PROVIDENCE — Ed Cooley’s sixth team at Providence College may be less experienced than the past couple of editions, but the schedule won’t be affording these young Friars many breaks.

The Big East Conference on Tuesday announced the complete league schedule for 2016-17, featuring 18 games (9 home, 9 away) in a round-robin format with each of the Big East’s 10 teams.

PC’s Big East slate will launch on Dec. 28 in Cincinnati at 7 p.m. against Xavier.

Nine home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will begin the next week on Jan. 4, as Georgetown will visit. But before PC gets the home confines of the Dunk,
the young Friars will have to open with two games on the road — following the opening league game at Xavier will be a trip to Indianapolis to face Butler on New Year’s Day in a 3 p.m. tip.

The Friars lose two-time Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn (now with the Timberwolves) and first-team all-Big East forward Ben Bentil (second-round pick of the Celtics) from last year’s 24-11
team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Providence defeated USC in the opening round before falling to eventual national runner-up North Carolina in the next game. PC also loses guard Junior Lomomba from last year’s team, as the graduate transfer will play this season at Western Kentucky.

Two starters (and a third part-time starter) return in Rodney Bullock, Jalen Lindsey and Kyron Cartwright. Four freshmen and six first-year players overall are expected to see playing time this season. Season practices will begin next month, with the opening game Nov. 14 at the Dunk against Vermont.

Two games of note for this year as opposed to recent seasons. One, instead of the New Year’s Eve Marathon, the Big East is moving its wall-to-wall coverage of games (all 10 teams, five games back-to-back) to MLK Day on Jan. 16. Providence will play the nightcap at Georgetown for the MLK Day Marathon. And two, the Big East opener at Xavier on Dec. 28 (rather than on New Year’s Eve) is a change from previous seasons under the Big East 2.0, since the league reconfigured prior to the 2013-14 season.

PROVIDENCE 2016-17 SCHEDULE
(Big East games in bold)

Nov. 14, vs. Vermont, 7 p.m.
Nov. 17, at Ohio State, 7 p.m.
Nov. 19, vs. Grambling, noon
Nov. 21, vs. St. Francis (Brooklyn), 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 25, vs. Memphis, at Destin, Fla., 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 26, vs. Iowa/Virginia, at Destin, Fla., 4/7 p.m.
Nov. 30, vs. New Hampshire, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 3, vs. Rhode Island, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 6, vs. Brown, 7 p.m.
Dec. 10, vs. UMass, noon
Dec. 17, vs. Wagner, noon
Dec. 20, vs. Maine, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 23, at Boston College, 4 p.m.
Dec. 28, at Xavier, 7 p.m.
Jan. 1, at Butler, 3 p.m.
Jan. 4, vs. Georgetown, 7 p.m.
Jan. 7, vs. Creighton, 2 p.m.
Jan. 10, at DePaul, 9 p.m.
Jan. 14, vs. Seton Hall, noon
Jan. 16, at Georgetown, 9 p.m.
Jan. 21, at Villanova, noon
Jan 25, vs. St. John’s, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 28, at Marquette, 2 p.m.
Feb. 1, vs. Villanova, 7 p.m.
Feb. 8, at Seton Hall, 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 11, vs. Butler, 4 p.m.
Feb. 15, vs. Xavier, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 22, at Creighton, 8 p.m.
Feb. 25, vs. Marquette, 4 p.m.
Feb. 28, vs. DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
March 4, at St. John’s, noon
March 8-11, Big East Tournament, at New York

Blog Author: 
John Rooke

PROVIDENCE — Ed Cooley’s sixth team at Providence College may be less experienced than the past couple of editions, but the schedule won’t be affording these young Friars many breaks.

The Big East Conference on Tuesday announced the complete league schedule for 2016-17, featuring 18 games (9 home, 9 away) in a round-robin format with each of the Big East’s 10 teams.

PC’s Big East slate will launch on Dec. 28 in Cincinnati at 7 p.m. against Xavier.

Nine home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will begin the next week on Jan. 4, as Georgetown will visit. But before PC gets the home confines of the Dunk,
the young Friars will have to open with two games on the road — following the opening league game at Xavier will be a trip to Indianapolis to face Butler on New Year’s Day in a 3 p.m. tip.

The Friars lose two-time Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn (now with the Timberwolves) and first-team all-Big East forward Ben Bentil (second-round pick of the Celtics) from last year’s 24-11
team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Providence defeated USC in the opening round before falling to eventual national runner-up North Carolina in the next game. PC also loses guard Junior Lomomba from last year’s team, as the graduate transfer will play this season at Western Kentucky.

