Steve Addazio knows his Boston College football team will be staggering toward its first bye of the season next week. But the Eagles coach set the agenda for Saturday’s nonconference home game against Colorado State by pointing to the fact BC, 3-1 overall and halfway to bowl eligibility, can earn a well-deserved rest by wrapping up its first month of the season with its fourth win.
“Honestly, that’s exactly how I presented it to our players: ‘We have a chance to get win No. 4,’ ” Addazio said Monday at Conte Forum, where he discussed the Eagles’ 40-10 victory over Maine last weekend and looked ahead to Saturday’s visit from their Mountain West Conference opponents, who took last week off after improving to 2-1 with a 49-21 victory over UC-Davis Sept. 13.
“We’re going to have to fight against a really good football team who’s had a bye week,’’ Addazio said. “They’ve had a chance to rest and prepare for us and we’re going to have to really battle. But we have a chance to get to win No. 4 if we play one of our better games to this point, then we’ll have a shot there.’’
The Eagles likely will have to do so with a patchwork offensive line, which took another hit Saturday against Maine. Bobby Vardaro, a 6-foot-5-inch, 299-pound senior left guard from North Reading, was listed as questionable for Colorado State after “he got rolled up on the back,’’ Addazio said, and injured his left knee and ankle.
“He’s a tough guy,’’ Addazio said of Vardaro, a three-year starter with 36 consecutive starts. “It’s nothing serious and, hopefully, the next couple of days will allow him to get back.’’
BC suffered a huge hit in the season-opening victory Aug. 30 against UMass when senior right guard Harris Williams, one of three returning offensive linemen, fractured his right ankle. Williams underwent surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks.
“The guards were a big part of our game,’’ said Addazio, who had senior Aaron Kramer step in for Williams and Dave Bowen move to left tackle for Seth Betancourt, who slid over to left guard when Vardaro was injured.
“We’re a big-pull, gap-scheme, counter-power team and Bobby’s done a good job,’’ Addazio said. “He’s worked hard. Harris and he were our two veteran guards and we’re already down one and now we’ve got another in jeopardy. We’ve got to get going.
“As I said to the kids, ‘We’ve got to really run this gun-lap,’ ” Addazio said. “We’ve got a bye week coming up after this, so we’ve got to really go this week, have a great week of practice and accelerate.’’
Ty that binds
Colorado State used its bye week to heal some of its personnel, most notably left tackle Ty Sambrailo, a 6-5, 315-pound senior who has not played since the season-opening win over rival Colorado, and coach Jim McIlwain, who underwent surgery on his hip.
“I think I’m very excited about Ty coming back,’’ Rams offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin said during McIlwain’s bye-week convalescence, in a video interview posted on the school’s website. “To get Ty back, to give us that depth on the offensive line because we were really playing with six guys there, it’ll give us that seventh guy.’’
Like BC, Colorado State has had to patch its offensive line together after injuries, “so we really don’t have a lot of depth,’’ Baldwin said. “To get Ty back is important for our depth. The offensive line takes less reps. When we practice, those 6-7 guys are taking every snap and so the more people we have, the less reps they have to take and the more we’ll save their legs.’’
Kevin Pierre-Louis will be back on field at Alumni Stadium, but it won’t be the Kevin Pierre-Louis BC fans are familiar with. The native of Norwalk, Conn., who was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round (132d overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft, wore No. 24 when he played linebacker for the Eagles last season. He registered 108 tackles, including a team-high 67 solos, and converted his only career interception into a 33-yard touchdown return.
The Kevin Pierre-Louis who will be at Alumni Stadium Saturday will be in the defensive secondary for Colorado State. A 6-1, 215-pound junior from Del Rio, Texas, who wears No. 26 for the Rams, Pierre-Louis is sixth on his team in tackling with 13 stops, 10 unassisted.
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.