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Boston College Football Press Conference: BC Turns The Page

"Those challenges are what drive you."

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

BC head football coach Steve Addazio reflects on the USC game in the wake of his team's first defeat and the week ahead as the team prepares for #8-ranked Florida State.

COACH ADDAZIO: Obviously we're coming off a disappointing loss here out in Southern California. We played a very good USC team, very talented on both sides of the ball. We didn't really have a great opportunity to get going offensively. We had some moments, but we really only had 21 snaps in the first half, and our average starting position for the game was around the ‑21 yard line, so it was quite a bit of the long field.

On defense we struggled getting off the field and didn't feel like we played great as a team, complementing each other, but there were moments there that you saw some more of the progress. But when you play a good team, you have to play much more consistently and execute at a much higher level against a very, very talented team, especially on the road in California.

We're disappointed. We felt like we could have played better for sure, and our focus right now in the bye week is to concentrate on fundamentals, concentrate on really being exact in our execution and really fitting exactly to our personnel the best that we can, maximizing ourselves on both sides of the ball.

We're getting ready to play a great Florida State team that's very, very talented and will be a great challenge for us. But certainly those challenges are what drive you.

We're a little banged up. This is a great time for us to have a bye week and get healthy and work on those fundamentals and work on our execution, so we are looking forward to getting back on the field a week from Saturday.

Q. Facing USC, obviously they have a lot of speed on both sides of the ball. Do you think that'll help your team to face another fast team in Florida State?

COACH ADDAZIO: You know, I think it will. You're right, there was a lot of team speed, and we don't really have a lot of team speed, so we can't give ourselves that look.
But I think that playing that level of team will help you as much as that can help you get ready to play a top‑10 football team.

So I mean, honestly, that message is the message that I have right now, is that we've got to keep improving as a football program. And that game, we have to learn from it and take from it and improve from it as we get ready to play Florida State.

Q. I wanted to talk to you about your pass rush. You guys already have three more sacks this year than you had all last season. Is that coming from a veteran defensive front, or is it something you're scheming with a blitz package? Where is that coming from?

COACH ADDAZIO: I mean, it's coming from both. Obviously we're very aggressive in our schemes, which‑‑ it's given us more production, but of course as we knew it would, it's also creating some struggles for us at times. I mean, we're making some mistakes in terms of assignments and executions that sometimes like the very first play of the game last week, we had a coverage breakdown, but it is increasing our productivity, and we're going to keep doing that, and we're going to keep growing within our scheme and getting better at what we do, because we just can't sit back.

So right now we're in that growing phase, but we have gotten much more productivity from it.

Q. It looks like Josh Keyes is leading you in sacks. That's coming off the edge as a linebacker?

COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, it's both. He's going to bring pressure. He's also involved in different nickel packages and things, but he's an explosive guy, and he can close the distance pretty quickly.
You know, we've got to keep hammering along that path.

Q. With Andre Williams pretty much bottled up most of the night, at least Tyler Rouse was able to get a nice touchdown run for you. Tell me a little bit about Tyler and what do you see, especially as a true freshman, how you see his role evolving?

COACH ADDAZIO: Well, I think Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse are very exciting young backs. Both of them got in the game, which that's probably a positive thing that's happened. They got into a big arena on a big stage, and they got some touches and some carries, and they'll only get better.

I think in terms of Andre during the game, I think we tried to‑‑ we fought so hard to be balanced. We actually threw the ball more than we ran it, 30 to 21 I think or something like that, and I'm not sure that helped Andre. We never kind of got him going, so he got off schedule a lot. But he had some runs, and there were some creases. We probably, having back looked at that film, we probably would have liked to have taken a few more cracks with him at that and maybe a little better field position, which we didn't have most of the day.

But you're right; it's great to get those young backs going. They have talent, they have ability, and we're excited about them.

Q. I asked Coach London right before you about how he used his open week, and you were talking about that a little bit. I just wondered with a team like Florida State coming up in the next week, do you totally focus on yourself during the open week, or do you maybe start pregame preparations a little early, considering how tough they are?

COACH ADDAZIO: No, no, we start on Florida State today. I mean, when I say pay attention to fundamentals, we have a few more individual fundamental periods in there, but we're absolutely working on Florida State.
We're going to use this bye week to try to get a jump start. We started today. We'll be working tomorrow, and then Friday is like a game week Tuesday for us. We wanted to have a really good physical, hard‑nosed, 1st‑2nd down, full padded, go‑get‑it deal on Friday, so that puts us one day up.

No, we're working on Florida State, but what we're paying attention to is our fundamentals and our execution level in practice, and really getting a higher level of attention to detail in practice because I am just a big believer that what you see on that practice field is ultimately what you'll see on Saturday.

When you play really talented teams, the mistakes that you make get magnified, and they get hidden sometimes when a team is a match‑up team. But when a team has got great talent, those same mistakes, they come at you like gangbusters. We've got to eliminate those errors, whether they be mental or whether they be physical. We've got to play at a much higher level of execution because the margin for error is very, very small.

Fastscripts Transcript by ASAP Sports