His team banged up, the momentum of a 2-0 start blunted by a 35-7 loss to USC in Los Angeles this past weekend, Boston College coach Steve Addazio said this bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Eagles.
“We're disappointed,” Addazio said Wednesday, according to a transcript of his weekly ACC conference call with reporters. “We felt like we could have played better for sure, and our focus right now in the bye week is to concentrate on fundamentals, concentrate on really being exact in our execution and really fitting exactly to our personnel the best that we can, maximizing ourselves on both sides of the ball.
“We're getting ready to play a great Florida State team that's very, very talented and will be a great challenge for us. But certainly those challenges are what drive you.”
BC (2-1, 1-0 ACC) struggled on both sides of the ball against the Trojans, giving up 521 yards of total offense while mustering only 184. With only 7 points against USC, BC’s scoring average fell from 24 points per game after Week 2 to 18.3 PPG, which is good for 106th nationally.
“We didn't really have a great opportunity to get going offensively,” Addazio said. “We had some moments, but we really only had 21 snaps in the first half, and our average starting position for the game was around the 21-yard line, so it was quite a bit of the long field.
“On defense we struggled getting off the field and didn't feel like we played great as a team, complementing each other, but there were moments there that you saw some more of the progress. But when you play a good team, you have to play much more consistently and execute at a much higher level against a very, very talented team, especially on the road in California.”
The Eagles weren’t able to do that, and now that they have picked through the USC game film their job is to find a way to turn negatives into positives in the future.
With the first of two open dates this season on Saturday, Addazio and the Eagles can spend extra time preparing for their next opponent, No. 8 Florida State. The 2-0 Seminoles host FCS foe Bethune-Cookman at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday (6 p.m. ET).
The Eagles’ plan for the week is designed to give the team a head start on prepping for the Seminoles’ visit.
“We started today,” Addazio said Wednesday. “We'll be working tomorrow, and then Friday is like a game-week Tuesday for us. We wanted to have a really good, physical, hard-nosed, first-second down, full-padded, go-get-it deal on Friday, so that puts us one day up.”
And while he said the Eagles will have an added focus on fundamentals this week, Addazio made it clear they won’t only be working on themselves.
“We're working on Florida State,” Addazio said, “but what we're paying attention to is our fundamentals and our execution level in practice, and really getting a higher level of attention to detail in practice because I am just a big believer that what you see on that practice field is ultimately what you'll see on Saturday.
“When you play really talented teams, the mistakes that you make get magnified, and they get hidden sometimes when a team is a matchup team. But when a team has got great talent, those same mistakes, they come at you like gangbusters. We've got to eliminate those errors, whether they be mental or whether they be physical. We've got to play at a much higher level of execution because the margin for error is very, very small.”
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.