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Behind Enemy Lines, Boston College Edition: Spaziani's Last Stand?

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BC Interruption's A.J. Black talks about Spaziani's future, rumored replacements, who to watch out for, the Eagles' defensive struggles, and more.


Another game quarterback out for the season with a lower leg injury, another Behind Enemy Lines. This time we turn to our Northern stepchild brethren at BC Interruption, whose A.J. Black virtually sat down with us and traded a few questions and answers. So read on for a Eagle-informed take on whether BC will quit on Spaziani, whether their Spaz might even make it 'til next week, who'll replace him, and why Devin Burns should st...oh, nevermind.

Well, hey, they're not much more confident with Caleb Rowe in there, so there's that.

TT: I hope I'm correct, for your sake, in assuming that Frank Spaziani's days are numbered. Given that he's so obviously a dead man walking, are you concerned that this team will quit on him down the stretch and compound their other issues? Or has something like that already happened?

BCI: Am I concerned the team will quit? Yes. Two players (Colin Larmond Jr. & Deuce Finch) were projected to be big time players this year, but have fallen out of favor with the Spaz. The Eagles have looked completely lost and deflated at times, including an entire half against FSU where they didn't appear interested at all. I don't think they will quit this week, but if BC Superfans start booing them or even worse, stop showing up to games, I could see this getting ugly quick.

TT: Speaking of Spaz: who's on your preferred short list to replace him?

BCI: Quite a few BC fans have started to talk about Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco. He plays at a Catholic School, and could bring back the BC gritty defenses that ACC teams were used to pre-2011. Other coordinator names I would love to see at BC would be Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi, New Orleans Saints OC (and BC Alum) Pete Carmichael, and 49ers OC Greg Roman. In terms of current head coaches I would be happy with Mario Cristobal of FIU or Butch Jones of Cincinnati.

[Ed.'s note: please no Narduzzi. Anyone else is fine.]

TT: I won't say Maryland has a quarterback controversy, but there is some uncertainty about who'll start in the wake of Perry Hills' injury. Based on BC's numbers this year, am I right in thinking that you'd rather face the traditional, passing-focused offense that Caleb Rowe would captain, instead of Devin Burns' run-heavy, Oregonesque zone-read offense? It has seemed BC's really struggled with the run this season.

Yeah, I asked that entire question before Burns' injury. But I'll leave it in, because the response is still informative, even if only in a wistful manner.

BCI: Yes, and with the injury to Burns I guess I will get my wish. BC's pass defense is marginally less worse than the rush defense. BC has played quite a few run heavy teams (Northwestern, Army, GT), yet still have been torched by the passing games of FSU and Clemson. At this point I just want to see BC hold a defense to below 500 yards, something they haven't done all season in FBS play.

TT: Offensively, the plan looks like Air Rettig, which is a departure from BC's recent history of successful backs. It's had its fair share of struggles, especially recently, managing only seven points on Florida State and doing almost nothing until late in the game against Georgia Tech. What's your confidence level in this scheme putting up points on a Maryland defense that's second in the ACC in total yardage?

BCI: No offense to Maryland, but I think BC will score points against the Terps defense. Maryland's stats are a bit misleading due to the fact that you have played Virginia, William and Mary, Temple, Wake Forest and UConn. Five offenses that don't set the world on fire. True you held WVU under 400 yards, but I still think BC will be able to move the ball against the Terps and score points.

TT: We know about Rettig, Alex Amidon, Andre Williams, and ACC leading tackler Nick Clancy. Who are two names we might not know, one on either side of the ball, who'll have an impact come Saturday?

BCI: Kevin Pierre-Louis is an above average linebacker, and can make big plays, but has had trouble staying healthy. On the other side of the ball, check out tight end Chris Pantale, who just returned from a broken foot. He's a huge target (6'6), and has great hands, he could definitely be a factor in Saturday's game. Finally check out Spiffy Evans and Steele Divitto, who have two of the coolest names in the ACC. [Ed's note: I refuse to believe that Spiffy Evans actually exists. I just don't buy that.]

TT: Prediction time: who are you taking?

BCI: I am torn on this one. On one hand I have literally no faith left in this team, but on the other I hate turning my back on my Eagles. Many people think that Spaziani will get fired on Monday if he turns in a turd on Saturday. Therefore I don't think they will lose, just to spite Eagles fans, BC wins 13-10.