Boston College head football coach Steve Addazio sat down with ESPN's Ivan Maisel and 247's coaching guru Pete Roussel recapped their conversation including the mistakes he has made, lessons he has learned and where he sees BC's offense evolving to this year. As we saw last year Addazio has put a heavy emphasis on getting Boston College back into the physical-ball controlling team that has been the hallmark of past BC teams. Addazio wants to see his team mentally and physically tough, something he thinks will give the Eagles an advantage over their opponents.
He explained that using this physical style gives an advantage for BC over teams that are built on speed.
"When people can run downhill – iso, power, gap scheme, counter – if you don’t really have big fullbacks on your roster that are coming down on those backers, that’s difficult thing. Those backers are used to going side to side, playing nickel and dime defenses. Now all of a sudden they’ve got to come downhill on you and they can’t play nickel or dime anymore."
Certainly we have seen what physicality can do to teams that are built off of speed. A perfect example would be the way that Stanford has absolutely manhandled Oregon over the past two seasons. Watching the game you see the way Stanford's methodical physical drives just takes the tread out of Duck defenders. By the fourth quarter the Oregon offense is out of whack, and the defense is gassed from getting stuck on the field. Oregon had three drives the entire second half. If Steve Addazio wants to take a page out of that playbook than I am all for it.
Roussel notes that Addazio watched a lot of Stanford game film last year but did not speak to the coaches about their style. There certainly were games last year where BC went out and tried to control the tempo of the game, the Wake game being the first. Another great example was the Clemson game, where BC stuck out with a Top 10 team for most of the game, not allowing a team built on speed to get going. They didn't have enough to win that game, but you could see how this style might more or less level the playing field for the Eagles.
Thankfully Addazio didn't try to implement the offense that he used with Urban Meyer in Florida. Right away he recognized that if he went spread with this team he would get killed. He'd only have to watch game tapes of Doug Martin's schemes to figure that out. But will Addazio try to mimic Stanford or will he creating a hybrid that fits BC's system? We have already seen that he has done a pretty solid job identifying the strengths of the roster and adapting a scheme that will fit what we have. But 2014 won't be 2013, so where does he see BC going from here
During his ACC press conference Addazio talked about where BC's offense is going to be heading this year. From what he has talked about he rightfully said that last year their lack of weapons forced them into over relying on Andre Williams. This season he is going to shoot more towards spreading out those runs. Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse's names are the ones that keep coming up, but don't count out the freshmen coming in (Marcus Outlow, Richard Wilson and Jonathan Hilliman). It doesn't sound like BC is going to be moving away from the run, but he did hint that there is going to be more spread formations used than we saw in 2013, and allowing Tyler Murphy to scramble will add a whole new wrinkle. He highlighted that BC has tall receivers this year (Josh Bordner and Charlie Callinan are both 6'3) and that will present matchup problems for opposing defenses. Neither has played at the collegiate level at this position, so that is a little worrisome.
Andre Williams is gone, but all signs point to Addazio having a system in place that will help Boston College be successful in 2014. Boston College will continue to be physical, but expect things to change from last year. New characters mean a new scheme for Addazio and Ryan Day. The only question that remains is, will it work....