|09.30.13 at 10:55 am ET|
UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni was fired following an 0-4 start to the season, the school announced Monday.
UConn will announce an interim head coach at 4 p.m. Monday, and it reportedly won’t be associate head coach George DeLeone.
“I am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. “I am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season.”
Pasqualoni took over as coach before the start of the 2011 season, but back-to-back 5-7 seasons and the putrid start to this season doomed him. The Huskies’ four losses this year include a season-opening 33-18 loss to Towson, an FCS team, and most recently, a 41-12 loss to Buffalo. UConn also fell to Maryland and No. 15 Michigan.
Pasqualoni coached at Syracuse from 1991-2004, amassing a 107-59-1 record and six bowl game victories before his firing in 2004. After Syracuse, Pasqualoni spent time in the NFL as an assistant coach for the Cowboys and Dolphins.
|09.28.13 at 7:03 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes and Florida State intercepted Chase Rettig and returned it for a touchdown as eighth-ranked Seminoles erased a 14-point deficit and beat Boston College, 48-34, Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Boston College falls to 2-2 and 1-1 in the ACC while No. 8 Florida State improves to 4-0, 2-0 in the ACC.
The Eagles got first quarter touchdown passes from Rettig to C.J. Parsons and Jake Sinkovec in building a 14-3 lead. Boston College scored on its first three possessions of the game while dominating the Seminoles in the opening quarter. The Eagles nearly intercepted Winston on his first two passes of the day and sacked him on the final play of the opening series.
Nate Freese‘s 24-yard field goal with 11:19 left in the second quarter put the Eagles up, 17-3. But from that point, Florida State and Winston dominated the game. Andre Williams had 100 yards rushing on his first 18 carries in the first half and finished with 149 yards on 28 carries, eclipsing 2,000 yards and moving into 13th place on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,067 yards.
Winston threw three second-quarter touchdowns, including a long 55-yard connection to Kenny Shaw down the right sideline as time expired in the first half, giving Florida State its first lead, 24-17, heading to the locker room. Winston escaped two potential tackles that would have ended the half tied before the long heave.
“It was devastating giving up that big play before the half,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “We had the kid [Winston] on the ground but we came right back out there.”
Florida State’s domination continued in the third quarter despite a 71-yard kickoff return by BC’s Myles Willis to open the third quarter. The Eagles were able to convert only a field goal out of the big return and Florida State posted another two touchdowns, one on the fourth TD strike of the day by Winston and another on 1-yard run by Karlos Williams. Willis also caught a 52-yard touchdown from Rettig in the third quarter.
“I am upset about the big plays,” Addazio said. “We let up too many big plays on defense. You can’t do that. That’s upsetting to me.”
Florida State took its biggest lead, 48-27, when P.J. Williams intercepted Rettig and returned it 20 yards with 13:41 left and capping a 45-10 run by the Seminoles.
Rettig fought back with his fourth TD pass of the day, a 17-yard strike to Parsons. With a chance to draw to within a score at the Florida State 20, Rettig was intercepted by Nate Andrews at the 1, sealing the loss for the Eagles.
|09.27.13 at 11:10 am ET|
UMass football coach Charley Molnar, who has just one win in a season and a half at the helm of the Minutemen, found himself defending his reputation following an online petition circulating among former players critical of the coach’s methods.
The petition, originally posted on the UMass Football Alum private Facebook group, calls for Molnar to “stop the improper treatment of the current players” and “improve the quality of the program.” It notes that a number of players have left the program since Molnar’s arrival.
It makes reference to a YouTube video that shows players wrestling and boxing during winter conditioning workouts prior to the 2012 season. At the time, such workouts were legal, but the NCAA since has banned “combatives.”
“We used a number of different training methods to measure and hopefully develop mental toughness and accountability with our guys. It’s hard for a guy to go out there and wrestle or box another man if he has self-doubt,” Molnar told the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
“We tried to get these guys to feel that fear but go out there and do it anyway,” he added. “We never had one guy not go out and box or wrestle. Some of them went out with a lot of trepidation, but by the end of the cycle were thoroughly enjoying the activity. We did all these activities with safety in mind. I’m a fanatic about player safety. I thought it aided in team-building. Guys faced the fear and fought through it. That was the objective.”
Former UMass quarterback Brandon Hill, now a starter at Monmouth, said he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during a wrestling match.
