Young Eagles look to continue success under Addazio
BOSTON (AP) Boston College coach Steve Addazio enters his third season knowing it's his recruiting classes that make up the bulk of the team.
There's just one big problem: They're still very, very young.
''Can we have two years?'' Addazio joked during preseason camp.
''You are going to see a lot of young guys play between freshmen, sophomores, redshirt sophomores,'' he said. ''Sixty of our 85 are freshmen and sophomores. You're going to see a lot of young players out there, which can be maddening and frustrating.''
Coming off their second straight 7-6 season and a bowl berth, the Eagles enter 2015 without last year's leading rusher - quarterback Tyler Murphy, who completed his eligibility after transferring to BC from Florida as a fifth-year senior. Murphy set a school career-rushing record for a QB, gaining a team-leading 1,184 yards.
The Eagles will be also missing four-fifths of their starting offensive line from the start of last year.
Sophomore left-handed quarterback Darius Wade is somewhat in the Murphy mold - a QB that can take off running - but he wants to throw the ball more if he gets enough time behind the revamped line.
''I always said, `If I wanted to run the ball, I'd just play running back.' I pride myself and being able to throw the ball well,'' he said. ''I want to help our team become more balanced.''
Last season, the Eagles rushed for 3,311 yards and 31 touchdowns, compared to 1,681 yards passing and just 13 TDs.
That comes on the heels of 2013 when BC was led by running back Andre Williams, a Heisman Trophy finalist who ran for over 2,000 yards.
The key for the Eagles will be gaining confidence against two weaker non-conference opponents, at home, at the start of the season. They open on September 5 against Maine and host Howard the following week.
Addazio knows the learning curve needs to be quick for his team to have success.
''We have a bunch of really talented young guys. How long it takes us to develop, this is yet to be seen,'' he said.
HEY OLD TIMER
The Eagles do have sixth-year senior offensive lineman Harris Williams expected back. Williams broke his left ankle in last year's season opener. The younger guys are already having fun with him. ''I'm known as like the grandfather,'' he joked.
LEFT IS RIGHT
Being a lefty, Wade's heard doubters about his throwing side when he was being recruited. He said it gives him more incentive. ''There's coaches that have preferences,'' he said. ''Some people don't like lefties. One of the main things is teaching. When they go through things it's always righty. I feel this year's my time prove those doubters wrong.'' He said followed two lefties that had NFL success - Michael Vick and Steve Young.
BC opens its Atlantic Coast Conference slate in a primetime matchup, hosting conference champion Florida State on September 18. The Eagles don't hit the road until week five when they travel to Duke. It starts a stretch of three of four league games away from Chestnut Hill.
SPECIAL LOOK AT FENWAY PARK
The Eagles will wear uniforms commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1985 Cotton Bowl winning team and the Hail Mary pass thrown by Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie that season, when they face Notre Dame on November 21 at Fenway Park. It'll be Notre Dame's home game.