NGSC Sports

Boston College Football: Postgame Quotes

Boston College vs. Virginia Tech 
October 7, 2017
Alumni Stadium | Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Virginia Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente

JUSTIN FUENTE: I was tickled to death. Our guys responded like we asked them to do. We didn’t play particularly fantastic at times, disappointed in the penalties, but played well enough to beat a very physical and tough, hard-nosed football team at their place. We played really well on 3rd down defensively. In the first half, we made a few more plays on 3rd down. We got pretty far down the ol’ depth chart there at the wide receiver position, but I thought the young guys stepped in and performed admirably.

We’re into bye week and need to focus on some self-improvement, get some guys healthy and get ready for the next stretch.

Q. You mentioned the young guys stepping up at receiver. You don’t have (C.J.) Carroll, Cam (Phillips) goes out. What’s going through your mind at that point?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Well, that’s why we work those guys. Obviously we’d like to have Cam out there when C.J. has been so steady for us, but that’s part of the deal. That’s why we rep all the guys that we do, to try and prepare them for that opportunity, and it was good to see Eric (Kumah) make some contested catches on some slants in there in coverage on 3rd down. Murphy, I don’t know how many catches he had — he had a couple catches in the first half, I don’t know if he had one in the second. But it was good to get those guys in there and playing well. We’ve got to get them playing a little better without the ball. There are some things we’ve got to get done.

Q. Are you at least encouraged by information you’ve gotten so far on Cam (Phillips)?
JUSTIN FUENTE: Yeah, and the limited information I got, I have, everything checked out as a sprain, and the bye week is coming at a good time. We’ll get him healthy and get ready to go.

Q. Five sacks tonight, 109 rushing yards —
JUSTIN FUENTE: Yeah, I thought that was some shared responsibility there. First of all, they’re really good at end. Really good. And second of all, there’s a couple times I thought Josh, when things just weren’t right, we were getting tired a little bit at wide out.  At times guys weren’t just that open. I thought we held the ball just a little too long. I told Josh a couple times, just throw that away and just go play the next play. It’s just part of his kind of maturation process. So combine that with the fact that we caused them some problems, which probably led to that inflated number. That number is far too many.

Q. Obviously with Cam out, Eric really stepped up seemed like at receiver. Especially your touchdown scoring drive in the second quarter he had three catches on 3rd downs.
JUSTIN FUENTE: Yeah, some big plays on 3rd down into man coverage – really, really encouraging to see Eric win those inside routes and break a tackle and make some good plays. It was nice, because you’re right, usually that’s Cam in there, and that’s what a team does. That’s what a team needs. That’s what we need – our young guys to continue to improve to give ourselves a chance to be the best that we can be.


Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson


  1. You don’t have CJtonight, and you’re missing Cam. What’s going through your head, and what do you think about the younger guys stepping up on the offense?
    JOSH JACKSON: I wouldn’t say too much, it’s just ‘next guy up.’ Savoy and Kumah obviously had good games, they stepped up, and I had seen them do that in practice all week long, all season long.  We’ve got great — we have good depth at receiver, so I wasn’t too worried.Q. You hit Kumah on 3rd down passes that moved the chains. Is that something he does regularly in practice?
    JOSH JACKSON: I mean, we haven’t done much 3rd down versus defenses lately, but he was just the guy, my reads took me to him, and he made some great catches.

    Q. How essential was hetonight stepping up with both Cam and CJ out?
    JOSH JACKSON: He was big. You know, obviously for 3rd downs, everything like that, he’s a great blocker also on the perimeter, so I think he had a great game overall.

    Q. How important was it to get that quick strike after they miss the field goal?
    JOSH JACKSON: Yeah, that’s very big for like momentum and everything like that. The pick and then we got a good stop and then we go drive it down the field, so that’s big time definitely for our offense, and glad that we could do it.

    Q. Is it important obviously to kind of strike first, get to score first? You’ve done that in some of the other games against maybe lesser opponents, but you kind of started a little slow at times. Was it important to jump out —
    JOSH JACKSON: Yeah, definitely to get in your groove, get started off pretty well. Well, not on the first drive, obviously, but after our defense had a great stop and we were able to drive the field, I think that gets your momentum going, gets your confidence up, and I think that helped our offense.

