Boston College is 2-4, winless in three ACC games and in dire need of a victory.
Maryland happens to be coming to Chestnut Hill on Saturday afternoon, and Boston Herald beat writer Steve Conroy was kind enough to spend some time lending his insight on the Eagles as game day approaches.
Let's get to the five questions ...
1. Frank Spaziani has cited offensive line shuffling as a major reason for the Eagles' struggles. Is that the primary culprit for the four-game skid, or just a secondary issue?
SC: If its not the No. 1 problem, it's been 1A. This team's identity has been to pound the ball and they just haven't been able to do it. They couldn't run the ball against Kent St. Florida State was a step in the right direction, but they haven't yet been able too control a game with the run.
2. Given the revolving door under center, does Boston College have a viable option at quarterback --- at least for this year, anyway?
SC: Freshman Chase Rettig is going to have a long leash the rest of the season. He's considered the QB of the future and has shown some signs that he can be a real player. The staff wanted to keep the redshirt on him this year, but the reality was neither [Dave] Shinskie nor [Mike] Marscovetra was playing well enough to lead the team victories.
3. It seems like the Eagles' defense, while perhaps not featuring the imposing defensive tackles of a couple years ago, is still plenty good. How capable is that group of keeping things interesting on a weekly basis --- and does BC almost need them to score points on a consistent basis if it is going to turn things around?
SC: I don't know if the defense has to score, but it certainly has to limit the points for the Eagles to have a shot most weeks. BC's not going to win a lot of shootouts.
4. The most defining storyline for BC last year was Mark Herzlich's cancer diagnosis and determination to return for his senior season. How has Herzlich fared on the field during his comeback?
SC: Herzlich has played pretty well -- and stupendously for a person who went through what he has. He's not the same dominant player he was two years ago, but he's improved steadily with each week. The last two weeks he's been playing with a broken hand, which has slowed him just a bit.
5. Boston College is in the throes of its longest losing streak in more than a decade. How much of that falls on Spaziani in his second year, and how much of it is tied to the transition of having three coaches in a four-season span at one point?
SC: The turnover in coaches has a lot to do with it. BC has lost 18 kids from their 2007 and 20008 recruiting classes, including three quarterbacks recruited in the Jagodzinski era. Jagoodzinski also brought in a different blocking approach, zone blocking versus the traditional power game that BC had used under O'Brien and what Spaziani is now trying to reinstitute. There has to be some culpability on the coach's part, but there have been some serious extenuating circumstances.
Thanks again to Steve Conroy for taking time out of his schedule to discuss Boston College football.