Two starters (and a third part-time starter) return in Rodney Bullock, Jalen Lindsey and Kyron Cartwright. Four freshmen and six first-year players overall are expected to see playing time this season. Season practices will begin next month, with the opening game Nov. 14 at the Dunk against Vermont.

Two games of note for this year as opposed to recent seasons. One, instead of the New Year’s Eve Marathon, the Big East is moving its wall-to-wall coverage of games (all 10 teams, five games back-to-back) to MLK Day on Jan. 16. Providence will play the nightcap at Georgetown for the MLK Day Marathon. And two, the Big East opener at Xavier on Dec. 28 (rather than on New Year’s Eve) is a change from previous seasons under the Big East 2.0, since the league reconfigured prior to the 2013-14 season.

PROVIDENCE 2016-17 SCHEDULE
(Big East games in bold)

Nov. 14, vs. Vermont, 7 p.m.
Nov. 17, at Ohio State, 7 p.m.
Nov. 19, vs. Grambling, noon
Nov. 21, vs. St. Francis (Brooklyn), 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 25, vs. Memphis, at Destin, Fla., 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 26, vs. Iowa/Virginia, at Destin, Fla., 4/7 p.m.
Nov. 30, vs. New Hampshire, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 3, vs. Rhode Island, 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 6, vs. Brown, 7 p.m.
Dec. 10, vs. UMass, noon
Dec. 17, vs. Wagner, noon
Dec. 20, vs. Maine, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 23, at Boston College, 4 p.m.
Dec. 28, at Xavier, 7 p.m.
Jan. 1, at Butler, 3 p.m.
Jan. 4, vs. Georgetown, 7 p.m.
Jan. 7, vs. Creighton, 2 p.m.
Jan. 10, at DePaul, 9 p.m.
Jan. 14, vs. Seton Hall, noon
Jan. 16, at Georgetown, 9 p.m.
Jan. 21, at Villanova, noon
Jan 25, vs. St. John’s, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 28, at Marquette, 2 p.m.
Feb. 1, vs. Villanova, 7 p.m.
Feb. 8, at Seton Hall, 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 11, vs. Butler, 4 p.m.
Feb. 15, vs. Xavier, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 22, at Creighton, 8 p.m.
Feb. 25, vs. Marquette, 4 p.m.
Feb. 28, vs. DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
March 4, at St. John’s, noon
March 8-11, Big East Tournament, at New York

Blog Author: 
John Rooke

Patrick Towles threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jeff Smith in the second quarter and the defense allowed just 122 yards on the day in a 26-7 Boston College win over UMass at Gillette Stadium Saturday afternoon.

NCAA Football: Boston College vs Massachusetts

Boston College’s defense had UMass quarterback Ross Comis under wraps all day at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Patrick Towles threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jeff Smith in the second quarter and the defense allowed just 122 yards on the day in a 26-7 Boston College win over UMass at Gillette Stadium Saturday afternoon.

It was the ninth straight win for BC over UMass, dating back to a 27-0 UMass win in 1978 at Amherst. Boston College now leads the series, 21-5, a rivalry dating back to the fist meeting 1899.

Towles, the transfer from Kentucky, completed 12 of 22 passes for 191 yards for the Eagles (1-1), who bounced back from last week’s heartbreaking 17-14 loss in Ireland to Georgia Tech.

Towles also ran 12 times for 70 yards while Smith had five catches for 98 yards. Jon Hilliman ran 22 times for 63 yards and a 15-yard touchdown.

UMass (0-2), which trailed No. 25 Florida 10-7 in the fourth quarter last week, was making a return visit to Gillette Stadium, their occasional home, The Minutemen took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter on a 58-yard pass from Ross Comis to Adam Breneman in the first quarter.

Comis finished 11 of 28 for 145 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

The Eagles made a change in the kicking game, as coach Steve Addazio benched Colton Lichtenberg for Mike Knoll. Early on, it made no difference as Knoll missed his first PAT. But he converted on the second Towles-to-Smith connection to make it 13-7.

Knoll added third-quarter field goals of 40 and 37 yards to boost the Eagles lead to 19-7.

Hilliman capped off the scoring with a 15-yard run up the middle with just over four minutes left to seal Boston College’s first win since beating Northern Illinois, 17-14, on Sept. 26, 2015.

