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Published on Oct 1, 2011
CHESTNUT HILL — Given the chance to say this team has the same opportunity to turn things around the way they did in 2010, Eagles coach Frank Spaziani sound a very ominous tone on Saturday, following his team's 27-19 loss to Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium.
Perhaps it was just trying to light a fire under his team, a wake-up call or simply facing facts but Coach Spaz said he's not sure what his team is made of because of its practice habits and the overwhelming challenges they've been put up against before the season even began.
Last year, the team started 2-5 before winning its final five games of the regular season to wind up in a bowl. Spaziani said he doesn't feel the same vibe this season. Why?
The team lost both of its safeties before the season began, was without Montel Harris for the first three games and has lost Ifeanyi Momah and C.J. Jones to season-ending knee injuries.
"On the surface, that sounds [good]," Spaziani said of a possible inspiration from the 2010 turnaround. "But this is a whole different team, this is a whole different team with a whole different mindset and a lot of different things surround them, Mentally, they have some other things we have to work through. That was a different team and this one is something different. I'm not sure there is a carryover. I would like to think there was but I don't sense that."
"The margin of error for us, where we are at, is minuscule," Spaziani said. "It's unconscionable, really, for us to have two 15-yard penalties in the first half and three offsides, two of them by veteran players. They are not trying to do it but we can't overcome some of that stuff. We have to get it corrected."
All the players have to do is look at the rest of the schedule this month to get the sense of urgency. They travel to Clemson before their bye week. Then they return for road games at Virginia Tech and Maryland before returning home for a game on national TV on Nov. 3 vs. Florida State.
"The problems are there," Spaziani said. "We're making progress. We obviously have to make some more progress. One of the issues is that we have to have consistency in practice. I'm not talking about effort. I'm talking about being out there every practice. Right now, we have to shuffle some guys. It's not an excuse but it shows itself on Saturday. That's where we are right now. You have to do it in practice and you have to do it every day. We'll get it, we'll get it. The sooner the better."