Boston College seeks more positivity against Buffalo
BOSTON (AP) Boston College coach Steve Addazio is hoping for another week of positivity as his Eagles play their final tune-up game against Buffalo on Saturday.
After that, there may not be very much to smile about.
The Eagles (2-2) enter a daunting five-game stretch against ACC opponents following Saturday's contest during which they will face No. 3 Louisville, No. 5 Clemson and No. 12 Florida State.
Under Addazio, the Eagles have lost their last 10 conference games - going 0-8 in the ACC last season - and are 1-7 against AP Top 25 opponents.
That makes winning for a second straight week all the more important.
"I think it was good for our team to feel that positivity," Addazio said of Boston College's 42-10 win over FCS opponent Wagner last Saturday.
The result was a confidence booster for Boston College after taking a 49-0 loss at Virginia Tech - the worst of the Addazio era - the week before.
Boston College posted season-high totals in points, total offense (490 yards) and rushing yardage (300). Davon Jones ran for 90 yards and Jon Hilliman piled up 83 and two touchdowns.
The Eagles totaled just 124 yards against the Hokies.
"Fundamentally, we improved and we want to have another fundamental week this week and continue to grow," Addazio said. "The nature of the game ... last (week) was play fast and physical. This week, maintain playing fast and physical, but a higher level of execution."
Buffalo (1-2) picked up its first win and handed Army its first defeat in the process in last Saturday's 23-20 overtime victory. The Bulls trailed 20-6 entering the fourth quarter but scored a pair of touchdowns to force overtime, where Adam Mitcheson kicked the decisive 33-yard field goal.
The Bulls have lost six of their eight meetings with Boston College and Saturday's game is only the third between the schools since 1970. The Eagles won 41-0 when Buffalo last visited on Oct. 28, 2006.
Here are some other things to look for in Saturday's game:
SIXTH SENSE: After a shutdown performance against Wagner, the Boston College defense ranks sixth in the country and third in the ACC in total defense (235.8 yards per game). The Eagles' 144.8 passing yards allowed per game ranks eighth nationally, while they rank 14th in rushing defense (91 per game).
CHASING ROTH: Jordan Johnson is 86 yards shy of tying Tom Roth (1,488) for 10th place on Buffalo's all-time career rushing yards list. Johnson rushed for 17 yards on 10 carries in the win against Army, raising his career total to 1,402.
HILLIMAN HUSTLE: Hilliman is tied for fourth in the ACC in rushing touchdowns (four) and carries (68). The running back has six career multi-touchdown games and has exceeded 80 yards rushing in nine of his 21 career games.
HODGEPODGE: Khalil Hodge is the first player in Bulls' FBS history (since 1999) to record 16 or more tackles in back-to-back games. The linebacker made 16 stops against Army and had 17 the week before in Buffalo's blowout loss at Nevada.
POWER FIVE WOES: Buffalo is 1-25 against power five conference opponents since joining the FBS. The Bulls' lone win came in a 34-11 decision at Rutgers on Sept. 7, 2002.