Molnar “had me wrestling a linebacker in the snow,” Hill told the Gazette. “He put me down and I dislocated my shoulder and completely tore my labrum in half. That kind of bummed me out. I had to go get surgery after that.”
|09.09.13 at 8:25 pm ET|
Boston College senior running back Andre Williams was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week after rushing for 204 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s 24-10 victory over Wake Forest.
Sophomore Bryce Jones was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week for leading the team’s defensive effort with two solo tackles, one interception, one pass breakup and a fumble recovery.
BC (2-0, 1-0 ACC) returns to action Saturday afternoon with a game against USC in Los Angeles. The Trojans (1-1) dropped out of the Top 25 following their 10-7 loss to Washington on Saturday, but the Eagles know they’ll have their hands full.
“They are an extremely talented football team,” BC coach Steve Addazio said in his Monday press conference. “They have great players; they’re big and they’re fast and they’re physical. I think their defense is exceptional, so we’ll really have a pretty significant challenge here. From an offensive standpoint, it’s not going to be easy to run the football against this outfit. I don’t think I’ve seen too many people do it. Washington did not score an offensive touchdown. They kicked a field goal and returned an interception for a touchdown. So I think we have a great, great challenge. …
“They’re really talented. The challenge for us — I think we need to have a great week of preparation. I think we need to go out and be who we are. Go out and play really hard and be really gritty. I told our team, ‘Let’s go out there and play as hard as we can play, get the game to the fourth quarter and go after the win.’ That’s what we want to do.”
|09.07.13 at 12:38 am ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College coach Steve Addazio picked up his second win Friday night, thanks in large part to a career performance from a player he didn’t even know would be available earlier in the day.
Andre Williams, nursing a hamstring injury from last Saturday’s win over Villanova, didn’t practice all week during the shortened preparations for Friday night against Wake Forest.
“Honestly, on Tuesday, I came off the field and [execution] wasn’t where it needed to be. First of all, Andre Williams didn’t practice this week and secondly, we weren’t where we needed to be. But our kids, they rallied,” Addazio said. “I’m really proud of them for that. I think we took a step forward in learning how to prepare like a big-time football program.”
But when the training staff gave the senior tailback the go-ahead to play, he didn’t let up. Williams carried the ball 35 times and gained a career-high 204 yards in a 24-10 win over the Demon Deacons at Alumni Stadium.
Not only did he rush for a key third-quarter touchdown, he ran out the clock at the end of the game as BC was looking to put the game away. Quarterback Chase Rettig handed it off to Williams eight straight times on the final drive as time wound down.
“I’m a running back. I love running the ball,” Williams said. “Putting the ball in my hands, there’s nothing I like more than that. Coach Addazio is an offensive guy. He loves to run the ball and it couldn’t have worked out better for me.”
|09.06.13 at 11:07 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Andre Williams rushed 35 times for a career-high 204 yards and a touchdown while the Boston College defense forced three first-half turnovers to power the Eagles to a 24-10 win over Wake Forest in the ACC opener for both teams.
Playing on a short week and in a rare nationally televised Friday night game at Alumni Stadium, Chase Rettig managed an effective game, completing 7-of-14 passes for just 123 yard but two touchdowns as Boston College improved to 2-0 and 1-0 in ACC play.
Boston College took advantage of sloppy play by Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price and the Demon Deacons offense in the first half to score two touchdowns and take a 17-7 halftime lead.
On the opening drive, Josh Harris fumbled a pitch to the near sideline and Spenser Rositano recovered at the Wake Forest 27. After a one-yard rush, Boston College converted the turnover into a touchdown as Rettig found Alex Amidon on a bubble screen out to the left for 26 yards and an Eagles touchdown. Amidon finished with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.
After an exchange of punts, Wake Forest put together a 10-play, 76-yard drive, consuming 5:30 of clock. The drive was capped off by a 30-yard Price to Michael Campanaro connection for a touchdown.
On the next drive, Rettig fired a 51-yard bullet of a pass over the deep middle to Amidon, who turned his body around in midair and came down with it at the Wake Forest 24. That spectacular play set up Nate Freese’s 33-yard field goal that gave the Eagles the lead for good.
