- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Boston College coach Steve Addazio is worried about his guys up front. It’s even keeping him from a good night’s sleep.

Forced to build a new offensive line on a team that’s relied heavily on the running game, the coach knows where his time needs to be spent three weeks from the season-opener.

“My wife’s down on the Cape and she asked: ‘How’s it going?’” Addazio said on media day Thursday. “I said: ‘I can’t even sleep right now. I can’t stop thinking about getting that group up front and thinking about how to get that group ready to play.’ It’s going to be a mighty job.”

Coming off consecutive 7-6 seasons that ended with bowl losses, Addazio will likely have four new starters from last season - and possibly a fifth - when the team hosts Maine on September 5. He likes the depth, but knows inexperience will likely be a factor.

Sixth-year senior Harris Williams is expected to anchor a line made up of mostly freshmen. Williams missed last season when he broke his ankle in the first game.

“It’s really hard to get a freshman offensive lineman ready to compete at a power five conference school,” Addazio said. “No one wants to hear that. We’ve got to figure that out - here and now. We’ve got to win.”

Last season, the Eagles shined on the ground - led by fifth-year transfer quarterback Tyler Murphy, who set a school career rushing mark with 1,184 yards in his only season.

In Addazio’s first season, running back Andre Williams was a Heisman Trophy finalist, rushing for over 2,000 yards.

BC enters this season with a strong core of running backs - led by sophomore Jon Hilliman, who was second last season with 860 yards and a team-leading 13 TDs.

But the coach cautioned often there’s one thing the team needs before the season starts.

“The good news is we’ve got some talented backs, but you’ve got to block people,” he said. “The biggest thing will be pass protection. That’s the last piece for a young lineman.”

Harris Williams hopes his experience will help his younger teammates.

“I’m known as like the grandfather,” he joked. “Working with them reassures confidence in me in knowing what I’m doing, and having them teach it back to me reassures them on what they’re doing. It’s like a perceptual circle that helps make us all better.”

The Eagles biggest win last season came when they upset No. 9 USC 37-31 at home Sept. 13. Murphy carried 13 times for 191 yards and one TD. Hilliman had two scoring runs and gained 89 yards.

Addazio hasn’t chosen his starting quarterback yet, but the job is likely coming down to left-handed throwing sophomore Darius Wade, who backed up Murphy last season, and freshman Elijah Robinson. Redshirt freshman Troy Flutie, nephew of BC grad and 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, is also in the mix.

But it all starts will the offensive line.

“We’ve got a ways to go with that group,” Addazio said before joking, “can we have two years?”

___

AP College Football website: https://collegefootball.ap.org

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide