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Army hosts Boston College looking for that 1st win

Associated Press Modified: October 5, 2012 at 10:32 am •  Published: October 5, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — It's crunch time for Army.

Four games — and four losses — into the season, the Black Knights cannot afford another when they host Boston College (1-3) on Saturday at Michie Stadium. The triple option has to excel and the defense can't have the letdowns it experienced in the first three games, or else Army will have its first 0-5 start since 2005 and a nine-game losing streak.

Army coach Rich Ellerson says his players are not deterred.


"These are not the outcomes they've been visualizing," Ellerson said. "They have to deal with it, put it aside and go forward. If you start worrying about things that happened three weeks ago or what might happen a month from now, there's no chance."

The Eagles' losses came against Northwestern, Miami and Clemson, who have a combined 13-2 record so far this season — and the Wildcats and Tigers are currently in the AP Top 25.

Although the Eagles have lost two straight, they present a real challenge for the Army defense, which is allowing nearly 475 yards of total offense and more than 38 points per game.

BC's Chase Rettig ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 11th among all FBS quarterbacks in passing yards per game at 323.

"Their record is a reflection of their schedule," Ellerson said of the Eagles. "This will be the most sophisticated passing attack we've seen so far."

Rettig is 97 of 170 for 1,292 yards and nine touchdowns on the season, but even a solid performance last week against Clemson — Rettig had 341 yards passing and three touchdowns and wideout Alex Amidon caught eight passes for a career-high 193 yards and two of those scores — wasn't nearly enough in a 45-31 home loss.

"It's all about execution," Spaziani said. "We haven't been able to make the plays that will turn an 'L' into a 'W.' It's multi-layered. It's just not, 'OK, now we're going to do this.' It's a process that has to be done. We're at a point where we need a victory."

The Black Knights showed signs of improvement defensively last week, holding FCS power Stony Brook to 23 points and registering 11 tackles for loss. That gain was offset by an off day from the high-powered ground attack, which was somewhat stymied after two outstanding outings. Army entered the game as the nation's leading rushing team, averaging 399 yards, and was held to 273 yards on the ground.

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