BC Football Is Headed In The Right Direction

By Matt Noonan

Let me begin by saying I tuned into yesterday’s Boston CollegeClemson 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.

First-year coach Jeff Hafley and the Boston College football program are trending in the right direction. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston Globe/NIC ANTAYA FOR THE GLOBE)

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.

Flaherty: BC Eagles Have Pieces In Place For A Successful 2018 Campaign

Steve Addazio

Steve Addazio has some key pieces in place to make an exciting run this fall. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Dan Flaherty (@TheSportsNotebo)

Boston College has been as predictable a college football program as any in the country, at least since Steve Addazio became head coach back in 2013.

In Addazio’s five seasons, he’s finished 7-6 four different times, including the last two years. That’s what made the Over/Under win totals released in Las Vegas earlier this month so interesting—BC was listed at 5.5.

Furthermore, this doubt comes in a year when Addazio returns 14 starters. He brings back his entire offensive line. He brings back A.J. Dillon, a sophomore running back who rushed for nearly 1,600 yards last year. He brings a quarterback in Anthony Brown who got valuable experience last year as a freshman.

Defensively, the Eagles can build around defensive end Zach Allen, a disruptor that has the NFL in his future.

The doubt on Boston College also comes at a time when the opportunity to move up the ladder in the ACC’s Atlantic Division is there for the taking. While Clemson is firmly entrenched at the top, the Florida State program is in flux after the departure of coach Jimbo Fisher and Louisville’s rise under Bobby Petrino seems to have crested. Boston College beat both FSU and Louisville last season.

But the Eagles lost decisively to Wake Forest and N.C. State – both teams are divisional rivals. They are each more highly regarded on the Vegas Strip at the moment.

Addazio’s program is a throwback, built on physical football and tough defense that works to overcome mediocre play (at best) from the quarterback position. Brown’s numbers last year—52% completion percentage, 5.3 yards-per-attempt and 11 touchdowns versus nine interceptions—look straight out of the 1970s.

In an era where everything is seen to be about the quarterback, BC is not going to have believers as long as this current trend continues. Nor is there any reason to expect a change of course this season.

While it’s reasonable to expect improvement from Brown, I don’t think there will be too many comparisons to Matt Ryan floating around the Heights. And on the positive side, there is every reason to think Boston College can take what it usually does well under Addazio and simply do it better.

Dillon is one of the best halfbacks in college football. His most impressive number isn’t the yardage totals—you can attribute at least some of that to the workload he gets in this offense. The most impressive number is his 5.3 yards-per-rush. That’s good under any circumstances, and especially when opposing defenses know you’re getting the ball.

Dillon, with that veteran offensive line in front of him, molded by the hard-nosed Addazio, can make a run at ACC Player of the Year. If he breaks 2,000 yards, an invite to the Heisman banquet in early December could be in the offing.

How far Dillon can carry the Eagles will be apparent by mid-October. After tuneup games with Massachusetts and Holy Cross, Boston College faces two road games that will provide a good early gauge on where they’re at. They go to Wake Forest on a Thursday night and then visit Purdue, a Big Ten Conference team on the rise, the following Saturday.

After a game with Temple to close September, BC has a road game at N.C. State and a home date with Louisville. By this point in the schedule, the Eagles need to be 5-2. They’ll go into a bye week and on the far side of that bye are four games in four weeks—against Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State. The Eagles have to hope they can steal one win during this stretch and then close the season at home by beating Syracuse. That gets them to seven wins again.

I’m one who likes old-fashioned football and I really hope Addazio can do it. The schedule is difficult and in a different environment, the head coach might be in real trouble. But in a market where media hype and fan intensity hones in on pro sports, the BC boss can keep people happy if he just keeps winning seven games each season, while  providing a little Saturday afternoon diversion.

As long as the benchmark stays that reasonable, I think he’ll continue to do it in 2018.

Dan Flaherty is the owner of TheSportsNotebook.com and the author of Great 1980s Sports MomentsStay connected with Dan on Twitter at @TheSportsNotebo 

Dan Mulrooney Tabbed Anna Maria College Football Coach

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

Former WPI defensive coordinator Dan Mulrooney was recently named the next Anna Maria football coach. (PHOTO CREDIT: WPI Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11

A “new culture” is set to begin at Anna Maria College as Athletic Director Serge DeBari announced yesterday that Dan Mulrooney would become the next football coach of the AMCATs football program.

“He is a hardworking football coach with a great attitude looking for an opportunity to develop high character student-athletes on and off the field,” DeBari said in the athletic department’s release.

Mulrooney comes to Paxton, Massachusetts following an impressive three-year stint with the WPI football team as the defensive coordinator. Mulrooney helped the Engineers enjoy a pair of winning seasons (2015 & 2016), while improving the defense every year.

A Division I safety and tailback, Mulrooney competed for both Boston College and Stony Brook – he concluded his career as Seawolves’ leading tackler in 2011, while earning Big South Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

Mulrooney hails from Waterbury, Connecticut and competed for Holy Cross High School where he earned a pair of all-state accolades, while guiding his squad to two state titles.

Said Mulrooney, “I am an enthusiastic, dedicated, hardworking coach, who strives to develop student-athletes to reach their maximum potential.”

REPORT: Boston College’s Don Brown Named University of Michigan Defensive Coordinator

Boston College's defensive coordinator Don Brown will be the next defensive coordinator for the University of Michigan football team. (Photo Credit: The AP)

Boston College’s defensive coordinator Don Brown will be the next defensive coordinator for the University of Michigan football team. (Photo Credit: The AP)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Initially reported by Sports Illustrated, various reports have confirmed over the past few hours that Boston College’s Don Brown has been named the University of Michigan football team’s defensive coordinator.

Brown leaves Chestnut Hill after three seasons with the Eagles as the defensive coordinator. This past fall, Boston College finished first nationally in total defense this past season, allowing 254 yards per game, while ranking fourth in scoring defense, yielding an average of 15.3 points per game.

D.J. Durkin, who was the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator this past fall, left the Ann Arbor campus to become the University of Maryland’s head coach.

Mass. College Football: Links From Around The Web Heading Into Week Three

By NoontimeSports.com 

The third week of the college football season begins this evening with a non-Massachusetts contest. Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long as some games kick-off tomorrow evening, but here are some links and news from around the web to get you set for another weekend of football.