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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Midseason report: Boston College

By Jack McCluskey

A .500 record never looked so sweet.

As the season hits the midseason mark, Boston College at 3-3 (1-2 ACC) has already surpassed its win total from 2012 (two) and is just three wins from a return to bowl eligibility. After the quagmire they slogged through during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the Eagles have played entertaining and competitive football, outside of a 35-7 thumping at USC in their first road game.

Steve Addazio doesn't believe in moral victories, but BC played No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Florida State as tough as anyone has this season. The Eagles lost by 14 at home against (then-No. 8) FSU and by 10 at Clemson. They led the Tigers after three quarters, but couldn't finish off the upset.

The Eagles tried to become a pass-first team in the final season of the Frank Spaziani era, with mixed results at best. Quarterback Chase Rettig became just the fourth BC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards in a season, and wideout Alex Amidon set records for catches and yards in a season. But BC won just two games, struggling to put games away without a reliable run game or a shutdown defense.

Addazio reinstituted the physical, blue-collar mentality that’s always worked best at BC, relying on a massive offensive line and a power run game to set the tone for the team. Defensive coordinator Don Brown installed an aggressive defensive philosophy, and after totaling just six sacks in 2012, the Eagles already have 15 in 2013.

They're a .500 team, but considering the circumstances, things are definitely looking up for the Eagles.

Offensive MVP: Andre Williams. A 6-foot, 227-pound senior, Williams entered the game against Clemson leading the nation in rushing yards (153.6) and attempts per game (26.6). He totaled only 70 yards on 24 carries against the Tigers, falling from first to sixth in yards per game, but Williams, a Schnecksville, Pa., native has topped 100 yards in four of six games and topped 200 yards in two of six.

Defensive MVP: Kasim Edebali. A fifth-year senior co-captain, Edebali leads the Eagles with 3.5 sacks, two more than he had in his career entering 2013. A native of Hamburg, Germany, Edebali has 28 tackles (14 assisted, 14 solo), six tackles for a loss, two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He’s a steady presence on a defense that is making strides in Brown’s system, despite occasional breakdowns.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.