Hear from Steve Addazio postgame following Boston College’s 56-10 loss to the #3 Clemson Tigers. As always, the transcript was quickly provided postgame by BCEagles.com, and for that we are grateful:
STEVE ADDAZIO: I thought we came out, I thought we played pretty spirited in the first half. I thought we had some opportunities in the first half. Really felt like we should have been 21-10 at halftime. Obviously we lost Jon Baker and had to exchange out at center, which created some issues for us on the six-inch line right there, which would have been able to get us 21-10 at the half, which we really felt like we needed to be.
But we were playing real hard at that point. We let up some big plays, a few big plays, but aside from a couple big plays, we were playing hard, playing fast, and right in the middle of that game.
Even at halftime at 21-3, we felt good that we could get something going in the second half. We came out, and I think it was about the second series, I think we were able on offense to put together a pretty good drive and go down and score and get that thing to -- get that thing closer.
I think we threw as many things as we could at them in the first half. As I said we would, we did, and had some success with those plays. It created some opportunity for us to move the ball.
I think in the second half, letting up a couple series of big plays in the second half really hurt us.
I think in the beginning, we had some unbelievable -- in the beginning and in the second half, we just had some unbelievable things go against us. Without being able to see it, I can't really speak to it, but just some crazy stuff.
Against a good opponent like that, like I said, I really felt we could be 21-10 at the half, and that was very realistic. But even coming out in the second half, we still felt strong that we could get the ball moving and get a score in there, which we did, but we had to be able to stop on defense, and we were not able to do that.
As I told the kids in the locker room, we've had an interesting start here with the teams that we're playing early, but it's all right in front of us. We have an opportunity. Our goals are still in front of us. We've got a bye week; we'll get some people healthy. We come back here into ACC play, and our goal is to improve each and every day, to come out and to go get win No. 4. That's our goal. We've got Syracuse here in two weeks, go get win No. 4. That's what we're going to be focused on.
Q. You were really concerned about big chunk plays. That's what they blitzed you with in the first quarter. Just kind of talk about that.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Talking about?
Q. You said during the week that you were concerned about explosive --
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, their offensive explosions, yeah. Yeah, that hurt, because really we were playing pretty consistently, but each one of those plays -- we had pretty good coverage on the one long pass down the field. I mean, it wasn't like it was bad coverage now. You know, and they made a hell of a throw and a hell of a catch on one of them.
We had a run -- I think the first one was a run that we had caged, and it bounced back out into the perimeter, and we didn't fit it out there. That was a big run that hurt us.
And then the third one I think we had a breakdown on a Y shooter play through the center of the defense. But those three plays were costly right there.
You know, everything is momentum, and like I said, there was good surge, good energy in that first half, and the last thing I wanted to see us do was let up some big plays. I thought we had some opportunity to create some ourselves. I know we had some good specials and things that we worked on during the week that I felt good about. I think we connected on a fair share of them, but just behind right there.
I think the thing that was really hard was not scoring before the half right there. I thought Patrick Towles was in. I thought he was in. I don't know what happened there. And then I was concerned with the center deal. Jim had just gone to center this week, and I was concerned about that. Got into a bear concept down on the goal line, lined up on them, and we just short-snapped it, and it cost us right there. Two of them. We had two issues. We tried to sneak it once, and that wasn't an exchange, and then we were going to have an outside play for an inside play on defense and couldn't secure it.
Q. What was your take on Boulware's clothesline of Towles?
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know what? All I can tell you is what flashed in front of my eyes. It's all the way across the field on their sideline for me, but I just saw him get snapped backwards, like when someone gets it, bam, slammed to the ground. I don't even want to really comment on it. I know what I thought I saw, but all I can tell you is the flag was thrown and it was reversed. I can't speak to it. I wasn't there close enough to see it.
I'm not going to speak to all the officiating things that went on in the game. I'm just not going to do it. There's too many for me to even count right now to be honest with you, okay.
Q. Do you know the extent of Jon Baker's injury at this point?
STEVE ADDAZIO: No, I don't. Obviously he's got an ankle injury. He could not go in the game. He couldn't push off it or anything else. You know, you've got a lot of fears. One of my fears was losing that guy, and that happened.
Q. John Johnson had mentioned earlier in the week he thought this game was going to come down to the defensive backs. What do you think the issues were there going up against a guy like Deshaun Watson?
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know, you saw it like I saw it. I haven't had a chance to digest it all. Like I said, on the long ball I thought we had tight coverage. I thought we did a great job; we were going to get off the field, Strachan was matched up good, they called him for a PI. I mean, I thought at times we were matched up good. At other times it looked like we had a couple issues. It looked like Gabe got ejected on one play, and I don't know what happened there. You have to go look at that.
So we had a couple issues in the back end. Some of it we had good, tight coverage. A couple other things I think I've got to look at and see what happened there with the spacing of it. We tried to mix and match the coverages so we wouldn't put those guys on islands, which we didn't do all the time. We played a fair amount of zone, and we were trying to mix and match it: Some man, some zone, some man, some zone. I thought we did good job with that, but in the process we let up too many big plays.
Go right back to that first half there; tailback bottled up, jump cuts, come back out of the thing. That was a huge play the first one. The long ball was fast. That was that one.
You can't have that against that team. And it's hard; that's a hell of a team. They're very, very talented.
I can think of a couple of these 3rd down situations where we had Watson bottled up, and all of a sudden he's out of there. Give credit where credit is due; that's a strong team offensively.
I thought we did a lot better things today in this game. Like I said, you would walk away from that first half and say that these were two teams competing like hell against each other when that was going on, and we didn't hold back.
At the very end of the game, obviously I wanted to get the guys out of the game for the very reasons I said. The game was out of reach, and the last thing I wanted to do now is have more injuries because we've got to get ready to play Syracuse in two weeks, and then just some stupid stuff started to happen at the end, and it's hard to watch. But it's the right thing to do, just a loss is a loss. They all count the same. Let's not get anybody else hurt for silliness. Let's get ready to roll for the next week.