The first quarter ended on another botched pitch play by the Deacons as Price fumbled at his own 28 and it was recovered by Bryce Jones at the 22. On the first play of the second quarter and the first play after the fumbled, Rettig rolled out to his right and fired a strike to Spiffy Evans for a 22-yard TD that put the Eagles up, 17-7.
Wake Forest had several chances to get back into the game, including a golden opportunity just before the half. With under a minute left, Freese dropped back at his 20 to punt. The kick was blocked and Wake recovered at the BC 3. They had four chances to punch it with :52 remaining. The Eagles, like they did a week earlier against Villanova, stopped all four chances, including a run stuff on 4th-and-goal from the 1.
Williams dominated the only BC scoring drive of the second half, carrying the ball six times for 39 yards, including the final five plays of the drive, capped off by a two-yard plunge that made it 24-7 with 1:54 left in the third.
Wake Forest had a chance to close the lead to 10 early in the fourth when they got within the BC 10. After converting a 4th-and-one from the BC 7, the Deacons had to settle for a 26-yard Chad Hedlund field goal that cut the Eagles’ lead to 14 at 24-10 with 10:17 left in the fourth.
After playing on a short week, Boston College hits the road for the first time next Saturday when they travel to the historic Los Angeles Coliseum to take on the Southern Cal Trojans.
|08.31.13 at 5:34 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Steve Addazio knows his Eagles got away with one.
They were down at halftime, 14-7, to Villanova. They were out-gained, out-smarted and out-played.
But it could’ve been worse.
The Eagles recouped at halftime and outscored the Wildcats 17-0 in the final 30 minutes to come away with a 24-14 win in Addazio’s debut on The Heights. Alex Amidon had a long 49-yard touchdown reception on the opening drive of the second half that tied the game and could’ve had another, but his 22-yard TD was called back for a block below the waist. Amidon finished with a career-best 13 catches and 146 yards. Andre Williams gained 114 yards on the ground and fullback Bobby Wolford broke out with six catches for 84 yards, one touchdown and a key grab that set up the go-ahead score.
“We went to more play-action in the second half,” Addazio said. “Understand that our game plan on offense was that we wanted to try to pound them down a little bit because we kind of outmatched them up front a little bit. So, sometimes you have to be a little patient with that. It was time in the second half, we really started to try to take some strikes at it, which we did. Obviously, it was a shame that we didn’t convert that screen pass for a touchdown to Alex Amidon.
“Overall, I am very proud of the kids, the way they fought. They faced adversity. They had to overcome adversity. First games, sometimes, are very often like that. Right now, this is what I know: Fifty percent of BCS teams in the country have a win and 50 percent have a loss. We have a win. We have a lot of work to do. We know that. You’ve got to start. Our first goal was to win the opener.”
They allowed a fake punt for touchdown. They allowed John Robertson and Jamal Abdur-Rahman to run the read-option all over Alumni Stadium. But in the second half they adjusted.
“I am real proud of the way the team went in at halftime,” Addazio said. “We had to make some adjustments at halftime on both sides of the ball. We had to shore some things up. We had, far and away, too many missed assignments on defense in the first half of the game, guys not in the right place.”
While the Wildcats weren’t leaving any tricks in their bag, Addazio felt his punt returners did just the opposite, playing it way too safe with plenty of potential yards in front of them.
“I think we have to get our returners [going],” Addazio said. “We have to really challenge them to be more aggressive, not careless but more aggressive. We left entirely too many yards on the table, entirely too many yards. For a team like us, that won’t work up too good.”
Next up is Wake Forest this Friday night at Alumni Stadium on a short week for the ACC opener.
“All in all, Game 1, we’ve got a lot of work to do but some of the important things that you’d like to see in terms of character of your team you saw,” Addazio said. “The toughness of your team, you saw. Finding a way to win, you saw. Sloppy, yes. Things to be cleaned up, yes. We’ll move on from here.”
The only injury was to tailback Andre Williams, who had to leave in the second half due to a tight hamstring. He had the go-ahead 26-yard TD run off right tackle in the third quarter.
“I don’t have an all-the-way update,” Addazio said. “Andre got just a little bit of a hamstring strain. Is it dehydration? I don’t know that yet. We wanted to be real careful there. We didn’t want to make that situation worse.”
|08.31.13 at 3:01 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Alex Amidon caught a career-high 13 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown while Chase Rettig completed 23-of-30 passes for 285 yards as Boston College overcame a first-half scare to beat Villanova, 24-14, Saturday at Alumni Stadium. The game marked a victorious debut for new Eagles head coach Steve Addazio.
