Like us to subscribe
CHESTNUT HILL - Heading into Saturday night's battle for the Ireland Trophy against arch rival Notre Dame, the last thing Boston College needed was uncertainty in any form.
Yet that's just what the Eagles had to deal with all week after head coach Frank Spaziani announced that sophomore quarterback Dave Shinskie would have his starting job revoked.
Following a week of indecision, Spaziani finally named true freshman Chase Rettig as the team's starting quarterback less than two hours before kickoff.
Sadly, the move didn't pan out on Saturday night.
Rettig completed just 5-of-10 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an ankle injury late in the second quarter and Notre Dame rolled past Boston College 31-13 in the 20th meeting between the two Catholic school rivals at Alumni Stadium.
"First of all congratulations to coach (Brian) Kelly and Notre Dame, they did a good job," said Spaziani. "They came in here and licked us schematically, physically, every way. They really played a very good football game."
Notre Dame (2-3) took the ball 50 yards on four plays for the score, capped off by quarterback Dayne Crist's (24-for-44, 202 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 6 carries, 5 yards, 1 TD) seven yard run to the right to give the Fighting Irish a 7-0 advantage with 13:07 to play in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive for Boston College (2-2), Rettig opened the drive by handing the ball off to junior running back Montel Harris (15 carries, 28 yards), who took the ball one yard up the middle.
Rettig's first pass attempt of his career came on third and seven. The pass was intended for freshman receiver Clyde Lee, but was off target, resulting in a three-and-out for the Eagles' offense.
Rettig didn't have much success on his second drive, either. After a handoff to Harris on first down, Rettig missed his target on back-to-back plays, forcing yet another three-and-out.
Crist tacked on another score with 6:26 left to play in the first on a two-yard pass to Kyle Rudolph, his only catch of the game, giving Notre Dame a 14-0 lead.
After starting the game 0-for-4, Rettig's completed his first pass on the Eagles' third drive with just over five minutes left in the first. It was a short pass to freshman running back Sterlin Phipher for a one-yard loss on third and 23 from their own 21 yard line.
Needless to say, the Eagles were forced to punt for the third straight drive.
The Fighting Irish capitalized on the turnover, as Crist led his troops 72 yards on seven plays for yet another touchdown. The score came on a 20-yard pass from Crist to
"We spotted them 21 points," Spaziani said. "Obviously in our situation that's not very good for us. Especially the way we were playing and going into the game."
Boston College answered with a four-play, 68-yard drive spanning two minutes that ended with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Rettig to freshman receiver Bobby Swigert (7 catches,137 yards, 1 TD), cutting Notre Dame's lead to 21-7 with 19 seconds left in the quarter.
"It was awesome," Rettig said about his first career touchdown pass. "It was everything I thought it would be since the first day I started playing football."
"He looked like the guy we thought he was," said Spaziani. "He did some good things and made some freshman mistakes. Once again, I know we all want to talk about who the quarterback is and what the situation is but there were other problems that were not the quarterback."
After a six-yard rush by tailback Cierre Wood on the first play of the ensuing drive, Crist completed a short pass to Wood, but Eagles senior defensive tackle Damik Scafe forced a fumble which was recovered by sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly.
The Eagles took advantage of the opportunity, putting up three points on freshman kicker Nate Freese's 49-yard field goal, cutting Notre Dame's lead to 21-10 with 11:32 left in the second quarter.
Prior to the field goal, Rettig was hit hard and limped off the field. It was later reported that Rettig had injured his left ankle on the play, forcing sophomore backup Mike Marscovetra to step up under center for the remainder of the game.
"I'm pretty sure I was leaving the pocket and I did a spin move back and I think a defender that was trailing me just slid into my ankle," said Rettig. "So I sprained my ankle,"
It was a disappointing loss for the entire team, but more so for Rettig than anyone else.
"It's tough to get in the game and have things start flowing and then you get pulled out," Rettig said. "That's disappointing and hard to swallow."
As for the severity of Rettig's injury, Boston College won't know more until Sunday.
"The x-ray was negative and what exactly is wrong with the ankle, right now I am just not sure," said Spaziani.
On the next Eagles' drive, Marscovetra (22-for-37, 193 yards, 2 INT) handed the ball off to Harris for a two yard gain on first down, but his pass attempt on second down was incomplete. After a seven yard pass to Harris on third down, punter Ryan Quigley was forced to punt, pinning Notre Dame inside its own 20 yard line.
