(An outsiders musing about goings on at The Heights, aka Boston College)
His name is Antony Brown and unless you are a Boston College insider you probably have not heard much about him.
But with Boston College's latest crash and burn effort on Saturday--a 52-7 loss to Louisville and Heisman front runner Lamar Jackson--the Eagles and football coach Steve Addazio need to change the focus on how to fix things for a simple reason--to save Addzio's job.
There is a way to do that--and it involves Brown, who is a 6-foot-1 inch pound freshman from St. John Vianney High School in New Jersey.
Brown enrolled at BC last January and almost everyone, including Addazio, has labeled him as the Eagles' QB of the future. He hasn't played a down this season, presumably using this season as a redshirt year.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
But here's the conflict Addazio must resolve. If Brown is indeed a key to BC's success, Addazio needs to make a move at QB in the next few weeks. Maybe not at Florida State, but certainly the following week in the Eagle's home finale against a struggling UConn team that is 3-7 and coming off its last two games in which it has been beaten and outscored by East Carolina and Temple by a combined score of 62-3, including a 21-0 loss to Temple on Friday night.
BC, of course, can match that ineptness against quality teams. In their three losses to ACC ranked teams (Virginia Tech, Clemson and Louisville) the Eagles have been beaten by a margin of 157-10. Against ranked teams overall, they have lost 19 of 20 games, including the last seven, a streak dating back to a 37-31 upset of No. 9 ranked USC on Sept. 13, 2014.
But we digress.
The loss to Louisville dropped the Eagles' record to 4-5 overall and 1-5 in the ACC. Their next game is Friday night against FSU, a game that few people expect the Eagles' to win. After that, both UConn and Wake Forest appear beatable.
On Saturday, another mediocre effort by BC starting QB Patrick Towles (13-21-1, 147 yards, 1 TD,, 3 sacks) left the Eagles scrambling for an offensive identity.
Towles is not the answer--and he is a graduate transfer from Kentucky, who is likely to be gone by the end of the year. Back--up QB Darius Wade is not high on Addazio's hit parade, which leaves Anthony Brown a two--year starter in high school for a state championship team and a career in which he threw 58 TD passes.
High school numbers mean little because the level of competition can vary. But Brown has the size and plays the type of option game that Addazio likes to coach. Critics would contend that it is foolish to squander a red shirt season in the ninth game of the season unless it is an emergency situation.
It is exactly that for Addazio, who quieted some of his critics with last week's win at North Carolina State. Ending the season at 4-8 could change the situation. And none of the players Addazio has used this season have proven they can be difference makers.
What Addazio should do is get past FSU next week and hope for the best. But if it is another loss, BC will then be at 4-6 with two games remaining. Two wins will be necessary to gain bowl eligibility. Even with a 6 win exemption which could put them in a bowl game with only 5 wins, they still need to beat UConn.
Which is why, Addazio should make the change at QB the week before the UConn game. So what if Brown loses a season? It will do Addazio no good if Brown has en extra year of eligibility remaining and someone else is coaching the Eagles.
The loss to Louisville was not a headline maker--the Eagles went into the game as 25 point underdogs, which Louisville nearly covered by the end of the first quarter.
"""We've got to get ready to learn and take what we can off the tape and move forward,'' said Addazio.
What anyone among the crowd of 30,644 saw live on Saturday was a QB who was the real deal. Jackson ran for three TDS and threw for 4 more, giving him a total of 45 for the season. Conversely, BC as a TEAM has scored 22 TDS this season.
"I've been around some of the best QBs (Tim Tebow at Florida) in the country in my day and this guy is really something now,'' said Addazio.
Jackson admitted Louisville was a little bit stung by its No. 7 ranking by the College Football Playoff Selection Commitee which would put Louisville as a long shot for making the Final Four without some help. Narrow wins over Duke and Virginia created some overrated chatter when discussing the Cardinals.
""We need our respect just like everyone else,''' said Jackson, "we got it today.''
Yes, they did.
BC is in a different neighborhood. The Eagles will take Ws any way they can get them discounting whether people say they were more lucky than good.
The football operation at The Heights remains in a state of turmoil, with no one certain about what the next few months will bring, with potential changes at the Presidental, Athletic Director and Head Football coach level.
Addazio can only worry about what he can control, which is winning as many of the next three games as possible.
The result on Saturday was the latest example that what BC is doing is NOT working. It is time to go to Plan B--which would be the debut of Anthony Brown at QB.[/membership]