Sunday, December 8, 2013
BC to face Arizona in AdvoCare Bowl
By Jack McCluskey
The Eagles are going to Louisiana.
Boston College will play Arizona in the AdvoCare V100/Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., at 12:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31. The game will be televised on ESPN.
“We’re very excited for the opportunity to go to the AdvoCare Bowl,” BC athletic director Brad Bates said in a conference call Sunday night. “It gives us an opportunity to showcase our extraordinary university in a bowl with a wonderful history. We have a terrific opponent from the Pac-12.
“It’s an entertaining way for the Eagle Nation to celebrate what’s been accomplished in 2013 and welcome in the new year.”
First-year BC coach Steve Addazio echoed those sentiments.
“We’re thrilled, we’re excited,” he said. “Our players are excited. We met with them tonight. They’re all fired up, can’t wait to get started.
“This is the game that highlights our season, and it’s a reward for becoming bowl eligible and competing at a higher level.”
It’s the first postseason play for BC since 2010, when Chase Rettig & Co. played Colin Kaepernick and Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The Eagles fell to 4-8 in 2011 and 2-10 in 2012, prompting the firing of Frank Spaziani and the hiring of Addazio.
The Eagles finished Addazio’s first season 7-5, with one more win than the previous two years combined.
When the Eagles face the Wildcats, it will be a matchup of the top two rushers in the country. BC’s Andre Williams led the nation with 175.17 yards a game, and Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey was second with 156.0 yards a game.
“It’s a great challenge, it’s a great matchup,” Addazio said of facing Arizona. “They’re a dynamic running team, an explosive team. I mean, you saw what they did, beating Oregon. ... It’s an exciting game.”
The Wildcats beat then-No. 5 Oregon 42-16 on Nov. 23. Carey had 48 carries for 204 yards and four TDs in the upset win.
Though Williams had to leave the Eagles’ season finale against Syracuse early with a shoulder injury, Addazio said the Doak Walker Award favorite and dark horse Heisman candidate should be good to go for Dec. 31.
“He’s doing great,” Addazio said. “He’s going to be fine. We’re holding him out right now, letting that shoulder heal, but he’ll be 100 percent come game time. Actually, playing a game on New Year’s Eve is great, it gives us a little more time for him to heal and some of the other guys, which we really need. So everyone should be ready to roll.”
For the team’s first bowl game in three years, one would expect nothing less.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.