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Boston College blows game at home and Steve Addazio doesn’t want to hear ‘my bad’ 09.28.14 at 10:58 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — This is the age of ‘my bad’ sports.

A player blows a coverage at a critical juncture or drops a pass when he carelessly takes his eyes off the ball and he taps his chest and pronounces, ‘my bad’ to the coach and his teammates.

Well, after watching his team meltdown in the fourth quarter and lose 24-21 to Colorado State, presumably blowing any chance at a Top 25 spot, Steve Addazio wanted no part of it when addressing the media afterward.

As a matter of fact, what followed was a 55-year-old man’s fascinating interpretation of today’s sports culture.

“Sometimes I don’t think that young guys, they get it,” Addazio said. “I don’t think they really fathom that when you get 12 shots and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Everybody loves this, ‘my bad’ stuff. I don’t know what that is. ‘My bad.’ OK, thanks, thanks for telling me.

“The reality in college football of it’s gone, it’s gone. A loss is a loss. It’s over. And it’s fragile. You have to hang onto that thing and how tough it is to finish and close things out the right way. We didn’t close this game out. We had every opportunity to close the game out and we didn’t do it. And we have to learn to do that. And if anything can come out of this I hope that that can come out of it, some time, some day.”

The Eagles led Saturday’s game 14-0 and 21-14. They were driving for a score midway through the fourth quarter that would’ve put the game away when graduate quarterback Tyler Murphy rolled to his right and threw a pass that was intercepted, changing the momentum of the game.

The Eagles appeared to have escaped when Steven Daniels tipped a fourth-down pass at the line of scrimmage with six minutes left. But BC’s offense when 3-and-out, giving the Rams the ball back. The Eagles had one more chance to put away the Rams when they forced a 4th-and-10 from the 11. But this time there was a no tipped pass at the line, only an open lane for Garrett Grayson to fire a strike to Charles Lovett.

‘€œThe toughest thing about this loss is just watching the way we lost it,” Addazio said. “It’€™s just the way we lost it. We had a chance to end the game, 4th-and-10, end the game. It’€™s over. And turning the ball over when we had a chance to seal it out on the other end. That’€™s what’€™s going to be hard about this game.’€

“That’s the way it is. It’s going to be hard on everybody, players and coaches. That’s the way it is. Everybody wants everybody to feel good real quick. ‘Well, that’s OK.’ No, it’s not. It’s not OK.”

Boston College is dealing with injuries at several key positions. Linebackers Mike Strizak and Josh Keyes are banged up. Bobby Vardaro is an NFL prospect at left guard and is dealing with a bad hamstring.

“We’re banged up, nicked up, that’s no excuse,” Addazio said. “That’s just the way it is. Everybody is. We’re not deep enough, we’re not deep enough to handle the amount of injuries we’re dealing with right now. And they show up. And they show up when you don’t want them to show up. That’s all part of it, man.

Read More: Bobby Vardaro, Boston College Eagles, Josh Keyes, Mike Strizak
BC coach Steve Addazio on MFB: Saturday night win over USC ‘most electric atmosphere I’ve been in since I’ve been at Boston College’ 09.15.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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Boston College football coach Steve Addazio, riding high after Saturday night’s upset of ninth-ranked USC, joined Middays with MFB to recount the monumental win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Steve Addazio (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Steve Addazio led the Eagles to an upset of ninth-ranked USC on Saturday night. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The game was dedicated to the memory of Welles Crowther, a former BC lacrosse player who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, after leading a number of people to safety at the World Trade Center. Crowther, known for wearing a red bandanna, returned to the South Tower to rescue more people when the building collapsed.

BC players wore red bandanna-patterned designs on their helmets and other parts of their uniform to pay tribute to Crowther.

“I’m a big believer in the emotional side, in the passion side of the game,” Addazio said. “Obviously if you don’t have your X’s and O’s and your fundamentals right, you’re not going to overcome it with just that. By why not both? Why not play with that passion and that high energy and that emotion. It’s what the game is all about to me, and that’s what I love about the college game.

“Having a chance to be a part of that red bandanna game to honor Welles Crowther and everything that he stood for. … All that we’ve been hearing all week long [about NFL players misbehaving], it’s kind of made my stomach turn. But now let’s talk about a great story, a story about a guy that was unselfish, that gave of himself, gave his life to save other people. That’s kind of what the BC ‘service for others’ is — obviously that’s an extreme, but that’s what it’s all about.”

Addazio said he gave the team “a little history lesson” about 9/11 and talked about how Crowther was “one of our own,” a BC athlete who went on to leave a lasting mark outside the world of sports.

“Kids need to hear more about [Crowther's heroics]. They don’t need to hear more about elevators and everything else,” Addazio said. “They need to hear more about, to me, the true greatness that lies in a lot of people. And this was an unbelievable story. Being a part of it, and being around his parents after the game, it was just moving.”

