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BOSTON COLLEGE FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE

September 10, 2018

Steve Addazio

Boston, Massachusetts

COACH ADDAZIO: Off to the start of conference play, all excited about that; on the road at Wake. I know Dave Clawson well, terrific football coach, great person. He's done a fabulous job with his program. They've got really talented football players, offensively, Sam Hartman, the quarterback, is playing at a high level, Dortch is a dominant ACC receiver and return man. They've got a quality offensive line, terrific running back. I think they're very talented on the offensive side of the ball and a challenging scheme.

I think on defense they've always been outstanding. This is no exception. They play hard. They play sound. They have scheme that can -- will challenge you in both the run and the throw game, and very, very quality football players on the defensive side of the ball and extremely sound in special teams.

Program top to bottom is outstanding. It will be a tremendous challenge for us. I have the utmost respect for Dave and his staff. I think they're truly one of the best programs in the country. They do things the right way; they are great football coaches. Our staff, our team knows the challenges that we will have this week and the quality of the opponent we're going to be playing.

So we've had a busy week in our preparation. I think we've done a great job with our preparation, and we're anxious to get down there and have an opportunity to play. So with that I'm happy to answer any questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH ADDAZIO: You know, I think all these things are in discussion at this point. I'm not privy to exactly, you know, the details in my mind. I'm going to play a game on Thursday night and prepared for anything that may come our way.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH ADDAZIO: Right. So I mean, the week is short, so we had a revision Tuesday, yesterday, we had our Wednesday today, we will have our Thursday tomorrow, and our Friday on Wednesday.

So we're right on schedule for our week. I feel good about where we are today. We came off of that game and the next day we were right back at it. It's a challenge on the short week, but it's a challenge for both teams. Obviously a little bit more for a team that has to travel, but I feel good about where we are right now.

Q. Who makes the call on that, on a weather situation like that, the ACC or the school? Is there any protocol?
COACH ADDAZIO: I don't know. I'm not -- I've not been down this path in the ACC, and I'm quite confident that Martin will be in contact with the conference office and the Wake Forest Athletic Administration.

Frankly, I've been so engrossed in -- you know, like we rolled out of here Saturday. Many of the coaches stayed after the game to get the film graded, so we could move on. We were here at quarter to 7 Sunday morning, and we were into a late, late, late last night, so I feel like I'm in a submarine right now. I don't have the time to pop up to listen because it doesn't really at this point -- I'm not sure that, you know, what I say is going to matter.

I really -- if I don't have complete focus -- you miss a day so to speak or your practice isn't right, you're done. There is no make-up on that now. So I've been pretty locked into it. I feel good walking in here. I just walked off the field. I feel like we had a good Wednesday, and I'm getting ready to go in and watch that tape and see if we can kind of come out from under the water so to speak. It's been interesting.

Q. What have you seen from Hartman? He looks like an efficient quarterback.
COACH ADDAZIO: He's like John Wolford. He's a highly competitive guy. He looks like he has a lot of "it factor" to him. He's going to take chances. He does not play like a freshman, and I think he's very, very talented. And of course he has a good supporting cast, he really does. So, you know, they found another guy, that's great, terrific for them, but he's a real, real good football player.

Q. Just the thought on Dortch. He's the kind of guy on offense you have to be aware of where he's at at all times?
COACH ADDAZIO: He's a dominant, explosive guy in the ACC. As a return guy, as a receiver, he can alter the game. So we've got a lot of attention to that right now. So he's one of the better ones I've seen. Obviously I've seen a lot of good players in the ACC, never mind the other conferences. This guy is as good as anybody. It's a challenge, for sure.

Q. How good have the first two games been for you to lay the foundation, and now conference play begins against a team that beat you guys pretty good last year?
COACH ADDAZIO: I thought we played really well against UMass. I thought we came out strong against Holy Cross; we were able to get people off the field. For me I'm stuck between -- I'm grateful that we're healthy and we got people off the field, but in the same breath we haven't stretched our 1's to have to play a full game, so some of those things worry me a tad, but I think we're playing at a really high level, and I think we are reasonably physically feeling really good. In terms of Wake Forest, a year ago, we turned the ball over and gave away some real points in that game; taking nothing way from them. They had a really good football team last year.

