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.