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Read More: Steve Addazio, Welles Crowther,
Why it’s time to start paying attention to ‘big time’ Tyler Murphy 09.14.14 at 11:51 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Steve Addazio was not the least bit surprised in what he saw from Tyler Murphy on the national stage Saturday night against a Top 10 team. Murphy had 191 yards rushing on 13 carries and a game-breaking touchdown run in BC’s shocking 37-31 win over USC Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.

But before the awesome rushing display in the second half, Addazio watched as his read-option quarterback kept his cool in the first half when the Eagles fell behind, 17-6, to the ninth-ranked team in the country.

“€œIt was early in the game when they got up on us,” Murphy said. “Coach always says that we are going to stick to the
game plan, get it to the fourth quarter and win there. So we just kept believing and taking it one play at
a time. There was a lot of football to play. The guys did a good job of putting everything on the line and
fighting to come back.”

When Addazio went to the University of Florida to recruit Murphy, who was leaving the Gators last season with a year left of eligibility, he knew he was getting a mature quarterback who wouldn’t panic when times got tough.

“Yes, this is what I hoped for,” Addazio said. “And I saw it in training camp. He was a great leader for us, just really his demeanor, his energy, his attack of the game plan. We just watched him start to grow and emerge. You saw it in Week 1, you saw it last week and you saw it this week, just taking control of the game.”

“We rushed for 452 yards. They rushed for 20. We had very few penalties. We had one turnover. Tyler Murphy had 191 yards rushing. Tyler Murphy played like a big time player.”

Why is that such a big deal to Addazio?

“When you have a big-time quarterback, that’s what they do, they take control of the game,” Addazio said. “They make the plays that are there to be made. He threw the ball really well, ran the ball really well, practiced this week with a steel resolve really well. Good things happen to good people that work hard and that’s what happened.”

Taking control of the game is exactly what Murphy did in the second half when the Eagles needed it the most. When USC drew to within six points at 30-24 with under five minutes left, BC needed one drive to kill the clock and keep USC at bay. Murphy went one better – he put the game away with a 66-yard sprint on a perfectly-executed read option off the left end.

The touchdown put BC up, 37-24, and Murphy and the Eagles could sense a huge win on the national stage.

“€œIt meant a lot, especially after last week’€™s loss,” Murphy said of the win eight days after getting handled by Pittsburgh. “Coach really challenged us as a team this week and we really went after it. It goes to show that if we really set our minds to something and we play as a team, the sky’€™s the limit. Personally, it’€™s been a long journey. It means a lot to me. It’€™s pretty easy on my part because I have guys who want to work and sacrifice for each other. We really just try to stick together as a team and out-play teams.”

“First of all, he has skills. I knew he could throw it, I knew he could run it, I knew he was a tremendous person. I knew he had the respect of his teammates at Florida. I knew they had deep respect for him, and that’s a starting point because players know. When they respect guys, there’s a reason they respect guys. He had a great respect. So, I knew there was a winner there just waiting for an opportunity. I knew him from when I recruited him and I knew that we were getting an extremely high-character individual that football meant a lot to. I was fortunate I had a history. For me, it was quite easy, really.”

With a win over the ninth-ranked team in the country, expectations will surely rise over the next month, with teams like Maine and Colorado State on deck before they enter the meat of the ACC schedule. And Murphy will be there to keep his teammates on an even kiel.

Read More: Boston College, Steve Addazio, Tyler Murphy, usc
Steve Addazio watches as his Eagles get steamrolled by James Conner: ‘Their running back couldn’t be tackled’ 09.06.14 at 10:01 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — For most of 2013, it was Andre Williams dishing out the punishment against Boston College opponents.

On Friday night, the tables were turned in a big way as James Conner came to town with the Pittsburgh Panthers and, with the help of a powerful offensive line, ran roughshod over and through the Eagles defense for 213 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers knew what they had in Conner and knew BC had no answers. The Panthers gave it to Conner early and often, to the tune of 35 carries in a 30-20 win over the Eagles at Alumni Stadium.

Afterward, BC head coach Steve Addazio didn’t have to get too deep into football Xs and Os to assess what happened.

“œIt’€™s a real simple equation here,” Addazio began. “In my opinion we couldn’€™t stop the run on defense. We couldn’€™t establish the run on offense. We didn’€™t tackle well on defense. We didn’€™t complete throwing opportunities, and we had numerous ones, on offense.”

With no Andre Williams available to counter, Conner outgained the entire BC rushing collection of five carriers, 213-142. As a matter of fact, the most effective ball carrier for the Eagles was Tyler Murphy, their read option quarterback. He broke away for a 51-yard run in the first quarter, leading to a touchdown. But throw out that run and BC totaled just 91 yards on 33 carries.

