Boston College football coach Steve Addazio knew an important part of building his team would be creating chemistry, on both sides of the ball. He got no greater example of that than Sunday night, when the Eagles convened for a team meeting to go over the highlights of Friday night’s 24-10 win over Wake Forest.
Offensive coordinator Ryan Day was first to speak to the team. Instead of presenting the offensive highlights, Day lauded the defense for a goal-line stand that enabled the Eagles to control a 17-7 halftime lead.
Then, defensive coordinator Don Brown addressed the team but eschewed the many highlights his unit compiled, including three turnovers, three sacks, and holding the Demon Deacons to 55 yards rushing. Instead, Brown saluted the offense for its soul-crushing ground game in the fourth quarter that helped net Andre Williams a career-high 204 yards rushing.
More important, as Brown noted, it kept the defense off the field for all but six snaps of the final period.
“It was great to hear Ryan Day and Don Brown compliment each other because they’re both unselfish guys who get the big picture of things,’’ said Addazio, whose team (2-0 overall, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) next faces a huge nonconference challenge Saturday at Southern Cal (1-1) in the first road game of the season. “It doesn’t always happen out there. I think we have great chemistry within our staff and I think it helps you have great chemistry within your team.’’
It probably explains why Day and Brown were spotted hugging following the Wake Forest triumph — a rare public display between offensive and defensive coordinators.
Asked if he appreciated the mutual admiration between his coordinators, Addazio replied, “I love that. That’s what it means to be a football coach.
“That makes it really cool. And you can’t fake that. It comes from sincere guys that put their egos on the shelf. I think we’ve got a great group of guys who do that.
“I think one of the most attractive things about being at Boston College is that we have guys who come here with that kind of mind-set and, yeah, I really love that.
“Hiring a staff, I wanted a staff with a bunch of guys like that. I’ve been around a lot of staffs now, some were great and some that weren’t so great, but we’ve got some good coaches here, some good people.’’
Give and take
Sophomore Bryce Jones was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week after recording a pair of tackles and a pair of turnovers against Wake Forest.
Jones recovered a fumbled pitch by quarterback Tanner Price that led to a BC touchdown and a 17-7 lead. Jones then intercepted Price in the second half. The takeaways helped Jones atone for a 30-yard touchdown pass he allowed from Price to Michael Campanaro that enabled Wake Forest to tie the game, 7-7, in the first quarter.
“I think Donnie Brown does a great job with the defense in terms of knowing we’re taking shots and sometimes these guys are in vulnerable positions,’’ Addazio said. “Again, [Jones] was put in a compromised situation because there was a breakdown, but we will get matched up and I’m sure there will be isolations this week.
“They’re probably going to connect on a few of those, but it’s not going to change who we are.’’
Asked whether Jones could be matched up one-on-one with USC’s All-America wideout Marquise Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner, Addazio said, “Sure, sure. He’s one heck of a player. I don’t know if we’ve seen the likes of him.’’
Fruits of victory
Following Sunday’s team meeting, the Eagles enjoyed a victory dinner, with a menu of prime rib, roasted chicken, and filet of sole. “It wasn’t like we had lasagna and ravioli,’’ said Addazio, a lover of Italian food. “But it was good. Guys liked it.” It was part of Addazio’s plan to allow the team to unwind and enjoy a team meal after every victory. “We sit down as a team and we watch a TV copy of the game and the kids enjoy watching that,’’ the coach said. “We laughed a little bit, had a great meal, celebrated a great victory, put it to bed, and got ready to roll. As a guy once told me when I was coaching high school football [in Cheshire, Conn.], you need to learn to enjoy the wins because they’re hard to get. Don’t sit on ’em forever, but you need to enjoy them.’’ . . . BC garnered a vote in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Addazio laughed when asked if he suspected Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe or Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Addazio’s former mentor at Florida, had cast the lone vote. “It was probably Urban, I don’t know,’’ Addazio said. “But it just shows how hard we’re having to scratch and claw for everything around here.’’
Kessler to start
USC coach Lane Kiffin said Cody Kessler will start at QB vs. BC. Kessler and Max Wittek have been competing for the starting job since the spring, and Kiffin did not announce his starter before the first two games of the season, both of which Kessler started. Wittek also has played in each game.