Boston College Head Coach Steve Addazio
STEVE ADDAZIO: We had some injuries to overcome. We played most of the game without our starting safety. We played the back half of the game without our starting tailback. We lost Jeff Smith during the game and just kept battling. Guys stepped up and made some real plays.
Benny Glines, I think AJ ran for 160, then Benny came in and ran for a 120-something, some real tough, gritty runs. Meanwhile he’s on the kickoff team, the punt team, the kickoff return team. I thought his performance was really something.
On defense, we made some really big plays like we’ve been doing. But we need a little more consistency. We got a little exposed with some youth. Lukas going down hurt us, because we couldn’t make a move there, which we typically could put Lukas down at corner. So we struggled with that a little bit. But I thought our team battled.
Our special teams, Mike Walker made some big plays in the game. Two big, critical punt returns with confidence. You know, I just thought our team was strong, with strong resolve, tough, played hard, tempo. I knew this was going to be a tough game. They have a talented team, they have big, long, tall receivers. They’re a big football team with speed and athleticism, and this was going to be one of those days.
Of course, we spotted them, which doesn’t help matters. We had the kickoff return fumble, which was a scoop-and-score deal, and that was a tough deal. And we gave up a 75-yard run, which is not something we can do.
So, in my mind, I think it might have even been back-to-back. There was a 14-point swing right there. That made this game what this game was to the bitter end. I think if we didn’t have that, I think we could have really pulled away with our physicality.
But I think this is a team that is getting tougher by the week. You talk about baptism under fire and getting leathered and tough. We have not had an easy non-conference. We may have started out easy, but these last three opponents have been tough. These last two opponents, one on the road, one home, those are tough games out of conference in the ACC to play. I think we’ll get better from those, and we’ll continue to improve. We’ve got to tighten up some of the spots that seem to be some areas of concern, and I’ll address those.
I thought the play of Dan Longman was outstanding today as well, another young freshman. So we’ll just keep grinding, keep getting better, keep improving. Hopefully we’ll get some of these players back. I have no information, so you might as well not even ask me, because I couldn’t tell you. I’ll head that off now. I’m not trying to not say, but I just don’t.
But we have some guys that got dinged out of this game. We had a guy called for targeting and thrown out of the game. So from the injuries and the targeting, we were down some of our better players. All in all, we battled, and showed great grit. I think offensively we were explosive. Defensively we were explosive, just some inconsistencies.
So we’ll look at the tape and get better, but can’t question the toughness of this football team. It’s a tough football team.
Last week I don’t know if we played with that intensity. I don’t know that. But I know we did this week. We played with a lot of intensity. So with that, I’ll answer any questions.
Q. Can you talk about the performance of Ben Glines put in?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, he put one in at the end of last week’s game. And I said to the team last Sunday, you know, we were all pretty upset and disappointed, but I said to the team, “I want to mention one guy, and he’s a warrior.” And it was Ben Glines. That was last Sunday and I had to point that out because of what was on the tape. So he came in here and just continued and picked up right where he left off.
Extremely valuable to us. Tough, gritty, hard-nosed runner. But then again, if you ask our strength coach, he would tell you that’s the toughest guy on our football team, so...
Q. You mentioned the two 100-yard rushers today. What does that say about your offensive line and how important it is to this team’s success on offense?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I think our O-line is, I said it from the beginning, I think it’s a veteran line. I think it’s an outstanding line. I’m a little upset we had two critical penalties down the home stretch up front which cost us. But they played hard, they played tough. Anthony had time to throw the football. We were running the football. They’re a physical outfit, and that has, every game that’s been the case. Even a week ago that was the case up front. So they’re playing hard and doing a great job. We’ve just got to continue to squeeze out the little penalty errors.
Like today there were two back-to-backs, which cost us. We’ve got to get rid of those.
Q. Coach, you mentioned Danny Longman, will he be your kicker going forward?
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know, every week we assess where we are. We’ll wait and see if Colton Lichtenberg will be available this week. These guys are all young guys. They’re all great kids and they’re all talented. They’re just young, they’re young, including Grant Carlson. He’s been here a couple years but he’s never really played. And he kicked some fantastic punts today, Grant did. But we had a couple hiccups along the way.
So we’re dealing with a young, skilled group, and the -- a young specialist group. The only real veteran guy we have is out. So hopefully we’ll get him back this week. That’s the only one that I think -- that’s the one that I can comment on because I think we have a shot to get him back this week. What we do with that, I don’t know yet.
