CFN Preview 2013 - Boston College Eagles
Boston College WR Alex Amidon
Boston College WR Alex Amidon
Posted Jun 27, 2013 2013 Preview - Boston College Eagles

Boston College Eagles

Preview 2013

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By Richard Cirminiello

Head coach: Steve Addazio
First year: 0-0
3rd Year Overall: 13-11
Returning Lettermen
Off. 23, Def. 20, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 18
Ten Best BC Players
1. WR Alex Amidon, Sr.
2. LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, Sr.
3. LB Steele Divitto, Sr.
4. QB Chase Rettig, Sr.
5. RB Andre Williams, Sr.
6. DT Kaleb Ramsey, Sr.
7. OG Ian White, Sr.
8. DB Sean Sylvia, Jr.
9. C Andy Gallik, Jr.
10. PK Nate Freese, Sr.
2013 Schedule
8/31 Villanova
9/6 Wake Forest
9/14 at USC
9/28 Florida State
10/5 Army
10/12 at Clemson
10/26 at North Carolina
11/2 Virginia Tech
11/9 at New Mexico State
11/16 NC State
11/23 at Maryland
11/30 at Syracuse
New Boston College head coach Steve Addazio finds losing intolerable. He never would have survived the Heights over the past couple of seasons.

The Eagles have been on a steady decline over the last three years, going 13-24 over that time. Last season represented the ground floor of the descent, the program's first 10-loss season since 1978. The administration couldn't sack Frank Spaziani fast enough, replacing him with Addazio last Dec. 4.

Addazio is a native of the Northeast, Connecticut to be precise, who most recently was the Temple head man for two seasons. However, the administration didn't hire him because of his roots or necessarily because of his brief stint in Philadelphia. No, Boston College went hard after Addazio because it felt as if he had the demeanor and the right amount of fire in his belly to start changing the culture in Chestnut Hill.

The new man in charge is a throwback, a no-nonsense, blue-collar leader who will demand accountability and responsibility from his players. Anyone not towing the line will be shown the bench—or the door. In a metaphor for his philosophy, Addazio has removed the names on his team's jerseys, citing a desire for more selflessness and a unified approach. So far, so good, but how long before the new regime starts producing tangible dividends in the standings?

If BC isn't the worst of the ACC teams, it's certainly at the forefront of the discussion. The Eagles didn't just lose games in 2012; they often lost badly, including six times by at least two touchdowns. Now, Addazio is off to a very fast start in recruiting, one of his strengths as an assistant at Florida under Urban Meyer. But those targets won't be eligible until 2014, if they sign at all. The personnel that Addazio inherited? Not so good. There are depth issues just about everywhere, the ground game is necrotic and sacks have been harder to locate in Boston than Yankees fans. The cold, hard reality is that BC remains in the embryonic stages of its rebuilding plan.

Boston College has a rich past in football that often included power running games, next-level offensive linemen and stingy defenses. Addazio has been brought aboard to construct a bridge to that past, going back to basics in order to gradually make the Eagles relevant once again in the fall.

What to look for on offense: A heavy emphasis on the ground game. The Eagles don't plan to forget about fourth-year starting QB Chase Rettig or his All-ACC WR Alex Amidon. However, the new staff really wants its identity to be rooted in a rushing attack that physically outmuscles and wears down the other team. With that philosophy ion mind, Boston College will have to make sure that its own feature back, Andre Williams, doesn't wear down as well. The senior has had a terrific offseason, but backup Deuce Finch left the team in April, and Tahj Kimble is still recovering from an ACL injury.

What to look for on defense: The Eagles are going to take whatever measures are necessary to pressure the pocket. Two years … and just 17 sacks. In 2012, Boston College got to the quarterback an incomprehensible six times. Enter coordinator Don Brown, who's never seen a blitz he didn't like. Since BC is not rich in can't-miss pass rushers from the edge, Brown plans to attack from different angles and with disguised looks. Even if it leaves the secondary a little naked from time to time, it'll be worth it to finally alter the rhythm of opposing passers.

The team will be much better if ... the play of the lines improves dramatically. The only way is up for Boston College, which ranked 120th nationally in sacks last year and 106th in sacks allowed. You just can't be competitive with those kinds of rankings. The Eagles rarely win with finesse, and Doug Flutie comes along once every lifetime. For BC to become BC again, it'll have to start moving piles, creating space for the team's running backs, and winning the battles at the line of scrimmage. If the Eagles aren't the better team in the trenches, there's a very good chance they're losing.

The Schedule: The non-conference slate isn't exactly a minefield, save for the Sept. 14 trip to the Coliseum to play USC. Otherwise, the Eagles will get Villanova and Army at Alumni Stadium before traveling to Las Cruces to face New Mexico State on Nov. 9 - that's not that bad for the non-conference slate. Besides the usual Atlantic Division contests, which now includes former rival Syracuse, the Eagles also have to deal with North Carolina and Virginia Tech, two of this year's better programs from the Coastal Division. The big problem? Road games. BC plays five of the last seven games away from home including three of the last four games and the final two at Maryland and Syracuse.

Best Offensive Player: Senior WR Alex Amidon. In a season full of despair, Amidon went on to be a silver lining in a No. 83 jersey. Virtually out of nowhere, the 5-11, 186-pounder went from an afterthought to a First Team All-ACC performer. While there isn't anything especially intimidating about Amidon, from his stature to his wheels, he just knows how to locate the soft spots in a defense. And when he gets there, he rarely drops throws in his direction. In a truly unlikely breakout campaign, he pulled in 78 balls for 1,210 yards and seven scores.

Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Kevin Pierre-Louis. Boston College is rarely short on talented linebackers who can sniff out the run. This season will be no different. Pierre-Louis has been a consistent playmaker throughout his career, and now sits on the brink of his best season yet. The 6-1, 215-pounder has had some durability issues as an Eagle, missing three games in each of the last two years. Still, in 2012, he managed transform his range, quick feet and tenacity into 85 tackles, four tackles for loss, a pair of sacks … and honorable mention All-ACC.

Key player to a successful season: Senior RB Andre Williams. Head coach Steve Addazio and his assistants have made it perfectly clear that they plan to establish the line of scrimmage on offense this season. That's code for running the ball with purpose in an effort to set up the pass. The backfield has been depleted by injuries and an unexpected exit, leaving Williams alone as the feature runner. So far, he looks ideally suited to soften the interior of opposing defenses, but he's also carried the ball more than 20 times in a game on just four separate occasions over the last three years.

The season will be a success if ... the Eagles win five games. It should be doable since the non-conference schedule features just one brutal game, the Sept. 14 trip to the West Coast to face USC. Villanova, Army and New Mexico State all belong in the win column, leaving Boston College in need of only a couple of ACC victories to look as if it's headed in a northerly direction under a new pilot. Just because there's plenty of work left to be done on the Heights doesn't mean that BC can't at least double last season's feeble total of two wins.

Key game: Nov. 30 at Syracuse. A realignment rarity—a shift in conference affiliation that actually renews a longtime rivalry. The Eagles and the Orange are set to restore an old Northeast clash that peaked when both were operating out of the Big East. Boston College and Syracuse ought to be playing every season, and this will be the first time they do it as ACC members. The regular season finale will also give the Eagles a chance to corral some momentum, while showcasing how far along they've come in Steve Addazio's debut season.

2012 Fun Stats:
- Rushing first downs: Boston College 66 – Opponents 143
- Third Down %: 30% – Opponents 50%
- Sacks: Boston College 6 - Opponents 36
- 2013 Boston College Preview | 2013 Boston College Offense
- 2013 Boston College Defense | 2013 Boston College Depth Chart