BOSTON – When Boston College linebacker Steele Devitto looks at the Eagles' 1-4 record, he doesn't fret about their disappointing start. He thinks about how impressive their comeback is going to be.
"When we do get the season turned around, we're going to think back, 'Wow, that was pretty special,'" he said this week as the Eagles prepared for Saturday's game against No. 12 Florida State. "In fact, in reality, we're at a low. But, emotionally, you see it in kids' eyes. They're excited to go to practice, excited to go to meetings. That's something you can't really coach."
Boston College has lost all four of its games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams, with its only win coming against Maine. Last week, the Eagles lost 34-31 to previously winless Army.
The Eagles know they can't erase that loss, but they have a chance to forget it with a victory over the Seminoles (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference.)
"This is an absolutely phenomenal opportunity," Devitto said. "We're playing a national team. It's very exciting. This could be our niche, where we get things rolling."
Boston College (1-4, 0-2) has led in all four of its losses this season, but injuries on defense have prevented the Eagles from holding on. Against Army, BC led 31-27 before giving up the winning touchdown on a 29-yard run with 45 seconds remaining.
This is the third consecutive season that BC has started the season poorly. Last year's team lost its first three games and six of its first seven before rebounding slightly to finish with a 4-8 record.
So the Eagles prefer to look at 2010, when they lost five straight after victories over Weber State and Kent State. But they won their last five games to qualify for a bowl game.
"At any point in the season it can turn around," said running back Andre Williams, who ran for a career-high 191 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown, against Army. "I know we have a lot more potential on offense than we did last year, and our defense can put it together at any time."
But they're running out of chances.
After Florida State, the Eagles will play Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest before meeting No. 7 Notre Dame in Chestnut Hill. So while they may not have time to win enough games to overcome their poor start, they still have a chance for a big upset or two they could be proud of.
"That's definitely how we've got to look at it," receiver Alex Amidon said. "It's definitely a way to kind of erase the negativity of the first four losses. ... You know, it's done all the time. So why can't we do that?"
Devitto is less concerned about starting a winning streak than ending the losing streak.
"You shouldn't lose two straight games, you should be so outraged by the game before. ... Each loss has to resonate all week," he said. "You can't get down about it, but it needs to fuel the fire. We've lost four games, and right now I'm starving for a win."