Boston College football coach Frank Spaziani talks Notre Dame, Spiffy Evans and ACC expansion.
FRANK SPAZIANI: Obviously we have a very talented and well‑coached football team coming into our stadium here. They have sights on the National Championship. So we've got our work cut out for us, and we're practicing trying to get ready for them.
Q. When you watch Notre Dame's star linebacker Te'o on tape, what jumps out at you about what makes this guy so good?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, he has tremendous instincts and his motor is running. He's a football player. He has intensity and he understands the game, and you can see he loves to play football.
Q. How do you try to contain a guy like that?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, they've got a lot of other problems, too, on defense (laughing). We have to do what we do, and we'll understand where he's at. But you certainly have to game plan and try to help yourself out and in the best way you can. But it's about us executing what we have to do.
Q. I wanted to ask you, you guys played these guys to a two‑point game last year at their place. What has happened to them to transform them from a good team as they were last year into an undefeated National Championship contender this year?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, you know, I think Brian would be better off‑‑ the guy to ask that. But from afar, they've got three years in the system now, and that helps, and certainly more experience, understanding their players and their players understanding what's expected of them. They certainly added some key ingredients. They're playing with some confidence, and they certainly have added a different dimension at quarterback.
From afar, that's what I see.
Q. Does it help at all, on paper this is a mismatch, they'll be heavily favored, everybody in the country will expect them to win again. Does it help out that your guys have played them and played them so tough a year ago that maybe there's some confidence that won't be reflective of the records?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, you know, certainly positive past experience is good for your psyche. But that's limited. I mean, this is a different team and different players. I'd have to go down and look at how many guys started in that game and played and go through it.
But yeah, there's some positive carryover. But once again, it is different from year to year. These are totally two different teams.
Q. Spiffy Evans is having a remarkable year returning punts. I know he hasn't returned that many, but 31 yards per punt return, and I've not seen an average like that in some time. What is it about him that makes him so hard to contain when he fields a punt?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, circumstances have dictated that. I think we've done a good job on our punt return scheme, Xs and Os, and then I think Spiffy has gotten a little more confidence and he knows where we're going. We're not doing much back there, and it's a matter of seeing an opening and taking it, and we've gotten a couple breaks with kicks and coverage and things like that. You put it all together, and it leads you to a 31‑yard average, which has been a big plus for us.
Q. Do you find that teams are kicking away from him at this point in the season?
FRANK SPAZIANI: We haven't seen that. We haven't seen that.
Q. I wanted to ask you more about the rivalry. These two teams have played a lot in the last 20 years, and it's been a very competitive series. Can you talk about the fact that the two best Catholic football playing institutions in the country‑‑ how much do you guys recruit against them for players? How much does this mean to your kids to play Notre Dame almost every year?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, I think it's a good rivalry for us, and I believe it's a good rivalry for Notre Dame. But I think we should be playing each other every year.
Having said that, yeah, we recruit against each other, but it's like‑‑ we go head to head sometimes, but not as much as you would think because of a lot of things we have in common. But we have a lot of things in common, and lately it's been competitive, so there's your rivalry.
Q. And of course it'll continue when they half join the ACC, right?
FRANK SPAZIANI: (Laughing) Yeah, I haven't figured that one out yet. I'll let those guys who do the scheduling and everything figure it out. But yeah, I mean, like I said a couple weeks ago, whenever they announced they were coming in, I thought they were in the conference.
Q. Obviously when they're coming in the conference to play five games a year, they will not be playing you every year anymore. Can you talk about that?
FRANK SPAZIANI: Well, I think it's a good rivalry. I think it's a good rivalry for Boston College, and I think it's a good rivalry for Notre Dame. We have a lot of things in common, and there's a lot of just‑‑ looking at it on the surface, we should be playing each other. It makes sense. But once again, there's a lot of other factors that go into‑‑ making sense isn't always the thing that works out.
Transcript via ASAP Sports.