STEVE ADDAZIO: It's great to have a bye week. Obviously, it's much needed for us. We're pretty banged up, as a lot of people are this time of year. This is a good week for us. We came off a very disappointing game at home versus Louisville, where I thought our players played real, real hard, and were able to get out to an early lead, but with four turnovers and a blocked punt, it's very, very difficult to win against that quality of an opponent that way.
We're playing Florida State a week from Saturday and very much looking forward to that game. I know our team, everybody, we're excited to get back and play. We're going to use the week to go back and quality control and re‑evaluate and fundamentals and do all those things and get a jump start on our game planning and get rested and get ready for a heck of a football week. Any questions?
Q. We're looking at that last game you brought up a little bit with Louisville. Obviously, 19 points in that game, uncharacteristic of your offense. What was going on in that game, in your mind, that stunted the offense of Boston College a little bit with what Louisville was able to give you, as opposed to other games where you were able to kind of jump the hurdle and get over some of those things?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think it wasn't offense being stunned. I mean, we had a 13‑3 lead. We moved the ball really, really well. We had really poor field position, and we had a couple of situations that happened and created some really poor field position, but we had four turnovers‑‑really three real. The one at the end was what it was. But three real turnovers and a blocked punt. That's what allowed this thing to flip from a 13‑3 lead before the half to a five‑point deficit at the half.
Even with that, with seven minutes left to go in that game, we were on the 1 yard line to make it a five‑point game. So we moved the ball quite well at times, and that was having a real long field. I thought offensively they moved the ball well. So what goes unnoticed there is the field was flipped. Then we had some other things go on in that game that were real tough on us. We had a couple of tough calls that went against us that made it very difficult to win.
And I felt we didn't play that well up front, which is really the most uncharacteristic thing. That's also to give credit where it's due. They're outstanding up front. We played one of the top three teams in our conference. They're in the top three without a doubt. Just watch the tape before our game and watch the tape after the game. The result of it was you're going to have some tough sledding. But still, with that, there was no reason not to go into halftime with a lead and be able to carry that momentum into the second half.
It was one of those games, and it's a real learning, growth experience for our football team to be in that position. We played a really good football team, and we played them real physically. I don't think the score at the end of the game was very indicative of the game at all, to be honest with you.
Q. When you look at‑‑obviously, you have a bye week right now to try to get some things healthy, go back to fundamentals and whatnot. When you look at the last two games of the season, obviously, you're at Florida State and then you have Syracuse at home, you're already bowl eligible. Is this team where you had that expectation for them to be in this moment, or are they behind the schedule, ahead of schedule, as far as what you had in expectations going in, knowing that you're really trying to hone in on Boston College football and make it what it has been over the years?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, we're ahead of where I thought we'd be this year. We lost an awful lot of players last year. We're in the middle of‑‑we were a four- to five‑year rebuild program. Year one, we won seven, we're Bowl eligible, won seven, had a Heisman Trophy finalist. Year two, we're Bowl eligible after week 9 with six wins. And all of that this season with what I felt was a very, very challenging schedule. We're playing USC. We play Clemson. We play Florida State. We play Louisville. We play Virginia Tech on the road. We played Pittsburgh at home early.
So we certainly had a pretty strong conference and non-conference‑‑we played Colorado State, who is probably going to finish the season at 11‑1. So I think all of that, with all of our losses, given the fact we were trying to rebuild this program, which we only have one recruiting class in place and 16 of those kids are playing on the field for us right now, heck, you want to win every game, but to sit here and say at the point we were before we played Louisville, that you could be 6‑3 going into that game, you'd take that now.
But all that matters for us now is going down and beating Florida State, and that's what's on‑‑that's what's forefront in our mind. We have two games left, as you mentioned, and the first one on the docket is Florida State, and we're going to get as prepared as we can to go get that done.
The problem with those conversations is these are the things you want to reflect back on at the end of the season. We're still in the season. But you ask me the question, that's the answer.
Q. Steve, I was wondering what do you think that's empowered Jon Hilliman to be so successful so early on in your program?
STEVE ADDAZIO: He comes from a great high school program. He's a smart, mature kid. He has great physical tools. He's fast. He's big. And he's very bright. So every week he's gotten better. He got hurt a couple weeks ago, which it slowed him a little bit, but he's fine now. I thought last week, I thought he ran really, really hard last week. I just think he's going to get better every week and really going to have a great career here.
Q. Hey, Coach Steve, talk about last year's game against Florida State. What did you see on the film that you might want to correct this year when you go down to Tallahassee?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, it would have been nice last year if we could have‑‑we had a chance to put Jameis Winston, get him on the ground before the half, but he broke about five tackles. I just think that with Florida State they're so talented. They have so many weapons. You've got to tackle well on defense. You've got to create pressure. And I think on offense you really, without any question, have got to establish the run with whatever means that you choose to run it. And to open up the play action. They're so talented and so fast, you've got to be able to attack them through the whole field on the run game, whether that be on the perimeter or break down the center of the thing.
But there's a reason why they're the defending National Champions. They're undefeated, playing in an elite conference. They're a fantastic football team and just an unbelievable challenge really.
Q. I know you're an old Gator guy. You played Florida State a lot at the end of the year. Do you have any memories of playing against Florida State in Tallahassee?
STEVE ADDAZIO: We've had some unbelievable games, and we had a tough game. We had a good run when I was at Florida versus Florida State. It's an unbelievable rival game for them. There's a lot of energy and a lot of excitement obviously in that game. So those were‑‑any time you have that kind of rival game, it brings about a lot of intensity, a lot of passion. And certainly given the fact of the level of that Florida State's program and of course, at that time, Florida's program, those are two national powers battling.
So right now, here we are, we're going to get a chance to go into that stadium and battle one of the finest football programs in America, and that's a great challenge, but it's an exciting challenge and what makes college football so unbelievable. You give them so much credit. I mean, they're undefeated. I listen to all this nonsense out there. They're undefeated. They're undefeated national champion team. That's the elite team right now in college football.
Q. Coach, I wanted to ask you about Tyler Murphy. Essentially, you talked about establishing the run against Florida State by any means necessary. The way you all have run most effectively this year is Tyler‑‑I know he topped 1,000 yards Saturday, but how much of a beating does he have to take to do that? Is the off‑week particularly helpful for him going into another tough game?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, certainly, the off‑week is going to be great for him. He was certainly a little more banged up after the Virginia Tech game than he is right now. He's not really banged up at all right now.
He's a tough guy. He takes care of his body. Sometimes I think‑‑I think sometimes you take less dangerous hits sometimes when you're designed running than sometimes when you get hit back in that pocket unexpectedly. So it only takes one, the wrong one, and he's a great athlete. He's well conditioned. He's very healthy right now. He feels great right now. I think, if you were to ask him, he would say whatever it takes to win. Whether I throw it 100, run it 100, whatever it takes to win, because that's the kind of competitor he is, and I think he's got his mindset and primed to we're going to do whatever it takes to go down there and win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports