There are going to be times this season when BC’s aggressive style on D gets it burned.
But when Wake Forest QB Tanner Price found Michael Campanaro running up the middle of the field, down the left hash marks, for a 30-yard touchdown, it wasn’t because the Eagles had been too aggressive. Campanaro, an all-ACC wideout, simply beat Bryce Jones on the route and got inside position in the one-on-one matchup.
“We’ll go back to the film and see what happened, what I could’ve done better,” Jones said of the play after the game, “but it was a good ball and he made a good catch. He’s a good player, so things are gonna happen.”
“We’ve got some things we want to tighten up on defense,” Eagles coach Steve Addazio said after the 24-10 win over Wake Forest on Friday night. “So every once in awhile, because we’re so multiple, we have some blown assignments and some guys all of a sudden get behind us deep. So we’re a work in progress with that too, now.
“I told you that from day one: When you do what we do, you’re gonna have some guys that are gonna hit you deep sometimes. We’ve had that happen. And we just roll. Just roll with it.”
Jones certainly rolled with it on Friday night. The Campanaro touchdown pulled Wake Forest even on the scoreboard, at 7-all. But after Chase Rettig and the offense drove for a Nate Freese field goal, Jones got a shot at redeeming himself.
“We had to make a play, especially after the catch that Campanaro had on me,” Jones said.
With time ticking down in the first quarter, Price tried a pitch around the left side of the line but the ball bounced away. Jones dove into the fray, and came up with the ball -- but without his helmet -- to give BC possession at the Wake 22-yard line.
Rettig converted the turnover into points immediately, stepping up in the pocket to elude the Wake rush and finding Spiffy Evans running across the field from left to right for the 22-yard TD.
And when Price tried to bring his team back later in the quarter, hitting Campanaro for 16 and 19 yards on consecutive plays, Jones made his presence known again. Price tried to hit Campanaro again on the next play, but the 6-foot-1, 166-pound sophomore from University Heights, Ohio, stepped in front of the pass for the interception, his second in two games this season.
“One of the things of playing defensive back and that the coaches always say, ‘You’ve gotta play the next play,’” Jones said. “So that’s what I did. I just put it behind me and was fortunate enough to have the fumble recovery, come back and on Campanaro have an interception and just make a tackle for a loss.
“It’s just the coaches putting me in the right place at the right time to be able to make a play for the team.”
Through two weeks, the BC defense has allowed only two scores in five opponent trips into the red zone. Villanova managed one touchdown in three red zone trips, while Wake Forest could produce only a field goal in two red zone trips.
With two fumble recoveries and an interception against Wake Forest as opposed to one interception (on a failed flea-flicker) for the Eagles, BC continued its strong start in turnover margin. Addazio’s crew has produced seven turnovers (three fumbles and four interceptions) and committed only two (a fumble in the Villanova game and the INT in the Wake game), for a turnover margin of 2.50 per game.
That’s tied for seventh nationally and second in the ACC (behind Georgia Tech, which has played only one game).
And with six sacks through their first two games in 2013, the Eagles have already tied their season total from 2012. The half-dozen quarterback drops are good for a tie for 15th nationally and fourth in the ACC.
Jones said the aggressive mentality brought in by Addazio and defensive coordinator Don Brown and the attention to detail paid by all the coaches has really helped the Eagles.
“One thing we talk about is organized chaos,” Jones said. “We’re moving fast and we’re all buying into it, so it all works out. We’re a lot more aggressive, as you can see with these games.”
“Our program, we have a philosophy,” Addazio said. “We start with defense, we try to put our best players on defense, and that is the starting point of the peg of our program. And then we build it. That’s our philosophy. It’s by design.”
Of course, it helps when players like Jones -- who played in all 12 games as a freshman last season, with just 15 tackles to show for it -- show they’re capable of both making plays and, maybe more importantly, rolling with the consequences of that philosophy.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.