Fall, Football, Sports

Hafley Breaks Down Decisions from Rutgers Loss, Plus Adjustments for Week Two

After a Week One loss to Rutgers, Boston College football and head coach Jeff Hafley are facing pressure to rebound. Hafley, in his third year at the helm of the Eagles, spoke to the media on Sunday and addressed the improvements his players and coaching staff need to make for the Eagles to play winning football.

“I point to myself first and talk to the guys about things that I could have done better,” Hafley said. “And then I ask them to look in the mirror, as well as all coaches. … You don’t do that to get after guys in a personal way. You do that to show them what it’s going to take to win games and how they need to get better.”

One jarring moment from Saturday’s game was when Rutgers marched 96 yards down the field on 11 run plays to score the game-winning touchdown. The Eagles had no answer and no adjustments—something Hafley acknowledged on Sunday.

“Could we have thrown some stuff at them to probably change it up? Yeah,” Hafley said. “So I’m not putting it on the execution. But I just showed the guys clips of the fourth quarter and then the same plays that were repeatedly played well early in the game.”

But Hafley quickly pointed out that he only credits the defense for giving up two touchdowns, as one of the Scarlet Knights’ scores resulted from a BC fumble on the Eagles’ 6-yard line. 

“We played good defense all day,” he said. “We have to coach that better. We have to execute it better. We have to stop them. And we’ll do better at that.”

Another big question from Saturday’s game was BC’s decision to use a timeout before punter Danny Longman went out on fourth-and-25 in the fourth quarter. Hafley explained that the Eagles didn’t want to “speed punt,” or send the kicking team out to one-step kick the ball and use up minimal time on the clock.

Hafley also explained that there were discussions on BC’s sideline going for it on fourth down instead of kicking the ball away. Special teams coordinator Matt Thurin had a play in mind with a good chance to work, according to Hafley. 

Hafley said he called a timeout to talk things over but ultimately decided to set up the punt team with plenty of time and punt the ball. 

Hafley said he had few regrets in terms of BC’s preparation for Saturday’s game.

“You can always look back after you lose the game and wish you did things differently,” he said. “I think our preparation was good. You know, there’s always things that now I know what they were going to run and how they were going to run it that I would have prepared differently. … I thought our preparation was good, … but there’s certainly things we needed to do better.”

Hafley noted that he sees a need for BC’s offense to spread the ball around more. Wide receiver Zay Flowers and tight end George Takacs racked up a combined 27 targets out of 41 total targets in the game. 

Receivers Jaelen Gill and Jaden Williams were only targeted a combined eight times Saturday, a number Hafley said he would like to see “go up.” A healthy Alec Sinkfield—who recently returned from an undisclosed injury that kept him out of training camp and played limited minutes in Saturday’s game—could also help open more things up for the Eagles according to Hafley.

“Hopefully we’ll get him going because we need him,” Hafley said of Sinkfield. “There’s some other guys that if you probably didn’t see them play very much yesterday. They’re probably banged up from training camp. So hopefully now the time will help us and we’ll heal up a little bit.”

September 5, 2022