    Q. Any disappointment in the second half not being able to punch it in on a couple of red zone trips?
    JOSH JACKSON: Yeah, I got two opportunities and I couldn’t get in. That happens, but I don’t think we were too worried about it, we were just going to keep going on to the next play. At the end of the day, we did win the game, so I feel good about that.

    Q. They said there was some shared responsibility in the five sacks tonight. What was his message to you in the game on some of those sacks?
    JOSH JACKSON: I didn’t really talk to him about it. Maybe one I could have got out of. 7 is a great player. He had a pretty good grip on me. It may be the way I evaded wasn’t too great, but I’ll look at the film and see how I can get better.

    Q. You’re halfway through your first season. How do you think you’ve played so far?
    JOSH JACKSON: Well, thankfully our team is 5-1, 1-1 in conference, and that’s all I really focus on. I don’t really care about my stats. At the end of the day, it’s just about winning, so 5-1 going into a bye week is pretty good, so I think I’m doing all right then.

    Q. I’m guessing it’s probably pretty easy for you to keep an even keel after Clemson, right? Some people get high for those kinds of games and then — how did you feel coming into this game?
    JOSH JACKSON: Coming into this game?

    Q. Yeah, in terms of shaking that loss off.
    JOSH JACKSON: No, I was ready, just the next week. What happened happened, and just ready to play better and just be a good quarterback for my team. I mean, if you focus too much on the last week, it’s going to end up beating you. I thought we moved on well as a team.

    Q. Did you get your pregame moment with lefty?
    JOSH JACKSON: I didn’t get to. I didn’t get to say hello to him, but I’m sure I’ll text him or he’ll text me pretty soon.


Virginia Tech Placekicker Joey Slye


  1. Is it nice to get it out of the way?
    JOEY SLYE: Yeah, yeah, honestly there’s just been a lot of talk about it, and honestly for me, it’s just something that’s just been there. If I do my job, it’s going to come anyway, so I’ve really just been focused on what I can do to help the team and kind of those victories will come with everything. But it is just kind of nice to kind of get away from talking about it pretty much.Q. How do you sort of evaluate this season? You’re only halfway through. It’s been interesting because you’re chasing all these records and all that stuff, but you’ve also had some frustrations that you haven’t had to deal with at other points in your career. You came in like 8 of 13 I think it was. How do you sort of evaluate so far?
    JOEY SLYE: Honestly with myself, I’ve been pretty disappointed, just in the opportunities that I’m working my butt off for the last five, six years that I’ve been starting kicking, and like I said, I’ve really been working my butt off to be as efficient as I can be for the team, not just myself but for the team. When they send me out there, I’ve got to make the kicks, because a lot of times let’s say we sputter on the first series and we need to kick a field goal. Like points matter in the game, of course, and finishing the drive with something positive can help our offense just look forward to something, gets our kickoff team unit on there, and my kickoffs have been pretty good this year. So giving our defense good starting position and all that stuff has been important. Just like being able to do that for my team is more important than accumulating points or accumulating field goals over the years. The fact that Coach Fuente sent me out there for those short chip shots that I feel like I should have made and I walk off the field not making them is disappointing for myself, and then also the harder part is like kind of having my defense go out there like realizing like my kicker just missed from really short. It’s been frustrating. I’ve been very consistent inside of 40 since I’ve gotten here, so having these inconsistencies this year, like I said, it’s just been really disappointing. But it’s also kind of like a silver lining where I’m dealing with some adversity that I’ve never had to deal with since I’ve gotten here, so it’s been good to work through, but it’s something that I don’t feel like working through anymore. I definitely feel like I’ve got my head on back straight and feel confident in my kicking.

    Q. What was the reaction from your teammates when you set the record on the sideline?
    JOEY SLYE: They informed me again. As soon as the game starts, I just — I don’t really even focus on how many points I’m making. Like a field goal is a field goal, a PAT is the same thing. I’m just trying to go out there and make my kicks. I came over to the sideline, and one of our recruiting guys, he actually came up to me and said, congratulations, and I was like, appreciate it. I thought he was just saying good job for the field goal. And he’s like, you know you just broke the record. I was like, no, I didn’t, but appreciate it. Yeah, I just kind of lost focus of it just because it’s important to me because it’s like an accumulation of my work, but at the same time, I’m just trying to help our team win.

