Every team in the ACC has a couple games they wish they had back from 2012. Whether they didn’t bring their A-game, or the other guys just got lucky, every school would love another shot at an opponent, for the ability to prove it won’t happen again. Luckily, because of conference play and parity in the ACC, many will get a chance at redemption immediately, with rematches already on the books for 2013.
As part of our 2013 college football season preview, we’ll be running through the biggest “payback” games for each school. As no team finished with just one loss, there are likely multiple choices for each — none more “right’ than another, necessarily. Still, every selection should help provide some extra motivation for fans as they gear up for this season’s slate of games.
Team: Boston College Eagles
Opponent: Virginia Tech Hokies
Last Year: Loss, 30-23 (OT) vs. Virginia Tech
This Year: November 2, vs. Virginia Tech
In an otherwise hapless season of ACC play, the Eagles did manage a win against a depleted Maryland team, while also forcing overtime in an eventual loss versus a seven-win Hokies squad. Those are the highlights. But despite the use of the word “forced,” Boston College was not in this game by chance of a miracle — they’d actually outplayed Virginia Tech for the majority of the contest. Ultimately, their downfall would be decided by some overly conservative play-calling from former coaches Frank Spaziani and Doug Martin.
With just over one minute remaining in regulation, BC received the ball on their own 17 yard line. Possessing some momentum and reasonable amount of time, one would surmise the offense would at least attempt to move the football and try to get in range for a game-winning field goal (score was tied at 23 at the time). Instead, two running plays and a kneel-down sent it into overtime as a perturbed Chestnut Hill crowd booed. In overtime, the BC defense was on its heels for the entirety of a six-play touchdown drive by Tech. And then the offense took over, down seven and needing to get it in the end zone to force another overtime. The plays? Rush up the middle for no gain. Poorly-drawn pass play that resulted in a Chase Rettig sack. Incomplete pass. And then a seven-yard pass on 4th and 11. End of game.
Needless to say, Boston College fans are/were bitter about the outcome, and the botched shot at their first victory over “rival” Virginia Tech since 2008. But 2013 is a new season, and due to the ACC’s permanent crossover rivals setup, they’ll get another crack at the Hokies — at home once again, due to a scheduling quirk as the league settles into its 14-team lineup. With Spaziani and Martin gone, there’s also a good chance the play-calling is improved, as Steve Addazio and Ryan Day take over. Of course, there’s no guarantee the teams end up in a similar end-of-game situation. But with a veteran group returning and a better system in place for Rettig to work with, the Eagles are obviously anxious to turn the tables on Tech, and might actually have the means to do it now.