BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston College Eagles have enjoyed a quick turnaround in their first two seasons with Steve Addazio at the helm.
But as he and his Eagles prepare to kick off their 2015 campaign, Addazio has high hopes his team can make the next step.
Addazio took over at Chestnut Hill in 2012, inheriting a team that had gone 2-10 the season prior. Much to the surprise of many, Addazio led BC to a 7-6 record and their first bowl appearance since 2010 in his first year on the sideline, as the Eagles fell to Arizona in the Independence Bowl. They followed that up with a 7-5 showing in 2014, including a 37-31 upset win over the ninth-ranked USC Trojans in September, and another bowl appearance, falling to Penn State 31-30 in a disappointing overtime loss in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Getting back to bowl eligibility was one of Addazio’s goals when he took over the program, and now that they’ve reached that level of success he’s hoping to take that next step in 2015. Addazio and his young team, with 62 of the 85 players on the roster either freshmen or sophomores, know there will be growing pains throughout the upcoming season, but the head coach is confident they’ll put it all together as the season progresses.
That all starts on Saturday, when the Eagles host Maine at Chestnut Hill.
“We’re a pretty young team so we have to focus on the fundamentals; our assignments, putting ourselves in position, creating turnovers – all the those things, fundamentally, that you want to build on,” Addazio told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche of the upcoming season opener.
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The Eagles rush attack is expected to be as strong as always, with junior Myles Willis and sophomores Marcus Outlow and Jon Hilliman rounding out a steady stable of backs. The Eagles will tout a young offensive line to block for that trio of rushers, but Addazio still envisions their running game as a valuable weapon on offense.
“We’re young up front but we’ll put it together,” Addazio said confidently. “That’s fundamental for our plan to win. We’re big, we’re physical and we’re getting cohesion up front right now. We may have the best all-around stable of running backs in the ACC. We’ll be able to run the football.”
Sophomore Darius Wade will be at quarterback when BC kicks off their season, and after a strong camp, Addazio is excited to see what the young passer can bring to the field.
“He has a great arm and throws a great ball. He’s athletic and can run as well,” Addazio said. “He is young and has a lot on his plate, so we’ll be interested to see the culmination of training camp as we get into the first game and his ability to run the offense, take care of the football, manage the game and make plays along the way.”
There will be ups and downs throughout with such a young team, making their four home games in September (hosting Maine, Howard, Florida State and Northern Illinois) a very big and very important part of the process.
“These first games, to me, are about playing great defense, being physically tough and taking care of the football. What gets people in opening games is being careless with the ball – throwing interceptions, fumbling the ball and being careless with it. The key to Game 1 is making good decisions, being physical and being tough and winning on defense,” he said. “By the time you get to Week 4 you should be hitting your stride and on offense, you should start to jell and have real chemistry.
“I’m excited about the future and I’m excited about this team right now,” Addazio added. “I like where we’re headed and it’s an exciting time at Boston College.”
Be sure to tune in to Inside BC Football on the WBZ-TV news at 10 on myTV38 throughout the upcoming season!