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BC will need to elevate game vs. Pitt

Toward the end of Steve Addazio’s postgame news conference Saturday evening, after the Eagles had trounced the UMass Minutemen 30-7 at Gillette Stadium to open the season, the coach’s attention turned to the next challenge.

His bald head still glistening with sweat earned on the sideline against UMass, Addazio already was thinking about Pittsburgh. The Panthers come to Chestnut Hill for a nationally televised ACC matchup on Friday night (7 ET on ESPN), meaning there’s a slightly shorter turnaround than normal for BC’s next game so there’s no time to waste.

That led to this exchange, with Addazio still up on the dais in the New England Revolution media workroom at the podium emblazoned with the Patriots logo.

“The opponent we’re playing is fairly mighty,” he said. “I don’t know what the score of that game was. Anybody know?”

After a beat, BC associate athletic director for communications Chris Cameron chirped out the answer, the score of Pittsburgh’s opener against Delaware.

“62-0,” he said.

“Oh, that’s great,” Addazio said, not missing a beat and drawing laughs from the gathered media. “That’s great. Just ducky.”

After walloping Delaware (an FCS opponent) so thoroughly in its opener, Pittsburgh is currently tied for first nationally in rushing touchdowns (seven), sixth in rushing yards (409) and 14th in yards per attempt (7.30). The Panthers allowed Delaware just 57 total yards of offense, came up with three interceptions and two sacks in a complete domination on both sides of the ball.

Sophomore James Conner, a load at 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, ran for 153 yards and four TDs on just 14 carries.

BC held UMass to 55 yards rushing on Saturday, but the Eagles clearly will be facing a different animal on Friday night.

"I think this game gave us a confidence boost,” defensive back Bryce Jones said Saturday night, “and now we can take this short week and get right to it and really just move forward and keep progressing."

The Eagles can’t waste any time this week in practice on either side of the ball if they want to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

“We go back and evaluate the film and see what we need to get better on, how we can finish drives and where we can eliminate mistakes,” quarterback Tyler Murphy said. “And even though we’ve got a short turnaround, we’re looking forward to Friday. It’ll be a good game, a conference game. It’s important that we recover fast and get things going.”

“The biggest growth in your football team is in the first three weeks,” Addazio said. “So I feel like we took a positive step but we’ve got to continue to grow. ... Last year we grew each week. We’ve got to grow each week. We’re playing a really good team coming up here ... we’ve got to elevate our play.”

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.