It’s always great to get the inside scoop on upcoming opponents from the people that know them most. As the UConn Huskies get ready to host Boston College at the Rent at noon, we exchanged Qs and As with BC Interruption, SB Nation’s home for all things BC athletics. Check out their site to see Eagles fans melting down over losing to UConn in hockey Thursday night.
Thanks to BCI’s Curran Schestag for the insight! You can read our Q&A with him here.
The UConn Blog: How are you and Eagles fans feeling about the team’s 2-5 record and the job of head coach Jeff Hafley?
BC Interruption: Hafley and the Eagles have been a huge disappointment this year. Hafley was hired with the hope of leading BC beyond the 7-win threshold that Steve Addazio could never break, and many thought this year would be the year we finally break through. With Zay Flowers and Patrick Garwo returning, Phil Jurkovec healthy, and a seasoned defense, 8 wins appeared possible. Instead, the team has been rocked with injuries, the O-line has played abysmally, and the defense has struggled mightily. Much of this has to fall on Hafley’s shoulders. Is his job in danger? I highly doubt it; he’s a first-time head coach and BC knew what they were signing up for when they hired him. That said, his seat is certainly growing warmer.
TUB: Where are Eagles fans’ expectations as it relates to this matchup against UConn?
BCI: UConn has been a struggling program for a long time now. BC should win this one, though it will be much closer than anyone could have predicted in preseason. The Eagles played their best game of the season almost 4 weeks ago now against Louisville, but unfortunately their next two games were against #5 Clemson and #10 Wake Forest which gave the team very little room to grow any sort of momentum. UConn should be an opportunity for the Eagles to get back on track, especially with 2 ranked opponents remaining on the schedule.
TUB: What was your favorite BC loss this season? Were they all bad or anything positive to take from them?
BCI: Look, no one likes to lose. Especially when the vast majority of BC’s losses have been absolute massacres. Losing by multiple scores to a terrible Virginia Tech team and getting blown out by both Wake Forest and FSU were humiliating. But for the sake of the question, I’ll say Clemson was my favorite loss. The Red Bandana Game honoring Welles Crowther is always a special BC tradition, and the Eagles defense kept the game close in the first half. It says all you need to know about BC’s team this year that our “best” loss was a 31-3 drubbing.
TUB: What are the strengths and weaknesses of this BC team on offense? How about defense?
BCI: The strength of the Eagles offense is unquestionably our big play potential. Take the game against Wake Forest: on an absolutely bizarre drive, Jurkovec fumbled to the Deacs, who then fumbled back to BC on the same play. After a penalty on 1st down leaving the Eagles facing 2nd and forever, Jurkovec found Zay Flowers for a 61-yard touchdown. Between Flowers, Jaelen Gill, Jaden Williams, and true freshman Joe Griffin Jr. there is a lot of talent in the BC wide receiver room. Now, the only issue is if Jurkovec has enough time to get any of them the ball. I’ve touched already on BC’s offense line struggles, which are the clear weak spot on the offense.
Defensively, BC’s secondary is probably its best unit on the team. Wake Forest torched the secondary last week, but before that the secondary played an excellent half against Clemson and was instrumental in BC’s big win over Louisville. Josh DeBerry, Jason Maitre and Co. have played well, and with injuries to multiple starters young guys like Amari Jackson and Cole Batson have stepped up. One area where BC struggles defensively is pressuring the QB. Despite a lot of depth at the D-Line and EDGE positions, BC as a team has only registered 14 sacks. The unit is twitchy and fast, but gives up a lot of size.
TUB: BC has not finished above .500 in conference play since 2009. Do you care to comment on that?
BCI: Like I mentioned earlier, Steve Addazio was fired and Jeff Hafley was brought in because of stats exactly like this one. Boston College football has not been a force to be reckoned with in the ACC in a long time. Hafley, Jurkovec and Co. were our great hope of ending this drought, but instead BC has taken a major step backwards this season. Where we go from this season into the next is a big mystery, especially with Jurkovec, Flowers, and many others likely leaving.