set at 110 points.