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The Boston College Eagles opened the 2012 season with an ACC challenge, taking on the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday. The Eagles trailed by just one at halftime, but faded, losing by a final score of 41-32.
Despite the loss, the BC offense was a bright spot, accumulating an impressive 542 yards, including 441 through the air. They also committed three turnovers. Quarterback Chase Rettig excelled in the first game under new Offensive Coordinator Doug Martin, throwing for the sixth-most yards in a single game in BC history and the most in a game since 1993.
AJ Black over at BC Interruption cautiously praised the junior quarterback's performance:
"Rettig was dynamic throwing passes short and long, hitting nine different receivers against the Hurricanes. The first two drives of the game where a thing of beauty. Rettig went 6 for 10 on those two drives for 126 yards, mind you that two of those passes were wide open drops by his receivers. Because of the improved line play, Rettig moved around the pocket with ease, rolling out, spreading the ball around the field, and calling audibles at the line of scrimmage."
"One game is obviously a small sample size for future success (see 2011 Chase Rettig), but yesterday's output has to leave BC fans excited about the future of this offense."
After opening with an ACC opponent, the Eagles will look to rebound next week when they host non-conference foe Maine.
CHESTNUT HILL - Alex Amidon was ready for the season opener, no doubt about it. The junior wide receiver had a career day, racking up 149 receiving yards on 10 catches, in the Boston College Eagles' first game of the season, a 41-32 loss to the Miami Hurricanes.
Amidon looked like he might be on the way to a poor outing early in the first quarter after making a couple of drops, but that soon changed. By halftime, he had 107 receiving yards on six catches, well on his way to arguably the best game of his Boston College tenure.
"[Miami] came out with their gameplan, played zone coverage and blitzed," said Eagles' QB Chase Rettig. "We just ran slants, he dropped a couple, but we just kept working on them. He had a good game. I just felt like we work though our progressions, and everything was working for us. Most importantly we got to score touchdowns instead of field goals."
"They kind of ran a lot of the things they ran last year, lots of zone," Amidon said. "You see the holes in the zone -- Coach [Doug] Martin did a good job scheming it up. It's just a lot to do with him and Chase. They had a lot of holes pretty early so [we] took advantage of that."
Amidon was high on the Eagles' receiving depth chart coming into the season, but most didn't expect that he would be capable of this kind of performance before Saturday. Amidon's big game was even more meaningful considering the injuries to wideout Bobby Swigert and end Chris Pantale, both of whom are not guaranteed to return any time soon.
Amidon's outstanding game didn't come as a surprise to coach Frank Spaziani, however.
"Alex was one of those guys that had a very good preseason and was ready to step up," he said. "There were a couple of balls that he dropped, but he made some nice plays."
CHESTNUT HILL - If you wanted to compare Saturday's season opener to a roller coaster ride, you'd be doing the right thing. Up and down the Boston College Eagles went, looking like a team capable of reaching the Orange Bowl at some moments, and looking like last year's disappointing 4-8 team at others. The good, the bad, the ugly. It was all there.
For the most part, though, the offense was on top of its game, while the defense wasn't.
It was the offense that thrust the Eagles out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and the defense that gave it away in the first quarter. The offense racked up 542 total yards. The defense gave up 415. Chase Rettig threw for a career-high 441 yards on 51 attempts. The defense allowed true freshman back Duke Johnson to pick up 135 yards and two scores.
"I felt as though we needed to execute a little bit better," said junior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (11 tackles, eight solo). "We were in the right spots, we just needed to execute a little bit better. We were ready for [the no huddle]. Again, we were in the right spots."
"Certainly, defensively we have to play better than that," said Eagles' fourth-year head coach Frank Spaziani. "No one made a play, it didn't look like it. We did fight and stop them a couple times, but not when we needed to. You can't give up big plays."
On the flip side, the offense was very encouraging on the whole. Boston College averaged 17 points per game last season, a total it reached in the second quarter on Saturday. Rettig played arguably the best game of his career, torching the Hurricanes' defense for 441 yards and two scores, but was picked off once. Alex Amidon had a career day, totaling 149 receiving yards and backs Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble combined for 105 yards.