But we went into that game having to start a true freshman at center, and we had some issues in there. So I think this is a new year, and -- for both of us, for both teams. The thing that I fully understand is every time we've played Wake is they're very -- you know, a lot of times you get a little bit of this coach speak stuff, about this guy is great and this coach is great and all this other jazz. I really believe that Dave is an outstanding football coach. I really like and respect his staff.

When you play them, they're really well put together. So I have a lot of respect for them, so I expect this to be quite a big-time game for both teams. We'll see when, where, how, and everything else this is going to go. They're different than they were a year ago. We're different than we were a year ago. Let's see what happens.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH ADDAZIO: I think both programs were in a rebuilding phase and both programs were fighting tooth and nail to regain a piece of the ACC. I think that's what you're sensing there. I think, you know, that's what's happened. I can only speak to I'm here six, Dave is probably in his fifth, I think he was one year behind me. Both teams are recruiting really hard, both teams have really made a lot of strides. Both teams feel good about where their programs are. I think that's probably where you might feel like there is intensity there.

I think that's all accurate. Both programs are in a foot race to climb the scale of the ACC conference. There are some similarities with both places, academically, size, there are some similarities there. So I think that's where you draw upon those things. Both programs have done well. We've been to four out of five bowls, and both climbing. It's a good contest. We usually play each other early in the year.

Q. Wake Forest ranks in the bottom third of the country. (No microphone.)
COACH ADDAZIO: Well, you know, it's hard for me to tell you stats and things. We're in week three. No one has played -- neither one of us have played a conference game. I think you're making assumptions -- I'm not saying "you" I'm saying "us," "we" -- we're making assumptions right now, and I'm careful to do that until I see a body of work against in-conference opponents.

I don't know, what would our stats look like? How do you know? Pulling guys out of the game in the first quarter, and I know that stats are good right now, but I'm just saying, when we come in on Sunday, we present to the team, I do, the summaries, both sides of the ball and special teams, champions, et cetera. Both weeks I based it off of percentages off of, like, say, 40-something snaps, or 27 snaps from the defense last week. I don't put it all in a bag and shake it up for those kind of games, you know what I mean?

I don't know what the value of those stats. They're not real to me. I'm assuming there is some of that going on there, too, you know what I mean? It's hard to know, did 200 -- I see the film, but did 200 yards come when their 1's weren't in the game? All that matters.

Here is what I see: I see a really athletic team. They're very athletic. They have good team speed, they've got really quality players. I see that on the tape for sure. It's a whole different level of play than what we've seen the last two weeks, and it will be the same for them as well.

That's a two-sided coin there. Both teams are going to have to rachet things back up to a different level, and sometimes -- I think when people sometimes talk about week three, I think it has to do with how your schedule is, but if you're -- Wake and ourselves have had two weeks of nonconference opponents, and now you jump to a conference opponent.

I think that's what everybody is interested to see, how did those two weeks work for you? That's an interesting thing, you don't know, you know? We were a younger team a year ago, but how we started the year and how we finished the year were quite different. There was a tale of two stories there, right? There's a lot left to be played out here.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH ADDAZIO: No, I haven't spoke to anybody. Seemed like to me there was a lot of fan interest and there was some good fan turn out. That's my sense. Which I felt was a good thing going in for these nonconference geographical tie-in games. I think it's good, but I don't know. I haven't spoke to anybody and, like you said, I mean, I feel like it was just Saturday at two o'clock right now, honestly.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH ADDAZIO: I think there's got to be all kinds of strategies involved with him. I think he is a dangerous guy. So you've got to be very, very careful what you're doing and have a good plan, and I think you've got to have a lot of pieces to that, you know? Obviously I'm not going to go into detail because that's part of the strategy but, yes, your observation, do you need to be aware of him, 100%. Can he make an impact on the game? He absolutely can and will, so you've got to account for all that.

Guys, thanks for coming out. Appreciate it.

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