"When you come off cold off the bench, you have to get ready really quick," Marscovetra said. "I was staying warm on the sideline and I wanted to play. It's Notre Dame, it's a big game. I was ready to play but I just didn't come in and get the job done."
However, the Eagles defense stepped up to the call. After stuffing Allen on first down and sacking Crist on second down, Scafe forced a fumble on Allen's run, which was recovered by Boston College junior safety Dominick LeGrande.
Boston College couldn't put the ball in the endzone, but was able to get three points out of the fumble as Freese split the uprights from 25 yards out to cut the deficit to 21-13 with 8:56 left in the half.
The Fighting Irish erased the Eagles' score as senior kicker David Ruffer hit a 37-yard field goal (his 13th in a row) with 5:22 left in the half to build Notre Dame's lead to 24-13, which would hold until halftime.
Neither team was able to put any points on the board through the first 10:21 of the third quarter. However, Notre Dame took the ball 76 yards on 14 plays for the score, a two-yard scamper by Allen, to take a 31-13 advantage with 4:39 to play in the quarter.
Both Crist and Marscovetra threw interceptions in the fourth quarter, with Crist throwing one and Marscovetra throwing two, but neither team could make the other pay coming off the turnover.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the fact they were thinking a little too much," said Spaziani about the play of his defense. "Once again that's a good offense with some good players over there and they made some plays."They didn't do anything to us that we didn't expect."
"I don't think it's as much as what they're doing to us as what we're doing to ourselves," said Kuechly, who had a game-high 14 tackles in the game. "We came out flat. They start rolling like that and getting down in the red zone and there's not as much you can do. We had good play calls we just couldn't execute on defense. They didn't do anything to us that we didn't expect."
Notre Dame amassed 315 total yards (203 passing, 112 rushing) while Boston College managed only 270 total yards (265 passing, 23 rushing).
"I am very concerned," said Spaziani about his team's dismal rushing attack. "There are certain things that we have to be able to do. We have to be able to run the ball. We left a lot of plays out there. We dropped a few passes that would have helped. We can't go back and keep throwing the ball all over the place. We have to be able to run the ball."
Still, some players were able to take away positives from the loss.
"It definitely exposes a lot of the problems that we have and maybe it's a good thing it happened now before this run in the ACC," said senior defensive end Alex Albright. "We're going to need to run the table if we're going to be in contention for anything. SO I guess that's positive too if we're able to figure out the problems now before it's too late."
The Eagles finish their season-opening four game home stand at 2-2 and travel south to face ACC foe N.C. State next Saturday.
Boston College falls to 9-11 in the all-time series and 4-3 at home against Notre Dame...This was the first time BC has lost consecutive games at home since 2003...The last time either side scored 30 or more points in a game was in 1999, when Boston College defeated Notre Dame 31-29...Alumni Stadium has been filled to capacity (44,500 on Saturday night) for each of the seven meetings between the Eagles and the Irish...Sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly became the fastest Eagle to record 200 tackles, doing so in the 17th game of his career. The record was previously held by Stephen Boyd, who turned in a 13 tackle performance against the Irish on November 7, 1992, reaching the milestone in his 19th game...Senior defensive end Alex Albright wore No. 78 in memory of his friend and former teammate at St. Xavier, Matt James.
CHESTNUT HILL – Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani has announced that true freshman Chase Rettig will be the starting quarterback for the Eagles tonight against Notre Dame.
The official announcement ends a week-long speculation about who would replace sophomore Dave Shinskie, who lost the job after Boston College’s 19-0 loss to Virginia Tech.
Spaziani also announced the junior defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey has been suspended for tonight’s game against Notre Dame due to an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Conor O’Neal will start in place of Ramsey.
CHESTNUT HILL - A report on Wednesday morning from The Boston Globe surfaced that Boston College football head coach Frank Spaziani was expected to name true freshman Chase Rettig as the team's starting quarterback for Saturday night's game at Alumni Stadium against Notre Dame (8 p.m. ET, ABC).
However, in his chat with reporters before Tuesday's practice, Spaziani said that he had not made a decision as to who his starter will be.
