After Saturday’s game against UMass, Boston College Eagles’ coach Steve Addazio, quarterback Anthony Brown and wide receiver Kobay White met the media.
Transcript is courtesy of BC Athletics.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Certainly today I thought we had an explosive performance on both sides of the ball. On offense we had 622 yards, 300 yards rushing and another 300 something throwing. I thought Anthony Brown came out and played an outstanding game after coming back from an injury, probably one of the best performances that’s been played around here in a long time. It was a hell of a game, and he did a great job.
There were a lot of contributions throughout the offense from a lot of people, and that’s really what we wanted to do - distribute the ball. We set the pace in the opening drive. I think it was an eight- or nine-play drive which culminated in a touchdown, and I thought for the most part it stayed throughout the day.
I thought AJ - we didn’t play him in the second half - he had 98 tough yards in the first half, and I thought he did a heck of a job. Kobay White made some unbelievable receptions. I thought on defense, we came out, we played super hard, super intense. Came up with a couple of turnovers, one pick for a touchdown, a critical one down in the red zone in the second half. I thought our pass rush at times looked just phenomenal.
Special teams-wise, we had a couple issues when we lost Jimmy Martin on the field goal short snap and then an issue on the punt, obviously, and we let up a kickoff return. That’s not anything that we’re going to do around here. But that happened, so I’m going to have to take a look and address what that problem was.
But all in all, I thought it was a great opening day performance. Our goal for our kids was to play at the highest level, give all the effort they had, be physical, be fast, be relentless, and play together, and I thought that we certainly saw that. We had zero turnovers, and I thought that was great. It was great. That’s our goal.
Q. What does it say about your team that this early in the season you took advantage of the opportunities that you had as efficiently as you did?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I just think that honestly, for me, looking at this game, I wanted to see our quarterback come back out and regain his confidence. He had not been in any games -- no one had ever tackled him, hit him or touched him. And so I thought he had to come out here, and he showed zero rust -- he was not fazed in any way by that, so I thought that was great. And I thought with that, when your quarterback is playing at a high level, it gives you an opportunity to take advantage and execute those opportunities. He made some big-time throws today. As he looked more comfortable, we took more shots. Going into the game, to me it was all about let’s go win the game and let’s bring Anthony along, but as we got into that game, we didn’t need to do that, and he showed signs of a guy that was really on top of his game. So I was excited about that, and so I thought that worked out well.
Q. Any update on Jon Baker? I thought he came out.
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know, as per the new ACC rule now -- I’m not going to be able to comment on injuries, but he’s doing fine.
Q. You’ve kind of touched on it a little bit, but were you a little bit surprised as well as Anthony looked?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yes. Coming back, game 1, we were real careful with him in preseason camp, how many reps he took, no one touching him. There were no signs it was going to be an issue, but my experience tells me that it can be. But it’s over now - in terms of hesitation, in terms of not being confident - and so that was perfect. It worked out perfect and he exceeded my expectations relative to that. Not his ability - I know he has ability. It’s like to me, he picked up right where he left off at the end of the season when we were playing at a pretty high level, and I felt like he picked right back up right at that spot.
Q. The four-minute offense and the three minutes that he had to go 97 yards, that seemed to be maybe the highlight of his day, the way he managed that drive?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Sometimes in those kind of games, believe it or not, I get worn out at the end of the game just with the substitutions become more overwhelming than anything else - who needs to be off the field, when do we take this guy out, when do we take this guy out. I get exasperated by the end of the game, everybody coming at you, “I want to take him out, I want to take him out.” Sometimes, to answer your question, I guess, I’ve got to go back and watch it and really process everything that took place in the beginning.
Q. The 33-yard pass touchdown he made, seemed like off his back foot, but to your point, it looked like he wasn’t afraid to take contact on that touchdown pass.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Right, and then he had that one run. It was like he was running -- I mean, this is just me looking at it, and it was right near me, and I said to myself, okay, he’s probably going to get himself down, then he pushed off the contact and re-accelerated. And I thought that was a moment where you said to yourself, he’s done with this. So that was a good thing. But he played smart, too. We don’t need to be reckless now. He can be a quarterback that can be a smart runner and a smart player.