Q. Is the consistency what bothers you the most getting off the field on third down?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yes.
Q. Can you comment on that going into ACC play and what you have to do with that?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, we have to get off the field, and we all know it. We’ve got great pass-rushers. We’ve got some unbelievable balls thrown at us. I mean, there are times where we’re actually in terrific position, you know? Then there are a few times when we’re not. But as many as not, are, and guys are making big-time plays.
I’ll tell you this: the Hamp Cheevers play might have been one of the plays of the game, that pick he had. So we had a couple picks, and they were critical. We probably left another one out on the field. But we’ve got to get rid of these big plays. Like I said, a couple of them, honestly, we’re in pretty good position. What are you going to say? Went out and made a friggin play.
Then there’s a couple of them where, you know what, we’re not, and we’ve got to get rid of that. We all feel that. That’s not a big secret. So it kind of breaks your back a little bit because we get tired out there, and the pass-rushers start to wear down. They get tired. If we could just get off the field a little better, I think the momentum would really swirl.
So that’s a critical deal for us right now. That’s something I feel like we’ve got to get on top of, without a doubt.
Q. What do you lose when Lukas leaves the game? Is he like the central nervous system out there?
STEVE ADDAZIO: You lose a veteran player who makes a lot of calls out there, you know, a guy that you can push the corner. We’ve got Mike Palmer back. We know he can play really well. We know we can always utilize Lukas at the corner, we lost that checker move. So that hurt us. But, I mean, they lost guys too. This is a physical football game now. Give them credit.
I’ve been in a lot of games here, and this is my sixth year here. I’m telling you, ACC and all this other stuff, that was a physical, physical football game on both sides. They took a lot of hits, I think, and we took some hits. And there’s good skilled players on that field today. So that was a tough football game.
There’s a whole lot of other people non-conference that you can play than that team. That was a tough football team. I’m proud of our guys that we came out with that win, and played as gritty as we did without -- without some of our very best players down the home stretch.
I mean, AJ had 160 yards. I mean, 160 yards rushing, he could have been on track to have 250 yards rushing. That’s a big loss. Then Benny Glines came in and just wow.
Just keep grinding, man. This is football. This is what it is. Hopefully we regroup and get some guys back. If we don’t, we keep moving forward, that’s what it is.
But I’m proud of these BC guys, these BC men. They represent this university fantastically. As we said as a team down there, we’re all very proud to represent the institution that we represent. It’s a special place. This is a special place, and we know it. Coaches and players alike. We can represent the kind of play that we had from a standpoint of grit, toughness and class and come out with a win like that, it’s a good day.
Q. AJ was running a lot of shotgun today. Was that an adjustment you made throughout the week?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, we’re going to start to diversify a little bit more with our shotgun game, our quick game, our run game out of the same thing. Really trying to go down into game six right now. You’re trying to get rid of your tendencies. So you don’t want to constantly show your tendencies.
If you’re a heavy under center run team on early downs, trying to shake some of that out. You saw in this game, we came out and tried to throw the ball and be balanced early. And we did. You know, there were a couple times where I was like, oh, boy, just kept feeding it. But we’re trying to make sure as we go into conference play, we know we have to have the ability to throw that ball in early downs, shotgun under center, play action, empty, quick game, so we worked at that hard and that showed in the game.
So hopefully we just keep improving there. But, yes, that’s why he’s in the shotgun.
Boston College Redshirt Sophomore QB Anthony Brown
How fun was it to throw, and how fun was it to catch one there?
BROWN: It was very fun, we’ve been running that play for a very long time, it was just fun to get it executed in a game.
Can you talk about the mental toughness of yourself and this team after coming off a tough loss and then playing well today?
We were practicing extremely hard this past week. It took great resolve to come back and win this against a tough Temple team. They came in here, they were ready and they wanted to give us everything they got. That’s what they did. The thought of being able to fight back and win, find a way to win this game, it was great and we needed it.
Your mom had a chance to sing God Bless America, did you know that was going to happen?
I heard her, I had no idea she was going to do that. She did say something about it in the summer, asking me would I mind if she sang during a game. I was like “no, why?” and she was like “oh I’m just asking.” When I saw her up there singing today, it made me feel like I was back at home again. They announced it, it was kind of a shock to me. As soon as they said my mom I was like, “what??” and I looked over and she was singing.
What would you give her for a grade?