Boston College returns to ACC action next week when they play at Virginia Tech while UMass returns to their other home, taking on Florida International at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Even a continent away, the misery continues for Boston College.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Boston College

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Dedrick Mills (26) dives over the line for a touchdown with only 35 seconds of the fourth quarter remaining of the game between the Boston College Eagles and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Aviva Stadium. (Steve Flynn/USA Today Sports)

Even a continent away, the misery continues for Boston College.

Needing only to stop a fourth-and-19 by Georgia Tech at the Yellow Jackets 32-yard line to seal its first ACC win since 2014, the Eagles defense allowed quatertback Justin Thomas to complete a pass to Qua Searcy for 22 yds to the BC 46 with just over 2:30 left in the game.

Seven plays later, Dedrick Mills, who fumbled earlier in the game, ran it in from four yards out for the go-ahead score in a 17-14 Georgia Tech win Saturday in Dublin, Ireland.

Mills’ touchdown run with 35 seconds remaining capped a drive that included two big completions from Thomas. The senior quarterback also found Ricky Jeune for 26 yards on third dow three plays after his clutch completion to Searcy. Mills totaled 68 yards on the wet ground to pace the Georgia Tech attack.

Boston College (0-1, 0-1 ACC), which lost all eight games in conference last year, lost its ninth straight ACC game dating back to a 28-7 win over Syracuse in a brawl-marred game on Nov. 29, 2014 at Alumni Stadium.

Georgia Tech (1-0, 1-0 ACC) won its first game played outside of the United States in the 124-year history of the program.

The Yellow Jackets’ only touchdowns came on their first and last drives of the game. Backup quarterback Matthew Jordan’s 3-yard scoring run capped the opening drive. Boston College, which showed its terrific trademark defense until the final drive, held Georgia Tech’s spread-option attack to 238 yards, including 121 yards on the ground.

The Eagles took a 14-7 lead on quarterback Patrick Towles’ 6-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. The graduate transfer from Kentucky, making his first start for the Eagles, threw an interception and lost a fumble in the first half. Boston College never could take full advantage of their supremacy at the line of scrimmage, outgaining Georgia Tech in total yards, 352-238.

Jon Hillman’s 73-yard touchdown run on the Eagles’ first play of the second half tied the game at 7-7. Hillman ran for 102 yards on 17 carries.

A common theme through the Boston College struggles has been their inability to convert in the kicking game. That also continued Saturday as sophomore Colton Lichtenberg had a 43-yard field goal blocked in the first half and hooked a 35-yard try wide left in the second half.

Steady rain throughout the game made the Aviva Stadium turf somewhat treacherous.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The Eagles took their first big step toward improving on their 3-9 mark of a year ago when they took the field for their first scrimmage Saturday.

After the first week of formal preseason practice, the Eagles went through game situations early Saturday morning.

IMG_0003

Coach Steve Addazio oversaw the first scrimmage Saturday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Eagles took their first big step toward improving on their 3-9 mark of a year ago when they took the field for their first scrimmage Saturday.

After the first week of formal preseason practice, the Eagles went through game situations early Saturday morning.

The Eagles played their first intrasquad scrimmage on Shea Field bright and early, emerging from the Yawkey Center locker room at 7:40 a.m. to prep. The formal scrimmage – almost two-and-a-half hours long – put the Eagles in a variety of game situations with varied personnel groupings.

Steve Addazio watched the action from the center of the field, and got his first look at the Eagles in an full offense-defense atmosphere.

“It’s was good,” Addazio said. “A lot of good things happened. [There are] a lot of things to work on. We did a lot of work and we have a lot of stuff we can evaluate. We are not too badly hurt and you always feel good about that.

“We made some big plays on offense and gave away some plays some big plays on defense – made some good plays, gave up some good plays. It was good. There was enough to go around out there. There was a lot of good competition out there. We have a good chance to watch that tape and evaluate it,” he said.

While there was no formal score – a points system was in place for various plays – three touchdowns were put up late in the scrimmage. A pair by senior running back Myles Willis (on runs of 10 and 40-plus yards) and an interception return by freshman linebacker John Lamot on the final play of the morning.

“I think it was a lot of fun to play full-on defense and football again,” junior linebacker Connor Strachan said. “Anytime you get a chance to scrimmage in a game-like atmosphere, it’s a ton of fun. It’s fun to get out there and compete with your teammates.”

Graduate quarterback Patrick Towles added, “All around at every positions, we had some mess ups today – including myself – so we have to watch the film, continue to get better and be better football team on Monday than we were today.”

One of the highlights of the morning was redshirt sophomore quarterback Darius Wade’s 40-plus yard connection with sophomore wide out Elijah Robinson from the one-yard line.

“In that situation – a goal line situation – everyone is pressed out,” Wade said. “They think it’s going to be a run. I had great protection and I was able to find my receiver down the field and we were able to make a play. It’s always great in a coming out situation where you need to flip the field and change the momentum.”

With tweaks and areas of focus coming into clarity after today’s scrimmage, the Eagles get back to the practice field next week for their second full week of practice. The team is scheduled to play its second intrasquad scrimmage next Saturday morning.

Boston College sports information assisted with this report.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
IMG_0002

The always energetic Steve Addazio makes a point on media day. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

CHESTNUT HILL — If there’s anyone with the energy and belief that things will improve at Boston College, it’s Steve Addazio.

The 57-year-old football coach is entering his 22nd consecutive year of Division I coaching. His 21st was arguably his most difficult.

The Eagles went 3-9 and lost player after player on the offensive side of the ball. But now, with a transfer quarterback from Kentucky in Patrick Towles, who has dedicated the season to a gorilla, there’s new hope.

There’s Jon Hilliman, Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse and senior tight end Michael Giacone. The Eagles will look to pound the ball and get back to the type of complementary football that allowed the Eagles to use their defense to win close games.

Winning close games is not something the Eagles could do much of last year. They were in games against Clemson and Notre Dame, both ranked fifth in the nation at the time and in the national championship conversation. They lost at Duke, 9-7, at home in the regrettable Wake Forest ending (3-0), at Louisville (17-14), at Fenway against Notre Dame (19-16) and at Syracuse (20-17). That’s five games by three points or less.

A big reason so many of those games against the best competition were so close was the defense. Statistically, the Eagles had the top-ranked defense in the country last year.

“We were really good on defense last year,” Addazio said. “But we are not trying to beat our stats. They are not really relative that way. The biggest thing is winning.”

And that’s something the Eagles did precious little of a year ago. After going 3-9 in ’15, is there a record this year that will prove to Addazio that he’s got the program where he wants it and it’s heading in the right direction?

“I don’t need to prove it to myself or anybody really,” Addazio said. “To be honest with you I know the program is going where it is supposed to be going.”

So, there is a goal?

“Yes, the goal is to win the opener. And this is what I tell the team since I have been here,” Addazio said. “This is what I have been a part of everywhere in my career. Win the opener, get bowl eligible, then compete for a conference championship. That’s what you do. You try to win the opener, and then you try to get bowl eligible. All those. Those first two things I just said are well within the reach of this football team. And then you’ve got from there. I would never short. I would never say nothing can be done.”

Last year, the Eagles beat Maine in the opener, 24-3, and Howard, 76-0, in the second game. They won just once in the final 10 games and lost their last eight.

“I say win the opener, get that done and from there, no matter what happens from there, you go to become bowl eligible, once your bowl eligible everything is still in front of you. That’s the way I feel. I am not one of those guys, I never have been, and I have never been around a program that’s broken it down, national championship on three. Let’s take it one step at a time, even with veterans. One-game seasons. This team is very capable. If we stay healthy and continue to develop, it’s a very capable football team. We will do some things that we will shake our heads at because we are young across the board but we will see great growth from that.

“I have said it several times. This is one of my favorite teams to be around right now. No matter what you throw at them, they respond. They love football. They work really hard at football. They give you everything they have. It’s a fun group to be around. Fun group to coach. And that hasn’t changed.

“No one feels good about last year. The guys that were in it understand why, but you don’t feel good about it. The year before we were pretty good on offense and we had a hard time stopping a number of teams, we could have had a nine-win year. But last year we were really good on defense but couldn’t function on offense for all the reasons we have already ad nauseam gone through. And even with that, this team last year, in my opinion played really hard, all the way through the final game, played hard, both side. To say that the offense didn’t play hard is not an accurate statement and as young as we were, we still had the ability to run the football and half way through the season we had a pretty high time of possession. And the offense, myself and the staff made a conscious decision that we were going to feature the defense for obvious reasons which I always do here. We could have went to a no huddle, an up-tempo, we worked on it really hard, we had it available but I said that is not going to help our defense. See that’s the other thing people don’t talk about. What we do offensively is to extenuate our defense because that is our number one goal, to be great on defense. A lot of teams don’t do that. A lot of programs don’t do that.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

This is what @BCCoachAddazio said Friday Dan Koppen said about Tom Brady in speech to BC team Wednesday night. pic.twitter.com/Ad793EN8Mn

— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) August 11, 2016