Boston College's Heisman Trophy winner and legendary alum Doug Flutie sat down with our Dan Rubin to talk about his thoughts on the program, their direction, and Baldwin's chances in the Capital One Mascot Challenge
BC Interruption: Doug, thanks for taking the time to talk. It's truly an honor and privilege for me personally. From your perspective, what is it that you've seen in terms of the offensive improvements that the program has made this year?
Doug Flutie: I think the number one thing is that their whole mindset has changed to what Steve Addazio has brought. I had a chance to sit down with him when he first got the job and talk about nothing specific. He is an intense individual. He lit a fire under this team during the offseason with some really tough workouts. He wanted to find out who really wants to be here and who doesn't. I remember I had a chance to talk to Chase Rettig a little bit here and there over the offseason, and he said that everyone's bought in. He was fired up about the new coaching staff, and he said that the entire team has bought in.
I mean, I love Spaz. He's a good friend, and he and I go way back. But a change was needed. A mindset change was needed. They have a physical nature. At the end of the Wake Forest game - I mean, they lined up with three tight ends and just hammered the football for the whole fourth quarter. That's a mindset. That's not being more talented. That's just saying, "We're gonna ram it down your throat."
To bring it back to the offensive thing, Chase has had to deal with so many offensive coordinators and changing of offenses that he hasn't really been able to get polished at anything. Obviously, the way that (Andre) Williams has turned into big time tailback has really helped out. Chase is a really talented quarterback; I just would've loved to have seen him have four years of the same offense.
BCI: They've obviously made a lot of improvements, but where are some of the minutae places that the team now has to work on to start improving (in those areas)?
Flutie: From a recruiting standpoint, at the receiver position, you'd love to see a big time guy. I mean, Alex Amidon does a great job, but you need some help in the receiving corps as far as a big-time athlete. All it takes is one or two of those kind of guys. Maybe with Steve's connection to the SEC and his time spent in Florida he can pull a guy or two. That's the next step.
I know I've said it a couple of times; sometimes you have to know what your limitations are in what your identity is. As much as we'd love to line up and go to toe-to-toe with Florida State and Clemson and be able to throw the ball for 500 yards per game and be like them, at the same time, maybe we're not going to get those kind of kids and we have to be a blue-collar, pound it out (team). Maybe we have to throw for a couple hundred yards off play action and control the clock because we can obviously get offensive linemen and running backs and physical type players.
I was talking to the Notre Dame coaching staff; Brian Kelly would love to be a spread-them-out, throw the ball type of game, but he got back to it last year and got back to pound the ball with a tough defense with the guys that they were going to get, and I think that's where Boston College is.
BCI: Obviously a big time matchup this weekend Clemson, who is a national championship type contender. What are the things that you see to BC competing with Clemson, and not only that, but on the ACC as a whole, what has Clemson's impact been on the national title picture?
Flutie: Well from an ACC standpoint, first, both Clemson and Florida State are as good as anyone in the country. They can compete at that level, and Clemson has already proven that. I think it's great for the image of the league, and you start mixing in Virginia Tech and Miami and they can compete.
In terms of what BC has to do to have an opportunity against Clemson, they have to do what they did to open up against Florida State and 'hit them in the mouth' a little bit and jump on them. Clemson is more athletic, dynamic team. They have the ability to blow you out of the water and it can happen. But if Boston College can hammer the football, pound on them a little bit, and shorten that game?
You're going to need a couple of breaks. You need to go out there and smack them around a little bit and get their attention, but (BC) is going to need some of the breaks in order to win the game. They need (Clemson) to make a couple of mistakes on their own. I always say this - people always talk about turnovers and winning the turnover game. But you force turnovers. You have to be hitting the quarterback as he's throwing the ball up in the air. Or maybe he can't step into his throw. Or the receivers are a little timid because you're going to knock them around. You win the turnover battle because you're more physical and you create a mindset where guys are hesitant or pull the trigger early.
BCI: Another big matchup this week is the Capital One Mascot Challenge between BC's Baldwin and Monte from Montana. For you being a BC alum and for you as a college football fan, what are your hopes for Baldwin taking one of the guys at the top?
Flutie: I'm hoping we get the fan support to knock (Monte) off. That would be a very disappointing upset if it were to happen the other way. We knocked off Wisconsin. We knocked off LSU. We've had some letdowns against the smaller teams like South Florida. I mean, c'mon. Monte? Montana? We need to get the fans out there.
BCI: Amen! Boston has more people per capita so there has to be an advantage, right?
Flutie: We need to have some kind of advantage! I mean, look at East Carolina (in first place, undefeated at 5-0)! East Carolina is all fired up, man. They are all gung ho. We need to get some of that enthusiasm.
BCI: Well we have the live eagle back so hopefully that'll help drive it, too.
Flutie: That's so fun to see. I mean, that is so cool. I love that.
BCI: Well thanks so much again for taking time to talk today.
Flutie: Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.