Q. You said he did more than maybe even you expected; how much does that expand what you guys are capable of doing offensively in terms of your game plan and so forth going forward, and how much does Anthony Brown as a weapon make it that much harder for teams to load up on AJ?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, yeah, I think the fact of the matter is you saw our receivers making a lot of catches, you saw our tight ends, our receivers, you see our running backs, and I think all that does is make them defend 53 and a third. So they were kind of starting to load the box real, real heavy, and that’s when we started throwing the ball. There was one play we ran where everybody was open. I think he hit Kobay down on the boundary, but Tommy Sweeney was 20 yards open. They were all open. That’s what happens if you’re going to roll the dice and gamble heavy and bring everybody into the box. We’re no longer back in year one with Andre where we were going to run the ball and run it again and run it again and run it again. We don’t have to do that now. We’re still going to run the football, but we’re going to take advantage and have the ability to take advantage of what the defense gives us.
Q. Davon Jones, is he still a linebacker, or is he just your short yardage tailback or both?
STEVE ADDAZIO: He’s both. Davon is a 235-pound guy with tremendous hands and great feet and acceleration on contact. We’ve been 2-A’ing him all camp. Obviously we have AJ, and then we have Travis, and Travis does some unbelievable things for us, and then we have Davon, who’s another big, physical guy who is going to hit you and drive you back. Then of course we saw the openings of David Bailey, and David Bailey is a monster, okay. I mean, he is a 250-pound man, and you’re going to start to see his emergence now. You saw it today. And so that’s exciting. And Benny Glines played tailback most of training camp, and he was exceptional looking, as well. So our goal is to have a stable of backs because you need a stable of backs.
Obviously we have the best back in the country, but we’ve got to be able to give him a chance to rest. The way he runs, his style is so physical, those plays don’t end, they just keep driving and driving. That takes a lot of exertion. So we have to have a stable of guys that we can keep hitting people with. I like the fact that we have size there. That wears down the defense. It’s very difficult to tackle those guys.
And then Travis, I mean, he’s got unbelievable acceleration and wiggle, and the change of pace is hard to deal with.
Q. Talk about the pass rush.
STEVE ADDAZIO: I thought the pass rush at times was just outstanding. Just watching Zach Allen turn speed into power, turn the corners, and get under people. He and Wyatt, I thought they did a fantastic job in the pass rush. I thought our defense played really well and did a great job.
They’ve got a quarterback that’s a pretty good player. He’s accurate and he can throw the ball, and they’ve got a couple of really good receivers that can flat run. They’ve got a pretty big offensive line up front. I mean, it was a challenge, and I thought our defense played extremely, extremely well.
Q. At the start of last season Anthony had trouble hitting Kobay on the deep ball. What did you think of their connection today?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Kobay is a heck of a player, and you’re seeing the maturation of a couple of players. That’s what you’re looking at. Don’t forget now, this is like Anthony Brown’s 11th game of his career. Everybody forgets that. Eleventh game of his career. That’s it. Kobay White is in his second season, right? I mean, these are young guys. They’re just starting to come into their own. That’s all. You saw the emergence of a guy like Hunter Long today. Hunter Long is going to be an unbelievably great player. You saw the emergence of -- I talked about him already, David Bailey on offense, right? Pay attention to that one now, all right? A lot of guys stepped up today. I thought Jeff Smith did a great job today. I thought Jeff, he caught a lot of balls in there. How about CJ Lewis? I thought he was going to take that one to the house. I think he’s going to be a real big-time guy. I really do. He’s a big, tall, tough guy. He’s got great hands. We have some skill and we have some playmakers and we have some speed. That’s where we are.
