A win is a win, but when it comes against an FCS opponent, it barely means anything at all. Boston College bested in-state rival and FCS opponent UMass, 45-17, last Saturday to claim its first win of 2011, but the win doesn't count towards the six wins needed to claim a bowl berth. A win on Saturday, however, would.
BC hosts Wake Forest in its second ACC game of the young season on at 12:30 p.m EDT on Saturday at Alumni Stadium (TV/Radio: ACC Network/WEEI) as the Eagles search for their first win of the year against an FBS foe.
"We're excited to get back into conference and play a very good Wake football team that has some very good players and is obviously very well coached," said Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani. "So we're looking forward to it."
Spaziani may be excited, but as he alluded to, Wake Forest certainly isn't a pushover.
"Wake Forest is very aggressive on defense, and they're playing very well there," said Spaziani. "And certainly on offense they've got some play makers and the quarterback's playing well. They've got a big league running game, so they pose problems on both sides of the ball."
The Demon Deacons boast a prominent passing attack (322.7 yards per game) that ranks 14th in the nation through three weeks. Wake Forest is coming off two straight wins, most recently a 48-5 beatdown of Gardner-Webb. Tanner Price threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, bringing his season totals to 869 passing yards and six touchdown passes.
"He reminds me a lot of Riley Skinner," Spaziani said of Price. "Obviously, he's lefty. But he does a lot of nice things. I'm very impressed with how he started out the year. He keeps things alive. He runs the game. He's obviously much improved. He looks like the real deal to me."
That real deal will lead the Demon Deacons against an Eagles defense that traditionally plays a lot of zone defense, and rarely dabbles into man-to-man coverage.
"We try to do whatever we can do the best we can execute what our players are able to execute," Spaziani said about the Eagles' defensive strategy. "That's how we start."
For the Eagles, success will come as a result of containing the Deacs and keeping them off the scoreboard (after all, Spaz's most important stat is 'points allowed'), as well as success on the offensive side of the ball.
Chase Rettig has had some big statistical games for the Eagles, throwing for 864 yards and four touchdowns through four games. In BC's win over UMass, Rettig threw for 196 yards and three touchdowns.
However, their top weapon on offense - running back Montel Harris - is back from a knee injury that kept him out of five straight games and should get the start for the first time this season. Harris, who saw limited action against UMass, ran for 27 yards on nine carries and is 99 yards away from the school's all-time rushing record.
"He obviously was very limited going into last week, and he was limited there," Spaziani noted. "We've tried to step up his workload a little bit this week. Montel will do whatever Montel can do and handle as much as he can."
On defense, Luke Kuechly continues to impress everyone with his lofty tackles total. Through four games, Kuechly has 39 solo tackles, but only had 11 tackles against UMass, which barely kept his streak of games with 10 or more tackles (26) alive.
"He's got good size," said Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe. "He's very physical inside. He's got really, really good foot speed, better foot speed than usually see out of a linebacker and so he's able to make plays sideline
to sideline and he's an excellent tackler. You really never see him miss a tackle."
Boston College leads the all-time series against Wake Forest, 10-6-2. In the most recent meeting between the two schools, BC bested Wake Forest, 23-13, last November. The Eagles have won their last four games against the Demon Deacons dating back to 2007.