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Postgame Interviews: Steve Addazio, AJ Dillon, and Zach Allen

The winning streak comes to an end. What do the coaches and players think?

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College Head Coach Steve Addazio

STEVE ADDAZIO: They found a way to win in the end. The stats are pretty even in the game. Obviously, we lost our starting quarterback. It was a tough deal here today, and we lost Kam Moore, our third captain. I don't know the status of where that is moving forward at this particular time. You know, obviously, doesn't look great. We ran the ball well on offense. We were struggling in the second half throwing the football, and that showed up.

On defense, we weren't great on third down. That showed up, the inability to get off the field, so it limited the amount of possessions we had. We gave the ball away twice, which was uncharacteristic, and we had a few penalties. All in all, I still thought we played with great effort, and I thought we were right in the middle of the game with an opportunity to kick a field goal to tie the game. We had a mishandled snap -- I mean, a poor snap there. We certainly had our opportunities from the start of the game to the finish of the game. Did some good things on both sides of the ball. Did some poor things both sides of the ball. But what we need to do is get back to work and go get ready for Saturday. That's what we need to do and figure out where we are with our personnel and make the appropriate changes that we need to make and adjustments.

Q. Can you explain what happened on the field goal attempt?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Which one, the last one?

Q. The last one.

STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, it was fairly obvious to see the snap kind of rolled back. Nothing Jeff could do. It was on the ground, back to the right. He had no chance to put that back up and give us a chance to kick the ball. There was no chance.

Q. Also, I know you don't have a ton of information, but what can you tell us about the two injured players?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, nothing with any certainty. It didn't look good. What does that mean? I don't know. I don't know what that means. Obviously, he's going to have to have some testing done, and we're going to have to find out exactly what we're dealing with, so I can't speculate on the guy's injury. I'm not capable of it. So we'll have to wait and see there.

With Kam, it's the same shoulder injury he had last week. We tried to rest it for two, he was doing really good, and obviously that shoulder slipped again, so we had to keep him out. What that means for next week with him is uncertain to me. He's, obviously, one of our finest players on that side of the ball so that's a critical deal. Anytime you lose your starting quarterback like that is critical.

But, you know what? It's football. We've moved on in the game and still competed our tail off in the game. I would say defensively, I thought the receivers did a great job. I thought AJ Dillon ran the ball really, really well in that game. But we certainly did not throw the ball the way we would have liked to have thrown the ball in any capacity, and so we were really run heavy and felt like we needed to be. So that's the tale of that.

Q. Is there any concern that this could impact the rest of the season?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Oh, yeah, of course, yep. That's the biggest fear, yeah, sure. Without a doubt.

Q. What is your comment on Zach Allen today?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, Zach played his usual, tough, hard-nosed game. Had some knock downs. Had some great tackles. Played physical, and I thought played a really strong football game today.

Q. Did losing Anthony change the way the game was called at all? Did you have to change things up with Darius in there?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, yes, to a degree. We have some things that we think Darius is better for Darius. But, I mean, it's not a revelation or anything like that. Anthony's forte is to get the ball out really quickly.

So we're going to have to adjust a little bit to this. We're going to have to make some adjustments moving forward. I don't know exactly what that's going to be right now. So, you know, we're going to have to handle that. Really, I'm talking about third down. I don't think first and second down is going to be a big difference in terms of play actions, nakeds, the way we run the ball. But I think on third down, we had a pretty good groove on what we were doing there, and we're going to have to go back and take a hard look at that.

Obviously, you can see that occur before the half, with that hit that he took and the ball on the ground and it cost the three points right there. We had a chip called with that as well, and we had a great chip on it. But the timing was off and it created a turnover.

Q. Your thought that went into the play right after Anthony got hurt. And was there an option for John beyond the pass on that play?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, yes, the run, but that call is my call. The three options were the obvious ones. Obviously, I made the wrong one. We could kick it. We could hand it off to AJ. We had worked all week long on a special. This was our special. It was a jump pass. We felt like they were going to feel really hard on fourth and one. And we thought that Chris Garrison would be wide open in the end zone. Honestly, I was going to kick the field goal, and in my mind I kind of knew what I was dealing with Anthony. I said to myself, we've got to score touchdowns. And I made the decision.

I thought we had a great call there. But I know. I've run that in a different format in my past. It's feast or famine. And the safety didn't take the cheese, and it is what it is. That's directly on me. It was my call, I made it, and there is nothing -- obviously, it wasn't the right one.

Q. Coach, can you talk about your offensive line? Only three penalties for 15 yards today. Were there any adjustments that were made in going from a right-handed quarterback in Brown to Wade and the adjustments that were made?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think what you do when you have a left-handed quarterback, you know, people make a lot of that, but what we did was we put a chip protection in there. So we took the back, and we doubled Chubb with the tackle. That's what we did. That was in an effort to put a double team on his backside, okay. That's about all you can -- there's not a whole lot more you can do than that. We doubled him.