Now quite frankly I told our guys down there, it’s just one game. We came out, we had a heck of a day today. What we asked and challenged our team to do, they did and they responded. Next week is a new week. Tomorrow is a new day. Every day for us, we’ve got to come out and we’ve got to grind.
UMass has got a good team. Mark has done an unbelievable job; they’re going to go on and win a bunch of games. But right now, this was one win we can put in the win column; we can learn from it; we can grow from it. And the most important thing is we’d better improve from it, because we’re staring down the gauntlet of a lot of tough games ahead of us.
So our goal is just to get better each week and find the areas that we can improve on because it’s fragile. It was great, wonderful, terrific. Celebrate the win. We’re starting fresh to be 1-0 again tomorrow, and that’s really what I want to focus on.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Anthony Brown
On coming back from his injury
It was very encouraging. My teammates played wonderful today. They helped a lot - and they supported me all the way through the journey. All the credit goes to my teammates.
On his excitement to get back on the field
I was really excited. I was like an eight year old playing football again. There weren’t any jitters at all because we prepared for this day. I put a lot of time into this so my teammates could be ready and I could be ready. No jitters, no nervousness. There was none of that and we were ready to go today.
On AJ Dillon’s touchdown reception
That’s one that was great to see because everybody was harping on him all summer about him just being able to run and saying ‘he can’t catch’ and stuff like that. It was very exciting to see him open up the game with a receiving touchdown. It was fun to watch.
Sophomore running back AJ Dillon
On his touchdown reception
Everybody associated with the team knew I had the ability to catch the ball, but I kind of learned my role last year and worked my way into the offense going into the spring. I’m excited to have that extra tool in my arsenal now and put on display what we’ve been working on so hard over the summer. It definitely felt good.
On Anthony Brown’s game
Obviously on a personal level, Anthony is one of my best friends so seeing him have success...I’m smiling on the sideline I’m so happy. Obviously as a teammate and a competitor, seeing his the ability to pass the ball as efficient as he did today...it was great. Good teams will load up the box, try to stop the run, and if we have the ability to throw it over the top and get major touchdowns that way - it’s a great feeling. At the end of the day, it’s not about my stats or Anthony’s stats. It’s about getting a ‘W’ and being 1-0 each week.
Redshirt-Sophomore wide receiver Kobay White
On connecting with Brown in one-on-one match-ups:
Having Anthony as a quarterback is just so great. I think he throws some of the best balls in college football. For all of the catches I had today, he put the ball perfectly to where I could get it so I didn’t really have any trouble with the defender when I was going to get the balls.
On the team’s abilities in the passing game:
We believe that without a doubt we’re a really balanced offense. I mean we have AJ Dillon, he’s one of the best players in the country. So if a team is trying to stack the box against him, we’ve got the whole offensive line and both our D-backs open. When the DB’s try to stack the box, we just want to encourage that. We want them to try.
On his reaction to his first TD:
I came off the field and Coach (Addazio) said everyone was open on that play. I was pretty excited.
On his second TD catch:
I know, I kind of beat the other corner and (Anthony) put it right on the inside. So the corner, he kind of made the play, but by the time he got there it was just too late because the ball has dropped right in my hands at that point.
Senior safety Lukas Denis
On the pick-six to end the first half:
I mean before the half you can never be caught sleeping. We just called the play, ran it like it was any other situation in the game, and they played aggressive. They threw the ball deep. One of our young corners, Grant Sebastian (not confident on that name), was great on that play. He sunk underneath it, tipped it up to me, and I was able to catch it.
On the defense’s fourth-down stop
It gave us life, it gave us energy. It really solidified what we were there to do. It gave us a lot of momentum and we were able to go back to the sideline, talk about some things, get back out there and straighten things out.
On Hamp Cheevers forced fumble and recovery
Hamp is a very tough player. Ever since he got here he’s been making plays. He’s very smart, he’s always on top of his keys, he likes to study a lot. I think he’s a competitor and he likes the challenge. Him going against number five – well it didn’t really matter which corner he was up against, no matter what, he competed throughout the entire game.