For what it’s worth, Frank Spaziani’s been too busy sorting through Boston College’s season so far to notice Georgia Tech’s current state of disarray.
The Yellow Jackets were picked to finish second in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division at the start of the season.
But midway through the season, they’re 2-4. They’ve lost three straight games, giving up at least 40 points in each, and people have had to pay for the way they’ve performed.
During Georgia Tech’s bye week, the Yellow Jackets fired defensive coordinator Al Groh, making him the scapegoat for their disappointing season.
“They’ve been unsettled,” Spaziani said. “They’ve had some issues.”
Of course, the Eagles have had their own problems. Newly minted athletic director Brad Bates had earlier in the week given assurances that Spaziani wouldn’t be fired midway through the season. Spaziani said he didn’t realize Groh had lost his job until he he came up for air after a 51-7 drowning at the hands of Florida State Saturday.
“I’ve been in a bubble myself, here,” Spaziani said.
The two troubled teams will meet at the intersection of disappointment and frustration this weekend in Atlanta, wondering how their seasons got away from them so quickly.
The Eagles (1-5) haven’t won in more than a month. They also haven’t beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team all year, and, at this point, they’re just trying to show vital signs.
“It goes back to us taking care of ourselves,” Spaziani said. “I think that’s the best way to look at it. We take care of ourselves and how we ought to improve, then we’ll be all right.”
They ran into a Florida State team that was in the mood to send a message after its loss to North Carolina State a week earlier. It did so by piling up of 649 yards of total offense. EJ Manuel threw for 439 yards and four touchdowns. For a Florida State team averaging 46 points a game, hanging 51 on the Eagles was business as usual. But for BC, it was the most any team scored on the Eagles in 12 years.
The Eagles had to accept the fact that Florida State was at a level out of their grasp.
“It’s discouraging,” said safety Jim Noel. “But you also have to think about how that’s a good football team, one of the top football teams in the country, so they’re always going to score points.”
Spaziani continued to try to look for bright spots. Andre Williams ran for 104 yards, his second straight game with more than 100. A new wrinkle in the offense led to Bobby Swigert going for a team-high five catches, 61 yards, and a touchdown.
But as the losses have strung together, the challenge now becomes mental.
“There’s a psychological game going on,” Spaziani said. “I think all year our kids have worked hard, been enthusiastic. Saturday night was no different, albeit we made mistakes and we did some dumb things and we need to be more enthusiastic and work harder. We played 60 minutes.
“The guys didn’t give up.”
BC quarterback Chase Rettig had his worst game of the season (15 of 31, 122 yards). The Florida State loss didn’t rattle the team the way being shocked by Army did.
Rettig looked at every loss aside from the one in Tallahassee, and said he realized how close the Eagles were to having a completely different record.
“We’re obviously hungry for a win,” he said.
At the same time, he knew the players weren’t the only ones.
“The fan base and BC, they’ve got to stick with us,” he said. “We’re going to try and we’re going to go back to work.”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.