FOOTBALL: BC Promises Complete Effort In Search Of Improved ACC Record
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 01:09
If the Boston College football team is looking to gauge early-season progress, it’ll have a prime opportunity on Friday night in a home matchup against Wake Forest.
The Eagles will have their first encounter with an ACC rival since finishing 1-7 within the conference last season.
Although the Demon Deacons are coming off a week during which 10 of their true freshmen saw playing time, they still pose a formidable threat to what has the potential to be BC’s first 2-0 start since 2010.
“We’re playing a fine football team,” said head coach Steve Addazio, “a great coach, a great staff. We know this is going to be a great challenge for us.”
Entering his 13th season at the helm of Wake Forest’s football program, head coach Jim Grobe sports a 2013 squad with a versatile offense.
Its strategy contains numerous option components, which presents a motion-oriented test for BC’s new aggressive defense. Despite containing a similar approach against Villanova last week, Addazio still recognized that Wake Forest’s style of attack is unique.
“They run an interesting scheme,” Addazio said, “different from what we’ve seen.”
The crux behind Wake Forest’s option-friendly offense is its veteran personnel, anchored by senior quarterback Tanner Price and senior receiver Michael Campanaro.
Both players were pivotal in Wake Forest’s 28-14 victory over the Eagles last year, as Price passed for three touchdowns and Campanaro tied an ACC single-game record with a total of 16 receptions.
Price will be the second dual-threat quarterback to make his way to Chestnut Hill in just as many weeks. The Austin, Tex. native broke out onto the ACC scene in 2011 with an impressive sophomore campaign, throwing for 20 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards.
After a less productive junior campaign, he rebounded with a complete performance against Presbyterian in week one with scores from the air and on the ground.
“He’s an experienced, veteran guy,” Addazio said of Price. “He’s a good player.”
Another Wake Forest weapon Addazio’s defense will have to contend with is one of Price’s favorite targets, Campanaro. Among the ACC’s best in catches per game and receiving yards a year ago, he earned a nod as a first-team All-ACC selection.
A hamstring injury kept Campanaro sidelined in week one, but he’s expected to debut under the lights at Alumni Stadium tomorrow night.
Wake Forest’s leading receiver has caught Addazio’s attention with a long list of credentials and his abilities as a playmaker. Ironically, the Eagles’ head coach drew parallels between Campanaro and another elite target in the conference—BC’s own veteran Alex Amidon.
“I think the commonality there is they’re both really intense, competitive guys,” Addazio said. “It struck me that they’ve got that look in their eye, both of them. They’re competitors.”
Seeing first-hand what the tandem of Price and Campanaro can do to an opposing defense, BC’s own defensive unit will need to find a median between aggressiveness and composure to avoid missed reads and blown coverage.
While rushing to the ball can squelch the option, it also includes the risk of allowing big plays—evidenced by last week’s sluggish start against Villanova.
Addazio knows that a quick start in the conference will require his team to play two complete halves.
“We need a higher level of execution quicker,” Addazio said. “You don’t want to get yourself behind an ACC opponent. It’s harder to get back.”
Wake Forest’s offensive explosiveness and sound coaching won’t be easy to beat, regardless of how many true freshmen are out on the field. Yet Addazio believes that a big-game atmosphere under the lights of Alumni Stadium will add an extra jolt of motivation to a hungry BC squad.
“We’re certainly looking forward to getting this thing going on Friday night.”