The first win is always the hardest to get.
“We’re excited that we got our first win,” BC coach Frank Spaziani said on his Sunday afternoon conference call. “With that, we need to move on.”
There’s no time for the Eagles to pat themselves on the back for a 34-3 win over FCS foe Maine. The coming weekend brings a new challenge, as they travel to Chicago to take on Northwestern. The Wildcats are 2-0, having beaten Vanderbilt and Syracuse.
“After two games I’ve got a better feel of who we are, just as every coach does,” Spaziani said. “We learned we’ve got some potential in a lot of areas. We need to hone in and focus on a few areas.”
One thing the Eagles need to target is ball security. They put themselves in an early hole against the Black Bears by putting the ball on the ground twice.
Tahj Kimble lost one fumble near the Maine goal line, watching the ball bounce through the end zone to give the Black Bears possession and rob the Eagles of a scoring chance on their second offensive possession. And on the Eagles’ third offensive possession, Deuce Finch had a ball ripped out of his hands in a pile after he thought his forward progress had been stopped.
Fumbles were a problem for BC in the opener against Miami as well.
“We addressed it today already,” Spaziani said of the fumble issue. “We’ll keep trying to focus on what we need to do to correct it.”
The second fumble Saturday led to Maine’s field goal -- the first points the Black Bears had managed against the Eagles since 1915. BC had won the previous three meetings by a combined score of 120-0.
Maine led 3-0 through the first quarter, before the BC offense started to find its rhythm. Chase Rettig connected with Spiffy Evans for a 3-yard TD on the second drive of the second quarter, and after Maine punter Jeffrey Ondish muffed a snap on the next possession, BC got the ball on the Maine 10-yard line and quickly reached the end zone again, this time Retting finding Johnathan Coleman from 9 yards out.
There was no looking back, as the Eagles scored the last 34 points.
Rettig had another strong game, finishing 16-for-32 for 224 yards and three TDs (tying a career high). And after the early fumble, Finch settled down and finished with 17 rushes for 90 yards in his first action this season.
The Eagles were hoping to repeat the fast start they had against Miami, but that kind of burst was nowhere to be seen early against Maine. Spaziani hopes the offense that scored 14 quick points against Miami and 17 in both the second and third quarters against Maine shows up more frequently going forward.
“I think the parts are there to be more consistent and we just need to arrange them,” Spaziani said.
After the game with Northwestern, BC has its bye, then hosts No. 11 Clemson before starting a string of three straight road games (at Army, at No. 5 Florida State, at Georgia Tech).
Though getting win No. 1 is always tough, for BC getting win No. 2 might prove just as challenging.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.