Although he claimed “no moral victories’’ from Saturday’s 48-34 loss to eighth-ranked Florida State, Boston College coach Steve Addazio said the game tape revealed “a number of positives’’ to build upon in preparation for Saturday’s nonconference home game against Army.
■ The 34 points were BC’s most against Florida State, which allowed its three previous opponents an average of 8.7 points per game.
■ BC scored on its opening drive, marking the first time the Seminoles had trailed all season.
■ The Seminoles had allowed only 7 first-quarter points all season; BC doubled that, taking a 14-3 lead.
■ Andre Williams, the ACC’s leading rusher (128.8 yards per game), rushed 28 times for 149 yards to crack the 2,000-yard mark for his career. It also marked the most yards Florida State had surrendered to a running back since 2010.
“So those were some positive things that took place there,’’ said Addazio, who also noted the Eagles rushed for 200 yards, passed for 197, and were 5 for 6 in the red zone (three touchdowns, two field goals, one interception).
“That’s the best offensive performance of the season against the best defense, against a really good opponent,’’ said Addazio. “That’s a lot of output against a really good defense. It’s not something a lot of people have been able to do, so that’s a positive.’’
The Eagles were penalized three times for 44 yards, nearly matching their total in the previous three games (45 yards), committed two turnovers (both interceptions), and had several breakdowns in coverage. The most glaring came on the last play of the first half, when FSU quarterback Jameis Winston eluded BC’s pass rush and fired a 55-yard pass to Kenny Shaw that gave the Seminoles a 24-17 lead at intermission.
“The margin for error is so small against a great opponent,’’ Addazio said. “The microcosm was the play before the half. We had three legitimate opportunities to get the quarterback down. We didn’t and we let the guy get behind us and the guy made an unbelievable play to get back on his feet and throw a dart down the field.
“You continue to learn and you grow from those things. But we’re an absolute work in progress.’’
With Army’s rushing attack averaging 325 yards per game (second in the nation), Addazio expressed concern how BC would hold up without junior defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad, who suffered a left leg injury early in the third quarter against Florida State.
Addazio said Abdesmad was being evaluated by the team’s medical personnel, but indicated he would not be available Saturday.
“He’s arguably one of our very best defensive linemen,’’ Addazio said of the 6-foot-7-inch, 278-pounder from Montreal, who was credited with one of the four sacks BC rang up against Winston. “Make no mistake, that was a really heavy price to pay for us. We’re not very deep. That’s not an excuse, that’s just the truth.’’
Addazio said BC would try to fill the void using a rotation of 6-5, 291-pound junior Dominic Appiah, 6-3, 300-pound sophomore Connor Wujciak, and 6-3, 275-pound senior Jaryd Rudolph.
Addazio was saddened to learn about the firings of USC coach Lane Kiffin and Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni. That both came early in the season “is a sad commentary on our profession,’’ Addazio said. “I really don’t get that. Everybody talks about loyalty, but loyalty is a two-way street.’’ Addazio was particularly disturbed by the dismissal of Pasqualoni, for whom Addazio worked as an assistant at Syracuse. “Coach P is a great football coach, he really is. He’s a great man and he stands for everything that’s right. I love him and I know he’s a great coach and a great person and to hear that today was upsetting.’’ . . . BC remains the nation’s least penalized team (2.00 per game) and with the fewest penalty yards average (22.25) . . . BC’s game at Clemson on Oct. 12 will be televised at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, ESPN2, or ESPNU. The network will be announced this weekend.
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.