After today’s 36-30 win over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl, Coach Addazio shared his thoughts about the season and yesterday’s 36-30 victory.
Opening Statement: "Well it was great to celebrate with the guys in the locker room and a lot of fun. As I said in that locker room, I'm really going to miss this group of seniors. This was our first group of seniors when we got here and special group of guys, tremendous guys. They did so much for our program. This game was an exciting game. I thought Maryland really played exceptionally hard. They had a lot of fight and obviously were playing hard like our guys were playing hard. I think their program, their staff is off to great things. I know they are. You can tell when a team battles and plays through everything like they did, that great things are going to happen for them. For us, I thought we came out of the blocks really fast on offense. We went up tempo. I thought we had a nice mix of stuff going on. I liked where we were in the first half a lot. I thought on defense as well. I think in the second half, in third quarter on both sides of the ball we had a couple issues, let up a couple scores. We missed a field goal. We didn't go for a field goal at one point because it was a little out of our range. So we missed two good scoring opportunities and they had two scores in there and that swung that game at that point which I thought we had a great opportunity to really pull away then. But what we did was we found a way to battle back in the end and win and really it's most important to me because we started the year in Ireland and we didn't know how to find a way to win yet. We closed the year in Detroit and along the way here the last month or so of the season, we started to really develop a resolve that you see in the players' eyes, that they aren't going to let each other down. And the most critical thing in building a program is having that. I really believe that we've finally set that platform forward. That's the most exciting thing to me of all. So with that, we're proud to represent the Quick Lane Bowl, the Detroit Lions and honored to get that trophy. You know, it was our third bowl appearance in four years and first bowl victory at BC in nine years and I think really set the stage for a good finale of the season and where we're going to head as we move forward."
On being able to score points against Power Five schools for the first team in several years: "We worked hard in our bowl prep. It was like a spring ball for us. We had 16 or 17 opportunities, whatever we had. We went to a no huddle system. It wasn't necessarily always going as fast as you could, although we had times in there where we did that as well. We had check with me's at the line. We had regular tempo no huddle. We had fast tempo and we played the game and won kind of a really most of the game in one grouping, where we can give you one back, two back looks and empty. We're just scratching it right now, but this is where we want to be and so we took the leap of faith and said, 'Let's get this done after the season and let's move it forward. Let's not wait for spring ball.' So we did it and we feel our strength on offense is going to be in the multiplicity of our tight ends and their skill sets. I thought Jon Hilliman ran well today. I thought there's just a good mixture with the receivers. Pat (Patrick Towles) threw the ball well and I just thought I liked what I saw and I like where that will lead for us. It'll give us an opportunity to put more pressure on defenses. Give us an opportunity to get more plays run."
On why RB Jon Hilliman had great success today compared to the past: "He worked really hard in the bowl prep, really took a lot of reps to get in a groove. Had a great, full prep practice winter, really did. He just really had a resolve about him and I thought that showed and all of our guys. What we did was new and different, but it's where I had envisioned this. But when you have so many inexperienced guys, my feeling sometimes is that I want to build fundamentals and build those fundamentals and get a base before you try to get ahead of your skis it just gets really sloppy. I finally thought that we had built enough that we could go ahead now and try to get this done. Because what happens is when you don't have a lot of experience and then you get tired, your fundamentals fall apart and I didn't want that to happen. But I felt like finally at the end of the season, let's make a move this way now and I like what I saw and feel great about what we'll do. We'll get that better and better and better."
On advising DE Harold Landry on whether to enter the NFL Draft: "I think like everybody, we gather all the information and then we sit down. We've sat down once and we'll sit down again. My thing is you do what's best for the players. If it's best for a player to leave, then you advise him that and you move on, but you've got to get all the information and if it's not then you advise that. But at the end of the day, it's a player's decision to do what's best for them. My most important thing to me is, I want to make sure that all of our guys always get their degrees because at BC that's a really, really important thing. So we'll sit down here sometime in the very near future again and I'm sure come to some decision on what's in the best interest for Harold and for his future."
On Landry's performance today: "I thought he played great. I thought our whole defensive front played great. I saw so many guys making so many plays out there. It was really impressive. They gave the MVP to the defensive line. I really thought that was very appropriate. At the end they were relentless. That fourth quarter was a relentless quarter. Like I said, in that third quarter we got a little sideways. But in that fourth quarter, boy, we were relentless. It was really an impressive deal. I know a lot of guys in there, some who have played a lot of ball, some who haven't and their exciting in their future. I saw Ray Smith in there making plays, Zach Allen and Wyatt Ray. It was a lot of guys besides the normal guys you see, Truman (Gutapfel) and (Kevin) Kavalec and Harold (Landry). But it's a good group of guys right there. I think Coach (Paul) Pasqualoni has done as good a job as I've ever seen in terms of the development of a position group. When you have an elite coach, it's hard not to see the development of that defensive line. That's hard not to notice. What can fundamentals do? Well, you just saw it, the development of those players."
On the defense losing focus in the third quarter: "Both sides of the ball, I thought. What happened was, they were heating us up most of the game on offense, but they started bringing a lot of pressure. And really, we wanted to go to the quick game a little bit, we did, but probably not early enough and not enough. You know, spread the field, get the quick game because we feel good about that and get away from some of those pressures. And on defense they hit us with a couple plays. We got hit on a couple, checked us in a couple of short boxes and caught us. Give credit to them. I thought they looked dynamic and fast and they made some big plays. That popped them back in the game, boom-boom just like that. Then on offense, we were kind of like fishtailing right there just a little bit. I still think we had a great opportunity there. We drove down the field a couple of times. We had stalled in the red zone, just outside on one on the 30. I made a decision to go for it on fourth down because I thought we were just out of our range. Then on the next one, we had the ball on the 20. I made a decision on fourth-and-four, whatever it was, to kick it because we were in our range, but we didn't convert. So those were two missed scoring opportunities. And really, in my opinion, we had opportunities to score touchdowns. And that could have probably pulled us away, but it didn't. We had to battle."
(Transcript provided by Boston College)