It’s the continuation of a season full of injuries for Iowa’s Pinstripe Bowl opponent, as coach Steve Addazio explains Mark Emmert/HawkCentral
NEW YORK — Boston College will be without star defensive end Harold Landry in Wednesday’s Pinstripe Bowl, coach Steve Addazio said Tuesday.
Landry, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior, missed the final four games of the regular season with an ankle injury. He had five sacks this season after turning down a chance to enter the NFL Draft at the conclusion of his junior year.
“Couldn’t quite get that ankle right and be at full speed,” Addazio told reporters at Yankee Stadium in the final news conference before Wednesday’s 4:15 p.m. showdown on ESPN.
It’s been a season filled with injuries for the Eagles, and Addazio said Landry’s just fits in with that theme.
“At this level of football, this is part of the game, some years more than others, and you have to be able to adapt,” said Addazio, who also will turn to Darius Wade to make his sixth career start at quarterback after a late-season injury to Anthony Brown. “I think our team has a great, strong belief and confidence that we’re going to find a way to handle any situation. And I think what we finally learned is, and it took a while, was that one guy doesn’t dictate the outcome of the game. It’s a collection of our whole team.”
More Pinstripe Bowl coverage:
- Pinstripe Bowl story lines: In Nate Stanley, Iowa has the QB edge vs. Boston College
- Iowa football notes: On a tour of 9/11 memorial, Wadley's hunt for tickets & a cleats question
- Leistikow: From bad Christmas gifts to film study, Iowa's Pinstripe Bowl prep is done
Iowa will be leaning on two inexperienced offensive tackles Wednesday in true freshman Tristan Wirfs and sophomore Levi Paulsen, making his first career start at the position. It will be a matchup to watch as the 7-5 teams try to end their seasons on a winning note.
“They’re doing a hell of a job blocking our scout team guys, so if we could just try to work a deal with Steve maybe playing their third-team guys (Wednesday) night, maybe we’d be all set to go,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz joked when asked about Paulsen and Wirfs.
“You don’t dwell on that. You just worry about trying to get guys ready to go for the next challenge,” he added, speaking of injuries in general. “If there’s an upside to this whole thing, which I think there is, we’ve had a month now to get guys comfortable in their spots and hopefully they’ll go out there and compete and do a good job like the guys in front of them have done this season.”
Iowa lost senior tackles Ike Boettger and Boone Myers to injury during the season, and Ferentz has suspended redshirt freshman Alaric Jackson for the bowl game for a violation of team rules.
Steve Addazio says his Eagles are preparing for a disciplined, physical opponent in Pinstripe Bowl Mark Emmert/HawkCentral
Other highlights from Tuesday’s news conference with the coaches:
- Ferentz said he hasn’t heard feedback from NFL Draft advisory personnel on where they project junior safety Josh Jackson and junior center James Daniels to be selected if those Hawkeyes leave school a year early. “Maybe they called the office and left a voicemail,” he joked. “We’ll figure that out next week.”
- Addazio said he’s been stressing to his players during practices that Iowa is the type of team the Eagles want to be. “What we’re most impressed with and concerned about is how fundamentally sound Iowa is, how tough they are. We realize that they believe in some of the same principles we do — the ability to run the football. What we do is not going to be new to them.”
- Iowa senior tailback Akrum Wadley has 34 career touchdowns and is two away from tying Tavian Banks’ career record. Ferentz said again that that fact snuck up on him. “I spent so much time being mad at him because he doesn’t weigh 190 pounds. I guess there’s a lot worse things you could be dealing with,” Ferentz said, referencing his well-publicized efforts to get Wadley to put on and maintain weight. “He’s always had a good spirit, loves playing football, loves competing. … He came to our place with some things you can’t teach, but the rest of it is maturity, his awareness of the impact all players have during the course of a game.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz talks about the value of wrestlers who play football. Chad Leistikow/HawkCentral
- Ferentz gave his longest answer when a Massachusetts reporter asked about the correlation between great wrestlers and great football players at Iowa. Ferentz said, even though three of his sons wrestled, he still is not an expert at that sport. But he has come away with one conclusion. “A guy that’s a good wrestler, a really good wrestler in high school has never been a bad football player. It doesn’t ensure he’s going to be a great football player; he’s never a bad one. And I can say the same thing about farm kids,” Ferentz said. “Those kids know how to work, they know how to compete. As it pertains to wrestling, the leverage, all that stuff, there’s a great carryover. We’ve got a guy, Nate Bazata, on our football team who doesn’t look like a Big Ten football player if he walked in the door right now. He played eight-man football in Nebraska and was a state champion in wrestling. We’ve had a lot of those guys. … Riley Reiff probably could have been a three-time NCAA (wrestling) champ if that’s all he’d done.” Reiff played offensive tackle instead, and is now with the Minnesota Vikings.