Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Boston College still searching for identity

By Heather Dinich

After a 2-0 start, that includes wins over unheralded opponents Kent State and Weber State, Boston College coach Frank Spaziani still isn’t quite sure what to make of his team.

“Tune in,” Spaziani said. “Minefields and potholes are showing up, but we’re working our way through them. We’re going to find out.”

Just how much is revealed on Saturday against a struggling Virginia Tech (1-2) team remains to be seen. The Hokies lost at home to James Madison, an FCS school, and were trailing in the third quarter before pulling ahead to beat East Carolina last weekend. Boston College is still searching for consistency at quarterback, the top returning receiver suffered a season-ending injury before the season began, and there are 22 freshmen and sophomores listed on the two-deep depth chart this week. The recent history between these two programs has made for an entertaining series, though, which is even at 4-4 in the past eight games.

“I like the way we’re working,” Spaziani said. “We’re working hard. We’re trying to get better. We’re not a good football team yet, but it’s a long season. We’re going to find out if we can sustain and work and get to where we need to go.”

The good news for the Eagles this month is that they haven’t had to go anywhere. BC, which is coming off a bye week, has four home games before traveling to NC State on Oct. 9. BC has won 10 of its past 11 home games, dating back to 2008. The lone loss came to North Carolina last year. Since joining the ACC, Boston College is 5-1 coming off bye weeks, and has defeated Virginia Tech in the past two meetings in Chestnut Hill.

Despite the Hokies’ loss to James Madison, Spaziani said he hasn’t lost an ounce of respect for Frank Beamer’s program.

“I think they’re a national championship caliber team,” Spaziani said. “They’ve got great coaches, great tradition, great players. They do it year in and year out. I don’t think they skipped a beat. … The only thing that happened to them, in my eyes, is a little bad luck. That’s still a heck of a football team. There’s a long season to be played, and they will be reckoned with, trust me. They will be reckoned with.”

Virginia Tech and Boston College have met five times in the past three seasons and BC has won two of the past three regular season games. Neither team, though, has had a convincing performance yet, and part of that can be attributed to youth and inexperience.

BC opened its season with 13 freshmen on the two-deep roster, and the Eagles have had to lean heavily on a few of them. Redshirt freshman receiver Jonathan Coleman and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis both started against Kent State. Pierre-Louis is second on the team with 12 tackles.

Because of the numerous question marks facing Boston College heading into the season, defensive end Alex Albright said the schedule helped BC work some of the kinks out.

“I’m pretty glad we played those two previous games because I feel like we needed a tune-up, as opposed to some other teams who were able to come out firing on all cylinders right away,” he. “But I really think we’re coming together as a team, which is an important part of having a successful season. At the beginning there was either offense or defense. Now I feel like at practice we’re the Eagles. There’s no split, we’re in it with the same goal now.”