"Probably, or maybe before," Spaziani said when asked if his quarterback choice would be a game-time decision. "Every day, you evaluate everybody. Today is Wednesday, and we'll evaluate (the quarterbacks) again and move on."
Spaziani announced on his weekly teleconference on Sunday afternoon that sophomore starting quarterback Dave Shinskie would not be the team's starter come next Saturday.
"There's a lot of stuff that goes into it," said Spaziani about the decision-making process. "It wasn't one game, it wasn't one play. There's a lot of decision making. And we felt we needed to get better in that position now and for the future."
Shinskie had kept the Eagles in contention for the Atlantic Division title last season, completing 149-of-288 passes for 2,049 yards, 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
However, Shinskie has performed way below expectation this season, going 39-for-72 with 529 yards, four touchdowns and four picks.
"I don't think he was happy about it," Spaziani said about Shinskie's reaction to the move. "I wouldn't be either."
It's a scenario that Spaziani is all too familiar with.
"We had to do it last year," said Spaziani, alluding to the decision to start Shinskie, Marscovetra or Justin Tuggle at quarterback prior to last season's match-up with the Fighting Irish in South Bend . "We'd prefer not to have that situation, but sometimes what you prefer and what needs to be done aren't the same."
Yet this time around, the Eagles' coach has several players to choose from, as after last season's painful 20-16 loss against Notre Dame, Tuggle decided to transfer.
"The difference is, (now) we have options," Spaziani said. "Last year, we didn't have options (at quarterback)."
With news that the job is still up for grabs, sophomore Mike Marscovetra and the aforementioned Rettig will continue to battle for the job.
However, Rettig took the majority of snaps with the first team on Tuesday during practice, creating speculation that he will be Spaziani's choice come Saturday evening.
Rettig, who has never played a single down in a college football game, enrolled at Boston College in January of 2010. He participated in spring practices and played in the Under Armour All-American Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL on January 2nd.
At San Clemente High School in California, Rettig was named to the All-South Coast League first team during his senior season after a stellar campaign in which he completed 157 passes for 1,748 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The original plan for Rettig, as stated by the Eagles' media relations department, was to redshirt him. However, after problematic play at the quarterback position, they may have lost that option.
Even still, Spaziani insists that Rettig was an option right from the start.
"He was in the conversation from the beginning of the season," said Spaziani. "Nobody is permanently anything now until we get to a certain point of the season."
As for Marscovetra, who is 21-for-35 for 227 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in his career, he has had the benefit of playing in all three games this season.
Marscovetra did not have a standout performance in any of the Eagles' three games this season. His best game came against Virginia Tech back in 2009 when he completed 10-of-16 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Regardless of who Spaziani choses, the ultimate goal remains the same.
"Always winning now is important," said Spaziani. "But it's a fine line."
Even with the planned switch to Rettig or Marscovetra, there is no guaranteeing that the transition will be smooth.
"I can't predict the future," Spaziani said. "Again, there's different factors that go into it. When you go on stage in Broadway, you have Hartford and Buffalo and all those place where you worked your act out."
Unfortunately for Rettig and Marscovetra, Weber State and Kent State were Hartford and Buffalo while Notre Dame represents Broadway.
In other words, one will be thrown into the fire (under a national spotlight, no less) and will be expected to perform at a high level in the biggest game of their career.
After last season's 20-16 victory, Notre Dame leads the all-time series 10-9 against Boston College. The winner of Saturday's meeting will be awarded two trophies, the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl and the Ireland Trophy.
The two are the only Catholic schools in the FBS that play football, and they certainly have had their fair share of memorable moments.
Luckily for us, the two schools have renewed their rivalry through the 2019 season.
Thankfully, fans won't have to wait until then to see a match up for the ages. That being said, Boston College and Notre Dame will undoubtedly put on a show Saturday night.
CHESTNUT HILL – In his talk with the media before practice on Tuesday, Boston College football head coach Frank Spaziani reported that he has not made a decision as to who will start at the quarterback position on Saturday against Notre Dame.
However, Spaziani denied the report on Wednesday afternoon, saying he still has not made up his mind, and that his choice may be a game-time decision.
According to the Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun, Boston College will start true freshman Chase Rettig Saturday night against Notre Dame, with sophomore Mike Marscovetra and former starter Dave Shinskie battling for the back-up role. The team is expected to make the announcement official on Wednesday.
