BC vs. Northwestern match-up preview

With the first two games of the football season in the books, the jury, for the most part, is still out on the 2012 Boston College football team. However, the opening games against conference foe Miami (FL) and regional lightweight Maine did reveal a considerable amount concerning the Eagles' prospects for the rest of the season.

On one hand, given their considerable offensive output against the Miami Hurricanes, this BC offense has shown more competency and ability than any other BC team during the tenure of head coach Frank Spaziani. With over 600 passing yards and a 5:1 touchdown to interception ratio over the first two weeks, Chase Rettig has given the Eagles the steadiest option at quarterback since Matt Ryan (although including the two in the same sentence, at least at this point, is a considerable injustice to the latter). But when the first-week performance against the Hurricanes is viewed in light of their horrific second-week performance against Kansas State, the picture becomes a bit more muddled. With Miami's struggles on defense, how much stock can we really place in Rettig's performance thus far?

That being said, the Northwestern secondary does not provide much of an upgrade over that of Miami – with Syracuse's Ryan Nassib passing for nearly 500 yards during their week one matchup. With Northwestern's struggles on defense, Rettig could yet again be in store for another big performance – especially if Andre Williams and Deuce Finch manage to add some balance to the team's offensive balance.

The BC defense is another story entirely. Although they managed to hold Maine to a field goal, they were carved up by an average Miami offense – especially on the ground where they allowed a freshman running back to break off several long runs. The key to defensive success will be dependent on the Eagles' ability to control possession and force their opponent to become one-dimensional. But considering their inability to get any sort of legitimate pressure on the quarterback, the defense might struggle with such a task.

With BC's ability to move the ball through the air coupled with their inadequate defense, Spaziani and company could be in for another shootout. The x-factor could be Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who has shown much more ability to get the most out of the talent than BC's Spaziani – a coach who has demonstrated little tactical ability throughout his first four years at the Heights.

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