An ugly trend

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For Brent Venables, each Saturday seems like a repeat of the previous one, and all the others that preceded it.

Too many misalignments, blown assignments, boneheaded mistakes and missed tackles.

"It's just like Groundhog Day," Venables said.

Boston College hung 31 points on the board and finished with 420 yards of total offense.

"We're not playing with any kind of awareness before the ball is snapped…our approach to them is teaching and understanding," Venables said. "We'll have to create the awareness, demand and get the kind of discipline from them, to do some of the most fundamental, basic things, and to do it every snap."

The Boston College version of the frustration set in just minutes into the game when the Eagles marched 84 yards on nine plays and scored the game's first touchdown.

When asked if he was stunned with the drive, Venables answered bluntly, "I wasn't stunned.



Though he may not have been looking for a chuckle, it drew plenty from the reporters crowded around the first-year defensive coordinator.

"You can all laugh about it now -- it's embarrassing," Venables said. "I'm embarrassed about it."

Fast forward to the third quarter, with just under minute left. On first-and-10 from the Clemson 42, Chase Rettig hit Alex Amidon on a 42-yard touchdown strike, to cut the Tigers' lead to 38-28.

"Garry [Peters] should have had some help there," Venables said. "It was play-action and they had the whole team in the backfield. They ran one guy to the flat and the other guy, [Amidon], ran right down the middle of the defense. I'm embarrassed about it. We've got to get it fixed and corrected."

Venables isn't embarrassed of the hand of players dealt his way when he accepted the job earlier this year.

"They compete, they invest in the week," he said. "For whatever reason, we have this tendency to freak out. We've just got to get them to play in a better manner." Top Stories