No one really wants to address it this way, but Holy Cross really is not much more than a tune-up game for Boston College before the Eagles travel to Wake Forest two Thursdays from now.
That is not to take anything away from Holy Cross, who lost their opener to Colgate, 24-17. It should be noted that the Crusaders have already begun to show some progress under first-year coach Bob Chesney, as they dominated the second half but fell short after trailing, 24-3, at the half.
In that game, Holy Cross limited Colgate to just 75 yards in the second half. The Crusaders did not quit after a huge halftime deficit, and those are all positive signs going forward.
But as Holy Cross readies for a trip to Alumni Stadium this Saturday, it will have to continue to find positives in the little things, because it is just too much to expect a win over what looks to be a formidable BC team.
So for as much as many will look ahead to that game against Wake Forest, a team that throttled the Eagles last year in Chestnut Hill, BC coach Steve Addazio said Monday that he is not mixing in game prep for the Demon Deacons this week.
"You know, we really try to do right now — we've got to get our game plan solidified here for Holy Cross," he said. "I still have that mindset of — and I think it's important, that we're playing a traditional rival game. We're playing a really good football program. We need to get better. We need to improve. There's areas we need to focus on. Players and coaches all have to be focused right now on Holy Cross. It's all hands on deck.
"College football is a funny deal, man; it's really hard to execute at a high level and win a major college football game. There's a lot of different pieces and parts and different people's mentalities, and my job is to make sure that we're locked in, focused and prepared for this game at hand on Saturday, and that's what we're going to do, and then we're going to have to deal with what's next when we get there."
All camp, Addazio has praised the leadership, chemistry and camaraderie of his squad. While the outcome of this week's game should not be in doubt, Addazio said his players are not getting ahead of themselves.
"Well, our guys — the beauty of coaching at Boston College is you're dealing with some really mature young guys that — young men that I think totally understand that it's a one-game-at-a-time mentality," Addazio said. "The most improvement your team has to make is really within the first few weeks of your season, and how critically important it is to address the areas that we needed to improve upon from last Saturday.
"So like when you deal with really mature, bright young guys like that, they get that. I mean, they understand that intellectually. You know, we don't have the kind — we don't have big ego guys. So our guys are going to be really drilled and locked into what do I need to do as an individual, what do we need to do as a team to get better, because you're in a footrace to get better in the early part of the season, and I think they totally get and understand that."