On Monday, Boston College head coach Steve Addazio talked about his teams preparations during the bye week and this week's opponent, North Carolina. Coach talks about how he gave the team some time off physically and mentally while the staff focused on the game plan for the Tar Heels. The team continues to be a "work in progress" and needs to "sharpen their execution on both sides of the ball."
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"It feels good to be back at it. It was great to be out at practice. Last week we wanted to make sure that we gave our players time off physically and mentally. We had a couple practices in there but today was our first day back in full pads and really attacking the game plan. Obviously we worked all week on creating our game plan for North Carolina so we've been kind of grinding at this for a while now as a staff.
"Carolina has a really good football team. They have a bunch of returning guys. Their inside guys [Kareem] Martin, [Travis] Hughes, and [Jeff] Schoettmer are big, strong physical guys. Kareem Martin, the defensive end #95 has 42 tackles and Travis Hughes has 36 tackles so those linebackers and defensive end are pretty active guys. Their bandits [Norkeithus] Otis and [Darius] Lipford, #23 and #8 both have three sacks. Tre Boston the free safety, #10, I think is an outstanding player. He's got three interceptions and I think he's a pretty talented guy. Dominique Green strong safety has two interceptions and is also a very strong player.
"On offense, they are averaging over 410 yards of offense per game. Bryn Renner, the senior quarterback, is 119-for-188 over 1,400 yards passing, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions. Then of course you see Marquise Williams in the game, you saw him last week, they were rotating sequences. He can run as well as throw. He's 28-for-43 for 390 [yards] - four touchdowns, three interceptions and 26 rushes for 95 yards, so he's a dual-threat guy and where they head with that I really don't know. We have to prepare for two different styles of guys. A.J. Blue, the running back #15, has 57 rushes for 224 and he is also a good receiver, 17 receptions for 131. Roman Morris, a sophomore 38 rushes for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Then everybody saw Eric Ebron, the tight end, 31 receptions, 532 yards and three touchdowns. He looks like an outstanding guy and a difference maker.
"So they have talent and playmakers on both sides of the ball. This is a team that was picked early to have a really strong year and they have played well. They played the No. 10 team in America, the Miami Hurricanes, and played them nose up. They lost that game in the end but you can see the ability level of the Carolina football team. So, we are playing a very fine opponent. We are playing them on the road at their place and we will be in for a big-time game in a big-time environment. Our team has got to continue to grow. We are a work in progress, we've been in some tough football games ourselves and played some tough teams but what we need to do is sharpen our execution on both ends of the ball and we need to get on the road and win a road game. This is a new start to the second half of the season now. It's a new slate and we have to get to 1-0 right now. We have six games and we have to establish and pick up where we left off with a high energy, high emotion, high octane, physically rough football team and we have to take that to Chapel Hill this weekend. So that's our edge and we have to live that and be that."
On playing well against top ranked teams:
"That's very positive and it's a credit to our kids and credit to their character and their toughness. They like football and they want to excel. They're BC kids, and BC kids are like that."
On the second half of the season:
"We have to go on the road and win an ACC road game right now. We haven't done that. We need to go do that. That has to happen. You talk about the journey we're on, if you will. Part of that to me is to go on the road and win a road game. Our team needs to go do that and continue to play really hard, and battle really hard, and be really physical, and make plays and have energy. I just want to see that. If that formula can stay intact, we'll win our share."
On senior RB Andre Williams:
"He feels good, he looks good. I think we've done a good job managing him. You can't expect that guy to be banged around all week in practice and then go tote the rock 30-35 times. I think that's gone well to this point. He's doing a good job, he's grinding, he's done everything we've asked, he's played the way we've asked him to play, he's been durable, he's been tough. I think the guy has really blossomed and he plays a position and a style where I just hope we can keep him healthy."
Press Conference quotes via bceagles.com
Then earlier today, Addazio talked to members of the Atlantic Coast Conference media, elaborating further on this week's game preparations, BC's performance against Florida State's Jameis Winston and Myles Willis' future role in the Eagles backfield.
COACH ADDAZIO: We're on the road. We're playing a very, very good North Carolina team. On offense they're averaging over 410 yards per game. They have two quarterbacks in Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams, play‑makers like Eric Ebron that had an outstanding game against Miami.
I'm very impressed with their personnel. Obviously played at a high level last week. You can see why people felt so strong about North Carolina this season. They have a lot of tremendous players.
It will be a great challenge for us. We need to go on the road and win a road game. We're looking forward to that opportunity.
I'm open for any questions.
Q. In recent weeks, they've gone to a two‑quarterback system with Williams and Renner. Can you talk about the problems that presents.
COACH ADDAZIO: Both of them can throw and run. One has a little more emphasis on running, Marquise. Bryn is obviously more throwing. They're both very accomplished quarterbacks. Very capable to lead their football teams.
You've got to prepare for a dual threat kind of situation. It just adds another component.
Q. The thing that made them so dangerous last year was having Giovani Bernard, a great running back. They've struggled to replace that. Can you talk about their running game, what you see from that.
COACH ADDAZIO: I think they're a real diverse offense that utilizes a lot of play‑makers, throwing the bubbles, handing the ball off, the drop‑back game. They're spreading the field and making you defend the whole field, using tempo obviously as a weapon.
