Seeing the final score of 45- 17 was a good feeling. It certainly is nice to put one in the win column especially since many feared that this could be another upset loss for BC. Yet despite the good feelings that come with winning a game many BC fans, including myself, have been left with a feeling that this win was, well, empty.
Take away the facts that BC was 0-3 coming into the game and that the team and fans were in dire straits going into Saturday. With these blinders on, BC won against a Division 1-AA, FCS team. We're supposed to win against these types of teams. This win became more than it was because BC was 0-3 going into it and many have viewed this win as the springboard that will get us to bowl eligibility if not the ACC Championship and the Orange Bowl. While in my heart this is what I believe will happen, my gut is an entirely different story.
As a disclaimer I did not see the game, so everything that I say comes from what I have read about the game. By all accounts, the same problems that have plagued BC in the previous three weeks still exist, but just aren't as glaring when playing an FCS opponent. The line play, offensive and defensive, was sloppy. The defense is not getting the push it needs to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and the offensive line is not opening the holes that will help the run game, nor do they seem to be able to give Chase Rettig the protection that past offensive lines have given past quarterbacks. Injuries still plague BC on both sides of the ball. Kaleb Ramsey aggravated his injury from the Northwestern game making him questionable for this weekend's game against Wake Forest and Montel Harris, although back playing, still seems limited in his ability, rushing for just 27 yards on 9 carries this weekend, though much of that can be chalked up to UMass being his first game since last year.
On the positive side, Chase Rettig seems to be progressing well. For the record, I am a big proponent of Chase and think, in the right system and with the right coaching, he has the potential to become one of the great Boston College quarterbacks. Chase has continued to show progression through the season and is making better decisions. Although Montel is limited, his mere presence is going to help Chase going forward. Opponents tend to stack the box against BC in general, but especially when Montel Harris is in the backfield. If Montel can even be just 80% this season, his threat can enable BC to open up the passing game and create a much more balanced offensive attack rather than the run heavy offense BC has been used to since Matt Ryan left. The 45 points that BC put up on the board this weekend is an indication of that, especially since 21 of them came from the arm of Chase Rettig into the hands of Colin Larmond, Jr., who is quickly becoming Chase's number one target and the deep threat BC has lacked in past seasons. However, these points came against UMass and, at risk of becoming a Sullen Saturdays, BC is going to face much more stout defenses (paging Bud Foster) in the weeks ahead.
There is reason for hope. There are always reasons for hope in college football. If week four of the college football season taught us anything it is that BC's upcoming opponents may be more vulnerable than previously expected. Florida State is beatable. Clemson may just be a little too cocky in two weeks. And Maryland just lost to Temple. If BC can get even just a little bit better on both sides of the ball, Boston College is looking at some very winnable games in the coming weeks. This weekend's game against UMass doesn't tell us much, but it made us feel good. Our upcoming, parent's weekend game against Wake Forest, I think, will give us a better sense of what we can expect from the season.