Preview 2017: Is Boston College Going Up-Tempo?
Can Steve Addazio make Boston College more dangerous offensively?
At what point does Steve Addazio get credit for being pretty good?
Boston College went to the ACC title game in 2007 and won 11 games, and eight wins or more – along with great bowl appearances – was the norm for a long stretch from 1999 to 2009. But things have changed in the improved ACC.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone always wants to get better, stronger, and win championships, but that’s not realistically on the table for a program stuck in a division with Louisville, Florida State and Clemson, not to mention a not-bad NC State, rising Syracuse, and a Wake Forest team that went bowling last year.
2015 might have been a total disaster – going without an ACC win – and BC will always have to deal with times when the system just doesn’t work, but with no real recruiting base, no talent compared to the division’s big boys, and operating at a smallish private school, coming up with a winning season is a whale of a coaching job no matter how it happens.
After last year, Addazio has gone 7-6 in three of his four seasons at the helm. He’s cranked up one of the elite defenses year after year, and 11 Eagles have been drafted during his tenure. By comparison, that’s as many as North Carolina, four more than NC State, and eight more than Syracuse.
But it’s hard to get too jacked up when the big, giant wins just aren’t there, and the team is boring when it does pull off key victories.
The Eagles vs. FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Louisville last year? 0-4 by a combined score of 202 to 24.
Yeah, BC can punch its own weight against an NC State now and then, and there was that shocker against USC early in 2014, but what can the program do to try getting better? When you have one of the nation’s best defenses, and one of the nation’s worst offenses, there are going to be issues.
That’s why you try cranking up the 127th-ranked offense in college football.
Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler isn’t about to go all Air Raid with the Eagle O, but there will be more of a quickened tempo to the attack – it’s going to at least try to be more interesting. The Eagles tested this out a bit in the Quick Lane Bowl win over Maryland, and now they’re going to try getting things moving a more on a regular basis.
Finding a quarterback to make it all work would be a nice start, with Darius Wade competing with Anthony Brown for the gig. They’ve got a deep group of receivers to work with and a veteran line to work behind.
The running game might have been awful, but the top backs return, to go along with the mobility of the quarterbacks. But now, not having great talent has to be overcome by better execution. That’s going to be a work in progress.
The defense is going to once again be the Boston College defense. Getting pass rushing terror Harold Landry back is a great start. The run defense should be back up to its normal level of fantastic, while three starters return in a secondary that’s fine against everyone but the good quarterbacks and dangerous offenses. Unfortunately, there are a few of those in the ACC.
Addazio is a survivor – the former Florida offensive coordinator should be able to tweak what’s already in place and improve. At least that’s the hope, but again, continuing to go to bowl games would be just fine. The final results staying as is wouldn’t be bad.
Do it again this year, and then, maybe he’ll get a little bit of credit. Do it again, come up with a big win, and be more interesting and offensively competent, and then Boston College might be sneaky-good again.