Too much Conner and not enough answers from BC, either on defense or on offense.

“€œI knew he would be good,” Addazio said. “None of us had any delusions. He was going to run inside. He’€™s a strong runner. He’€™s a heck of a back. We had to tackle him. We had plenty of opportunities. Schematically, not all of the time, but a lot of the time, we were in position to make those plays and we didn’€™t make those tackles. Missed tackle, missed tackle, missed tackle. You’€™ve got to tackle that guy. You’€™ve got to wrap and drive him.

“We couldn’€™t stop the run. We couldn’€™t establish the run. We couldn’€™t complete the necessary passes which we had great opportunities to do. €œI thought Pitt played a great game. I thought their running back is a heck of a player. I thought their quarterback was pretty competitive. Their running back couldn’€™t be tackled. That’€™s on us. We’€™ve got to do a much better job. He’€™s a heck of a player but we’€™ve also got to do a much, much better job tackling. So we’€™ve got to get back to work and get on the fundamentals here. When we get back into full pads we have to start tackling again. We got away from that because it was a short week. We’€™ve got to go back and tackle, do all the things necessary to develop this football team.”

The compete level and tackling better pick up and pick up quickly as the Eagles host No. 14 USC next Saturday night at Alumni Stadium. Where the Panthers pounded the Eagles, the Trojans traditionally have speed to the outside and deep passing threats to exploit the BC defense that couldn’t tackle Friday night.

“€œI like the way we competed at the end,” Addazio said of Murphy’s touchdown run late that made it 30-20. BC missed a two-point conversion that would’ve made it a one-possession game with 43 seconds left. BC even recovered an onside kick after the final touchdown.

“We kept scratching and fighting. If we had converted the two-point conversion at the end and recover the onside kick it’€™s a one score game. That’€™s great and all that but the body of the game, in my opinion, €œwe knew going into this game that we had to stop the run. We didn’€™t do it. It didn’€™t happen.”

Read More: Boston College, James Conner, Pittsburgh, Steve Addazio
Boston College confirms arrival of former Florida QB Tyler Murphy 01.15.14 at 1:00 pm ET
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Boston College on Wednesday announced that former Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy has enrolled at Boston College and will be eligible to play next season as a fifth-year graduate transfer.

Murphy, a native of Wethersfield, Conn., was recruited to Florida by current BC coach Steve Addazio when Addazio was an assistant for the Gators.

Murphy appeared in seven games, starting six, for the Gators in 2013, completing 60.5 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,216 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions. He did not start the final three games due to a sprained right shoulder.

Murphy is expected to compete for the starting job with highly regarded freshman Darius Wade, who has enrolled midyear, as well as senior Josh Bordner (who backed up graduating senior Chase Rettig in ’13) and sophomore James Walsh.

The Eagles announced a handful of other midyear enrollees, including offensive lineman Ian Silberman (another fifth-year player who is transferring from Florida) and four other freshmen: offensive lineman Jon Baker (from Millis), defensive back Allen Dawson, defensive end Harold Landry and defensive back Isaac Yiadom.

BC went 7-6 this past season, Addazio’s first in Chestnut Hill, after going 2-10 the previous year.

Read More: Steve Addazio, Tyler Murphy,
Andre Williams on his career night: ‘It couldn’t have worked out better for me’ 09.07.13 at 12:38 am ET
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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.”

Read More: Andre Williams, Boston College, Steve Addazio, Wake Forest
Boston College wears down tricky Villanova to win season opener 08.31.13 at 3:01 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Alex Amidon, Bobby Wolford, Boston College Eagles, Chase Rettig
Villanova fakes out Boston College on opening drive of the season at 1:15 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Boston College, Jamal Abdur-Rahman, Steve Addazio, Villanova
Chase Rettig: Eagles need to ‘scratch and claw’ for bowl eligibility 08.09.13 at 12:58 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — It’s no secret that if the Boston College Eagles are going to turn around a trend that saw them win just six games in the past two seasons, quarterback Chase Rettig is going to lead the way.

But the senior quarterback, who is going through yet another change in offensive coordinators, knows the process is going to be deliberate. His focus is on Villanova and the opener Aug. 31 at Alumni Stadium. Work on winning that game and then go from there, with the end goal of bowl eligibility.

On media day at BC, he was careful not to put a number on the wins he thinks he and the Eagles can reach this season.

“I don’t know if you can do that,” Rettig said. “Right now, we want to win the opener because last year we didn’t. I think we’ve had better teams than our record has shown the last two years. But momentum is key. We have to win the opener and then scratch and claw, do whatever we can to get into bowl eligibility, and that’s just the mind-set. If it’s more than that, then it’s more than that. That’s what we’re going to try and do. Our work ethic is what’s going to control it, try to be better than our opponents this year.”

