It’s time for Boston College. No traditional opponent has done a better job playing the spoiler against Notre Dame than the Eagles. Whether you harken back to 1993 or prefer the turnover-plagued, green-jersey debacle of 2002, Boston College has been there to celebrate some of the most misery-filled moments in recent memory.
The Eagles walk in a woefully lopsided football team. They’re among the worst offenses in the country. They’re the opposite on defense, one of the best statistical units in the country.
In Steve Addazio’s third season in Boston, many hoped that the former Temple head coach and Urban Meyer’s old offensive lieutenant would be able to reboot the scoring attack. Instead, Addazio has coached college football’s version of a four-corners offense. Outside of the 100 points the Eagles scored in non-conference cupcake wins over Maine and Howard, Boston College hasn’t scored more than 17 points, doing that only twice.
Joining us to talk Boston College is the Eagle in Atlanta, Bill Maloney. With B.C. relegated to the role of spoiler amidst a really disappointing season, Bill took the time to talk about the state of the program and if he sees another shocking upset in the cards.
Last we chatted, I think we both knew the consensus was that 2015 was going to be a trying season. Just three wins later — even with a very good defense — that’s certainly been the case. It’s Year Three of the Steve Addazio era. How are you feeling about things?
Not good. My expectations were rather high for this year. I thought that with Addazio overachieving with someone else’s scraps and leftovers meant that as he got his own team, he would thrive. Injuries hurt the offense as well as youth, but I don’t feel like the season and many games were managed well.
Staying on the offensive side of the ball — what’s going on with the quarterback position? Who should the Irish expect to prepare for? And does it matter? We knew the departure of Tyler Murphy was going to hurt, but how tough has this been?
I think (freshman John) Fadule will get most of the snaps. Smith and possibly even Flutie could play if Fadule is disastrous. I think it matters in the sense that Fadule has shown the ability to pass the ball that the other two did not.
It has been tough, but also very frustrating. I don’t think Addazio nor his OC Todd Fitch adapted to any of their QBs skill sets.
Let’s flip to this defense. To me, it’s really impressive that the Eagles manage to be the No. 3 team in the country from a scoring perspective—especially with an offense that’s unable to protect them. It looks like Steve Daniels is having a monster season. Matt Milano as well. Harold Landry and Connor Wujciak are wreaking havoc in the trenches. Is there a weakness to this defense? And have they played an offense that’s been as explosive as the Irish?
The only emerging weakness are the DBs. Both starting DBs — who were awesome — are out for the year with injuries. The team that was most similar to ND’s offense was Clemson. They were able to challenge the DBs and make big plays downfield. BC needs to stop that this weekend.
Wake Forest laid a pretty nice blueprint against Notre Dame last weekend, keeping the football away from the Irish by dominating the time of possession. They couldn’t score in the red zone and gave up a Pick Six. Do you expect Addazio to devise a similar game plan?
That is Addazio’s plan regardless of the opponent. I think you will see more the same this weekend.
Is it safe to call this game the biggest one of the season? Postseason hopes are gone. A rival comes to town—to play a home game. There’s a great chance to wreck a very good Notre Dame season. Is that what it comes down to?
With nothing to play for, this game becomes huge. I think Addazio could use the goodwill that would come with a win and it will help legitimize his “rebuilding” narrative.
You’ve been writing about Boston College football for a long time. I was thinking back to the decision to fire Jeff Jagodzinski after he interviewed for an NFL job. It got me thinking about the chaotic decade Boston College football has had. The move to the ACC. The changes since Jags. Not just at the head coaching position, but at AD as well, with Brad Bates taking over in 2012. What’s your take on the state of BC football and maybe through a wider lens, the athletic department in general?
A lot of that chaos was a result of our former AD. Brad Bates is more mild-mannered and deliberate, so there has been less chaos, ruffled feathers and controversy. Both his big coaching hires are still in the too early to tell stage, so everything seems fine.
Last one (I promise): BC doesn’t need to be a great team to beat Notre Dame. What’s your confidence on the Eagles—wearing 1984 throwbacks while the Irish wear green—pulling off the upset?
It could happen, but I don’t have a lot of hope.