If you are one of those BC fans that is hoping to wake up to news of a coaching change today or anytime soon don’t hold your breath. According to a source close to the Board of Trustees, Father Leahy is against making any kind of in-season coaching changes unless the coach is involved in some sort of an "off-the-field" scandal. According to the source, the 12-game ACC losing streak that the team is on would not qualify as a reason to make a change in-season. The source maintains that if Steve Addazio can somehow rally the team and get to 6-6 that he will be able to save his job and will be back next season.
Addazio is under a huge amount of criticism after the Eagles dropped a 28-20 contest at home to Syracuse on Saturday. While the players can certainly take some fault in the loss Addazio certainly didn’t rise to the occasion with the season on the line. Among the baffling coaching decisions were:
-With Syracuse facing a 1st-and-Goal at the BC 5, Ty Schwab sacked the ‘Cuse quarterback Eric Dungey for a loss of 10 yards. The Orange got called for holding on the play and Addazio inexplicably accepted the penalty, so instead of ‘Cuse facing a 2nd-and-Goal from the 15 yards line it faced a 1st-and-Goal from the 15 and a half yard line. On the TV feed Addazio is seen having a somewhat angry discussion with the officials after that play, so it’s unclear if he misunderstood what had just happened with the penalty or not. Even if the officials did screw up it’s up to the BC coach to make sure that the next play doesn’t occur until the situation is rectified. In fact, it’s almost as bad if he just let the mistake occur as it is that he accepted the penalty
Interestingly enough, ‘Cuse ended up scoring on 3rd down on that drive, which really shouldn’t even have taken place had Addazio declined the penalty.
-The decision that is getting Addazio the most attention is his decision to punt neat the end of the half. The Eagles were in the middle of a 10-play 42 yard drive that had reached the ‘Cuse 42 yard line. Facing a 4th-and-3 with 32 seconds left in the half, Addazio kept the offense on the field and tried to draw the defense offsides. After an unsuccessful attempt to draw the defense Addazio called a timeout and most figured that he’d have a discussion with the staff and try to come up with a good 4th down play. The BC offense seemed to have the worst ranked ACC defense back peddling a little bit and still had two timeouts remaining before the end of the half. If nothing else, the move might spark some confidence in the offense from its head coach. Instead, Addazio decided to punt the ball out of the timeout, which drew criticism from at least one famous BC alum.
Call timeout and then punt?— Matthew Hasselbeck (@Hasselbeck) October 22, 2016
The decision to punt was questionable enough but the timeout was even more baffling. Why not just take a 5 yard penalty and have your punter punt from the 48 yard line? You could try and counter and say that it was the end of the half and BC didn’t need its timeouts anyways. However, I’d counter and point out that there was at least a minimal chance the ‘Cuse punt returner might muff the punt (like he did later in the game) and you need all of the timeouts you can get.
With Florida State and Louisville on the schedule still next weekend looks to be Addazio’s real last stand. Barring a miracle upset against one of the two elite teams, the Eagles will have to defeat NC State, UConn and Wake to get to the magic number of six wins. Considering that the Wolfpack are coming off of a 54-13 embarrassment against Louisville the timing couldn’t be worse for BC.