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ACC Kickoff Preview: Boston College

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2020 Record: 6-5

All-time series: 31-22 Syracuse

Last Meeting: 11/7/2020, 16-13 Boston College

What to Know About the Eagles:

Boston College hasn’t exactly been an ACC powerhouse in recent history. The Eagles were….fine for a long time under Steve Addazio and will look to take a leap under new head coach Jeff Hafley. Must’ve been a bizarre few months for Hafley after he got his dream job only for it to be ripped away from him by the pandemic a few months later. Regardless, he and the rest of BC are poised for a surprising 2021. Phil Jurkovec and friends have plenty of potential on the offensive end. His targets are of course headlined by Zay Flowers, who in 2020 was out of this world. The sophomore turned in 933 yards, and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage. As for this defense, there are some holes to fill. Isaiah McDuffie and Max Richardson left the program after the 2020 season, if the Eagles are to compete with the best of them, they’ll need some form replacements for those two guys.

Head Coach – Jeff Hafley, 2nd year, 6-5 with Boston College

On his first season being in a pandemic: “It was basically I got the job and then we were all sent home. You don’t really get to know your football team, you don’t really get to lead them, spend time with them….It’s the first time I’ve been in front of media like this, probably since I’ve been a head coach. Here’s what I took away: We’ve got a bunch of guys who came together and they didn’t make excuses. We had over 8,000 tests and up until the last week of the season, we didn’t have one kid test positive. We had a bunch of guys who were told they wouldn’t be able to do something, they proved that they could. When you coach football and play football, you deal with adversity, and usually, it doesn’t come right away. For our guys it came right away….we didn’t make excuses….I learned more about myself and more about our football team going forward because of the pandemic than I probably would after 4 or 5 years of being the head coach of Boston College.”

On what Phil Jurkovec can improve on: “His confidence, he’s so talented. He can throw the ball all over the field, he’s big and strong, he’s hard to sack. Here’s what I saw of him in spring this year….I saw confidence and I saw leadership coming in and out of the huddle as each practice went on, and there were some days where I was like, ‘Man, this guy’s getting better every day.’ Just by the way he calls the plays in the huddle….the way this guy breaks the huddle and walks to the line and approaches it? You can just see the confidence building, and the leadership coming out, which is what excites me.”

Phil Jurkovec – Redshirt Junior, Quarterback

2020: 17 TDs, 2558 yds, 61%

On his relationship with Zay Flowers: “Zay’s been my locker roommate since I came to BC, so I’ve known him since the start….he’s driven and just such an exceptional talent….he’s so impressive.”

On his O-Line: “They’re kind of like a cult on the team the way they stick together. They’re so tight and you can tell they care so much about each other. It’s a different position than anywhere else because of how you have to work together….they’re really close at BC, and they’re all veterans.”

Zion Johnson – Graduate, Offensive Line

2020: 11 games, All-ACC Third Team

On the pandemic’s effects: “My family used to go to every game, they did in 2019. With the pandemic last season they weren’t able to go to many games, we had the cardboard fans, that can actually affect you. I also think our team did a great job of handling that and making the sacrifices necessary to go out and win….even with the cardboard fans I think our guys did a great job of sparking their inner fire to go out and play to their maximum potential.”

On playing with Phil Jurkovec: “It’s awesome. Phil is a great player, a great leader, he’s talented, he’s a great guy. It’s really awesome blocking for someone when you know even if everything’s not perfect he can scramble out of the pocket and make something work, throw a bomb down the field. Especially as a leader, he’s grown, just coming here last year he’s a big voice in our locker room, we love having him.”

Marcus Valdez – Graduate, Defensive End

2020: 36 Tot Tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks

On Jeff Hafley’s NFL experience: “It goes a long way, just from the tape we watch….we’re always watching NFL tape, really just shows you that the techniques he’s teaching us are being taught at the next level. 

On what the defense needs to improve on: “I think we need to improve on taking the ball away….we really put an emphasis on that during practice. 

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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