STEVE ADDAZIO: Good afternoon. Obviously we came off of an exciting, tough game here down at Clemson last week, where I thought that we played obviously an outstanding football team. I think Clemson is one of the finest teams in the country. I thought our program went down, on the road, and we played really hard. On offense we made some plays. Uncharacteristically we turned the ball over and had a few penalties. I thought on defense we made a lot of plays, we forced some fumbles, we had two 4th down stops. So some positive things happened.
We were very, very disappointed coming out of that without a win but feel like we are still taking steps forward. We've been in quite a gauntlet here with some of the teams that we've played, but I think it's prepared us and made us a better football team. We're working right now real hard on North Carolina, which is a fine team, and obviously getting prepared to play them a week from Saturday. But enjoying this bye week because we're pretty banged up after the type of physical teams we've played and need this rest.
Q. Steve, I think that the physical way that you guys have played this year most notably against Florida State and Clemson has really opened a lot of people's eyes throughout the league. How have you kind of gone about trying to instill that mindset to your players and to get them to play that way?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I just think that that's the history of Boston College, and there's a lot of pride here at Boston College, really a great desire to get back to being that physical, tough Northeast football program. Coming in here, that was a real important starting point, and I think my job as the head football coach, my staff, the leadership working, on down, is we're going to set the rate for the pack, and that's going to be one of high energy, high octane, tough. Our practices are tough. Everything about the program is going to be tough, and we're going to build that.
And I think the kids have responded really, really well. I think we do play very, very hard, at least we have to this point. We're a physical football team. I think you know when you play us you're in a real football game, and I think we've competed at a very high level, and obviously we're in the process of really learning how to close some of these games out, which is another step for us here right now that we've got to get to.
But that footprint, that culture, that's something that's very important. I think we've done a good job of getting that started.
Q. You mentioned you feel like the gauntlet that you've played has prepared you and made you a better football team. How so?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, each week‑‑ when we played USC, they were one of the top 20 defenses, a very, very talented defensive football team, and we went out there, and I saw the foundation of our offensive and defensive lines because you need to win up front, and I saw that starting, even though it didn't reflect that necessarily in the score obviously. And then moving forward, we played Florida State, which is just a phenomenal football team and a great defense. I thought we did some really good things there.
And then last week we played Clemson, and I think Clemson may be the finest defense to date. They're very, very stout and very good up front on offense. So I thought you saw on both sides of the ball, we're playing some outstanding football teams, two of the top five football teams in America right now, and we're able at this point, staying as healthy as we are right now, which we can't afford not to do, but we're going toe to toe, and I think that makes you better. I think the competition that you play against makes you better.
The thing you don't want to see is a lot of injuries because we don't have that kind of depth. But knock on wood, we lost Mehdi Abdesmad, our top interior defensive lineman, against Florida State, but since then we've been relatively healthy. I think the competition is making us better. We're playing against fast, physical, big, strong football teams, and I'm hoping the second half of the season that's going to help us.
Q. Since you're the only team in the country that's faced both Clemson and Florida State, I hope you don't mind indulging a question about their match‑up this week. How do you see them squaring off against each other? Just sort of evaluate that match‑up just a little bit from your experiences playing them this year.
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know, a lot of people have asked me that, not just friends and family. But it's really hard for me to answer that. They're really both two outstanding teams. I mean, absolutely justified in the rankings that they have. No.3 and No.5, I mean, they could be No.1. They're that talented.
They're each a little different maybe, but at the end of the day, they've got two powerful defenses, two explosive quarterbacks and teams that are loaded with playmakers. So I just think you're going to see one of the truly outstanding football games of the season. I think it's great for the ACC to have the quality of teams that we have in here, and now you have two of these teams on a national stage.
I can tell you from my years in the SEC and in the Big 10 and different places I've been that I would put these two teams up against anybody.
Q. In a game like this, is it some little thing that can make a difference? Not necessarily just a turnover or special teams play, but what kinds of things can a game like that turn on?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, well, I think you're right on the money. Games like these, with these kind of quality opponents, it's going to be field position, it's going to be turnovers. I mean, I'm sure each program is looking at it saying we've got to be able to be great on special teams, we've got to play the field position game, we can't turn the ball over, try to create turnovers on defense, because you're talking about from a talent standpoint, they match up really well, and of course home and away and those kind of atmospheres matter in this kind of game.
But obviously we have a bye week, and like a lot of people I'll be watching that game. I know it'll be quite a battle.
Q. Just returning to your team and the way that you played this year, and you hung with both those teams well into the late stages of the game, your offensive line has been a strong point for you this year. Who in particular has stood out for you there this year?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, our two tackles, Matt Patchan and Ian White, are outstanding players. Our center, Andy Gallik. But really I think the offensive line and the tight ends have just done a great job.
I thought that we've really blocked people, and I thought against this past weekend was the first weekend where we made some plays, but we went against probably just an outstanding defensive front, and our guys really‑‑ we had a harder time getting our run game going. But I would say that those two offensive linemen, those three offensive linemen, have been very, very consistent. They're outstanding. I think our offensive line is as good an offensive line as there is in the country to be honest with you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports