The following is the weekly ACC press conference call with Boston College head coach Steve Addazio:
COACH ADDAZIO: Obviously, we're very, very excited. Great opportunity to start conference play. Conference play is very, very important to us all, and we have a great opponent coming into town. Pittsburgh has great tradition. They're a great opponent. I've got an unbelievable amount of respect for Paul Chryst and his staff. I can go back for a lot of years admiring the style of offense that he's run and the way he runs the ball.
I always say a lot, some people run it, some people know how to run it. He knows how to run it. So we know that this will be a real line of scrimmage game, a real physical game. You've got two programs that want to establish the run, two programs that want to play physically on defense, and I think that's the kind of match. Two teams that have traditionally had an opportunity to go against each other, and they've been great, great games, and I've been a part of those traditional games in the northeast and in the midwest.
So we're excited about it. It's going to be a great game atmosphere. On defense, Pitt returns five starters on defense, and they've just got, to me, a bunch of good football players. Every day I look I'm like what a great job of recruiting they've done. They've had some great players there a year ago that were picked high in the draft, and I look at their interior defensive line, and I'm very impressed. They're physical, they get off the ball, they're run stoppers, their linebackers are physical, their safeties are physical, so they're a strong defense. Obviously very fundamentally sound and have a great scheme and we know we're going to have our hands full there.
On offense, they run the football very, very well, as I stated before. They run a lot of gap and zone schemes. They're good up front. The offensive line is well‑coached, good offensive line, great skilled running backs. I like their quarterback a lot, and of course the receiving corps is fantastic with great hands and leaping ability and speed, so they bring play makers out on the perimeter.
So, all in all, I would say that we are playing truly a real upper level team that is well‑coached, well‑prepared, and has a philosophy probably similar to ours. So should make it a great, great game here in Chestnut Hill.
Q. Is it pretty exciting for you to see Boston College and Pitt playing each other again? I know it's been about a decade or so, but how good is it to see these northeast powers get back at it this Friday?
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, I love it. I really do. I had four great years in the old Big East when all these teams traditionally played each other. They were such kind of black and blue games and just physical, so I'm really looking forward to it. I know our team is. I'm sure Paul and Pittsburgh are fired up as well. It's kind of what makes college football special and unique.
Q. It seems every time you turn around you see another bull threat quarterback in college football. Is that the way the game is going in your opinion? Do you have to recruit against that as far as defensive players?
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, I just think there are a lot of offenses and a lot of great offenses. I do like the guy that can beat you with his feet whether you choose to run any element of read or option football or not, just on third down alone with the styles of defenses you're seeing, the opportunity for the quarterback to slip out of that pocket, if you will and keep the chains moving I think is invaluable. But you can do it a lot of different ways. There is nothing better than a drop back pinpoint passer either. So we like a guy that can‑‑ here's how I like to phrase it‑‑ a thrower that can run as opposed to just a runner that can throw. I think you want a thrower that can run. I think that helps you, if anything else, immensely on third down.
Q. If you have to recruit it against it, do you have to make sure you have swift guys at linebacker and such?
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, I mean, when you have those guys, you have to be athletic enough. Here's what happens with the quarterback, the minute you implement quarterback runs, on defense you no longer can get the extra hat it's hard to get the extra hat. In the convention two‑back run game, you're always fighting the eighth defender, ninth defender, whatever set you're in.
Now when the quarterback can run it, it takes that away, therefore you've got to have guys, there are two things to it, guys that can run and then also the other thing is when they spread the field, are you in base defense, are you in nickel defense? Or you're looking for those outside linebackers that can cover when you're facing more of these dual‑threat spread type quarterbacks.
Q. Hey, Steve, I was wondering if you can give me some evaluation of your run game last week and getting more guys into the rotation and getting more guys involved this year?
COACH ADDAZIO: Yeah, I think our run game, we ran the ball well and we did it with a collection of people, not only the quarterback but a bunch of running backs. As I said early in the year, that's kind of who we'll be this year. We don't have the one guy that we're going to hand the ball right now 40 times a game to, so we're going to be a little more diverse in our run game approach. We're still a downhill team whether it's out of the shotgun or not. We're still a gap scheme team and some zone.
But it's a little bit different and there is going to be a little bit more few different looks to it, and then the ability to stretch the field more within that run game. So we've got to continue to grow. I don't know. We have the two‑back set could be a home run hitter. I think we're growing there, so we've got to be very efficient. We've got to have an execution offense where we have the ability to sustain long drives, you know, because we're not going to be able to get as much in chunks. So it's a little bit different right now. We're still evolving right now. Last year we were a two back power team and we've got many other elements of some spread and some option in this running attack this year.
Q. What is your assessment of your run defense as you prepare for the Pittsburgh running backs?
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, our assessment is we better be darn good because that's as good a running team as there is in America. We're a pressure outfit, and we've got to really be gap sound. We've got to be able to get off blocks, and we're going to get tested. We're not playing a finesse team. We've got to be able to defeat double teams. You've got to be able to penetrate, whether you do that off a base defense or do that off of pressure, you've got to disrupt the downhill team and the way you do that is with penetration.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports