Before the Syracuse Orange and Boston College Eagles re-commence their rivalry, we thought it a good idea to find out what we're getting ourselves into as we fight for our post-season lives. BC Interruption was kind enough to stop hating us for a few moments to fill us in...
When Steve Addazio was hired, I distinctly remember the BC fanbase collectively shrugging and gnashing its teeth over such an uninspired selection (all the while SU fans secretly stewed because he was probably our 2nd pick). I take it you guys feel different now?
Absolutely. I was one of those that lost a gasket after BC made the hire, I didn't understand the hire at all. But by around April I started to come around, he seemed much more confident and well thought out than I expected. When I got to interview him in August, he sold me completely. Addazio and his staff has completely turned around the program, changing the mentality (all players must wear suits, attend church during home games) and the toughness of the team. He is recruiting his butt off, and coaching to the talent of this team, and yes I think almost all (minus the lunatic fringe) are happy with Daz right now.
So…this Andre Williams fellow. He's doing well. Was this expected in any way? What has been the difference maker between this year and last year?
Most BC fans expected Andre Williams to be a serviceable back, but there was no way we could have predicted the monster that we see today. There are a few big factors that have changed Williams as a back. One is that he put on even more muscle this off season. He runs a 4.3, but as you've probably seen he is built like a brick s*** house and that basically eliminates anyone in the secondary from ever tackling him. Secondly, the scheme and personnel. Coach Addazio has redefined this offense, and using the strength of the team built the plays off of Stanford's playbook. A ton of misdirections and zone runs, which works perfectly to Andre Williams' strength as a runner. Plus Addazio brought in Florida transfer, and former 5* recruit Matt Patchan with him to BC, and along with fellow tackle Ian White, they have been awesome at allowing Williams to get to that second level, even if defenses are waiting on him to run.
All we hear about is Williams but what concerns should we have about your defense? Our offense is focused on the run game wearing you down, will that be a problem?
BC's defense is also very different than in years past. Frank Spaziani was keen on a bend but not break defense, hoping that if you made enough plays the which was great if you have Luke Kuechly/B.J. Raji or Ron Brace to make plays. BC got exposed when that talent evaporated. New DC Don Brown is the opposite of that. He will blitz and try to force errors, and he has been very successful this season at implementing that (32 sacks this year, 6 last). Kasim Edebali and Kevin Pierre Louis are the two big guys you will want to look out for. BC's run defense has been pretty good as well, ranked in the top 25% in the country.
How does the BC fanbase at-large see Syracuse? Are we a rival that you want to crush at every turn? Is it something only older BC fans appreciate? Is the hope that this will become a big rivalry?
Honestly I think BC fans are looking forward to making this a traditional rivalry again. Both proximity of the schools and history of the programs line these two up for end of the season face offs for years to come. Not sure what the current student body thinks, but as someone who watched the Diamond Ferri game live, I am ready to see this series become a regular November fixture.
Game prediction and which bowl game do you think BC is headed to?
Many defenses have tried to stop Andre Williams, few have succeeded. I know Syracuse has a solid run defense, but you have to remember that VT had the #3 run defense in the country and Williams still rank for 166 yards. In the end I think BC will put up some points, and win this and head to the Music City Bowl to face Georgia or Ole Miss.