I don't remember which back was in the game, but he chipped the heck out of him. In fact, he chipped him so hard that he distorted him back inside to the point where we kind of lost him inside.

Then the timing of the thing, our timing was all about ball out, because we weren't going to hold the ball with this outfit. So, you know, those are the things that you talk about. We want to protect his back side - how do you do it? You slide the protection back there. You double it. You move the pocket. You have several things that we have in this game plan for either one of those guys. And we did them all.

I remember at one point we ran a waggle pass. You can't run a better thing to put the quarterback on the move with a waggle pass, and we actually took a sack on that play. My God, it's a waggle pass. I mean, the pocket's moving, and the offensive lineman has the thing inside out.

So I think we had a -- we had a good plan, but we didn't execute that in the second half. I thought in the first half, I felt great. We missed a throw in that first drive where we had the second read was wide open, and we gunned it. We forced it down there for the pick in the end zone, but that's life. That happens. So I thought that was a really good -- we had a really good call on there. You've just got to get to your second read, which, like I said, would have walked in the end zone. That was to start it. But I felt great. I think our kids felt great.

Anthony felt great. I mean, he's strong. A strong look for a freshman. Strong, so right now all I really care about is him. I'm just praying and hoping that the best possible outcome here can happen.

Q. Why not go to AJ Dillon on the last drive with three minutes left?

STEVE ADDAZIO: No timeouts. We had no timeouts. We had to throw the football. We had to play to Kobay, first down, move the chains. Dropped it. But, you know, we wanted to stop the clock. Didn't want the clock to get drained down. I was really hoping for a good punt return, and then at that point, you know, you start running it to AJ. You start running the ball, period, you've got to go the length of the field.

I mean, if we were at midfield above midfield, we might have taken a couple runs in there. But from the location we were, I mean, you start doing that and everybody wants to know what the heck you're doing. So I don't think there is anything more you could do than what we did.

What you could do is convert the first down. I mean, that's what you need to do. Keep the chains moving, and get the ball up towards midfield, so that you have a little bit more variety in what you can call.

We had the right call there, and, I thought we had it. I mean, I thought he had it, and he had it. Next thing you know, I look down and the ball was on the ground. I thought it was a fumble. I thought he had it long enough.

Like I said, you know, when it was 4th and one, you had a few options, the one I picked wasn't the right one. But on that series there, I'm not sure there's anything more. There is nothing more I would do except execute them better. I would do that.

I think we need to go back and take a look at exactly what's now in our best interest with our personnel. That's what I think we need to go take a look at in terms of the throw game. How do we want to adjust our throw game to best enhance our quarterback.

Q. Speaking of the passing game, if Anthony is indeed out for the year, would you consider burning EJ's red-shirt or are you trying to preserve his eligibility?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, those are things that have to be discussed. Those are easy things to decide upon early in the season. They're harder things to decide upon toward the end of the season. But I have an obligation to the program, to the 100-something guys in the locker room, and our guys are very, very unselfish. So, I think all things are on the table. But my immediate concern is doing the best things that we can do for Darius Wade right now. That's my immediate concern to help him.

Everyone has got their special talents, if you will. We've got to really tailor ourselves to fit Darius. Though – listen - what we do fits Darius.

I don't want to make the illusion that we need any kind of radical change here. That's not where I'm coming from. I just think on third down, we take a long, hard look at what we want to construct to help get the ball out quicker. Okay? That's about it. Other than that, we're talking about two guys that battled it out all training camp, and three of them with EJ Perry. EJ Perry is extremely talented, competitive, tough guy, who is a very unselfish guy who will run through this table 20 minutes from now if I ask him to. I couldn't be more excited about a young football player than I am about him, okay.

But where we are right now is managing exactly what's best to go win on Saturday, and that's -- obviously, I need to spend the night tonight and the day tomorrow and find out where we are and where we're headed, one step at a time.

Q. What's Harold's situation the rest of the season?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, Harold is, at this point, a week-to-week guy, and that's about all I've got for you because that's all I know. We'll see. I mean, that's another guy we're going to have to see. We're going to have to see with him. Same with Kam, same with the status is with Anthony. What it is what it's going to be, I'm going to put it forward to you. I really don't know on any one of those three right now. I don't know that I'll have any more information until sometime tomorrow or Monday. I can't answer that.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Dillon. But going into the bye week you talked about how (Inaudible) where did that put you?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, hey, listen. We've been doing this from the beginning of the year. We have not had that smooth sail personnel-wise. We're trying to accommodate our injuries while we're playing really good football teams. I mean, let's not lose sight of the fact that we played a top 25 football team today, and we played them flat, nose to nose. That was anybody's football game.

A couple plays here, a couple plays there, we win that game. We didn't. To their credit, they did. But we're managing some severe losses in the process of playing the teams that we're playing. What does that mean? That means that we're playing at a pretty high level right now still. Nothing really changed. Okay? We knew this would be a to-the-wire game.