    Q. I know you’re in the middle of a season and Shane is in the middle of a season, but have you communicated with him at all?
    JOEY SLYE: Yeah, we text every week. He’s not just like an alumni at Virginia Tech to me or a kicking coach to talk to. He’s like a true friend. Like we’ll talk about whatever. It’s definitely cool to build a relationship with him, especially with all the stuff that’s been happening this year. But honestly I’m just really thankful for the friendship he’s given me for the past couple years.


Boston College Head Coach Steve Addazio


STEVE ADDAZIO: I thought in the beginning of the game we had some opportunities. There were some throws and catches that would have given us some points. Against a team like this, you have to be able to capitalize on those. I thought there was entirely too many drops. We had 344 yards of offense, they had 431. You know, it’s not a big, big difference against that kind of defense. I thought our 3rd down conversion ratio was poor. Once again, that seems to be the thing that is tugging on us, and the ability for us to get going and move the chains enough times, and that wasn’t good enough.  Our 3rd down conversions, some missed opportunities early. I thought we played tough, I thought we played physical, I thought we were aggressive on offense, I thought we took our shots.  Even through the end, we emptied the chamber of some special plays that we had been working on and put in, and I thought we played wide open. I thought we managed all that well. I just think it came down to missed opportunities that were there for the taking in the first half, missed field goal, high snap, a couple of those kind of things.

On defense I thought we played really well. I thought we played good red zone defense. I thought we were pinned down there – our third quarter field position was just abysmal, and the way the defense handled that and tried to battle I thought was excellent. You know, turning around basically three points in three of those consecutive series until finally we were able to pop one out of there and shift the field position. I think the third quarter was a field position deal. I thought the first two quarters, we had a couple of big opportunities we missed. I thought we were battling in the fourth quarter and I thought we did a lot of good things. I see a lot of our guys that are new in there that are growing in front of our eyes.  I think drawing from playing three top-25 teams and drawing some good experience and some confidence out of there, we’ve just got to keep developing and keep getting better and keep battling.  And that’s what we will do because this is a group of guys that really loves football, loves playing together, and I think really are excited about continuing to develop and grow.

Q. You mentioned the 3rd down conversion rate, you weren’t happy about that. Between execution or game plan, what about it are you not liking?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, no, there’s nothing wrong with the game plan now. We had a lot of open receivers. We had a lot of drops. We had some overthrows and some drops and then we had a couple times where we snapped the ball not on the cadence. It’s executional, guys are open. You can see that. Anybody can see that watching – that’s the frustrating part. There’s open guys. I think they’re in good situations. We’ve just got to make those plays, whether it be the throw-catch operation, we had a couple offsides that were not in sync on the cadence. But I think schematically, I thought we were excellent, actually. I mean, there were a couple times in the first half there were guys open everywhere. We fell down one time, we didn’t finish a route one time. There’s a lot of that going on right now. We’ve just got to grow and get better there, which we will, you know.

That being said, no turnovers. I’m not sure sack-wise. I don’t have that handy right now. But we’re doing a good job with that, and I thought Anthony ran the ball a little bit. We had a couple of called quarterback reads, a couple — he pulled it down more decisively and got yardage on 3rd down. I think that was a huge improvement.

Q. You mentioned the 4th and 2 in the red zone stop. Zach’s huge night, obviously Harold gets a lot of attention, has all year, but the play of Zach tonight, you guys have seen that all year. What stood out to you?
STEVE ADDAZIO: You know, he’s just so versatile. You know, he’s a power guy. He’s big and strong and athletic, and his versatility shows, his ability to make athletic, physical plays. He’s a big-time player, and I thought he did a great job tonight. Harold made some big-time plays. There were plays — I think the one thing we need to do a better job of tonight was tackling early on especially, we were hitting and not wrapping and finishing, and that cost us field position early. That field position is so darned critical. When you’re playing this kind of defense, it’s hard enough, you know, but you start operating with poor field position, and that’s where we — you know, we weren’t getting enough cracks with good field position, and we did on that pick early, and we had that touchdown ball right there. We worked on that all week long. I mean, there was no doubt we were going to that call, and it was right there. Didn’t cover it, didn’t make it.

