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Boston College vs. Florida State: Steve Addazio Press Conference Transcript

Someone had to ask about Florida, didn't they?

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STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, we certainly can't wait to get down and play this football game. We're playing a great football team as everybody is well aware of, arguably the best team in the country, and loaded with great talent, starting with their quarterback Jameis Winston and their running back Dalvin Cook and Rashad Greene, and so many great players, so many great players on both sides of the ball, on defense with Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards and Jalen Ramsey. So a great challenge, one we're looking forward to, and with that, any questions.

Q. Talking about the situation down in Gainesville, I know we talked about that last week. Do you ever think about maybe going back to Gainesville and helping out Florida, or is that not on the radar?

STEVE ADDAZIO: The only thing I'm thinking about right now is that mighty challenge that we have this week against Florida State, and I mean that with my whole heart. I mean, this is a huge game for Boston College, and we are certainly in the deep end of the pool traveling down there against this really super talented team. You know, all my focus, all my attention is all driven towards our game Saturday.

Q. Talk about Florida State; what do you see with their running back, because Cook, that freshman running back, reminds me of a small Ray Rice type of guy, so how do you stop him on Saturday?

STEVE ADDAZIO: He's electric. He's got great acceleration, great change of direction. I think he's a fantastic player and one of the elite players, will be, in the country. You know, we've got to do a great job with gap control on defense, and you just can't let him squirt out of there and have those 40‑, 60‑yard runs that can be devastating.

Q. I know you talked a lot about Florida State and what they've been able to do. Just matching resiliency with them, your team has been able to do that this season, so have they, and sort of look at that match‑up from the standpoint of two teams that don't really know how to give up in that situation.

STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I think that's a big key in the game. I think that in order to—you're talking about the champion here, we're playing the champion, the defending national champions, and when you go down and you play that kind of team in that kind of environment, you'd better be resilient and you'd better be prepared to fight that thing down and win it in the fourth quarter. We talked to our team about this. We've got to be physical, we've got to be tough, but as you said, we've got to be resilient. There will be X amount of plays in this game on either side of the ball that guys will have an opportunity to make, and we've got to be able to have competitive excellence and make them. We can't be a mistake‑ridden team. These are the challenges when you play a championship‑level team.

There's a reason why they've won so many consecutive games. Resiliency is huge, your mindset, your preparation, your mental toughness, they'll all come into play.

Q. And then as far as your corners when you're going up against players like Greene and Wilson and O'Leary and everybody that Florida State has, just how you've seen your corners as well as your safeties evolve and what you can say about your secondary?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, we've come a long way this year. We lost our starting corner John Johnson which really has hurt us with an injury, but we're developing, we're really seeing improvement, and their challenge is going to be to stay aggressive and to be able to contest throws, and that's going to be really important.

You know, they've got fast, talented, gifted receivers, but they also have the best quarterback in the country who can stand in that pocket and get it there. So that'll be a challenge. We've got to do a good job up front. We've got to disrupt timing, and we've got to play very aggressive.

Q. How does it affect your planning and preparation at all when you face a Florida State team that are known for not being as good in the first half? Is that going to affect your planning in terms of let's try to maximize our first half production there?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, first of all, I mean, what I see on film is a really good football team that just has a mechanism to really accelerate in the second half. I mean, I think they're good in every phase. But our goal is to get it—you've got to get it to the fourth quarter. You've got to be in the game, get it to the fourth quarter, and then as Dan said, you've got to have great resiliency, you've got to have great desire, and you've got to find a way to exceed that in the fourth quarter, which is very difficult to do because the sign of a good championship team is that when it gets the hardest and gets the toughest, the best play comes out, and they've shown on film that when that game is in the balance and on the line, I mean, they play at a high level that I haven't seen in a long time. It's really impressive.

So you've got to get it to that point and then you've got to match it and you've got to exceed that intensity.

Q. What's the challenge when Florida State is in their nickel package where they have a versatile guy like Jalen Ramsey who can blitz or drop into coverage or be an additional linebacker against the run where I guess there's just a lot of versatility in what he does. How do you guys try to read that offensively?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, you said it. You try to—we're a big grouping team, and you attack teams with groupings, personnel, but here's a guy that they don't have to have a lot of exchanges. They're comfortable against the run with him, they're comfortable obviously in coverage with him. And I see why. He's a great player and getting better, which speaks to their ability to develop their players. They've done an unbelievable job.

His versatility gives them great versatility, and so that's a factor in game planning for sure.

Q. What do you think is the biggest strength of your team this year off the field, not on the field but off it?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think we've got a real good team, a team that is accountable to each other, a team that—we've got a bunch of good guys. They're not only good players but they're good people. They care about their academics, they care about their degree, they care about their teammates, and I think—I don't have to worry about our guys going to class. They go to class. They're good citizens. They go to class, and they're good representatives of Boston College and being a Boston College man.

Off the field, you know, I don't have those hard challenges. I think they're very tough. We have a tough football team, not just physically but mentally, and a team that wants to succeed and cares about continuing and building upon the great tradition that was here at Boston College and that we're trying to bring it back to.

Q. Have you had those hard locker room situations in the past with some off the field stuff in your history?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, there's been some greater challenges, you know, in dealing with issues and things, but one of the greatest things here is that, hey, kids are kids, and it's not like we never have any issues, but we don't have a lot. And I think it speaks to the character of our team and the people that—the guys that are attracted to come to Boston College, obviously, they want to be great football players, they want to be great competitors, but they also embrace their education, and it's very, very important to them. We had a bye week a week ago, and during our bye week we needed it desperately physically, but we also needed it because there was so much schoolwork and so many demands on them that they're trying to get themselves caught back up with. So it's an interesting dynamic.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports