The Boston College football program felt the mounting antagonism in 2015-16. Crippled by injuries the Eagles struggled through a 3-9 campaign in 2015, that saw them go winless in the ACC. When that conference losing-streak swelled to 12 games in 2016, many were calling for head coach Steve Addazio’s job.
However, a funny thing happened towards the end of the season. The Eagles rallied with victories over UConn and Wake Forest to earn bowl eligibility. The team from the heights would then travel to Detroit and knock off Big Ten opponent Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl. Addazio’s job was safe, and the Eagles had some momentum.
The streak that the Eagles went on at the end of last season, coupled with the hiring of new Athletic Director Martin Jarmond, who comes to BC from Ohio State, has everyone involved with the program at Chestnut Hill beaming with positivity.
When the Eagles contingent arrived at the ACC Football Kickoff 2017, the excitement could be felt. Addazio and senior linemen Harold Landry and Jon Baker were very enthused for the start of the new season.
“We took the momentum from the end of our season last year into our bowl prep, into our bowl game. And that excitement within our team, our team found a way in the maturation process of learning how to compete, finish, and win games.” Addazio said.
“It has energized everything. Our recruiting, our players have the most momentum I've seen since I've been at Boston College.”
“I think we have a chance for a special season.” Landry said excitedly, “We have an opportunity this year to showcase how good we are, and I think our defense is more than prepared. “
The defense has been the Eagles bright spot the last few seasons being ranked in the top 10 the last two years in total defense. Moreover, looks to continue that trend with a strong group returning.
On the other side of the football is where the Eagles have struggled the most. The Eagles have not scored over 21 points against an ACC opponent in each of the last two seasons.
Addazio and offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler hope that will change with the implementation of a new up-tempo offense that they debuted in their 36-30 Quick Lane Bowl victory over Maryland.
“We are going to start to see the emergence of playmakers, guys that were young players that are now matured, experienced, and I believe on the verge of breaking out. We'll be better at every position on that side of the ball,” Addazio said of the offense.
The fifth-year coach will be looking for a quarterback to lead the unit. He will be choosing between senior Darius Wade and redshirt freshman Anthony Brown. However, saying Wade would be the starter if the season started today.
Wade, started the 2015 season as the starter before suffering an injury against Florida State in the third game of the season. His injury started never ending quarterback carousel that season. The injury got to the dual-threat both physically and mentally. However, Addazio has seen a change in the veteran.
“(Wade) really emerged physically and mentally and he's prepared to compete as an elite quarterback in this conference.”
“You know, our coaches did a great job of getting us ready, installing the system, making sure we knew it very well,” Baker said.
The playbook will only get a college football program so far. The culture that surrounds the program is equally as important. Moreover, with the hiring of Jarmond. Addazio believes the new positive culture for the Eagles will flourish.
“He's got a bunch of energy, and he's going to do great things at Boston College for all of our athletic programs,” Addazzio said of Jarmond.
“I am really looking forward to having an opportunity to work day-to-day, hand-in-hand with him and to continue building our football program.”