CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Sometimes, human nature creeps in.
For even the hardest-charging, highest-achieving people, there are moments of self-satisfaction that can threaten the edge that makes them great at what they do.
Steve Addazio is the definition of hard-charging. The Boston College coach is high energy, not only on the football field but in meeting rooms and news conferences.
And he's worried that his Eagles may take this past weekend's upset win of Virginia Tech as a sign that they can ease up, even if just a bit, against New Mexico State on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3).
The Aggies are 1-8, the only win coming against FCS Abilene Christian, and rank dead last in the country in scoring defense (allowing 46.2 points per game), rushing defense (312.11 yards allowed per game) and total defense (555.6 yards allowed per game).
"You've gotta fight human nature," Addazio said Monday in his weekly media session. "Don't get caught up reading stats and all this other stuff. Because you've gotta go on the road, you've gotta line up and you've gotta play a football game.
"Don't get caught up in all of that [stats stuff]. When we do, it seems to really bite us back hard. But it's human nature. 'Well, this team is ranked this' -- it doesn't matter. All that matters is in between the white lines on that day, you need to be better than that team on that day. That's all that matters. And that can work for you or against you. All the other stuff is really meaningless. Just go be the best team on that field on that day."
Though they've already won twice as many games this season (four) as last (two), on some level the Eagles know they're not exactly world-beaters. They haven't won on the road in nine games, going 0-3 so far in 2013 after going 0-6 in 2012.
To a man, this week they said they're not overlooking the team led by former BC offensive coordinator Doug Martin.
"They've been in a lot of football games this year; don't let their record fool you," quarterback Chase Rettig said. "We're gonna be playing there and they're gonna be playing with a lot of excitement."
Asked if it's hard not to get overconfident when looking at the numbers, Rettig said no.
"I just think it's a college football game, and anything can happen," he said. "You have to do everything you can to control what you can control and execute at a high level."
While the Aggies have averaged only 20.3 points per game, tied for 105th in the country, fifth-year senior co-captain Kasim Edebali said the BC D expects a tough test from quarterback Andrew McDonald and Martin's Wildcat offense.
"They've definitely got a lot of different, really good skill players on that team," Edebali said. "The O-line looks really technically sound, as well. We're just trying to play good, disciplined football."
The Eagles (4-4, 2-3 ACC) finish their season with three of four games away from Chestnut Hill, so to achieve their preseason goal of becoming bowl eligible again for the first time in three years they'll have to improve their results on the road.
And to do that this weekend, BC has to play New Mexico State as if it's Florida State. Because if it does anything less, that human element will creep in and then anything can happen.
"Guess what's gonna happen Saturday?" Addazio asked, rhetorically. "We're gonna put a pair of socks on, put a pair of pads on, and they're gonna do the exact same thing. And then they're gonna come after us. And I have a lot of respect for that and for them. And I know that out there, this is gonna be an extremely tough football game."