Steve Addazio knew the seeds of Boston College’s 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech were sown last week on the practice field leading up to Saturday’s contest at Alumni Stadium. The BC coach lauded his seniors for setting the example in practice and in the game as they helped the Eagles improve to 4-4 (2-3 ACC).
“Most of our seniors played their best game,” Addazio said. “I’m really encouraged to see that, and I’m happy for them.’’
Up and down the roster, Addazio cited the seniors who helped pave the way for a victory that left BC needing to win two of its last four games to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.
“Jake Sinkovec played his best game,” said Addazio. “Mike Naples played his best game. Kasim Edebali may have played his best game. Chase Rettig played a phenomenal game. I’m probably missing somebody right now . . .”
Kevin Pierre-Louis, perhaps? The senior was recognized Monday as ACC Linebacker of the Week after making a game-high eight solo tackles and scoring on a 33-yard interception return that broke a 20-20 tie with seven minutes left.
“KPL played a phenomenal game,’’ Addazio said. “I thought he was dynamic on special teams and defense. There was a shot of KPL on the punt team, one where they lost 4 yards.
“Through sheer will and determination, he went down the field at a speed and a level that I hadn’t seen. It was just like, ‘I’m going to make sure this guy doesn’t get 1 inch on this play.’ It was really something to watch.
“That’s a guy who had been playing a lot of snaps, but who clearly made his mind up that, ‘I’m going to take this in my hands and I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen.’ I saw that out of several seniors.’’
Addazio also recognized a gritty effort from senior right tackle Ian White, who was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week.
White anchored a line that gashed Virginia Tech’s third-ranked defense for a season-high 196 rushing yards, including 166 by Andre Williams, who scored on runs of 19 and 62 yards, the latter with 4:35 left.
Then there was Rettig, the senior quarterback who surprised everyone when he set up Williams’s first TD by converting a third-and-10 with a 19-yard draw.
“I saw a determination in Chase that was just fantastic,’’ Addazio said. “He outran [a defender] on a quarterback draw, he stiff-armed him and he beat him. That’s not what Chase does, but that guy right there had that look on him the whole game.
“The preparation and the determination of our seniors last week was really noticeable. They need to bring that on the road right now.”
Feet don’t fail him
Almost overlooked in Saturday’s victory was the fact that Nate Freese became BC’s career leader in field goals.
The unassuming senior from Strongsville, Ohio, who is listed as a candidate for the Lou Groza Award (nation’s best kicker) and Ray Guy Award (nation’s best punter), became the leader at 59 field goals after he converted kicks of 25 and 43 yards. That broke a tie at 57 with Brian Lowe.
With 274 career points, Freese is only 17 shy of supplanting Steve Aponavicius as BC’s career scoring leader.
In addition, Freese this season has taken on the kickoff and punting duties.
“Coach always talks about the game being a field-position battle and Freese does a great job,’’ Pierre-Louis said. “We all complement each other. We know if the offense isn’t doing a great job, we can all count on Freese to pin them as deep as possible.
“Freese does an amazing job and I don’t know where we’d be without him kicking.’’
A number of BC recruits, some committed to the Class of 2014 and some who are still mulling their decision, were present for Saturday’s victory. Among them was Natick quarterback Troy Flutie, one of 22 players who have verbally committed to BC.
Flutie, the son of former BC standout receiver Darren Flutie, is two passing touchdowns shy of matching the Massachusetts high school record (103) set two seasons ago by Everett’s Jonathan DiBiaso, now a freshman at Dartmouth.
Addazio said he received a number of calls from high school coaches and prospective recruits from around the country congratulating the Eagles on their victory.
“I didn’t realize how many people were watching that,’’ the coach said. “The perception of us is phenomenal right now. We’re perceived as a high-octane, high-energy, hard-driving, hard-competing football team and I think we are, honestly. That’s as good a footprint as you want to have.
“Now the icing on the cake is to be able to get the wins to match up.”
While some Red Sox are shaving for charity, White, who has sported a bushy beard all season, was uncertain whether he would follow suit. “It’s my winter scarf and keeps my face warm during the winter,’’ said White, a native of Conway, N.H. “But if it worked for the Sox, hey, it might work for us, so I just might keep it going.’’ . . . Addazio listed defensive end Kaleb Ramsey (hamstring), defensive lineman Jaryd Rudolph (head), wide receiver Brian Miller (knee), and defensive back C.J. Jones (knee) as “day to day’’ for this week’s game at New Mexico State. “I think we got a great shot at all these guys,’’ Addazio said . . . BC’s home finale against North Carolina State Nov. 16 will be at 12:30 p.m. and on the ACC Regional Sports Network . . . Addazio reported the team had an Italian meal Sunday at its victory dinner. “We went to Maggiano’s,’’ said Addazio, a lover of Italian food who fell off the wagon after keeping a strict diet that has helped seen him shed several pounds this season. “I ate,’’ he said, unabashedly.
Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.