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.
Boston College 14 -- Notre Dame 7
November 2, 2002
I don't need to say much to remind BC and Notre Dame fans of the game. BC limped in 4-3 coming off a tough loss to Pitt. The Irish were undefeated, ranked second in the country and decided to break out the green jerseys. Although the Irish put up 357 yards in the game, the BC D saved the day. Some of their defensive accomplishments included:
-- Forcing five turnovers
-- Converting one INT into a touchdown
-- Only allowing one score despite the Irish's six trips to the redzone
-- 4 sacks which included knocking out Notre Dame's starting QB
But Spaz's biggest contribution might have been less about scheme and more about motivation. During the back and forth of the game, the NBC cameras caught Spaz admonishing the guys that the game wasn't over. The fire and mood was something BC fans rarely saw from our head coach. Seeing passion and seeing the impact it had on the players was encouraging. It showed Spaz cared. And most importantly, it was the right message.
What I hope he’s learned?
That Notre Dame team was not some sort of offensive juggernaut. It wasn't Spaz's miracle game plan that won the day. Instead it was about plugging holes due to injury, a sound attack and keeping the guys focused. The biggest take away was hopefully how to deal with the heightened expectations and emotions of a big game. Spaz has seen multiple approaches: from TOB's every game is the same approach, to Jags' rah rah stuff. There is a happy medium and there are moments to push some buttons during the game. Spaz's outburst showed that he understands that. As a head coach Spaz's words and motivational ploys are that much more important. I hope he harnesses that passion like he did against Notre Dame seven years ago.