Mistakes cost BC in loss to UNC
October, 28, 2013
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- There was a fumble on the second play from scrimmage. There was a dropped ball on third down. There was a 12-men-on-the-field penalty on another third down.
There were just too many mistakes, too much inconsistency for Boston College to overcome on Saturday, and that led to a disappointing 34-10 loss at North Carolina.
That was the main takeaway from Eagles coach Steve Addazio’s weekly meeting with the media on Monday.
“There was a series of things like that throughout the game that every time you’re trying to move the chains, you didn’t move the chains,” Addazio said. “And it had everything to do with us and, with all due respect, not really anything to do with them. Because when you really watch it, we averaged over 5 yards a carry rushing the ball, and when you’re doing that [a loss] shouldn’t be that outcome.”
The running game, led by Andre Williams’ 26 carries for 172 yards and a score, was a highlight.
“We ran the ball pretty well. We rushed for over 200 yards. And quite frankly, we probably could’ve rushed for 250 at least,” Addazio said.
The Eagles finished with 38 carries for 202 yards, a 5.3 yard average, and their lone TD of the day. But even the run game wasn’t perfect, Williams turning the ball over with a fumbled exchange on the Eagles’ first possession and setting up the Tar Heels’ first score.
“Turnovers, penalties, those types of things, all they do is stall drives and create problems,” Addazio said. “Because we’re not the type of team that can remake that up with a multitude of chunk [plays].”
Addazio said he liked the intensity the team played with, however, and saw some good things when he went back and watched the tape. There just weren’t enough of them in a row, on either side of the ball, to beat UNC.
“It’s very frustrating because you watch the tape and the kids can see it. They’re like, ‘Wow.’ There’s some great looking stuff on the film,” he said. “Both sides. Great looking -- not OK. But it’s terribly, terribly inconsistent. And we have to be unbelievably consistent, where maybe some other teams don’t have to be as consistent because they’ve got some explosive playmakers that can make that up. [They can] just make a play and all of a sudden, boom, you’re down the field 20 or 30 yards. But we have to be very systematic.”
BC couldn’t put it all together in Chapel Hill, and that led to a return to Chestnut Hill as an under-.500 football team for the first time this season at 3-4 (1-3 ACC). The Eagles haven’t won a road game since the season finale in 2011, when Luke Kuechly led a 24-17 win at Miami.
Kuechly, now a star for the Carolina Panthers, was at the game Saturday, but his presence wasn’t enough to lift his former teammates to a win.
After a day off Monday the Eagles have their work cut out for them the rest of this week, as they prepare to host Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-1 ACC) at Alumni Stadium on Saturday (12 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2). Frank Beamer’s bunch may be extra motivated, coming off a shocking 13-10 home loss to Duke this past weekend that knocked them out of the AP Top 25 (they had been No. 14).
On Monday, Addazio raved about the Hokies, especially on defense, and made it clear just what kind of challenge awaits his team.
“Make no mistake about it, this is probably the best defense in the country,” he said. “If not the best, they’re in the top five in all the country.”
Injuries piling up
Addazio’s biggest fear this season has been a lack of depth coming back to bite BC.
While for the most part the Eagles have avoided major injuries to key players, outside of a season-ending injury to defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad, that doesn’t mean they’re not dealing with their share of bumps, bruises and worse.
On Monday, Addazio announced that wideout and punt returner Spiffy Evans fractured his clavicle in the game against UNC and will be out “for quite some time.”
Myles Willis and David Dudeck are expected to fill in for Evans on punt returns going forward.
Junior defensive back Spenser Rositano missed the Army game with a concussion, came back for the matchup with Clemson and then missed the North Carolina game with another concussion.
Junior linebacker Josh Keyes and redshirt freshman linebacker Mike Strizak also sat out Saturday with concussions. The three are yet to be cleared to return to action.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.