By Matt Noonan
Let me begin by saying I tuned into yesterday’s Boston College–Clemson University football game in the third quarter – yes, I know I missed an amazing first half by the Eagles. But the fact that BC, which is led by first-year coach Jeff Hafley, was able to dictate a majority of their conference clash with the top team in the land was impressive.
Yesterday’s outing was a moral victory. It was a step in the right direction. And it certainly was a contest that attracted more eyeballs than anticipated, especially when it appeared as if Boston College was going to shock the college football universe with a 28-13 lead at the break.
And oh, by the way, the Tigers were playing without their star-studded quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who missed the game due to testing positive for the coronavirus last Thursday.
Unfortunately, momentum would shift to the Tigers, who clawed their way back to beat the Eagles, 34-28.
With the win, Clemson improved to 7-0 while Boston College dipped to 4-3.
The six-point setback still hurts somewhat this morning. But this feeling will pass – I believe it.
Sure, it would have been amazing to see hour hometown Boston College Eagles celebrate a win in “Death Valley” on Halloween 2020, but that day will come eventually. And so will more victories, too, along with conference titles and bowl championships.
Hafley said he was “proud of our guys” shortly after his team’s seventh contest of the 2020 season. He also told members of the media during his post-game Zoom session that these Eagles entered Saturday’s tilt with some confidence – “they came out believing in each other (and) they came out believing in their coaching staff.”
Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec believes in the Eagles, too. In fact, he told the media that he his and teammates “already knew that” they could hang with the top teams in the land. And that statement was echoed by his teammate, CJ Lewis, who claims he and his teammates “always play with a chip on our shoulder.”
“We wanted to come out and show the world that we can play with the top dogs,” said Lewis during yesterday’s postgame session.
Lewis and the Eagles did prove to the world – well, more the college football universe, to be exact – that Boston College can compete with the nation’s top teams. And hopefully, yesterday’s defeat will prove that these Eagles should not be taken lightly over the next few weeks.
Boston College is scheduled to compete four more times this fall with a big matchup looming in the near future against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A win over Notre Dame would certainly turn some heads, as well as provide the program with some momentum heading into their final two contests.
No matter what happens over the next few weeks, yesterday’s contest against top-ranked Clemson proved Boston College is on the rise and heading in the right direction. And these coaches and student-athletes should be proud about what they’re building in Chestnut Hill.