What is the urgency level for fourth-year coach Frank Spaziani? Do you feel he needs to reach a certain number of wins to keep his job beyond this season?
I don't know if there is an urgency around the program. The AD that hired and protected Spaz is stepping down at the end of the month. I've been saying that Spaz is essentially a lame duck and that this is probably his last season regardless of record. If he wins, BC would probably like to frame the decision as a retirement. If he loses, he's fired.
Of course a new AD could see things differently. But I think most ADs will realize that BC needs a change and remove Spaz from his role as head coach.
Quarterback Chase Rettig has endured three offensive coordinator changes throughout his career. How has he adjusted to new coordinator Doug Martin?
Rettig seems to be thriving in the new system. I don't know how much of it is because of Doug Martin's schemes or if it is because our pass protection is much improved or if it is his physical and mental maturity. The progress is probably a combination of all three. But at the same time, he's faced an FCS team and the what looks like the worst defense in Miami's history. This weekend against Northwestern will be the true test of the Rettig-Martin connection.
In just two games this season, junior receiver Alex Amidon has already exceeded his receiving total from last season. Was this enormous leap in productivity something coaches saw coming, or is Amidon's emergence more unexpected?
There was talk in preseason practices about Amidon having a breakout season, but I don't think many expected this. But in retrospect it makes sense. BC's other experienced pass catchers (Swiggert, Larmond and Pantale) are injured and Amidon was the only established player with any sort of connection with Rettig. Amidon's game has also matured. He was always fast, but now can find space and holes in coverage. His hands have also improved.
After ranking last in the ACC in both scoring offense and total offense in 2011, the Eagles have scored 75 points in two games. Granted, it was against two defensive cupcakes (Miami, Maine), but have you noticed a significant change on that side of the ball? Should we expect this offensive outburst to continue in league play?
The offense is much more aggressive. You can see it in their pace, the use of no huddle and in throwing downfield. Teams will obviously adjusted, but I do expect more of the same in league play. BC and Spaz cannot expect to compete in any conference only scoring 13 points a game (see 2011).
Spaziani is known for his defensive expertise. Are there any specific schematic adjustments he's made this season? Do you expect a significant drop-off after losing star linebacker Luke Kuechly to the NFL?
The defense has been a disappointment so far. There are no obvious adjustments so far. It is still the basic package BC has been running for more than a decade. I didn't think the drop off without Kuechly would be so severe. But most of the issues have been about execution, not scheme. If guys made three or four more tackles, BC beats Maimi.
Who are some under the radar players to watch on both sides of the ball?
On offense, I would say Tahj Kimble. He had a huge day against Miami, but fumbled early against Maine and barely got off the bench. I think he will play more this weekend and be a pass catching threat out of the backfield.
On defense, I think Manny Asprilla will have a big game. He's BC's best corner and has already made some big plays this season.
What is BC's greatest strength? Greatest weakness?
BC's strength is Rettig and his ability to throw the ball. If this game becomes a shootout, I do have faith that he can make the plays to keep the game close.
Conversely, I would say BC's greatest weakness so far is the in ability to put consistent pressure on the QB.
I actually think BC will win this game. I think the defense will finally respond and slow NU somewhat. I don't think it will be as high scoring as the Syracuse game, but I do think the first team to 28 wins.