BC Football: Great Expectations

Tyler Murphy got down on one knee in the middle of his offense. He’d been here before, given his all for this team but still come up short. This time would be different. He looked each member of his offense in the eyes, into the depths of their dudeness and said, "Get on my back, Eagles. I’m takin' us to the Promised Land." Then, like the mighty wind that sweeps across the plains of Hartford, Connecticut, Murphy put his head down and left a trail of Hokies in his wake to contemplate the decisions in life that led them to Blacksburg, Virginia in the first place.

Photo Courtesy of Gavel Media

Photo Courtesy of Gavel Media

This probably didn’t actually happen but at least BC is bowl eligible again.

Addazio literally almost had a heart attack on the field when BC missed their fourth extra point of the season. And with Virginia Tech looking poised for a comeback, Murphy once again had to put in a herculean effort to secure an Eagle victory

With only a two-point lead, thanks to the missed PAT, and three minutes to go, BC found itself on the wrong side of the field and an ugly 3rd and 10 situation. Virginia Tech burned its last two timeouts on the two previous plays, runs that only made it back to the line of scrimmage and did little to milk the clock. The Hokies just needed one more stop to take back the ball and possibly the game on a go-ahead field goal. It seemed like a clear running situation, as Murphy was only eight for fifteen on the day and the Eagles would not want to take the chance of stopping the clock on an incomplete pass. But like Moses parting the Red Sea, the offensive line opened up a hole that Murphy could have led the whole team through and found himself off to the races for a 57 yard touchdown and, for all due purposes, the Eagles’ sixth win of the season.

Six wins are all it takes. They can buy you a Christmas vacation to beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana or even another class of standout recruits. But, more importantly, what it really buys you are expectations. Just 354 days ago, we rushed the field at Alumni Stadium, not because we had upset the mighty NC State Wolfpack, but because we had become bowl eligible. Now, less than a year later, all we can ask is “Why aren’t we 8-1?”

BC is 6-3, third in the ACC Atlantic division behind just Florida State and Clemson. We are one of the best teams in a high caliber conference, so why has this season still felt so painful at times?

We expect more.

Photo Courtesy of Gavel Media

Photo Courtesy of Gavel Media

Addazio’s introductory press conference in 2012 was uncomfortable in the best way. It felt like a pregame speech, as he couldn’t be contained by the podium and enthusiastically walked away from the mic when talking about all the macaroni he was going to eat in the North End. But more importantly, it was clear that Addazio saw the big picture. He recognized BC’s past success, eight straight bowl wins from 2000-2007, and spoke with an infectious energy about his desire to restore the program to this same glory. He spoke about his admiration for Jerry York and a hockey program that has become synonymous with winning. He did not just talk about the team, however. He emphasized the dependence of the team on the community. Addazio came to BC with a desire to affect change on a large scale in the culture around the football program, one that became disinterested and okay with losing.

Now, two years later, expectations have indeed changed. Addazio has taken the first step in accomplishing what he came here to do: inspire a culture of winning. BC has been in the position to win every game they have played this season; however, fundamental mistakes and lack of execution from a young team have held us back. We are reminiscent of a team new to the ways of winning and we have shot ourselves in the foot time and time again. But the fact remains: we believe that we can win and, like Addazio preaches— when the community believes, the team believes.

To end that same press conference in December of 2012, Addazio paused and, with unflappable resolve, said, “I won’t let you down.” So far, he hasn’t. Last season was an anomaly for students who had crawled through the dredges of the Frank Spaziani era. But this season has further built on Addazio’s philosophy, and we are once again bowl eligible. When we gave away the game against Colorado State and when Rouse dropped the pass against Clemson, we felt let down. But at 6-3, we are becoming the team that Addazio preached about and, as we clean up the mental errors that hurt us along the way, we will only become better and the let-downs will become less and less common.

This Saturday’s game is an unprecedented third home, night game of the season and, for a lot of seniors not coming back early from Thanksgiving break, it will be our last home game. It is difficult to face your own mortality as a college football fan, but I am a lot more comfortable leaving our team in the hands of Steve Addazio for the future.

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