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Boston College vs. Clemson: Steve Addazio Press Conference Highlights

The head dude talks N.C. State and Clemson.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Addazio sat down with the media at his weekly press conference to talk about the win over N.C. State and this weekend's matchup against Clemson.

Full transcript here. Here are some of the highlights:

On the NC State win...

It was great to win the game. It was a big win for us. To get to 4-2 and win an ACC road game--those are very difficult to win. I was thinking back to a year ago, we only won one ACC road game and it was on a last-second field goal against Maryland. We struggled out there at New Mexico. It's just hard to win on the road. I was pleased at our effort. Watching the film, we did a lot of really good things. We have things that we need to correct and get better at.

A couple of things I noticed that I thought were pretty interesting: We possessed the ball for 39 minutes during that game. We're sixth in the country in terms of time of possession. Our defense is first in the country on lowest average plays per game. These are some of the things you don't hear talked about, but are really important. Those things have directly correlated to the ability to possess the ball and run the ball on offense. We're [fourth] in the country in rushing right now overall, which is pretty good.

Run the ball + control the clock = profit?

On the strength of Clemson's defense...

As we move forward this week, our biggest challenge...I've come in here and talked about opposing defenses before. I did that with USC and said we had a challenge. I will tell you that after watching Clemson right now...Last year I told you they had a great defense...Everyone knows they're a really good defense...I'm saying that in my career--predominantly in the SEC--I haven't seen a defense like this since we played Alabama in the [2009] SEC Championship Game. This is the most dominant defense I have seen. Period. I'm just amazed watching them. They're all back. [The staff has] done an unbelievable job of coaching these guys. They're really super talented and really well coached. That's what I'm seeing and I'm believing when I watch this film. People make plays on them--they're broken plays. They're not really well executed plays, because it's really difficult. That's how completely dominant they are.

It's an unbelievable opportunity for us to play them at home. It's an unbelievable challenge. I'm sitting here saying, `How are we going to move the ball against these guys?' That's how good they are. And they're that good. They're relentless.

Where do you start with them? Do you want to start with Vic Beasley? Watch him. He must run a 4.50. I don't think I've seen a guy that fast. [Former BC Eagle] Matt Patchan is a legitimate, bonafide left tackle and he was struggling with him [last season]. The guy is unbelievable. He's a great pass rusher. He'll be a first-round draft pick. He's already got eight sacks.

Number 90 Shaq Lawson? Number 50, their interior lineman? He's completely dominant. No one blocks him. Not a soul. Not Florida State. Not Georgia. Nobody. In No. 42, Stephone Anthony, I think he's the best in the country. He makes more plays, more broken tackles. They're a great tackling defense. They're an amazing tackling defense. I have a world of respect for what they're doing down there on the defensive side of that ball. I'm just focusing on the defense right now.

On offense, they're averaging about 140 rushing, 306 passing, 447 yards per game. I heard that Deshaun Watson might be out. He is a tremendous athlete, but Cole Stoudt's a really good quarterback and a really good player. They have talent everywhere. Their receivers are unbelievable. They've got a great scheme. They're explosive. This is a top-caliber team coming in offensively and defensively. They are one of the elite teams of the country. They've had some tough losses, but they're as good as anyone in America.

We have to figure out how to create an advantage for Boston College. We have a great opportunity to go out there and play as hard as we can and put caution to the wind and just go, just roll. No one gives us a chance to win, that's terrific, and understandable given how talented they are as a football team. I think their staff has done an unbelievable job. This team here, they're coached well, and I really mean that and respect that. We have to have a really good game plan. We have to play hard. We have to be physical. We have to be opportunistic. That's my mindset.

On quarterback Tyler Murphy's mobility being the X-factor vs. Clemson...

It sure does. But you have to be careful here. This is a physical, fast, strong, tackling team. We got a lot of games. We're going to do what we have to do to play wide open. When I watched NC State play Clemson, Jacoby Brissett took an unbelievable amount of hits. Then I went back and watched Ohio State. I watched Braxton Miller get hurt and the amount of shots that he took. You have to be really careful in the drop back game right now. You drop back with these guys, you better have a plan and you better get that ball out. That's where these quarterbacks are taking these unbelievable hits. Yes, we'll need his legs and his mobility, but we have to be careful because there's a price to pay there.

When you play great teams like this, you have to make your physicality go. You have to have diversity in your attack. You can't be a one-dimensional team. You have to be patient in your power game. It's going to be a couple of bad-looking deals then hit a little something. You have to make them play inside-out. If you just try to turn it into some finesse perimeter game, there's a big, physical team on the other side that can flat and run. Just take Beasley alone. He runs as well as any running back. At some point you have to make him defeat a block and make a tackle coming right at you.

Last year, we made some big hits in the play-action game. We made some plays. We're going to go in the game prepared to go toe-to-toe. We're going to need to have some diversity, but we're going to be who we are. We battled that team last year. We were able to make some runs. But to say that we consistently ran the ball against them last year is not accurate. They played great defense.

No one is knocking around that defensive front. You have to hang in there. You have to play great defense. You're going to have a bunch of three-and-outs, when you get a couple of shots, you have to capitalize on that with field position and get a couple of points on the board. You're not going to consistently drive that defense though, that's not going to happen.

On BC special teams and the kick coverage...

It's correctable, but it's a bunch of young guys who aren't making good decisions right now and we have to keep working with them. If I take a bunch of veteran guys on defense, I'm going to wear them out right now. We've integrated a few more veteran guys in there, but I'm hesitant. I'm going to try to keep developing it and getting it better. I'm candidly anxious about that. We're going to make it better. I don't want to be closed to putting more starters in there, but we're so light in numbers right now.

Sure hope it is. This is the one phase of the game that's struggled the most through six games this season.

On the Boston College passing game...

We didn't just throw it in the first quarter [against NC State]. The defense gave us those opportunities. When you're hitting them, you're feeling like a million bucks. You're trying to figure out how to keep the ball moving, and what the best chance of success is against who you're playing. We felt in that game - on the road - we had to establish momentum right away. So we came out throwing to try to create that momentum on the road. I'm not saying we won't do that this week because we're at home. This is a whole new set of circumstances. This is going to be a very difficult team for anybody to run the football on with any sense of complete consistency.

I would say you're going to see us again really going after it in terms of being aggressive. If you're second-and-10 a lot, you're going to have a long day at the office. You're putting your defense back on the field. In there, you're trying to find that mix. We're gaining a little more confidence in that area. We're going to keep pushing it.

In the second half of that game, you had a lot of other factors going on. With the weather and the way that game was going, you start seeing your defense playing really strong. This is all philosophical stuff, but when you start to see your defense playing really strong, that's a great time to really try to get your run game going. You have to take more risks sometimes; you have to get going. I didn't want to give them an opportunity to beat us. There are a lot of different ways to go about this thing. My thing is I'm going to try to find a way to win this game. I'm not trying to find a way to be cute, or get the stats high; I'm just trying to find a way to win the game. However I feel is the best way to create a W at the end, that's what I'm going to do.

I've got a good feel for what our personnel is, what's going on, what our confidence level is. There's more to it. This isn't just video games. People love offense, that's just the way fans are, I get it. You could throw the thing around 60 times and be exciting and if you lost people would be like, `Wow, they're really exciting.' And if you ran it 60 times and won, people would groan. I want to win games. This year, you're seeing a lot of spread principles in there because I think it gives us our best chance.

On the Boston College defense...

[Brian] Mihalik is working hard. He made a couple plays in the game. I thought we did a great job on defense [vs. NC State]. We rolled a lot of players out there. I think that's what we have to do. We were bound and determined to play a bunch of people, we did do that, will do that again. Manny [Asprilla], John Johnson, Kam Moore: They played well. I thought the linebackers: Steven Daniels, Josh Keyes--he just had a tremendous football game. He was all over the football field. He and Daniels had some real impact. Another guy who just plays relentlessly is Kevin Kavalec. He had the most under-the-radar impact in that game. His effort created sacks for other people. His energy has been unbelievable. We have to play a lot of guys to let these guys be fresh. We're a stronger team when we're not blown out, worn out.

Everybody up front will have their hands full [against Clemson]. It will be a great challenge. We've been here before. The good thing is that we've played against some good, strong interior people along the way, so it won't be shocking to us. We've played competitive non-conference teams, which is a good thing for us.


Anything else you wish Addazio had addressed? Anything else stand out to you this week?