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Boston College’s defense stepped up and saved Addazio’s season

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For all the (rightful) criticism Addazio has faced, he never lost the team

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

John Johnson showed up for his coach. Harold Landry once again showed up for his coach. Connor Strachan, Zach Allen, Kevin Kavelec – they all showed up for their coach.

Boston College’s defense played like they did consistently last year en route to a grind-it-out 17-14 win over a Wake Forest team that beat Syracuse, Duke, and Virginia this year. Wake is clearly on the bottom tier of ACC teams, like BC is, but it was still an in-conference win to officially make the Eagles bowl eligible. And Addazio’s job was pretty much unquestionably saved.

It’s not like the win was dominant or even really expected in the 4th quarter of that game. But Pat Towles shook off a disappointing season and put together the drive of his BC career, finding Tommy Sweeney in the end zone to put BC up 17-14. Then BC’s defense salted the win with an interception. The defense was really the reason for the win, fueled by the dominant play of Landry (3 sacks, 4.5 TFL), Johnson (1 interception, 1 sack, 9 tackles), and Strachan (10 tackles).

Any doubts that the team was still motivated to play for their coach were likely erased by the game, but this video also further erases them:

These players are clearly engaged and excited, as they’ve expressed all year.

Personally, I think Addazio’s lack of aggressiveness and woeful quarterback development are serious red flags on him in these past two years. Also, this bowl eligibility doesn’t even begin to negate those blowout losses to Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Louisville. It’s also pretty fair to say that an incredibly easy non-conference schedule is one of the main reasons BC is going bowling.

But it’s hard to say that his recruits don’t love their coach and have his back. With terrible quarterback play and an overall stagnant offense this season, the players stepped up when they needed to get BC bowl eligible. Although it’s uncertain what the future holds, the players stepping up with the future on the line has extended BC’s season.

Addazzio has been rightfully roasted by BC media and fans alike this season. The way he’s handled it, by calling out those fans for being “negative” after losses, has been unprofessional and obnoxious. But he’s managed to do something only one other coach has done in BC football history – make 3 bowl games in 4 years. For now, that is a positive step during a down period for the program. For now, we’ll root for the team, whose players really have played hard despite the adversity this season, to win whatever bowl game they’re in and go 7-6 on the season.

Even if BC is sent way down to the Trop on the day after Christmas, BC fans should still show up and root for this team if they can. Because BC is in a bowl game. And after everything that’s happened over the past two seasons, that’s pretty cool.