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Steve Addazio on D&C: ‘We’ve got to count on each other’ to beat Florida State 11.21.14 at 11:05 am ET
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Steve Addazio

Steve Addazio

Boston College coach Steve Addazio joined Dennis & Callahan to discuss the Eagles‘ upcoming game against top-ranked Florida State. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Seminoles have not lost at all this season and are vying for their second consecutive national title. Some experts, though, have said this Florida State team is not the same as the one that took the championship last year. Addazio said the Seminoles still can win any game they play.

Said Addazio: “Well, they’re different. But they’re talented and they’re good. They’re just a different team. The level that they play with in the second half of these games is pretty remarkable, to tell you the truth. Some of the slow starting, it’s hard to tell what that’s all about. But the reality is they really raise their level of play. There’s no good fortune for them, they’re really playing hard at the end of these games.”

The Eagles already have knocked off a top-10 team this year as they beat USC at home early in the season. The hosts asked if the talk Addazio gave his team before that upset win applies to this week’s game against the Seminoles.

“The same things I’ve been talking about all week, I talked about the week going into that game, that no one gives us a chance,” Addazio said. “Except the guys in this room, us, our team. We’ve got to count on each other, we’ve got to depend on each other. That’s what being a team is all about, and there’s no pressure on us. We’ll go down there, play hard as you can play and make your plays when we have an opportunity. Win your one-on-one matchups. I think our guys go down there and play really hard. Like anything else, you’re going on the road, you’ve got to combine playing really hard with a good plan, making your plays and having some good fortune. And that’s the way it goes.”

Addazio said for the team to win, the Eagles must establish a certain tempo on both sides of the ball from the start of the game.

Said Addazio: “I think two things have to happen. We need to get off the field on defense. I mean, getting a three-and-out would be pretty significant so we can keep the field position in our favor. And then being able to establish the run. We are that team, so you’ve got to be able to establish what you do best. And then we’€™re going to take our shots in this game. We’€™re going to take our shots, we’€™ve got some stuff wired together and we’€™ve got to connect on them. Whatever we deem are the shots, let’€™s call them, that we’€™re going take whether it be a play, whether it be whatever. And then you’€™ve got to make your plays. It’€™s not for the faint of heart. There’€™s no risk, no reward. So we’€™ve got to have some risky fields that we’€™re going to roll on and hopefully we put them together.”

While BC plans to play with an aggressive style, if the Eagles have a lead at some point in the game, Addazio said the way they play could change.

“I would say honestly that would depend on when the game was,” Addazio said of holding a lead. “And what’€™s going on on the other side of the ball. If you’€™re playing great defense and it’€™s late in the game, and you’€™re running the ball, you’€™re going to keep running the ball and being pretty conservative and try to let your defense win the game for you. But those are all of the little things, the game within the game, that’€™s hard for me to say. If you’€™re struggling on defense, and you’€™re hanging onto a lead, you’€™ve got to stay aggressive. You’€™ve got no choice. The problem with this team is you’€™ve got to be really careful with them. Because you flip it around the wrong way and they’€™ll take it the distance on you. You don’€™t want to give it away. You want to make them earn it.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On if Jameis Winston is an NFL Quarterback: “He certainly has the skill set to be that. Obviously, there’€™s other factors that come into these things, but that guy is a very, very talented quarterback. And he’€™s got a tremendous arm, anticipates throws, he’€™s big and strong and physical in the pocket. He’€™s got a good enough athleticism to get himself out of trouble. I can’€™t see a weakness in terms of his skill set.”

On if Tyler Murphy could make it in the NFL at another position: “He’€™s a really great athlete. He’€™s got great ball skills, he’€™s a tremendous athlete with his feet. He really has a good arm. He’€™s a guy that has high, high character. I believe there’€™s a spot for a guy like Tyler Murphy at the next level.”

On possibly getting more get graduate students for the team: “It certainly can help you, no doubt. And in the situation we were in when I got here, we didn’€™t have any choice — we had to. We were down scholarships, we are right now, we’€™re playing at 71 scholarships. We’€™re closer to I-AA level scholarships than I-A. We lost 26 guys in the last year and a half. This has been vital, it’€™s been a lifeline for us. These are guys based on previous relationships. As I pull away, I’€™m a head coach longer and longer, I don’€™t have those guys that I recruited at another place or saw. Yes, the answer is we would love to have more of those guys when they are the right guys. And the right guys at BC are really high character guys, guys that really value getting a master’€™s degree. Those kind of guys, they’€™re home runs. Certainly we’€™d be open to more of that.”

Read More: Jameis Winston, Steve Addazio, Tyler Murphy,
Steve Addazio says ‘you cry a little bit together’ after heartbreak against Clemson 10.19.14 at 3:08 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — To Steve Addazio, Saturday’s 17-13 loss to No. 24 Clemson is just part of the growing process for his football program.

There have been highlights, such as the 37-31 win over No. 9 USC on Sept. 13 and last week’s bounce-back win over North Carolina State on the road.

But the bumps have been painful. The loss to Pittsburgh at home in the ACC opener. The meltdown against Colorado State when they had the game in their grasp only to lose in the final minute.

And then there was Saturday night at Alumni Stadium. With 10:59 left, Tyler Murphy found Josh Bordner on the other side of the field for a 6-yard touchdown that put BC up, 13-10. But the Eagles defense could keep the Tigers from making two big plays – a 33-yard pass completion to midfield and a 32-yard run off right tackle for the go-ahead touchdown just 84 seconds later.

BC had their chances with under a minute left. Tyler Murphy found Tyler Rouse all alone down the right sideline at the Clemson 3. But the ball fell through his hands on first down and the Eagles lost a chance at beating a Top-25 team.

“€™Obviously our locker room is devastated, which is completely understandable but I’€™m proud of the fact that we battled,” coach Steve Addazio said. “We really battled tonight. We’€™re going to get to work and take a look at where we could have played better, where we could have coached better. Where I could have done a better job to be able to find the inches and the yards in there that would have swung that thing and made a difference. But our team resolve is strong and united.”

“This is where teams come into play. When you’€™re a real team you stick together. You support each other. You cry a little bit together. You take care of each other and your steel resolve gets stronger and you get ready to the play next week. You get ready to go down and play Wake Forrest. That’€™s a good football team we just lost to out there. I’€™ve got a lot of respect for them and the job they did as coaches. They found the plays that they needed to win that game and we came up a little bit short but we battled.”

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Read More: Boston College, Clemson, Steve Addazio,
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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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
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