Boston College football: Eagles, transfer Patrick Towles try to put tough 2015 behind them
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- His grandfather, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, no-hit the Red Sox at Fenway Park in 1958.
Patrick Towles, though, doesn't have to be historically good while demonstrating to Bostonians that like Grampa, he, too, has a rocket for a right arm.
Not after last year's Boston College offense was historically bad.
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Towles doesn't have to be his grandfather. He also doesn't have to be former Eagle All-American Matt Ryan. Ryan is "Matty Ice" and Towles' nickname since freshman year in high school has been "Patty Ice."
"Hopefully, I can live up to it, but probably not," Towles said with a laugh.
The Eagles, who open up against Georgia Tech in Ireland on Sept. 3, don't expect a repeat of the QB (and offensive line) woes from 2015.
Most consider Towles the front-runner for the job, but he'll have to beat out Darius Wade. As a redshirt freshman, Wade started the first three games last year before a broken ankle suffered against Florida State ended his season.
"I'm excited about the quarterback play, very excited," said head coach Steve Addazio at Thursday's media day. "They are fun to watch. They can spin it."
The Eagles coaching staff has pointed out ad nauseam how young the Maroon and Gold were last year. That certainly bodes well for the fifth-year senior, who started the last two years at UK before being benched late last fall.
Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said: "Experience is everything. Obviously age is a huge factor. With quarterback and offensive line, age is everything."
Towles was a blue-chipper at Kentucky's Highlands High in Ft. Thomas. His senior numbers were an impressive 42 TD passes to just one interception. He started 39 games for the perennial power Bluebirds, going 38-1 with three state titles.
Ranked the No. 9 dropback QB in the high school class of 2012, he was a monster recruit for the hometown Wildcats.
The Parade All-American, though, never quite lived up to the hype.
Last year he threw nine TD passes and was picked off 14 times before he was replaced by Drew Barker. For his career, he was 427 of 759 for 5,099 yards, 24 TD passes and also 24 interceptions.
But he's 6-foot-5, 253 pounds and can run (11 career rushing TDs at UK) and has career wins over South Carolina and Missouri at a school with a limited football tradition. That gave him numerous options after picking up his political science degree. Towles took official visits to BC and Colorado State before deciding on the Jesuit school.
The Eagles went 0-8 in the ACC last fall with a mere eight offensive TDs in ACC play and only two through the air.
Any concerns after BC's embarrassing offensive struggles?
"Absolutely not," Towles insisted. "Coach Addazio took a chance on me. ... I'm so gracious and thankful for that. ... I'm nothing but confident in this team."
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a better city for one year if you're 22 years old," he added. His first visit to Boston last winter was an eye-opener though. "It was so cold!" he said, wincing.
When asked who should start, Towles said, "It's not up to me but if it was, I'd pick me." He has some trusted confidants who can help him through the tough times.
Towles is a physical specimen unlike Jared Lorenzen, his quarterback coach junior year in high school. The ex-Kentucky and NFL QB was known as the "Hefty Lefty" for his pot-belly.
"I still talk to him a lot. He taught me a lot," Towles said.
Then, of course, there is his Hall of Fame grandfather, a Republican who went on to serve Kentucky as a congressman and senator for 23 years.
Towles said: "He'll be up for the Clemson game (Oct. 7). He came to all the Kentucky games. He'll offer tidbits about mentality."
Boston College Schedule
|** (at Dublin, Ireland)||** (at Gillette Stadium)|
|Sat, Sept. 3||Georgia Tech||7:30 a.m. *|
|Sat, Sept. 10||UMASS||Noon **|
|Sat, Sept. 17||Virginia Tech||3:30 p.m.|
|Sat, Sept. 24||Wagner||TBA|
|Sat, Oct. 1||Buffalo||TBA|
|Fri, Oct. 7||Clemson||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat, Oct. 22||Syracuse||TBA|
|Sat, Oct. 29||N.C. State||TBA|
|Sat, Nov. 5||Louisville||TBA|
|Fri, Nov. 11||Florida State||7:30 p.m.|
|Sat, Nov. 19||UConn||TBA|
|Sat, Nov. 26||Wake Forest||TBA|
This article was written by Michael Muldoon from The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.