Andre Williams ran for 114 yards and the go-ahead touchdown on 23 carries before leaving in the second half with a hamstring injury.
The highlight of the first half was a perfectly executed fake punt in which up-man Jamal Abdur-Rahman took the snap, put the ball between his legs as the rest of the line and punter Mark Hamilton ran to the right. Abdur-Rahman, after a delay, took off to the left and raced 47 yards for a touchdown that stunned Boston College and put Villanova up, 7-0.
But the Eagles responded, thanks in a large part to a fourth down conversion of their own. Facing 4th-and-1 at the Villanova 49, Andre Williams ran four yards for a first down. BC capped the drive when Rettig hit wide open fullback Bobby Wolford in the right flat for a one-yard TD.
Villanova responded again with a six-play, 75-yard drive. Facing a 3rd-and-14 at the BC 27, John Robertson hit Abdur-Rahman on a back screen that produced another touchdown and put Villanova up, 14-7.
The turning point of the game came midway through the second quarter as Villanova appeared to be on the doorstep of another touchdown. Facing a 4th-and-goal from the BC 1, Villanova decided to pass instead of run and Robertson’s pass was behind a wide-open Joe Price in the back of the end zone and the Eagles took over at the 1.
After Villanova forced a punt, Boston College got another huge break when the Wildcats tried another trick play that backfired. Villanova attempted a halfback option but Gary Underwood‘s pass for Price was badly under thrown and Bryce Jones intercepted.
BC was fortunate to go to the locker room down just 14-7 as the Wildcats owned the first half, out-gaining Boston College, 234-144.
The Eagles came out strong to start the second half, going 85 yards in seven plays on the opening drive, capped by a 49-yard TD strike from Chase Rettig to a wide-open Alex Amidon, tying the game, 14-14.
BC’s defense stiffened significantly, adjusting to the read option offense Villanova runs that looks very similar to the Chip Kelly offense made famous with Oregon and now the Eagles in the NFL.
After forcing Villanova to punt on their first two possessions, Boston College took its first lead on its third possession of the second half. They needed just two plays to march 60 yards. Rettig hit Wolford for 34 yards on a swing pass down to the Villanova 26. Andre Williams took the handoff on the next play and ran 26 yards off the right side untouched for a touchdown with 4:40 left in the third.
BC appeared to take a two-touchdown lead on a 22-yard pass from Rettig to Amidon but an illegal block below the waist wiped it out with just under 11 minutes left in the fourth. BC added to their lead when Nate Freese connected from 39 yards to put the Eagles up 24-14 with 5:18 left in the fourth.
With Villanova driving down the Boston College 21 and threatening to get within three points, Josh Keyes forced a Robertson fumble and Kasim Edbali recovered it with just over three minutes left. Sean Sylvia intercepted Robertson with 1:59 left to seal the win for Addazio in his debut at Boston College.
Boston College opens the ACC portion of their schedule on a short week, playing next Friday night with a home game at Alumni Stadium against Wake Forest.
|08.31.13 at 1:15 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Boston College coach Steve Addazio said his team would have to be prepared for anything against the Villanova Wildcats in their season opener.
He wasn’t kidding.
On the first drive of the season, Villanova lined up for a punt facing 4th down at the BC 47. Villanova lined up for the punt with star receiver Jamal Abdur-Rahman lined up short in the punt formation. The snap never made it to punter Mark Hamilton.
BC special teamers weren’t the only ones fooled. So was ESPN, as the above GIF shows. Villanova used the trickeration to go up 7-0 and stun the Eagles, putting Boston College on its heels early.
|08.29.13 at 10:43 am ET|
The seven Division 1 college basketball coaches in Massachusetts will gather at the TD Garden on Sept. 26 for the second annual Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Breakfast.
New Celtics coach Brad Stevens also is scheduled to appear at the event, which will feature a panel discussion moderated by ESPN college basketball writer Jeff Goodman.
Boston College’s Steve Donahue, Boston University’s Joe Jones, Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, Northeastern’s Bill Coen, UMass’ Derek Kellogg and Holy Cross’ Milan Brown will be joined this year by Pat Duquette of UMass-Lowell, which is making the transition to Division 1 this season.