CHESTNUT HILL — Sunday's press conference for the Boston College bowl game was tentatively set for 4 p.m.
That passed, and everyone at The Heights waited ... and waited ... and waited. Then, roughly a half hour later, the word came through that the Eagles would head to Dallas to face Boise State in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on Dec. 26 at the Cotton Bowl (1:30 p.m.).
The game gives the Eagles (7-5) a chance to finish strong after a disappointing end to the season. BC finished on a three-game losing streak, and got stuck on a familiar number of seven wins. In coach Steve Addazio's sixth season here, the Eagles are heading to the postseason for the fifth time, but have yet to notch eight wins. The last time the program hit that mark was 2009.
Senior offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom is well aware of the importance of getting that last victory.
"I'm trying to end my BC career, and as a senior class, trying to do something special here and get our eighth win," Lindstrom said. "It hasn't been done in a while, and that's something that we've set out to do this season. So we're really looking forward to it as a senior leadership and as a team, and me, personally, too, to go out there and attack this game, and attack this bowl prep."
The last time these teams faced off against each other, the Eagles beat Boise State in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, 27-21. But there is no recent history between the two, and not a lot of overlap in general between the two programs. In that respect, this is quite the unique matchup for the Eagles.
Said senior safety Will Harris: "We're just excited to find out who we're playing, and get a chance to go out and get our eighth win, and get a chance to go out and compete at the highest level."
The Broncos come in with a 10-3 record, and just lost the Mountain West Conference title game to Fresno State on Saturday. The Broncos are no strangers to postseason success, with three Fiesta Bowl wins since 2006.
"(Boise State) has got a tremendous history," Addazio said. "(Broncos coach) Bryan Harsin has done a great job out there. We have a chance to go out to a new venue, to a fifth bowl in six years here, really let our team have a chance to develop through the bowl season and go out and try and get our eighth win."
Calling the shots
With offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler set to take over as Bowling Green's head coach, Addazio said that the plan is for him to stay on for the bowl game to call plays.
However, Addazio noted that could change.
"Right now, the plan is that Scot's going to be back for the bowl game," Addazio said. "He and I have talked about it several times. But we'll see. We'll see how that goes. He's got a job to do, too. But that's the plan right now. Plans change. Things come up. Stuff happens. I'm not really concerned about it. We've got really good coaches here. There's a lot of input that goes in on both sides of the ball by a lot of people, including myself. But I anticipate Scot being here."
Up to speed
One of the benefits of the 15-practice bowl prep is the ability to make headway for younger players and build momentum into the next season.
For an Eagles team that will graduate nearly its entire offensive line, Lindstrom said the current starters are doing everything they can to help the younger players ready for 2019.
"We have a great room. Everyone's healthy, and everyone's working with each other and trying to develop the young guys really right now," Lindstrom said. "So, as an older guy, and (Jon) Baker, and Sam (Schmal), and Aaron (Monteiro), guys who are leaving are trying to push the younger guys along so they can have a great team in the future. That's really what we're trying to do right now as a room, is to develop those younger guys so they can be great BC offensive linemen and carry that tradition on."
Back in the big 'D'
Senior tight end Tommy Sweeney was asked if he had ever been to Dallas. He had, but not for anything football-related.
"Yeah, I think I played an AAU basketball tournament there when I was in high school," said Sweeney, who went to Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey. "But I didn't really see much of (the city), so hopefully I'll be able to see it. I've heard it's a pretty cool city, so I definitely want to check it out."