Now we've got to deal with what's been thrown at us, and we can't allow that to, as I told the team down there, we've got no time right now. We can't wallow in what could have been and what happened. We have to have our complete focus on next Saturday, because we have some legitimate things that we've got to overcome right now.

I will say to you again, we're playing really good football teams and we're playing a very high level of football, and we're doing it, at times, I feel like one hand tied behind our back, and we're still doing it. That's not an excuse, that's just a fact, and we're going to keep doing it.

Now it's all about maximizing what we have right now. As we all know, there are few positions that are tough to do it on the fly. It's not easy. We had to go down and beat Louisville and lost our quarterback there. I mean, it has not been a smooth sail with this. And it is what it is.

So I'm proud of our kids. I'm not discouraged in any way, shape or form. Everything that we've been excited about was still on clear display against the quality team that we played today. That was as much our game as it was their game. So, what's important right now is to stop talking about that game, quite frankly, and that's the trap. Because when you get disappointed like that, you want to go back and where's the blame, where's the problem? Here's the reality, Saturday's coming like a freight train, and we're going to be ready for that game.

So that's my mindset. That's my attitude. That's our team's attitude, and we're going to roll ahead and play at a high level on Saturday. Period, end.

Boston College Running Back AJ Dillon

Q. How much did things change once Anthony went out, and how much did you have to kind of carry things?

AJ DILLON: I mean, both Anthony and Darius, we as a team, have full confidence. The coaches have a game plan, so we knew we were going to stay to it. We all went over and saw Anthony on the sideline. We were just hoping that he has a speedy recovery from whatever it is. But as far as Darius going in, there was no doubt in anybody's mind that anything in our game plan had changed. They're both great guys, great leaders, and I was happy for him.

Q. (Inaudible)?

AJ DILLON: I mean, I mentioned a couple weeks ago after Louisville, after I had 39 carries, I focused a lot more on my stamina. It's still not where it needs to be for my personal, for what I really want. But I feel like the workload, as it is, I was just so focused on getting a win, that I didn't really feel -- it was fine. I felt good.

Q. Can you just tell us what you saw in the touchdown run?

AJ DILLON: The line blocked really well. I forget which tight end, I think he blocked a corner and a D-end. But one of them pushed him out, and I saw the safety or corner over here chasing me. I just saw the hole, hit it, and ran as fast as I could into the end zone.

Q. Addazio was just in here and he was talking about how it felt at times as if you had to play games and win games with one hand tied behind your back because of the injuries. Is that the sense in the locker room that you guys have kind of done this? You've overcome some obstacles, too?

AJ DILLON: Yeah, definitely we've overcome a lot of obstacles. I mean, it's football and you have to have the mindset that anything can happen. That's one of those times where when coaches preach, you need to be ready when your number is called.

That's something I feel like we really execute well. I feel like when people are called upon, they go in to be put in a situation. We have a very good tendency to be able to handle the situation. So, I mean, obviously injuries are not -- you don't want to have injuries, but they happen, and that's part of football. You just got to keep moving forward as a program.

Q. Also, (Inaudible)?

AJ DILLON: Yeah, I don't know exactly what happened. I saw him on the sideline, and I saw him back in the locker room for a second. I just told him to keep his head up. The entire team has his back. That's one of my closest friends here. So, obviously, I'll talk to him more tonightprobably. But I just told him that I love him and I'm there for him.

Boston College Defensive End Zach Allen

Q. Zach, obviously the offense has to rally when they lose their quarterback. But is it as much emphasis on the defense to rally too?

ZACH ALLEN: Yeah, we have trust in both guys, Darius and A.B. are both great quarterbacks, and obviously we're praying for A.B. on a speedy recovery, because he's one of our brothers. But Darius is just as capable, and we trust him the same amount.

Q. You guys did a great job of holding Finley down. But on third down, it was 9 of 17. What were they throwing at you differently on third down?

ZACH ALLEN: Honestly, being in the pass rush I'm just focused on my match-up with the offensive line, so I really wasn't able to tell. But he's a great quarterback. He's obviously highly rated. Then also, I mean, like I think I said before, his touchdown-to-interception ratio is off the charts, and he's really a pro quarterback.

You know, when we don't get there, he's going to make the throws. We didn't get there, so he made the throws.

Q. How have you guys managed to hold things together while Harold has been out these last two weeks or three weeks of practice too as well?

ZACH ALLEN: Yeah, Harold's a great leader, so he's right there by our side talking to us. Also, Wyatt Ray is a great defensive end. So there's really -- again, we've been dealing with injuries all season. So it's just a next-man-up mentality and we've been rolling with it.

Q. You say you've been dealing with it all season, but when you get another blow like your quarterback this time or Harold or Connor, is it just this is what it is? You have to figure it out?

ZACH ALLEN: Yeah, I mean, we're excited. We're 5-5 right now and we have a great opponent in UConn.