"We played for 550 yards of offense," Rettig said. "I feel like we out-tempoed them. We were calling plays before their D-line was even set. I thought the offense played [well]. ... I thought the offensive line played great, I thought the receivers were making plays, could have caught a couple more passes, but I think there were only a couple dropped passes."
Rettig and Pierre-Louis' units still have time to work out the kinks, something they likely won't have a problem doing against the University of Maine (and FCS team) next Saturday. All things considered, there were some encouraging signs for the Eagles against the 'Canes, but there's still a lot of work left to be done if this team wants to get back to a bowl game.
CHESTNUT HILL - Duke Johnson, a true freshman back, put his team on his back, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Miami Hurricanes past the Boston College Eagles, 41-32, in the season and ACC opener on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
"I thought we played sloppy, made some mistakes that hurt us on offense," said BC fourth-year coach Frank Spaziani. "We certainly moved the ball and did some real nice things. I think we played hard to the end, had a couple fumbles and the turnover that gave them a score and two long runs which we can't have happen on defense. [We have to] play better defense, but there are some good signs there, so we have to build on it and go forward."
Boston College (0-1, 0-1 ACC) opened the game with a pair of touchdowns to build a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, which was quickly erased by a methodical Miami (1-0, 1-0 ACC) attack. The lone touchdown of the second quarter, scored by Miami, gave the Canes a hand up after the Eagles kicked two field goals in the frame, leading to a 21-20 halftime lead. The Hurricanes broke the game open in the final half, outscoring the Eagles, 20-3.
Johnson paced the 'Canes offensive attack. Stephen Morris completed 28-of-45 passes for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Miami. Allen Hurns grabbed eight passes for 81 yards and Mike James aided Johnson in the backfield, rushing for 54 yards.
"We just wanted to go out there and put pressure on their defense and take advantage of whatever they gave us," said Hurns, a junior wide receiver. "We had more unity, we dropped down 14-0 and everyone was still pushing each other and with each other. The receivers had drops but the offensive line kept saying 'we are with you guys.'"
Chase Rettig, the Eagles' junior starting quarterback, and the Boston College offense were very effective in spurts, and he finished with 441 yards through the air, two touchdowns and an interception. Alex Amidon was his favorite target of the day, grabbing 10 passes for 149 yards. Andre Williams rushed for 49 yards and Tahj Kimble recorded 50 rushing yards.
"I thought we moved the ball well," Spaziani said. "I think we did some nice things."
Williams' four-yard touchdown run capped off the first Eagles' drive (seven plays, 75 yards, 2:34) with 12:26 left in the opening quarter, and a 15-yard pass from Rettig to Jake Sinkovec accounted for BC's second touchdown at the 7:54 mark. Miami went on a lengthy 83-yard drive, completed by a one-yard scoring rush from Eduardo Clements, to cut the lead in half. Denzel Perryman intercepted Rettig on the ensuing BC drive and returned the ball 41 yards as the first quarter expired to tie the game.
After a Nate Freese 26-yard field goal just over four minutes into the second, Johnson rushed for his first lengthy touchdown of the game, scoring on a 54-yard rush to push Miami on top for the first time, 21-17, with 9:02 before halftime. Freese's 37-yard field goal with 3:32 remaining brought BC within one point at halftime.
Freese would again split the uprights to start the second half, this time from 30 yards out nearly five minutes in, but the Canes would answer with four straight scores, two touchdowns and two field goals. Jake Wieclaw made a 22-yard field goal with 5:06 left and Johnson rushed for a 56 yard touchdown with 1:18 left before the fourth. Wieclaw tacked on another field goal, 24 yards at 13:35 in the fourth quarter, and Morris completed his lone touchdown pass of the game, an 18 yard hookup with Malcolm Lewis with ten minutes remaining.
Rettig would connect with Tahj Kimble for a 17-yard touchdown with 6:48 left, bringing the Eagles within 11 points (41-30) on an 84 yard drive. A couple of Miami penalties gave Boston College a prime chance to cut into the lead. On fourth down and one at the Miami one yard line, Rettig leaped towards the end zone, but upon further review, the referees ruled that he was just short, officially ending any hope of a Boston College comeback.
"That was a winnable game," Spaziani said. "Not taking anything away from Miami. No one made a play. It didn't look like it. We did fight and stop them a couple of times, but not when we needed to. You can't give up big plays."