She got extra credit on that one, I give her 105 out of 100.
Boston College Redshirt Sophomore WR/RB Ben Glines:
Q: Ben, you come into every game with this possibility – what went through your mind when you saw AJ on the bench? What’d you have to do?
GLINES: I think we show up tomorrow, we’ll watch the film, we’ll practice, do whatever. I come in on Sunday right til game day with the mindset of “whatever they need me to do for the game”. If they need me on receiver, running back, special teams – I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get on the field and help us win games.
Q: Coach pointed out last week that he pointed you out to the team and said you’re one of the toughest guys on the team. What does that mean to you and what does that mean coming from coach?
A: I really try to pride myself off of being a gritty type of player. I’ll do the dirty work – I’ll do whatever I can to win games. Him saying that to me really meant a lot. It’s what I try to create in my football persona. It was really cool that he did that. It’s just who I try to be as a football player.
Q: You entered today’s game with 55 total rushing yards on the season, but you more than doubled that mark by the end of the game. When you looked at the stat sheet, were you surprised at all? Did you just get in the zone?
A: Well I haven’t looked at the stat sheet yet – I knew I was running for first-downs. We were moving the ball pretty well down the field but our offensive line was playing phenomenally. They were moving guys around. I’m taking these handoffs but they’re creating them. It’s a big tribute to our offensive line. Those guys come to work every day and go hard. They take a lot of heat from some of our coaches and it shows on Saturdays. They’re going for it – AJ had what, 150 or 160 rushing yards. To have multiple backs come in and run those kinds of numbers, it’s a real tribute to them.
Q: Are you playing after the Xaverian tradition here?
A: I try to. Luke went here, Steve, Sean Duggan … we’ve had a lot of guys come through here. To be able to carry on that St. X to Boston College pipeline is definitely an honor. This is how my high school coach taught me to train at St. X. My running back coach – this is what we did. It was just go-go-go. We’re not going to stop, we’re going to keep pounding the rock. That’s what I did in high school. I said that to coach when I talked to him this summer and he mentioned me playing a bit of running back – I was like, I did that for four years in high school. If that’s what you need me to do, I’ll play there, I’ll play receiver – I’ll play wherever. I take a lot of pride in my high school – shout out to the Bombers – yeah, I definitely take a lot of pride in that.
Boston College senior defensive back Taj-Amir Torres:
Q: Hamp’s got a pick-six and Lukas’ got a pick-six – were your eyes wide open for your own right there?
A: I thought I was gonna have one but I took a shot at the head instead.
Q: After you took that hit, you got up even without your helmet on and kind of just let out a roar. What was going through your mind in that moment?
A: I was just in the right place to make the play. We were talking about it all week, we were excited about it.
Q: Can you talk about getting the secondary together when Lukas has to leave the game? We were told he’s kind of the brain of the secondary.
A: We have a high standard in our room. It’s the next-man-up mentality. The guys came in – Elijah Jones, Mike Palmer – and they made plays.
Q: You had a huge pass breakup covering Isaiah Wright – what was it like covering him today?
A: He’s a good player. I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity I could get. When the opportunity presented itself, I had to make the play.
Boston College Senior DE Zach Allen
It seems like it was kind of a topsy-turvy game for the defense for a lot of it there, but then you came up with that huge sack in the fourth quarter. What did you see on that play?
ALLEN: I think the big thing that we stressed this whole week was being consistent. At that point, we didn’t want to have a relapse of last week and we knew they were passing the ball and we just went for it. We had a great rush all the way around.
AJ and Jeff go down, two key players. How big of it was it for Ben Glines to come in the way he did?
Benny is a warrior for us, we love Benny. He really is the heart and soul of this team. Seeing him do what he did, we didn’t miss a beat. Obviously when you lose key players like that it’s tough and it’s demoralizing, but at the same time we really do have that “next man up” mentality. Especially in that running back room and that wide receiver room, those are two really deep rooms, you have to trust in all those guys.
How do you rally on losing Lukas Denis? I’m told he is like the central nervous system of the defense, how do you come together after he had to leave?
He’s our centerfielder, he’s really our captain in the back. It was tough. But again, the “next man up” mentality. You’ve got Mike Palmer out there making plays. Lucas, when we came back in at half time, seeing his face and seeing him not down and being encouraging, that helped us out a lot. Having a leader like that on and off the field, that’s what gave those two players the confidence to really step up and there really wasn’t that big of a drop-off in play.