Over the next few weeks, we’ll be chatting with each ACC football coach to go over the highs and lows of 2017 and take a look at what’s in store for spring practice and the season ahead.
First up, Boston College coach Steve Addazio, whose Eagles finished as one of the hottest teams in the league and with an offense that looks poised for big things in 2018.
The offensive breakout in the second half of the year surprised a lot of people. Did you see this coming?
Addazio: We felt great about where we were in training camp, from last year’s bowl game. We were finally getting to what I felt was the right fit for us here. The bowl prep last year was an advantage. We felt pretty damn good. We were playing with a young quarterback and a young tailback, and there would be growing pains. We knew that. But then, really, what happened was: Early, we lost Jon Baker, our starting center. He really tied everything together — made all the calls, the protections. He was a security blanket. When we lost him, it really affected us dramatically. We had to play a true freshman, who’d never played center in his life. We started him against Wake Forest. That was hard for anybody. The kid went on to have a great year, but it had more of an effect on a young quarterback than anyone, including us, expected. It stymied our growth a little, and it took us a couple, three games to get our sea legs back.
In the process, what happened was we lost Connor Strachan, Max Richardson — we went on this injury routine that didn’t stop. When we finally stabilized our offense, we lost the heart of our defense. We lost Harold [Landry], essentially for the rest of the year. Then we got against Notre Dame, and the next thing you know, we’re just kind of bolo punched. But here’s what you could see. We knew we’d have a really good football team, we just had to hang in there for a little bit while guys kind of reset.
Addazio: Anthony really started really coming on. …read more