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Postgame Quotes: Boston College defeats Louisville

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Tutu Atwell was unavailable for comment, but a “bunch of slow people” had some things to say.

Louisville v Boston College Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Boston College Head Coach Steve Addazio

STEVE ADDAZIO: They had 47 yards rushing, we had 251. We controlled the line of scrimmage completely. The game was an interesting game. It started out, we had great momentum. Then we turned the ball over two times in a row, gave them 14 points. We had another seven put back on, then another seven taken away on a penalty. There’s 28 points in that game.

I thought our kids were really resilient. They had complete confidence. They were physically playing tough up front. Both sides competing, then special teams. We have the blocked punt by Nolan. We had the blocked PAT by Zach Allen. Mike had a couple of good returns in there, one on kickoff return, a couple of punt returns. Our coverage was outstanding on punt and on kickoff. So I think, again, our special teams played very, very well.

But important, what I thought we saw was a team that had great resilience and toughness. When momentum seemed to be shifting a bit, they steadied the boat, overcame it in the end.

I think in the process, we were able to see a young running back emerge, a big running back that got his opportunity to come in here, which is a great thing for us to have depth at that position. You saw Benny and Travis making a bunch of great plays in there.

All in all, we’re going to head into the bye week 5-2. Have a chance to get rested, have a chance to get AJ back healthy and ready to roll, have a strong football team heading down the back end of this season.

We’ve been an explosive team on both sides of the ball, been a little bit inconsistent. Some of those inconsistencies were better today. Anthony was efficient at the quarterback position today. I think we uncharacteristically had a few too many penalties.

In terms of the quarterback play, in terms of the defense and offense play, third down, everything, I thought we took a real step forward.

If you were on the sideline or near the sideline, that was a physical football game. It was a BC game. We were able to come out on top. Very, very proud of our team. I think what you see is a team that’s going to come off a bye week in a good place.

Happy to answer any questions.

Q. Talk about your blitz packages today. A lot of passes.

STEVE ADDAZIO: We put together some different blitz packages, some four-man twist things up front. I thought we got after the quarterback pretty good. Just got off the field. That was a good thing.

We’ve come off of a couple of losses here where we’ve played some outstanding quarterbacks, some real high-end quarterback throw-game play. I think we have a chance to develop from that.

That’s kind of what I said to myself. I don’t think everybody realizes a week ago we were down in an environment on the road, the quarterback is a pretty darn good player. But I think we’re growing from that.

Again, we had a chance to do this today, and we still don’t have our big gun in the game right now. We’re going to get him back and that’s going to help all the more.

Q. Two fourth-down plays, David gets stopped on fourth and short, after you called timeout. Go over that play.

STEVE ADDAZIO: Sure.

Q. The fourth and four where you convert to Travis.

STEVE ADDAZIO: On the fourth down and one play, we had a play called. I was worried about that call and that formation, so I called the timeout. Then we came into the timeout and we had a couple of choices we were going to make. One choice you saw is what we ran the second time on the fourth and five. We were going to run that. I made the decision to run the one that we ran. I wanted to feed it to David. I thought at that point, you know, we had a chance to put his big body in there, get that first down.

In hindsight, I would have liked to have run the one we ran on the fourth and five on the fourth and one. That was my fault. I think the biggest thing was unfortunately we had to call a timeout, and we lost a little bit of momentum in that swing right there. I don’t think that was a particularly great exchange right there. But that’s nobody’s fault but my own.

Those are the calls sometimes in the game that happen. They don’t work out so good sometimes, you pause to look back and evaluate it. That’s exactly what happened with the tale of those two calls. That’s why we went right back to the one we were going to go to on the next one.

Q. The decision to go with David, was that change of pace, get something a little different?

STEVE ADDAZIO: We had made a decision we were playing David. I regret we didn’t play David a week ago. The game had a different flow to it a week ago on the road. Same old story, it’s like two years ago, why did you take your time with AJ? Because we wanted things to be positive for him. All of a sudden he emerged. I thought that was handled in hindsight very well. I think we’ll prove that this will, too.

Sometimes you take these young guys, you’re trying to keep it as positive as you can keep it early. That builds confidence. We made a plan we were flat playing him, that was it, we told him. He carried the ball something like 18 times -- I’m sorry, 28. He had over a hundred yards. Benny had over a hundred yards. Now you have seen the emergence of big-time, big, physical back.

In our style of play, that’s really important. You feel that void when AJ is hurt right now. The other guys are doing a great job, but that has a lot to do with who we are in terms of staying on track down and distance, not getting behind the sticks too much.

I’m really excited about that right now. To have the combination that we have, which is obviously the best back in the conference in A.J. Dillon, then to have a young guy like David, another 250-pound back with speed, to have Travis and Benny in there that can do so many things on third down, et cetera, for us, is going to give us a lot more explosiveness and keep us better off offensively on schedule.

Q. There’s been talk about this run defense, holding the Cardinals to only one and a half yards per carry, the defensive line stepped up today.

STEVE ADDAZIO: I could tell from the sideline they played great, great penetration, surge. There was a different energy in the hotel today before we left. There was one of those deals where we felt like this is going to be a real street fight out here today.

Our D-line, there were some comments made earlier in the week, our defensive line took offense to that. I think that they showed how explosive and how fast and athletic they can be, physically tough. So they played with a purpose, no doubt about it.

Q. It seems like David is the type of running back that plays well behind a line like this, very downhill. When you were recruiting him, in the preseason, did you sort of see him as a good fit for what you like to do?

STEVE ADDAZIO: 100%. I mean, some of the guys that are in this room that come to practice, I know well, they’ve heard me talk about him. The problem you have sometimes with these young guys is they come out of high school, they have to learn how to -- they get fatigued easily, then they get sloppy with the ball. That’s been our only concern. He has great hands. He can catch the ball in the backfield unbelievable. But just the play in, play out...

The complete handling of the whole offense, all the shotgun plays, different things, it just takes a while. You can throw a guy in there and do it that way, or you can bring him in in bits and pieces. I just think at the end of the day sometimes a quarterback, a big-time running back, I just believe you want to build confidence. You don’t want to shell-shock them, a young freshman like that.

I think that’s what is right. Everybody has a different opinion, I guess. But, yes, we saw in pre-season, we saw in recruiting, pre-season camp, that what you saw is honestly in my mind the tip of the iceberg of what he can do. He’ll continue to grow, get better and better.

Q. You talked about the back half of your schedule. How do you prepare your guys when you’re going into such an important stretch, these upcoming games?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, the first thing we’re going to do right now is give them the biggest chunk of time I’ve ever given a team off in the bye week. They have a heavy academic load right now. A lot of guys have been burning the oil at night on their studies. So I just feel like we need to get ahead on that right now.

I want our bodies to get rested. We are a very physical team and we practice very physically, okay? So I’m going to utilize this week, I’m going to give them time off. I just told the team that. We’ll come in tomorrow and spend two hours watching the tape, then we’ll see them here. They’ll be with the strength coach on Wednesday, I’ll see them Thursday, Friday for two bona fide Miami practices. Game planned out, Miami Tuesday, Miami Wednesday. We’ll give them the weekend again.

I want their bodies fresh. I want to feel like we’re fresh again, as fresh as you can be going into a game eight. I think we can be fresh. I want to play fast and physical here a week from Friday. So that’s going to be our mindset right now for the next week. I’ve made that decision. I’m living with that because I think that’s what’s in order for our football team right now. That’s what we’re going to do.

Boston College freshman RB David Bailey

David, talk about the offensive line and how they were opening some holes for you and what you were trying to do with it.

BAILEY: The offensive line, they were working all week in practice and they’ve been working real hard opening holes for running backs. Today in the game, it was brought over and they did an excellent job today.

What kind of advice has AJ given you throughout this entire process?

BAILEY: AJ, since I got here during the summer, has been a big brother to me and all the backs. He’s been telling me to trust myself and once I get the chance to just explode.

Coach talked about freshmen getting fatigued easily. How are you feeling at this point in the season, obviously this is really your first major game action?

BAILEY: I made a lot of progress from the beginning. In the beginning I was really tired after one rep and coming from high school to college was a big adjustment. I would say, I’m getting better.

Coach talked about kind of regretting not playing you last week. You knew you were playing this week, how eager and anxious were you to get in there?

BAILEY: Every week I am always ready, it’s the next man up mentality. I’m always ready. Coach called my name today, and I went in and played ball like I always do.

Boston College redshirt sophomore QB Anthony Brown

On the fourth-and-four from the 23, was the play always to Travis or were you making progressions and deciding who was wide open?

BROWN: He was first in the progression and he was wide open so it just came natural.

Was it a simple wheel route and nobody came out?

BROWN: Simple flat route. Instead of taking the defensive end he took me so I just dumped it over his head and Travis brought it in for first down and we moved on.

The turnovers in the second quarter – what was said on the sideline about taking care of the ball and being insured that we can be the better team but we have to take care of the football?