According to the team source, "Chase took about 80 percent of the snaps (with the first team) in practice [on Tuesday].''
Rettig is the second true freshman to start for the Eagles in the last two years ... The 6-foot-4 inch 205 pound Rettig enrolled at BC last January after passing up overtures from Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Arizona and Arizona State. Rettig, who lives in San Clemente, Calif. was regarded as the BC QB of the future when he came East last winter. Spaziani and offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill had hoped to bring him along at a slow and steady pace, which meant redshirting this season and then competing for the job next spring and summer.
The Eagles host the Irish Saturday night at 8 P.M. ET.
For all things Boston College, visit BC Interruption.
The Eagles won two of three on their current homestand, but are coming off a 19-0 loss to Virginia Tech in their ACC opener last weekend. It marked the first shutout of BC in 149 games, dating back to 1998. The Eagles are now hoping to score some points so they can close their homestand on a high note before heading out to the road for two straight games.
Notre Dame meanwhile, has dropped three games in a row and seven of its last eight dating back to last season. Since opening the Brian Kelly era with a win over Purdue, the Irish have suffered heart-breaking losses to Michigan and Michigan State before being handled by nationally ranked Stanford, 37-14, last weekend. That makes 11 consecutive defeats versus Top 25 opponents for ND, with five of them coming at home.
As far as the all-time series is concerned, ND holds a 10-9 edge over BC courtesy of a 20-16 victory last season. That snapped a six-game losing skid in the series for the Irish.
Following a 369-yard and four-TD performance versus Michigan State, QB Dayne Crist struggled last weekend and completed just 25 of 44 tosses for 304 yards with one TD and a pick. That yardage wasn't all too bad, but most of it came when the game was out of reach and his lone INT was also returned for a score. Crist though, has enjoyed a solid start to the year and he is averaging 288.8 passing ypg, with eight TDs against three INTs. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal, as Michael Floyd, Kyle Rudolph and Theo Riddick have all accumulated over 20 catches and 250 receiving yards. Floyd led the trio with eight receptions for 110 yards last weekend, while Riddick added seven receptions for 71 yards and a score. Armando Allen is the team's top rusher with 302 yards, but the Irish have scored just twice on the ground this season.
The Irish defense had all sorts of problems trying to get off the field last weekend, as Stanford went 11 of 16 on third downs to help it possess the ball for over 36 minutes. ND gave up 25 first downs and 404 total yards to Stanford, which gained 166 rushing yards on 44 carries. The Irish did force three turnovers, but the defense has struggled up to this point, allowing 433.8 total ypg. Manti Te'o was one of the few bright spots for the defense last weekend, as he totaled an incredible 21 tackles, giving him a team-best 54 for the season.
Through three games, the Eagles have turned the ball over eight times and are managing only 322.0 ypg. The poor production has cost QB David Shinskie his starting job, as Mike Marscovetra or Chase Rettig are expected to be under center this weekend. The 26-year-old Shinskie just hasn't been able to get going and his struggles were brought front-and-center last weekend against Virginia Tech when he completed just 11 of 25 tosses for 130 yards and two INTs. With a new starter expected, look for BC to lean more on TB Montel Harris, who has rushed for 306 yards and a score on the campaign. Harris was about the only effective player versus Virginia Tech last weekend, as he rushed for 111 yards on 19 carries, while catching a team-high five passes for 21 yards.
Defensively, the Eagles bent, but never broke last weekend, keeping Virginia Tech to four field goals and just one TD. The unit was obviously tough in the red zone, helping compensate for some of the 343 yards it surrendered. The defense has played a big part in the team's ability to win two games thus far, as BC has forced eight turnovers while holding foes to 309.7 total ypg. The Eagles, though, haven't faced any teams with a high-powered offense, so this unit still has a lot to prove. Luke Kuechly, coming off a 16-tackle performance, has been a steady defender for the Eagles and he tops the roster with 37 stops for the season.
The Irish have struggled to slow down opponents, but now faces a BC club that doesn't have much going offensively. ND should come up with enough big plays to get back into the win column this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Notre Dame 24, Boston College 17
Sat., Oct. 2, 8:00 p.m. EST
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SB Nation Boston to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Boston. You should read them.
You must be a member of SB Nation Boston to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Boston. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.