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Uh, right. So does that mean Sherrill's gas theory doesn't float? "Now then," said Knowlton, "Jackie's going to make the point that when calculating, we did not include Einstein's theory of relativity." Did Jackie?
Candace Putnam was in Boston last week and filed this report.
Can this be the same BU that has had eight losing seasons in a row? Are these the same Terriers who opened the 1992 campaign with six defeats in which they were outscored by an average of 17 points? Is this the same team that got used to performing before thousands of empty seats at ancient Nickerson Field, which was built in 1915 to house the Boston Braves?
The answer to each of those questions is no. Almost everything is different these days at BU With their 24-14 victory over New Hampshire last Saturday, the Terriers are ranked ninth in Division I-AA and off to their best start since football began at the school, in 1884. The Terriers' success has inspired an enthusiasm on campus previously reserved for the hockey team. Last year's average home football attendance was 4,042, but more than 11,000 fans crammed into Nickerson on Oct. 23 to watch BU beat Rhode Island 48-15 on homecoming.
What exactly is different? Last year's defensive coordinator, Chris Rippon, and his 3-4 are out; Tom Masella and his 4-3 are in. A run-and-shoot with huddles is out; a run-and-shoot without huddles is in. Two-year starting quarterback Greg Moore is out; juco transfer Robert Dougherty from Visalia, Calif., is in.
Dougherty has completed 148 of 263 passes for 1,958 yards and 15 touchdowns, while rushing for 398 yards and eight TDs on 106 carries. The 5'9", 172-pound Dougherty has even been compared to Doug Flu-tie—by none other than Flu-tie's former coach at Boston College, Jack Bicknell, who's now an analyst for ESPN2. "It's flattering, but I don't know how true it is," says Dougherty of the comparison. "I play the way I always have, and if it's like Doug Flutie, then so be it."
More than one of Dougherty's teammates is somewhat taken aback by the Terriers' success. "It's baffling," says senior tight end Paul Francisco. "After games I just sit there, and [senior wide receiver] Jason Andrade and I look at each other and say, 'What is going on?"