BOSTON (CBS) — Following a 2-4 start, the season looked lost for the Boston College Eagles.
But through those tough times, head coach Steve Addazio remained upbeat about his squad, and promised an amazing turnaround. He had seen them put in enough work on the practice field and in many of their losses, the Eagles were just a few plays away from a different outcome. His unrelenting confidence paid off when the Eagles won five of their final six games to finish the season at 7-5.
Now they’re going bowling for the fourth time in Addazio’s first five seasons, the first BC head coach to accomplish such a feat. The Eagles have accepted an invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York, and will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten on December 27 as they look to end their season with a bowl victory for the second straight year.
“It’s super, super exciting. This is a unique bowl game,” Addazio told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche of the Pinstripe Bowl. “I’ve been to a lot of them but here, the atmosphere electric and they treat you first class. This is a big-time bowl.”
The Eagles offense exploded over the final month and a half of the season, averaging 36 points per game in their final six contests. Leading the charge was freshman running back AJ Dillon, who ran for 1,432 yards on the season to earn ACC Rookie of the Year honors. Defense has always been BC’s calling card, and they were a stingy bunch to close the season, giving up an average of just 12 points over their final five games of the regular season.
So you can kind of see what Addazio was hinting at early in the year when he felt that turnaround brewing.
“It was based on not just a gut reaction but what was on tape and the practice field, our everyday existence. You know when you have something good, and you know when you’re hanging in there. We’ve felt all along we had something good,” he explained. “It’s time to bear fruit. … We’re starting to see rewards from all of that hard work.”
This will be the 26th bowl appearance for Boston College and 16th in the last 19 years. It will mark the school’s second appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl after they lost to Penn State at Yankee Stadium, 31-30, in overtime back in 2014.
The Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak in bowl games last year with a 36-30 win over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl.