Injuries starting to pile up for BC
November, 11, 2013
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Football, it has been said, is a game of attrition. And come the end of the season, the healthiest teams often have the best chance to win.
While Boston College has avoided major injuries to key personnel for the most part, the bumps and bruises and sprains and strains are starting to add up as the season has entered its final quarter.
The Eagles traveled to Las Cruces, N.M., (via El Paso, Texas) and beat New Mexico State 48-34 on Saturday without two of their starting defensive linemen (Kaleb Ramsey and Jaryd Rudolph). Then they lost starting safety Sean Sylvia (hamstring) for the second half of the game and wide receiver Harrison Jackson (chest) for an unknown amount of time.
BC already had lost tight end Brian Miller (knee) and wide receiver/kick returner Spiffy Evans (broken collarbone) in the two previous weeks.
“We need to gain back a few guys right now,” BC coach Steve Addazio said in his weekly media session Monday. “We need to gain back Kaleb, we need to gain back Rudolph, we need to gain back Sylvia.”
Because of their injury situation and the fact the game was played at altitude in Las Cruces (which is roughly 4,000 feet above sea level), Addazio said the Eagles wore down as the game went along. That led to multiple true freshmen being on the field at once on defense, Addazio listing defensive linemen Truman Gutapfel and Kevin Kavalec and safety Matt Milano as three players forced into action.
“I thought we strained at all three phases,” Addazio said. “I really like where we are at this point, I think we’re wired to win as a team. ... I think we’re progressing in a lot of areas, and that’s good to see.
“This time of year, we’re playing Game 10 and we’re a little banged up and so is everybody. With us and our lack of depth, that’s a factor.”
Addazio gave the Eagles (5-4, 2-3 ACC) the day off Monday, meaning they’ll get back to work preparing for Saturday’s game against NC State (3-6, 0-6 ACC) on Tuesday. It’ll be senior day for BC and with a chance to get win No. 6 and return to bowl eligibility for the first time in three years, there will be a lot on the line this weekend.
“We’re playing a really good football team here, and a team that’s hungry to win,” Addazio said. “And we’ll have our hands full here. We’ve got to make sure that we’re healthy and that our team is fresh. We’re working real hard to get that done after coming off a long road trip and [we have to] keep our physicality but have a fresh football team to battle at home here.”
Addazio said he may scale back the physicality of the week’s on-field work, given the team’s injury situation.
“Our team will play hard,” he said. “Our team should play motivated. The work is going to be getting them enough work to be prepared right, mentally and physically. I want to give these kids a chance to play as hard as they can possibly play.”
Senior linebacker Steele Divitto was named ACC co-linebacker of the week for his performance against New Mexico State. The 6-foot-2, 237-pounder tied a career high with 18 tackles, including six solo stops and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
After 10 games, Divitto sits third in the ACC in tackles per game at 8.89. Teammate Kevin Pierre-Louis is just ahead of Divitto at 9.0 tackles per game.
With 80 total tackles, Divitto is tied for 41st nationally. He has 264 tackles in 44 career games in Chestnut Hill.
Amidon sets record
While Andre Williams’ record-setting 295-yard rushing day got the headlines, his roommate quietly set a mark of his own against the Aggies. With a 30-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, Alex Amidon broke Rich Gunnell’s team record for career receiving yards (2,459).
The senior from Greenfield, Mass., needed 53 yards to pass Gunnell and ended up with 88 on eight catches. He has 56 catches for 726 yards and four touchdowns in 2013, and is up to 171 catches for 2,494 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.