Boston College hosts the University of Maine in the second game of the year next Saturday.
CHESTNUT HILL - Miami didn't have any trouble solving the Boston College defense in the third quarter, putting 10 points on the board as the Hurricanes took a 31-23 lead over the Eagles heading into the final period of the season opener inside Alumni Stadium.
The Eagles took the lead with a 30-yard field goal with 9:52 to go, but the 'Canes answered with a 22-yard field goal of their own from Jake Wieclaw with 5:06 left, putting Miami back in the driver's seat, 24-23. Duke Johnson would then break free for a 56-yard touchdown rush -- his second rushing score of 50 or more yards of the game -- to give the Hurricanes their 31-23 advantage entering the fourth.
Through three quarters, Chase Rettig had 266 passing yards to go with a touchdown and one interception for BC. Miami quarterback Stephen Morris had thrown for 166 yards and a pick and Johnson had racked up 125 rushing yards and two scores. Alex Amidon has 135 receiving yards for the Eagles.
|14:30 remaining in the 4th||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Boston College Eagles||14||6||3||0||23|
CHESTNUT HILL - A high scoring first quarter (28 total points scored) carried over into the second quarter, and the Miami Hurricanes took a 21-20 lead over the Boston College Eagles into the break of the season opener inside Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game was tied, 14-14, entering the second after the Eagles built a 14-0 lead but squandered it away. The Eagles' drive stalled out at the nine yard line early in the second, and Nate Freese made his first field goal of the season from 26 yards out, putting Boston College back on top , 17-14, with 10:53 to play. Miami continued to tack on the points, however, going 77 yards on four plays -- highlighted by freshman Duke Johnson's 64-yard touchdown run -- to pull ahead 21-17 with 9:02 to play. Freese hit another field goal, this time from 37 yards out, with 3:32 left before the break, making it a 21-20 Eagles' deficit.
Chase Rettig, who threw a touchdown and a pick-six in the first quarter, finished the opening half 14-of-22 for 231 yards. Alex Amidon had six catches for 107 yards and Andre Williams rushed for 37 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries. Stephen Morris completed 14-of-21 passes for 92 yards and one pick for Miami.
CHESTNUT HILL - Chase Rettig and the Boston College Eagles wasted no time to start the season, putting together the most impressive drive of Rettig's tenure -- 7 plays, 75 yards over 2:34, to score the first points of the fresh campaign, setting the tone for an impressive first quarter against the Miami Hurricanes inside Alumni Stadium. Unfortuantely, the Eagles couldn't maintain the pace for the entire quarter, leading to a 14-14 tie after one period.
Rettig led his rejuvenated offense down the field promptly after the kickoff, and a four-yard scoring rush from Andre Williams capped off the successful drive. Miami would go three-and-out on its first drive, punting the ball away to the Eagles for another go-around. BC had success again on its second drive, going 70 yards on nine plays in 3:13 to build a 14-0 lead. Rettig found Jake Sinkovec for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 7:54 to go in the first.
After a slow , Miami finally put together a few successful drives. Eduardo Clements rushed one yard for a touchdown, completing a 13-play, 83-yard drive with 53 seconds remaining. On the ensuing Eagles drive, Rettig was picked off by Denzel Perryman, who returned the ball 41 yards for the score to tie the game at the end of the opening quarter.
Rettig completed 8-of-13 passes for 134 yards, one score and one touchdown in the period.
CHESTNUT HILL - I can't tell you how great it is to be back. The sun is out, and it's making the brand new turf at Alumni Stadium, home of the Boston College Eagles' football team, look even better as we're roughly one and a half hours away from the season opener against the Miami Hurricanes (3:30 p.m. Eastern; TV/Radio: ABC, ESPN/WEEI). See for yourself.
The Eagles and Hurricanes will open the season, and each of their Atlantic Coast Conference campaigns, on Saturday, and each have plenty of things to work on. BC is down three key players as it opens the year while Miami has a very young and inexperience team. It will be interesting to see which side bends or breaks first.
One thing is certain, though. College football is back, and man, that's a great, great thing.
Chase Rettig and the Boston College Eagles will attempt to weather the Miami Hurricanes when the two teams face off in the season opener on Saturday at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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