- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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We're wrapping up our preseason previews with Boston College, which is looking to bounce back from a dismal 2012 with a new coaching staff and renewed optimism.
Coach: Steve Addazio (13-11, first season at BC)
2012 record: 2-10 (1-7 ACC)
Key losses: WR Johnathan Coleman, OT Emmett Cleary, OT John Wetzel, LB Nick Clancy, CB Jim Noel, P Gerald Levano
Newcomer to watch: OT Matt Patchan. If there's a perfect example of the hope Addazio has brought with him to Boston College, it's Patchan. The talented left tackle transferred in from Florida -- Addazio's old stomping grounds as an assistant coach -- and immediately plugs into one of the Eagles' biggest areas of need. BC's line was awful last season, and attrition threatened to make the situation even worse. Enter Patchan, a former high school All-American and sixth-year senior who missed 2012 with a torn pec. He is fully healthy now and should contribute immediately.
Biggest games in 2013: Sept. 14 at USC; Sept. 28 vs. Florida State; Oct. 12 at Clemson; Nov. 2 vs. Virginia Tech
Biggest question mark heading into 2013: The offensive line was dismal for Boston College last season, and the only good news heading into 2013 is that it would be tough for things to get much worse. The Eagles ranked 106th nationally in sacks allowed per game last season, and they're losing both starting tackles for this year. Worse yet, BC was among the worst rushing teams in the country, ranking 119th out of 124 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in rushing yards per game. Only four teams in the nation managed fewer rushing touchdowns than BC's seven.
Forecast: Addazio is a high-energy coach with an SEC pedigree, and his arrival at Boston College has at the very least injected some much-needed optimism for a program that not only missed out on the postseason for a second straight season in 2012, but did so in dismal fashion, winning just one game against an FBS foe.
But as bad as the numbers look from last year, Addazio hasn't inherited a program with a talent vacuum. Rettig established himself as a serviceable quarterback with some upside. His top target is Amidon, who is already an All-ACC performer. Add in some established talent on defense, including Pierre-Louis, Divitto and Nate Freese. BC returns eight of its top nine tacklers overall.
Still, all of Addazio's energy and all of the talent at the top of the depth chart can't mask some serious concerns at the line of scrimmage and on the bench. Boston College should be markedly more competitive than during the past two lost seasons under former coach Frank Spaziani, but the lack of depth in key areas will make it awfully tough for the Eagles to hold up over the course of a difficult schedule.
The bar isn't set high for Addazio, and it would be surprising if Boston College doesn't show signs of improvement. But the rebuilding project isn't likely to be a quick fix, and 2013 could be another long season in Chestnut Hill.