Q. It seemed like time and time again Josh Jackson was attacking the middle of the field. Was that a matter of his own defense or just him seeing different things?
STEVE ADDAZIO: They were running a bunch of RPOs, they’re run-pass-options off of different styles of runs. You know, just — the RPO world is — can be challenging. One of the ways is getting in straight man, but we don’t want to get in continual straight man. So you’re trying to mix it up.

I thought overall we kind of sealed that up. I thought they were having a really hard time running the football. We ran for 153 against their defense, they ran for 109. That’s the stats that I have, okay. Like I said, they had 431 of offense, we had 344, and that’s with miserable field position in the third quarter. So statistically I think the biggest stat that sticks out to me right now is 3rd down conversions as we talked about and coverage. Anything else?

Q. I thought in the first half actually your punting team did a really good job in coverage, really good tackling to kind of flip the field a couple of times. What did you think of the special teams tackling and the play tonight?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I think the coverage was fantastic. I thought two things disappointed me tonight. Obviously the missed field goal bothered me. We made one, but we missed one early, so we really came off no points off of that, and there was — we had two snap issues, one on a punt, one on a field goal, and then just a — an error in communication on one of the punts coming out of the end zone there where we — they actually fumbled it and we didn’t recover, but had we, we had a penalty, because of a miscommunication that has never — I’ve never seen happen before. So that was disappointing. But our coverage was outstanding. It has been. It’s not a new phenomenon. I would have liked to have seen us get some more punt return yards. I think we could have. I thought we just needed to do just a little bit better job on gunner control. There was a couple there I thought at the very, very end. I think as you get experience, when the clock is winding down towards the end of the game, you want to take daring chances and go get that thing. Those are all learning experience things that we can work on and grow with.

Q. I know it’s early, but Harold Landry came off the field. Do you know what his injury is?
STEVE ADDAZIO: No, I don’t, other than what you saw, it appears as though he tweaked his ankle. To what degree, I just don’t know and probably won’t know until tomorrow I would think.

Q. 4th and 2 call to go for it in their territory, not to kick the field goal, your process there?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I mean, it’s a little bit out of our range there, and it’s 4th and 2, and we were wide open, and we thought we had the right call. You know, you’re playing Tech, I just felt like that was the right aggressive thing to do right there. We just didn’t — there’s an example what I’m talking about. We didn’t operate the throw and catch right there. I mean, I don’t think there was anybody within four yards of Tom Swinney. But couldn’t get our hips around and get it out in time and just didn’t happen. You know, but no, I mean, I feel like that was the right thing to do, and I still do. You know, I thought that we wanted to go into that game and stay aggressive, and we stayed aggressive in that game. You know, wish we could have made a few more of those plays. All the difference in the world. That’s one of them. The touchdown pass we dropped is another one of them. There was about three of them. And when you play a team like that, quite frankly, it’s about what it comes down to. It’s usually about anywhere between three and four of those things, and you’ve got to make them. You’ve got to make them. And we will. We will. We’ve got to grow a little bit more. Some of the guys involved in the operation of those are still young guys, but I’ll tell you what, I watched some of those guys growing up before my eyes a little bit out on that field today, and that’s exciting.

