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Boston College Leaves for Detroit: Quick Lane Bowl Notebook

The Eagles faced the media one final time before heading to the Motor City.

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are spending their final day at the Heights before heading to Detroit for the December 26th Quick Lane Bowl against Maryland. Coach Steve Addazio and a trio of seniors met the media Wednesday to discuss the game and the state of the program.

Here are a few highlights.

Keeping Momentum

Coach Steve Addazio mentioned BC's momentum several times in his opening statements, and our Joe Gravellese touched on that theme just a few days ago. It's clear that the Eagles have gained some steam lately, qualifying for a bowl game and securing the commitment of the top-ranked recruit in Massachusetts. How does the bowl game fit into that equation?

Well, Addazio said he doesn't believe a loss would derail the 16 solid practices the team has had, but he knows a win will keep things moving in the right direction.

"Yes, it's very important to us, as it is to everybody," Addazio said of earning a win in the bowl game. "But we're attacking it that way. But no matter what, I just love what I saw at the end of the year from the team."

Young Quarterbacks Developing

Speaking of those extra practices, they have proven beneficial for many of the young players on the team. Addazio mentioned young offensive and defensive linemen, along with tight ends getting extended work leading up to the Quick Lane Bowl, but also mentioned quarterbacks Darius Wade (R-So.) and Anthony Brown (Fr.) as guys who have stepped up in pre-bowl practices.

Often times, these extra practices are the biggest benefit to a team qualifying for a bowl, as it gives the program a few extra weeks to develop underclassmen, without a game immediately on the horizon. From the sounds of it, BC's young signal callers have taken advantage.

"I think Darius (Wade) and Anthony (Brown) took a lot out of (pre-bowl practices)," Addazio said.

"These last couple of weeks have really been imperative for (the younger quarterbacks)," Towles said. "They're all doing a really good job of taking coaching, and managing the down time we have. Especially Anthony and Darius, who have done a good job of asking good questions… They're gaining experience, and they're taking live reps, which can only help them."

Ticket Hoarders

Let's be real- Detroit isn't the most desirable bowl destination. It isn't Florida, California, Arizona or any place you'd want to visit this time of year, but several Eagles couldn't be happier about heading to the Motor City.

Senior defensive end Kevin Kavalec, an Ohio native, has collected about 70 tickets for friends and family who will be coming to the game, and senior quarterback Patrick Towles, who hails from Kentucky, has gathered about 45.

"There are a lot of guys on team, and we each get like six tickets, so I was able to swing a ticket here and there," Kavalec said with a chuckle. "Being from Cleveland, a lot of my family hasn't been able to come out to see me play in Boston, so it will be great to have them all there."

"I've got about 45 coming, so I'm in the same boat as Kevin," Towles said when asked if he gave any of his tickets to the defensive lineman.

Neither of the two seniors would say which players gave up their six allotted tickets, but it would stand to reason that underclassmen, and guys from FAR away from Detroit (think Florida) would be the most likely to be charitable in that regard.

Maryland's Ground Game

Much like BC, Maryland comes into the Quick Lane Bowl having scratched and clawed its way to six wins in a tough conference. The Terps began the year 4-0, with three non-conference wins and a blowout of Big Ten doormat Purdue, but then lost six of their next seven to set up a do-or-die finale against Rutgers.

Maryland came out on top easily, downing the Scarlett Knights 31-13, thanks largely to its physical, but varied running game, which produced 318 yards in that pivotal clash. Led by Ty Johnson's 168 yards (on only 11 carries) Maryland punched its ticket to Detroit, and it is that running game that is fresh in the minds of BC coaches and players.

"(The Terrapins) run the ball really well," Addazio said. "They're very similar to us in a lot of ways. They look a little different, in terms of offense, they're a little more spread oriented and tempo oriented. But, at the end of the day there's a lot of the same kind of play structures."

"They're definitely very dynamic in the run game," senior linebacker Matt Milano added. "That's a challenge that we've faced this year in the ACC, going against some great running backs, and I think this will be another great challenge for our defense."

Towles' Wild Ride

Senior quarterback Patrick Towles has had an interesting year, to say the least. After deciding to transfer out of Kentucky and finish his career at Boston College, the 6-foot-5, 250 lb signal caller arrived at the Heights just under a year ago.

Since then, he's experienced some lows (throwing for just 29 yards against Florida State), and some highs (playing turnover-free football and making plays in those last two, critical games). After packing a career's worth of emotions into one year on campus, Towles looked back on his Eagle career fondly, but says it all hasn't quite hit him yet.

"Today is my last full day in Boston," Towles said. "It's definitely weird. It feels like I was getting picked up at the airport last month, but that was 11 months ago… I'll probably think about it a little more after the game when I'm hanging out with my teammates, but it's been a wonderful experience."

Ending the Drought

While this is BC's third bowl in four years under Addazio, the Eagles are all too aware that the program has not won a bowl game since the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl against Michigan State. Since that Matt Ryan-led group was victorious in Orlando, BC has gone 0-5 in bowl games, and this year's bunch is intent on ending the program's nine-year bowl win drought.

"I think it's been nine years here, someone was telling me, since we've won a bowl game," Towles said. "So this is huge for our program, and huge for our team and our seniors."

The Eagles kick off against Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl Monday against Maryland at 2:30 pm. The game will be televised on ESPN.