CHESTNUT HILL - The sound system didn't work at Alumni Stadium on Saturday, but perhaps that was a blessing. If it was working, fans would have had to listen to the words "first down Clemson" twenty seven times.
Allowing a team to move the chains that many times usually results in losses. Bad losses. So, without any surprise, that was the outcome for the Boston College Eagles, who dropped a 45-31 decision against the Clemson Tigers.
It was a game that was eerily similar to Boston College's season opening 41-32 loss to the Miami Hurricanes. Just like the opener, the Eagles' offense was able to give itself some breathing room in the opening minutes but gradually let the lead slip away. The offense? Good, even great at times. The defense? Awful.
Chase Rettig's much-improved arm has resulted in an Eagles' passing attack that is ranked 16th in the nation (coming into Week 4). The same can't be said for the defense, which had surrendered 389.3 yards/game entering Saturday.
Nothing was out of place against Clemson in that regard. The offense was on top of its game -- Rettig threw for 341 yards and three scores and Alex Amidon nearly reached the 200 receiving yard plateau -- and the defense couldn't get out of its own way -- the Tigers had 576 total yards and 367 through the air.
"We definitely need to execute more on defense," said senior linebacker Nick Clancy, who was credited with 10 total tackles (six solo) in the defeat. "We definitely needed to make more big plays. We gave up too many big plays."
Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that the Eagles gave up the big plays in the red zone. More specifically, Boston College allowed Clemson to convert on 6-of-7 red zone chances. Part of that is because, simply put, Clemson is pretty darn good. Still, a team can't allow an 85 percent success rate to opposing teams inside its own twenty yard line if it has any desire to win the game.
"Those Clemson players are very good players and they've done it to a lot of people," said BC coach Frank Spaziani. "We just didn't make enough plays."
Noticing a trend? The Eagles haven't been making enough plays this season, and that's why they're off to a 1-3 start and on the brink of falling off the cliff. It's not just this season, though. Boston College football seemingly hasn't been making enough plays for quite some time, and certainly not during the Spaziani era.
Saturday's loss dropped Boston College to 21-22 under Spaziani's guidance. Considering that the team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the national polls less than five years prior to Spaziani's arrival, that's nothing to be proud of.
The first few years were chalked up to rebuilding. Now in the fourth year of Spaz, rebuilding is no longer an excuse. By this point, the team is being judged solely on wins and losses. Bottom line, it's a result driven league. Win, and you'll stick around. Lose, and you'll be updating your resume. It's just that simple.
Time is running out for Spaz and his regime at Boston College. Excuses won't cut it. If there isn't a rapid change of course within the next month, it's pretty clear what has to happen: Spaziani has to go. He's had more than enough time to establish his system, and it obviously isn't working. Barring a miraculous turnaround, it appears that it's finally time to turn the page and move on.