Boston College begins tough ACC stretch at Louisville

Looking down the road is not an option for Boston College as it enters an unforgiving stretch of the ACC calendar.

The Eagles (3-2, 1-1) will look to recover from last weekend's 27-24 loss to No. 24 Wake Forest when they visit Louisville (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday.

After a bye week, The Eagles play at home against North Carolina State on Oct. 18. The next two are on the road against reigning national champion and No. 2 Clemson, and Syracuse. BC plays five of its last seven games on the road, including at No. 9 Notre Dame on Nov. 23.

* I think absolutely stay in the moment, and I'm not worried about the calendar at all,” BC coach Steve Addazio said Monday at Conte Forum. * Just stay in the moment because that's where it is right now. There is a lot of great football to be played, and we want to be part of that. We are looking forward to that.”

BC has won two in a row in its series with Louisville. The Cardinals are rebuilding under first-year head coach Scott Satterfield, the architect of Appalachian State's emergence in the Sun Belt conference.

* The way we approach things, being on the road is the understanding that when you go on the road, you've got to pack your defense and you have to pack your run game,” Addazio said.

Big day in Cards?

BC's 45-42 victory at Louisville on Oct. 14, 2017, was a coming-out party for tailback AJ Dillon during his ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year season.

Sharing the stage with Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Dillon rushed for 272 yards and four touchdowns. He missed last season's 38-20 home win with an ankle injury, but Ben Glines and David Bailey combined for 219 yards on 45 carries with one touchdown apiece.

* That was, what do you want to call it, a red stamp game for him,” Addazio said. * He crashed onto the scene as a dominant tailback in that game with the runs he had and the way he flung a couple of defenders off him.

* That was a big day for him down there.”

Dillon was named ACC running back of the week for gaining 159 yards on 23 carries against Wake.

Third-down blues

The Eagles defense has had issues getting off the field on third down all season, but the problem was out of hand against Wake Forest.

Wake quarterback Jamie Newman rolled up 345 yards of total offense, and the Deacons converted 17-of-24 third-down situations. BC's problem went both ways. The Eagles offense was 2-of-12 on third down.

* There is always an emphasis on that, it's standard operating procedure. You have to get off the field on third down,” Addazio said. * We are going to work hard on both sides of the ball.”

Waiting game

Addazio is taking a wait-and-see approach on the playing status of injured junior outside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery. McDuffie can appear in four games and still be eligible to redshirt the season, an option Addazio is exploring.

* With the redshirt rule, you can play four,” Addazio said. * We are getting down to the point where (a decision has to be made. At this point, we are just interested in him getting back to 100 percent.”

McDuffie enjoyed a breakout season in 2018. He played in 12 games with six starts and finished second on the team with 85 tackles, including 5.5 for a losses and 3.5 sacks.