Spirits are up in Chestnut Hill, where the Eagles (2-6, 1-4) are riding about as high as they have all season after getting their first ACC win (and first win against an FBS opponent) with a 20-17 squeaker over Maryland (4-4, 2-2) on Saturday.
“Well we’re happy obviously to have a victory,” BC head coach Frank Spaziani said to open his weekly Sunday conference call. “It certainly was a team effort. Offense, defense, kicking game all contributed. And when that happens, you usually get good results.”
The win served as a confirmation of sorts for Spaziani and his squad. The BC coach, now in his fourth year in the top job and 16th year on the staff, has always been high on his team’s work ethic.
But until now, the results had been lacking.
“I believe if the mind’s right, the body will follow,” he said. “[Getting the win] was very important. We had some spontaneous excitement in the locker room.
“It validates some things that you’re doing and gives [the players] confidence that you’re doing the right things.”
The coach also stressed that he knows the performance Saturday was far from perfect.
BC’s running game struggled, netting just 8 yards on 27 carries after lost yardage on sacks and muffed handoffs is accounted for.
“We’ve identified what the problem is, we just need to keep working on it,” Spaziani said of the ground game. “We need to rush the ball better. There’s no question about it. We need to be better -- missing some cuts, missing some blocks and certainly dropping the ball at inopportune times.”
Lead back Andre Williams fumbled at the goal line on the Eagles’ second offensive possession, costing BC a chance at points and letting Maryland off the hook for giving up a 72-yard punt return to Spiffy Evans. After sitting out the next series, Williams returned and handled the bulk of the carries on the day, finishing with 16 tries for 60 yards.
And while the defense got the job done when it needed to, and came up with three interceptions on the afternoon, it still allowed Maryland -- led by third-string freshman QB Caleb Rowe, making his first career start -- to outgain the Eagles 337 to 295 yards.
That will need to improve if BC is to start a winning streak.
“This will be a little bit more challenging, from the offensive view,” Spaziani said, referring to this coming Saturday’s trip to Wake Forest to take on QB Tanner Price and the Demon Deacons. “You had to keep it in perspective -- that was a freshman that we played against, his first time starting. So Price is a different animal, a different individual.
“These guys [the Demon Deacons] are extremely well coached. They have a couple extra days to prepare for us. There’s gonna be some real problems facing us.”
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.