Fill-in offensive lineman John Phillips earns high grades at Boston College
Boston College coach Steve Addazio sets a high standard for handing out “grade champion awards” to offensive linemen.
BC is known as O-Line U, so the Eagles front five is expected to play up to that reputation.
Three Eagles offensive linemen — right tackle Chris Lindstrom and guards John Phillips and Sam Schmal — copped grade champion awards from Addazio for Saturday’s 45-42 upset at Louisville. And Lindstrom was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for the first time in his career.
The Eagles (3-4, 1-3 ACC) could use a repeat performance when they take on resurgent Virginia (5-1, 2-0) in an ACC game Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.
“We grade them out, and you get a champion award if you’re graded at a certain percentage,” Addazio said following practice yesterday at Alumni Stadium. “You have to have a minimum amount of plays and grade at a certain percentage, and they did it. We had three offensive linemen grade out as champions, and that is all good stuff, but it is not shocking. We ran the ball for 364 yards, and your line is playing good when that happens.”
Phillips is a redshirt sophomore from Phoenix, N.Y. He saw limited action in 11 games last year and wasn’t a starter when this season opened. But Addazio was forced to reconfigure his offensive line when senior center Jon Baker tore an ACL in the opener.
“John has prepared himself and stepped up, and he played his best game last weekend,” Addazio said. “It was the first time he’s graded out champion since he has been with us, and that’s growth.”
Phillips made his first career start at left guard against Wake Forest and was switched to right tackle the following week against Notre Dame. Addazio said Phillips’ game has improved each week.
BC accumulated 555 yards of total offense on 87 snaps against Louisville. The yardage total included 364 on the ground and 27 first down.
“Grading is an overall confirmation that you did your job and helped your team win,” Phillips said. “That is exactly what it was a team win, and it is an awesome feeling when the whole team wins like that.”
The offensive line sprung freshman tailback AJ Dillon for a freshman school record of 272 yards on 39 carries, with four touchdowns.
“Halfway through the first quarter, they started subbing people out, and we really hit our stride and started rolling with the tempo and moving fast-paced,” Phillips said. “That’s our M.O., we tire people out up front and our backs run hard. We tire people out and we capitalize when they make mistakes. It’s the best feeling in the world when you do your job and one of those times he (Dillon) runs for 75 yards and it was awesome.”