8:00 PM ET, October 2, 2010
Alumni Stadium, CHESTNUT HILL, MA
BOSTON (AP) -- All Boston College wants from freshman Chase Rettig in his collegiate debut on Saturday is a victory.
In a nationally televised night game.
Against Notre Dame.
The BC quarterback, who had been heading for a redshirt this season, is expected to start for the Eagles when they play a Fighting Irish team reeling from three consecutive losses. BC coach Frank Spaziani won't commit to the freshman over sophomore Mike Marscovetra, but teammates say Rettig has been taking most of the snaps with the first team in practice this week.
"Chase looked pretty good in practice this week. I feel like he's got a lot of confidence back there for a freshman," offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo said. "He really has nothing to lose, so I think he's going to go out there and play a pretty good game."
The nation's only Catholic schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Boston College and Notre Dame meet for the fourth straight year in a rivalry that has lost much of its luster as the teams have struggled. BC is on its third coach since 2006; the Irish are on their third since 2004, with Boston-area native Brian Kelly taking over this year and starting out with a 1/3 record.
"At 1-3, the food doesn't taste good. It's not as enjoyable to hang around my family, (and) I love my family," Kelly said. "Nothing feels good when you're 1-3. That's just the life we live in as coaches and players. We're 1/3 together."
Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco said the players understand that, and they understand that the only way back to a winning record is hard work.
"So many times now, with instant popcorn and DVR and DirecTV and everything else, and microwave dinners and hot-now Krispy Kreme and all that other business, you can just go in and it magically happens," Diaco said. "Well, this is going to take some time as coach Kelly develops a system. They know that, and we're going to do it the right way. Coach Kelly is going to do it the right way, demand we do it the right way."
Notre Dame beat Purdue to open the season, then lost three straight to teams that are now in The Associated Press Top 25. Now the Irish are on the road against a team that has traditionally been one of its toughest opponents: Despite the greater prestige and larger trophy case in South Bend, Ind., BC dominated the rivalry with six straight wins from 2001 until the Irish won at home last year.
Spaziani isn't exactly brimming with confidence.
"They have all the pieces in the puzzle there," he said. "They just ran into a little bit of a buzz saw early on with a new regime. So we're looking for a very good football team coming in here and a very hungry team."
BC sophomore Jonathan Coleman said he knows the history of the rivalry -- it's mostly a rivalry only for BC -- from walking past the display cases and checking out the videos in the lobby of the football team's headquarters.
"I've been watching that sometimes when I'm bored," he said. "I'm looking at video about the history. I'm excited to be a part of it now. When I talk to the regular students, they're excited for it, so that makes me excited, too."
Defensive lineman Alex Albright, a senior, didn't need to be reminded how important the game is at Boston College.
"I feel like I know the monster coming in a lot better than people who don't have experience with Notre Dame," he said. "I know they're America's team. They're the team everyone's looking at, so it's only natural that they're going to think we're a lesser team. But we're looking at this as an opportunity to get respect."
After victories over Weber State and Kent State, the Eagles lost 19-0 to Virginia Tech last week for their first shutout since 1998. Spaziani decided he'd seen enough of quarterback Dave Shinskie, who had a fumble, two interceptions -- one in the end zone -- and also cost BC a chance at a field goal when he failed to get out of bounds at the end of the first half.
Spaziani said Sunday that he would let Rettig and Marscovetra compete for the job, but during the week he would not confirm reports that he had decided to go with Rettig.
Spaziani insisted that his silence wasn't as much gamesmanship as indecision. He said this week that he didn't have an announcement because he hadn't made up his mind; he kept Marscovetra and Rettig away from reporters because they are young and had enough to worry about.
It doesn't much matter to Kelly. The Irish looked at high school film of Rettig and figured that he is the same type of pocket passer as Marscovetra, who has appeared in seven games over the past two years, or Shinskie.
"They are all cut from the same cloth," Kelly said. "At Cincinnati I had a running quarterback versus a pocket quarterback. You would have to prepare for us in two different ways for those two different quarterbacks so I was never going to tip my hand."
AP Sports Writer Rick Gano contributed to this story from South Bend, Ind.
|Avg Points Allowed||24.8||20.8|