New coach Steve Addazio went a step further in taking the heat off his quarterback, at least to start the season.

“Number one, beyond a doubt, if you can’t play defense, you’re not going to win,” Addazio said. “It’s all about great defense. If you don’t play great defense you’re not going to win. It centers around playing great defense. You better be great in special teams, and I’m a big believer that your quarterback has to play real well.”

Addazio was asked about the back-up QB battle between Josh Bordner, Mike Marscovetra and three other QBs on the roster.

“Productivity in camp. You have to be productive. Have to watch Josh move the team,” Addazio said. “You either move the team or you don’t. You either move the team or you don’t. I’m glad if you complete 92 percent in 7-on-7. I really don’t care about 7-on-7. I want to see you move the team when you get hit. I’m going to judge that and evaluate that. Obviously, we hold Chase accountable to the same standards but he’s coming in as the starting quarterback right now so we’re going to protect him a little bit more.

“Some of the other guys, we’ll probably not going to protect as much. We’re going to throw them into the fire a little bit and see how they go, and find out who’s going to take those spots. You find one guy standing up. There’s been plenty of times in history here at Boston College a guy gets in there and does so good he doesn’t give it back to the other guy. It’s all there. It’s all open. Nothing’s forever. Right now, Chase is the starter. Right now, Josh is battling Mike for that second spot. The second spot could always become the first, I guess. Right now, that’s our mindset for sure. We have a clear path, for sure.”

In the fourth game of the 2010 season, Rettig made his debut at BC playing against Notre Dame. In a 31-13 loss to the Irish, he connected on a 58-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Swigert but had to leave the game due to an ankle injury. After missing the following game, Rettig earned the starting quarterback job and led the Eagles to the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, where he completed 14 of 34 passes for 121 yards.

That was the season the Eagles lost five straight, falling to 2-5, only to rally and win the next five and become bowl eligible. The Eagles lost to Nevada 20-13. Rettig threw for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns during the season.

After a 4-8 season in 2011, the Eagles fell to 2-10 in the 2012 season, Rettig started all 12 games and threw for 3,055 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season. His season QB rating was a career high 115.6. He connected with junior wide receiver Alex Amidon 78 times for 1,210 yards. Those are numbers Rettig and the Eagles offense have been building on this spring and summer.

“It’s been good,” Rettig said during media day at The Heights. “We had some in the spring but we didn’t really use it as much as we do now. We’re just trying to get used to it. Some guys are getting more acclimated. Different people have different learning curves so being a senior, being a quarterback, I know more. I’m trying to be an extension of Coach Day and Coach Addazio and get everyone on the same page.

“You don’t want to just go out there and run as many plays as you can for no reason. You want each play to be executed as a team and be worth something. Use tempo and be in control. When I’m in [huddle] right now, I can lead. Approach, demeanor, how you handle yourself in all the situations, I think those three years of experience have rubbed off and now I know how to handle those situations and just trying to be a voice on the team. The best way to do that is to set a standard, you set goals that other guys believe we can get to and then you live by those and expect it every rep off the field, on the field and in certain situations. That’s what I’ve been trying to do.

“You have to work harder than the guy you’re going to be lining up against on Aug. 31. Against the defense in practice, you have to handle yourself the best you can because we’re responsible for our success. It starts with the person, then grouping more people, then the unit, then it’s the team and then it’s the whole program. You just have to be responsible and accountable and that’s what we’re stressing in this program right now.”

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Read More: Alex Amidon, Boston College, Chase Rettig, college football
BC’s Kevin Pierre-Louis, Nate Freese garner preseason honors 07.11.13 at 2:51 pm ET
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Boston College football’€™s season opener ‘€” its first under new coach Steve Addazio ‘€” is still one month and 20 days away, but the preseason news is starting to roll in.

The team announced Thursday that senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis has been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, one day after revealing that senior kicker Nate Freese was named to the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Watch List.

Pierre-Louis garnered All-ACC honorable mention honors in 2012 after a junior season in which he averaged nine tackles per game. He has started 31 games in his three years, totaling 252 tackles.

There are 27 linebackers and 81 total players on the list of names to watch for the Nagurski, which is awarded annually to the top defensive player in the nation. Luke Kuechly won the award in 2011 while playing for the Eagles.

Freese, who is among the top active kickers in the country and one of the best in BC football history, is one of 30 place kickers on the Groza list, which is chosen based on both 2012 stats and 2013 expectations. He sits fifth among FBS kickers with a career field goal percentage of .820, including a .900 mark (18-for-20) as a junior last year.

The 20 Groza Award semifinalists will be announced Nov. 4.

BC opens its season when it hosts Villanova at noon on Aug. 31.

Read More: Kevin Pierre-Louis, luke kuechly, nate freese, Steve Addazio
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