Q. It’s been a consistent theme about the lack of execution and the drops just killing promising drives, resulting in those drives ending without putting up any points; how do you get this team to the level where that’s no longer an issue and players are making those plays?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, you know, listen, I’m not going to get into the — let me say it the best way I can, okay; I love our team. I’m not going to get into breaking down — I’ve got to do a better job. Let’s leave it like that, okay. Let’s just leave it like that. We’ve got to go back to work, and I’ve got to coach them better. I’ve got to coach them harder, and we’re going to keep growing, and the reality of it is that’s all going to come together. We have played three top-25 teams, okay, we’re playing really good football teams right now, and we’re playing really physical, really aggressive, and we’ve got some guys spilling it. That’s what this team is doing right now, and I love them. And I love them. And they’re going to get better and they’re going to grow. Sometimes it’s never on exactly the timetable that we want it on, but the level of competition that we’re playing against while we develop these guys, okay, and so I’ll just say that I’ll continue on my part to make sure I’m doing a better job in the race of development here, and we’re going to leave it right there because I’m in charge of it, and I love them. And I love their work ethic, and I love the way they handle it, and I love the fact that they believe in each other, okay. I love all of that. I’ve been around this business long enough, fellas, okay, at every level, and I’ve seen it a long time. It’ll come together, and it’ll be beautiful. You can write that one down, okay. I don’t have the time clock on it right here, but it’ll come together, and it’ll be beautiful, all right, and the investment is worth it. So I’m excited about the investment. We just keep rolling.


Boston College Defensive End Harold Landry


  1. Harold, you and Zach had a pretty monstrous game at both ends. What has it been like working with Zach and playing alongside him, and what was it like containing this Virginia Tech offense, Josh Jackson?
    HAROLD LANDRY: I think we had a great game plan for them. We did a great job preparing all week, and I think we went out and executed for the most part except for on a couple 3rd downs. But working with Zach, yeah, he’s definitely matured so much than when he first came in. You could see the way how I approached the game and coming in early, leaving late, extra film, extra film work, and he just does the same. He’s a very mature player, and he takes the game very seriously, and you can just tell that he’s being developed so well right now.Q. Kind of an extra challenge coming next week with another guy named Jackson, who you’re pretty familiar with. Just talk about what that’s going to be like going into Louisville.
    HAROLD LANDRY: It’s definitely going to be a challenge. We’re just going to have to be disciplined. I know our coaches are going to do a great job putting a game plan together for them. But yeah, in this day and age there’s nothing but special quarterbacks like that that can run and throw, and especially in the ACC. I think we play like one of those every week, and I think we’ll do a great job preparing for them, and we’ll be ready to go.


Boston College Quarterback Anthony Brown


  1. Just talk about that trick play with Jeff, and was that kind of similar to the one you threw to Patrick Towles in the Quick Lane Bowl?
    ANTHONY BROWN: A little similar, just opposite sides. Executed it well. Jeff ran the fake really well, and then I slipped out, caught the ball and scored.Q. Anthony, last week you and Coach mentioned that some of the longer throws had to be held back a little bit, this week you started airing it down the field. How does the shoulder feel and how do you feel about those longer passes?
    ANTHONY BROWN: My shoulder feels great. Longer passes, we need to take shots downfield, and we did. We were really aggressive with thattonight. I have to put the ball in a little bit better place, execute it a little bit better. That’s really it.

    Q. Anthony, you ran the ball seven timestonight for a career high 51 yards. Did it really just open spaces, or how was it scrambling the ball tonight?
    ANTHONY BROWN: Some of them were called runs. A couple or a few were scrambles. Coach Addazio emphasized with me on certain downs, just getting down and getting those positive yards, and today I tried to take advantage of it.

    Q. Anthony, can you speak about your decision making tonight, no turnovers, and about how maybe getting into a little better flow when you guys picked up the tempo and were really able to get those passes and get them on the money?
    ANTHONY BROWN: No turnovers. We’ve been working at these plays all week. Coach has been helping me with getting into the right plays, getting into the right progressions, and that’s — the decision making really isn’t on me, it’s on my coach for preparing me so well. And just really — you’ve just got to execute on these plays.

    Q. Would one of those plays be after the interception you guys got early in the game, got a receiver open? Steve kind of mentioned those are the ones if you hit in a game like this that can make all the difference?
    ANTHONY BROWN: Yes, yes, it can. These games, we’ve played three of them so far, actually four, against really good defenses, top-25 teams, and just being a young quarterback and growing and getting into this game, realized that on every opportunity we can possibly get, we have to execute after the pick, and we ran that play, getting the ball to Tom Sweeney, I probably could have put a little less air under it and put it on him, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

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