BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Steve Addazio is hoping a fifth-year transfer quarterback and a lot of extra scrimmages will help make up for some big losses offensively.
Entering his second season as the Eagles coach, Addazio is trying to replace the school’s all-time leading rusher, receiver and scorer after taking the program to a bowl game after a two-year absence.
Quarterback Tyler Murphy, a graduate from Florida that he helped recruit to Gainesville while an assistant there, is someone that could provide some of that offense.
The Eagles lost Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, the all-time leading rusher, receiver Alex Amidon, who holds the all-time mark for yardage and catches, and kicker Nate Freese, the top scorer, all to graduation.
Murphy, who played nine games for the Gators last season before missing the final three with an injury, comes in as a dual-threat that the Eagles hope will help fill some of the void offensively.
“I think it’s got to come collectively on offense and that’s yet to be determined,” Addazio said. “It’s going to be the quarterback, a few different backs and three or four different receivers. It’s got to become that way.”
The 6-foot-2 Murphy is expected to run a spread offense, something a bit more open than the straight-ahead style attack that BC ran with Williams last season.
“He wanted a chance to run the reigns of a program and this made great sense,” Addazio said of Murphy. “We were looking for a young athletic, dual-threat guy. Tyler’s a Northeast guy. His family’s an hour and 15 minutes from here. All those pieces fit. It just was a good fit.”
Murphy, who grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut, remembers watching the school’s last big-name quarterback — Matt Ryan, who led the program to consecutive double-digit win seasons before being taken as the No. 3 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 draft.
He’s hoping to keep the school climbing back to its success of the late 90s and early 2000s, which included 12 consecutive bowl trips before fading for two years before Addazio’s arrival.
Murphy even recalled a stirring late comeback by Ryan and the Eagles, on Oct. 25, 2007 in a nationally televised game at Virginia Tech while the Boston Red Sox were also on national TV, beating the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the World Series.
“I really grew up watching Matt Ryan,” Murphy said. “It’s crazy because I remember watching that Virginia Tech comeback live. I come here and I see the pictures of it. That’s cool. If there was anybody I remember most, it was watching Matt Ryan.”
But besides Murphy, the Eagles are young and inexperienced at many positions. Addazio hopes some extra work with preseason scrimmages will help.
“Our whole trade mark is to be a tough team,” he said. “We probably go harder now than 99 percent of the teams. You’re like mixing and trying to get the right formula to be as physical as you can be without losing your toughness.
“(Many teams) take the pads off and have a different approach than we have,” he continued. “But then you’re not going to be a physical football team. Now it’s where do you draw the line? Is it shorter practices with more intensity? I think so.”
He also knows the second year looks tougher after going 7-7 last season.
“I really like the young talent a lot, but it is young talent,” he said.