The following is the weekly press conference transcript for Boston College football head coach Steve Addazio:
STEVE ADDAZIO: Obviously we came off of a great win here last Saturday which gave us an opportunity to become bowl eligible. More importantly our seniors really had a great success to their Senior Day here at Alumni Stadium. It was really a special moment.
We're getting ready right now to play just an outstanding football team in Maryland. Obviously really well-coached. I have a lot of respect for Randy Edsall, the job he's done. I know he's a great football coach. His team is well-prepared.
Very, very strong on defense, especially up front, and on offense full of play-makers. CJ Brown, their quarterback, is playing outstanding. So we know that going on the road, going to their place, going with a team that had a great win at Virginia Tech, this is going to be quite a challenge for us.
So we're preparing as hard as we can right now and trying to get ourselves ready to get the competitive excellence to go down there and play the best football game we can possibly play. Looking forward to the challenge. And with that, any questions.
Steve, I wanted your perspective on becoming bowl‑eligible. There's a lot of teams in the conference who have either done that or are than the verge of it. Just knowing how hard it is to get to the post‑season, from your perspective, how important is it that there's a home for all the bowl‑eligible teams?
ADDAZIO: Well, I think it speaks to the strength of the conference. The ACC, our conference, is very, very strong. Not only do we have strength at the top, but we're also having a lot of programs like ours that have been down, that are coming back up, creating great balance.
It's a good problem to have. Obviously all teams that get the bowl eligibility want to play in the post-season. It's a real benchmark. Obviously, that's what it is for our program.
I think the most important thing right now, I told our team, is that we need to get our seventh win. The more games you're able to win, the better situation you're in, the more locked in you are to actually getting one of those slots.
So when you're in a competitive conference, which is a great thing, this is a by‑product. We know what we have to do. We have to play our best football right now. We have to come down the homestretch strong. That's all we've talked about for getting ready for Saturday.
Do you think you have a Heisman contender in Andre Williams?
ADDAZIO: I think Andre is an outstanding football player. The answer to that is yes. The definition is being a dominant football player, leading rusher in America. High, high character. A great human being. A real student‑athlete. Certainly extremely valuable to our football team. I would say he fits all that criteria.
Here what we do, we really don't talk about those things. Go on the field, play as hard as you can, have some team success, because with some team success individual honors will follow. That's kind of what Andre is all about, what we're all about. There's not a lot of conversation about it. I think that's all the more reason why I think he is a good candidate.
Steve, following up with Andre, among all the records that he has set and is on the verge of setting, one of them is he's not that far off from the conference record for number of carries in a season. He has a hundred more carries than anybody else in the conference. How does he stand up to all that constant pounding, because he seems to get stronger as the games go on?
ADDAZIO: Well, he's a real strong, physical guy to begin with. I mean, he's a big guy. We're real, real careful. Right from the beginning we started pre‑season camp. How many reps he took in camp, really doesn't take a lot in practice right now.
What we try to do is get him to the game. Obviously last week I think he had 42 carries. So he's taking care of himself. We really try to help him with that. Obviously some good fortune. I'm an offensive line coach, that was my career. We have really honestly one of the best offensive lines I've ever been a part of. So the front blocking unit, the O‑line, the tight ends have been outstanding. I think our quarterback getting to the right place, it's been a real team effort.
I think with that approach to practice, that approach to understanding what gives people an opportunity for success, I think it's a very healthy environment.
Knock on wood, he stayed physically healthy. Hopefully we can finish strong.
Do offensive linemen really enjoy having a guy with that kind of success? Does it raise their level of play when they know this guy only needs a seam and he can bust a play?
I don't think there's any question that offensive lines have great pride in being able to try to rock off the ball, create seams, be able to give an opportunity, whether it be protection for the quarterback, or whether it be running lanes for the runningback. It's kind of their job. They have a lot of pride in that. They have a lot of pride in the success that Andre has had because it's reflective on a bunch of people who have worked real hard in that.
We really focus on that. As you pointed out, he has a lot of carries. God willing, he stays healthy here, he'll have a lot more. That's kind of our emphasis.
But I tell you, around here it's really looked at as a real team thing. It's the defense being able to make third‑down stops, being able to create turnovers. It's the offensive line being able to protect the quarterback and knock people off the ball. It's the quarterback's ability to manage and generate the whole offense. It's been a real healthy environment.
We'll continue to stay that way because of the character level of the kids that we have.
You talked about the offensive line, one of the best you've ever been a part of. Give us a couple of individuals that have really stood out to you. We have to do All‑ACC voting. Sometimes offensive line is toughest for us writers to judge.
ADDAZIO: Well, you have Matt Patchan, who is our left tackle, who is a phenomenal football player. Not only is he big and athletic, but he's a tough guy, plays real physical edge, as does Ian White, right tackle. You have two bookend tackles that are really strong. Ian is a really physical guy. They enjoy the physicalness of our game.
Our center, Andy Gallik, is just outstanding. I've been around some really good centers, Mike and Maurkice Pouncey. Those guys were finishers, they were tough, physical. That's how these guys play.
Andy has all the characteristics. He can reach a nose, he can pull, get out in the perimeter, he can finish. So those three guys are outstanding.
Bobby Vadaro and Harris Williams at the guards, we do a lot of pulling, trapping, kicking. Those guys do a great job with that. They're very physical.
Another thing that people don't understand, you have to have good blocking tight ends. Mike Naples, C.J. Parsons, those guys, Jake Sinkovec, are guys that have really done a great job because they extend the gaps.
Our offensive line coach Justin Frye played for me at Indiana. He's just a phenomenal offensive line coach. Done a great job with these guys.
They're physical, they're tough, and they like it. That's a good thing.
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