BROWN: Just exactly what you said – we have to take care of the ball. That’s one of our team mottos, win the turnover battle. We have to show our offense that we protect the football. If we protect the football, it’s very hard to lose.

The first half seemed to have an unusual amount of momentum shifts. Did you feel that way? On top of that, how did the blocked punt touchdown help with the momentum shift?

BROWN: There were a bunch of momentum shifts and that was a huge one. On the offense, we were catching a couple penalties here and there and it was slowing us down. The defense was stopping them but they kept dropping. That blocked punt just shifted the whole game. It turned into a 28-point swing so that was great for the momentum.

Can you talk about the running game?

BROWN: Both of our tailbacks had over 100 yards each. That’s a compliment to our line. They were really blocking today. Louisville’s defensive line – they’re big, they’re physical, they played fast. Today, I guess we were on. We needed to be. Our running backs ran great, they saw the holes and it turned out well.

Does it feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders to have Colton back?

BROWN: It’s cool. I always have faith in Colton. Colton’s a great kicker. He was down for a little bit but now he’s back and feels refreshed. He has a little bit better mindset and he is ready to go. I’m not worried. I like to score points regardless.

At the preseason scrimmages we kind of saw a bit of what David (Bailey) can do. Were you not surprised by the type of performance he had today?

BROWN: No I wasn’t surprised at all. David was brought in here to do exactly what he’s doing right now. Whether it was supposed to be next year, two years from now, or right now as it’s happening. He’s been doing a wonderful job. He’s been getting his conditioning right and getting his lungs. As Coach said, when freshmen come in they get fatigued really fast. He’s been catching up to speed and getting smarter with what he knows. He’s shown that he’s ready.

After today’s win, how much confidence is there going into the Miami game?

BROWN: There’s a ton of confidence. We’re ready to play a good Miami team and it’s home and a Friday night. That’s what college football is about. If you’re not excited you shouldn’t be on this team or you shouldn’t be on the field that night.

You just heard what Coach Addazio said about wanting to play physical and fast against this Miami team. From a quarterback’s perspective what does that mean and what potential does that have going into the final stretch of the season?

BROWN: As a quarterback, that just means having urgency. If we need a first down we need to go get a first down. Get the right reads, put the team in the right position, be a leader basically. If we need to go make a block we need to go make a block. Just a lot of things and aspects that go into playing fast as a quarterback. We’re just ready to play a good Miami team. Down the stretch, it’s going to be a bumpy ride but we’re going to make it.

Coach commented on the energy in the hotel this morning – what was the mood like after Louisville called your defense slow?

BROWN: I mean it gave us a chip. It already added to the heat that was in there. We were upset with ourselves that we started slow at the NC State game and we wanted to really prove it that we were supposed to be exactly what everyone thinks of us. It added fuel to the fire and our defense played wonderfully today. Especially the defensive line, they were attacking and getting after it.

You talk about playing fast, and you were playing up-tempo. When you have a two touchdown lead is it hard to slow down?

BROWN: It is difficult. Benny broke down for what, a 42 yard run? You kind of get into a ‘you want to slow down, but you want to score’ mood. It’s difficult. It’s conflicting.

Boston College senior DE Zach Allen

Can you talk about the general pressure and some of the blitz packages that were so effective against their quarterback?

ALLEN: You see their offense, it’s really high-power. They’ve got some really great athletes on there. We just thought that we had to pressure them as much as possible and get there as fast as possible. According to them we’re slow so I think we proved them wrong today.

Wyatt Ray had a big game today as well. Did that seem to give the defense momentum and make it seem like you guys could fight back?

ALLEN: Yeah, Wyatt is an elite pass rusher so whenever he makes plays it definitely gets everyone going. I think everyone was making plays today. In the end we all had a great game and we’re really thankful for him and really excited to see him keep making those plays for the rest of the year.

You just touched on it a little – they said you’re slow. When did that come up, did you hear it?

ALLEN: I’m not going to talk about it too much but they made it known out loud how they feel about us and we feel differently about ourselves. We wanted to prove them wrong and I think we did.

They ran the read option a lot today and it seemed like you were on them from the start. Is that something you really focused on in practice this week?

ALLEN: Yeah, definitely. Especially in the ACC when you have these dual-threat quarterbacks that can beat you with not just their arms and legs. Their Pass kid, he’s a really good athlete and I think we gave him a lot to do. I think we had a lot of success with it and hopefully we’ll continue having success with it for the rest of the season.