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Steve Addazio Press Conference Transcript: November 16

More thoughts from Coach Addazio on UConn.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Addazio shares his thoughts on UConn and what BC needs to do better.

STEVE ADDAZIO: We've been working since we landed from on the plane, early morning, 4:30 Saturday morning, we've gotten to work right away on University of Connecticut. Obviously, a big game for us, a game where Matt Ryan is going to be honored and his jersey will be retired, a game that has regional ties and a huge, huge game for us. So our team's been hard at work in preparation for a very, very good UConn football team. Outstanding on defense, some tremendous players in Obi Melifonwu and Fatukasi on the defensive line. Offensively, they've shifted their offense a little bit, and they've got some very fine players there. Arkeel Newsome, their running back, and Donovan Williams is their new quarterback, and Noel Thomas at receiver. So some talented guys. It will be a tough game for us. We're looking forward to this contest and any questions.

Q. To go in a little deeper to UConn, just what you can say about Bob Diaco and what kind of threat that UConn team poses going into this matchup.

STEVE ADDAZIO: I think Bob has done a great job there. He's a team that they're coming off a bye week, and they played some tough football games. They had a chance to rest, have a chance to probably create some new wrinkles, and they have talented players. They've got, I would say, three legitimate NFL players on defense and a couple of really talented guys on offense. They've got some good players there, had an extra week to prepare, and I think that, without a doubt, those are all important factors.

Q. When you look at the fact that Luke was honored this year, obviously, in his work in the NFL, and Matt Ryan's going to be honored coming up, just what you can say about continuing tradition at Boston College and weathering this adversity right now.

STEVE ADDAZIO: It's all part of development. Matt -- when Matt came here, he appeared for the first time in a game at the end of his redshirt sophomore year, which was his third year here, and went on in his fourth and fifth year to have the season we all know. So I think, when you talk about some of the great players that have come through Boston College, they're guys that have come in and developed and grown and gotten to their fourth and fifth years and excelled. I think we're in the process right now of developing our football team to be able to have a chance here, as we move forward, to be able to move our roster into their third and fourth years as opposed to their first and second years. And at BC, it's critically important, the developmental program. It's a program that has to be consistent, and you develop your players, and as you get into the latter two years, they really become mature mentally and physically, and those are your best teams. I haven't had a chance to do that since I've been here, but I now have that opportunity moving forward to take a young group of guys and move them forward and maybe even have a chance for some guys to get to their fifth year and not have them playing as true freshmen. So that's the goal, and I think that's the key at Boston College.

Q. Steve, you alluded to this being a regional rivalry, and although the schools don't play very often, I'm sure you bump into each other on the recruiting trail quite a bit. How important is winning a game against a regional rival in a recruiting situation?

STEVE ADDAZIO: It's a regional game. I wouldn't call it a rivalry. Syracuse and Boston College are a rivalry. I like these geographical tie-in games because I think it gives your fans a chance to travel to games. The Connecticut fans have an opportunity to come up here to Boston. You know, we're only an hour away from Storrs, and whether it's UMass, whether it's UConn, whether it would be Rutgers, I just think local regional games with some tie-ins from the old Big East, I think, are good games to play in nonconference-type games. So I think this falls right in line with that. I'm a proponent of that kind of stuff in the nonconference. To travel across the country for a nonconference game to me doesn't make a lot of sense.

Q. Where do you see the biggest improvements in your team this year on either or both sides of the ball? Where have you come the farthest since that game that you opened up with in Ireland?

STEVE ADDAZIO: That's a good question. There's no question our defensive line and linebackers, our defensive front is really developed. Our defensive line play is really at a pretty high level, just fundamentally and everything else. We're pretty stout up front. We play with great fundamentals, great pad level, and Coach Pasqualoni's done an unbelievable job with that. I think our tight ends and offensive line have really come on. The O-line is still a work in progress, there's definite development from week 1. Without a doubt, I think our tight end play, although we lost Chris Garrison, I think Tommy Sweeney has come along really nicely and Mike Giacone, and then two young freshmen we're playing there as well. There's improvement all over the football team, and what we have to do is to learn how to take that -- like I sit here this week, we may have had the best Tuesday practice I've had since I've been at Boston College yesterday, but we've got to be able to take that and parlay that to Saturday. Sometimes that hasn't been the case. The attitude, the effort, the intensity is incredible. It really is. And I think I've been around long enough to know that. Yet that consistency has to go to Saturday when the real bullets are flying, and that's part of the development of your football team. We have to learn to work together, all three phases, complement each other. So these are the things we're really striving for. Those are some of the positions that are really developing. I think we're probably a lot closer than what some scores may really allude to in terms of our development and in terms of where we're headed. We're just -- unfortunately, we're not quite there yet, but I think we're a team that people know that we're going to show up, and you're going to get a hard-playing, tough, physical football team. We've got to play hard, and we've got to do a better job of making explosive plays. We're not very explosive right now. We've got to do a better job on the back end of not letting up as many big plays. So those are the things we're working on.

(FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports)