It’s always great to get the inside scoop on upcoming opponents from the people who know them best. As the UConn Huskies prepare to host Boston College at Rent at noon, we traded questions and answers with BC Interruption, SB Nation’s home for all things BC athletics. Check their website to see Eagles fans melt away after losing to UConn in hockey on Thursday night.
Thanks to Curran Schestag of BCI for the insight! You can read our Q&A with him here.
The UConn Blog: How do you and Eagles fans feel about the team’s 2-5 record and the work of head coach Jeff Hafley?
CB interrupt: Hafley and the Eagles have been a huge disappointment this year. Hafley was hired hoping to lead BC past the 7-win threshold that Steve Addazio could never cross, and many thought this year would be the year we would finally cross. With the return of Zay Flowers and Patrick Garwo, healthy Phil Jurkovec and a seasoned defense, 8 wins seemed possible. Instead, the team was rocked by injuries, the O line played abyssally and the defense struggled mightily. Much of that 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 getting into when they hired him. That said, his seat is definitely getting hotter.
TUB: What do Eagles fans expect from this game against UConn?
BCI: UConn has been a struggling program for a long time now. BC should win this one, although it will be much tighter 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 No. 5 Clemson and No. 10 Wake Forest, which gave the Eagles ‘team very little room to develop any kind 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 loss in BC this season? Were they all bad or something positive to take from them?
BCI: Look, nobody likes to lose. Especially when the vast majority of BC losses have been outright massacres. Losing by multiple scores to a terrible Virginia Tech team and getting crushed by both Wake Forest and FSU was humbling. But for the sake of the question, I’ll say Clemson was my favorite loss. The Red Bandana Game honoring Welles Crowther is still a special tradition in BC, and the Eagles defense kept the game close in the first half. All you need to know about Team BC this year is that our “best” loss was a 31-3 loss.
TUB: What are the strengths and weaknesses of this BC team up front? And the defense?
BCI: The strength of the Eagles offense is unquestionably our big game potential. Take the game against Wake Forest: on an absolutely bizarre drive, Jurkovec fumbled to the Deacs, who then fumbled to BC on the same play. After a 1st down penalty left the Eagles facing 2nd down forever, Jurkovec found Zay Flowers for a 61-yard touchdown. Between Flowers, Jaelen Gill, Jaden Williams and real freshman Joe Griffin Jr., there’s a lot of talent in the BC receiver room. Now the only problem is whether Jurkovec has enough time to give the ball to one of them. I’ve already touched on the difficulties of BC’s offensive line, which is clearly the weak point of the offense.
Defensively, BC’s secondary is probably their best unit on the team. Wake Forest burned down the secondary last week, but before that the secondary played a great half against Clemson and was instrumental in BC’s big win over Louisville. Josh DeBerry, Jason Maitre and Co. played well, and with injuries to multiple starters, young guys like Amari Jackson and Cole Batson stepped up. One area where BC struggles defensively is putting pressure on the QB. Despite plenty of depth at the D-Line and EDGE positions, BC as a team only recorded 14 sacks. The unit is twitchy and fast, but gives up a lot of size.
TUB: BC hasn’t finished above .500 in conference since 2009. Do you want to comment on that?
BCI: As I mentioned earlier, Steve Addazio was fired and Jeff Hafley was recruited because of stats exactly like this. Boston College football has not been a force to be reckoned with in the ACC for a long time. Hafley, Jurkovec and Co. were our big hope to end this drought, but instead BC took a big step back this season. Where we go from this season to the next is a big mystery, especially with the likely departure of Jurkovec, Flowers and many others.