Looking back at Spaz Part 2
Spaz is a first-time head coach, but he is a very familiar name to BC fans. Having called the defenses for 10 years, I thought the offseason would be a good time to look back at some of his best and worst moments. Hopefully he’s learned from these events and will use that knowledge this season now that he is in charge of both sides of the ball.
Syracuse 43--BC 17
November 27, 2004
BC entered its final home game of the season and final home game as a member of the Big East with its destiny in its own hand. Beat a floundering Syracuse team and it was on to the Fiesta Bowl. Playing without their starting QB, the Eagles needed a strong effort from their defense. Instead they got run over. Calling the performance flat would be generous. Five years later it is still hard to understand how such a talented defensive unit had so many problems against a undermatched opponent.
Head scratching defensive lowlights from that game included:
-- Allowing the first play of the game to go for a 69 yard TD
-- Allowing Syracuse's third string RB -- who also played on defense that day -- to run for 141 yards
-- Allowing two 'Cuse running backs to gain more than 100 yards
-- Allowing 43 points when the opponent's QB only completed 9 of 16 for 88 yards and had two INTs.
-- Allowed Syracuse to score more than they did against Buffalo, Temple, and Rutgers (when Rutgers was still bad).
TOB gets much of the blame for the emotionless effort on that day. Everything was in their hands and they blew it. But I've always felt Spaziani deserved some blame too. His guys were the ones missing tackles all day. He didn't get them fired up. He also failed to adjust as Syracuse ran up and down on BC all day. I think this game remains the most disappointing loss for BC fans of my era.
What I hope he’s learned?
For all the rah rah gimmicky stuff that gets dismissed by tacticians, I hope that Spaz remembers that these are still kids. Gimmicks and emotion have their place. As Head Coach he now stands as the leader of both sides of the ball. He needs to set the tone in preparedness, focus, and emotion. We can never take another win for granted, especially when the stakes are so high.