I think their run game is outstanding really. They've played some really good football teams now, some very good defenses. Kind of like us, sometimes when you play those good teams, it affects you. It affects your stats, it affects your play sometimes. I don't think people always take into account those things.
I know they've played a lot of very, very talented teams and talented defenses. When you play those games, that can come back to you later in a positive way.
I think they're very, very good offensively and they're very balanced.
Q. Jameis Winston, I wanted to go back to your game you had with them earlier if the season. Talk about your game plan going into that game, how it was to hold him in check.
COACH ADDAZIO: I feel like that might have been seven years ago now.
Obviously he's an outstanding player. We were able to put a lot of different looks and a lot of different blitzes, a lot of different things at him. That's just the style of play that we have. We had some success with that. But he's such an outstanding player, he found a way before the half to get to us. So that's very, very evident.
I just think when you play a great football team, it starts with defense. You've got to be able to play defense. You have to be able to get off the field and run the ball. Anytime you play an outstanding team, those two pieces, along with special teams, become very, very big.
Q. What may be one of the toughest things you think other teams may have to focus on?
COACH ADDAZIO: You got to get him on the ground. He's a strong guy. He's hard to sack. Like anything else, when you play a good quarterback, you're trying to disrupt a good quarterback, get him out of a rhythm. It's really, really important. I think in addition to that, when you have a chance to get him on the ground, you have to wrap‑up and gain tackle, because he has good strength and escape‑ability. I think those are important pieces.
Q. Any advice for Coach Doeren going down there this weekend?
COACH ADDAZIO: I've got no advice for anybody. I'm worried about my own game right now. God knows, we've got a big enough challenge. I'm not in the habit of giving out advice. I'm in the habit of worrying about what we've got to get done, what's in front of us. This game comes at you so hard and so fast, you got to keep your focus on what's important, what's in front of you. I'm just not one to think I have any answers for anybody else. I'm worried about the Boston College Eagles.
Q. Regarding the next obstacle for you here, going on the road. Do you think after having two tough road games, two tough environments, the best part apart from getting a week off is getting back on the road for this team to try to get over the hurdle of having not won on the road?
COACH ADDAZIO: It's a big emphasis right now. We need to go do that. It's part of having a good season, is the ability to go on the road, play well, be able to win a game. There's such great home‑field advantages.
That's what's in front of us. That's what we're focusing on, calling attention to. What goes into that is being able to execute at a high level, guys doing their job. Those things all go into that.
So keep your focus, do your job, sustain and play with great energy, go win on the road, which is difficult.
Q. Why is it so difficult, in your estimation?
COACH ADDAZIO: Because when you go on the road, you're fighting the crowd noise. That's an element. The stadiums can affect your communication. You don't get the same momentum shifts that you can get sometimes when your home crowd is behind you and they create that great positive environment for you and stress the opposing teams with their noise, with their enthusiasm.
You're on the road. You're on a plane. You're traveling. You're outside of your comfort zone.
I think what it takes is great maturity, senior leadership. You have to have that maturity. You got to play great defense so you don't get yourself out of a game early. You have to stay in a game so you get a chance to fight throughout the game. Those are all pieces of it for me.
Q. You practice with a lot of noise, preparing for that. Do you think having been in the caldron of Clemson and the noise, that hostile environment, kind of hit home for this team on how to work in that type of environment?
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, I don't think there's any question. We prepared real hard for Clemson. We had a few issues where we were losing track of the clock. We had to use some timeouts that we wish we didn't have to use.
I think it's all experience. So we're right back at it again. We're utilizing that crowd noise at a very, very high decibel level right now.
I think the other thing I like about it, you get in these team periods, the coaches can't monopolize them. The players have to create their own energy in the huddles. Everyone has to be accountable for knowing what they're doing. People can't stand behind them and correct them when things are going on. It forces a guy to play within himself almost on an island out there. You get a sense of who can get it done.
I kind of like that piece of it. Then, of course, I think you have to prepare for that environment so when you hit it on Saturday, it doesn't faze you.
Q. You mentioned Eric Ebron earlier. Coach Fedora was talking about the problem he presents. He can run away from guys his size. When you put a guy with speed on him, he can overpower him. Can you talk about how you approach playing him? Do you do different things? Do you have somebody with the physical skills to match up with him?
COACH ADDAZIO: It's hard to match up with that guy. That guy's a great player. He's a big, strong, fast, physical guy with tremendous ball skills.
I think it's the ability to change up your coverages, the ability to try to disrupt them. But he's a heck of a football player. Those mismatches, when you get those guys, you can't say I'm going to get a better cover guy on him. You have to worry about the fact in the run game he can get mismatched and overpower you.
Those guys are invaluable. I've been around those kinds of tight ends in my career. They're really valuable guys to me because they play dual roles. People can't personnel you, package you as easily.
He's a weapon for them. He's a heck of a football player, a guy that has got our complete attention.
Q. Andre Williams leads the league by a wide margin in carries, obviously in yardage too. Is Myles Willis coming to the point where maybe he can take some of the load off of Andre Williams?
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah. He has and will continue to. Myles has really developed quite well, is an explosive player, kind of a complement to Andre because they have different running styles.
Myles, he's really quick and has sharp cuts. Andre is a big, strong, powerful, fast guy. Myles is a little more elusive. They complement each other a little bit.
We have complete faith in Myles. You have seen Myles in the game and you'll continue to see him even more in the game.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports