What you need to know
Weather: Low 70s and partially cloudy. It could rain a bit.
Radio: SiriusXM 192
College Gameday will probably only mention this game in passing, but don't be mistaken. It is huge. Or at least huge for BC (and BC fans). Winning this game will lead to BC being ranked going into Clemson. It will mean a 4-0 non-conference record, which will likely lead to a strong final record. But a win would also mean that given time, Hafley can prep for a big non-conference game and win with his back-up QB and as a home underdog. Good teams and great coaches win games like this.What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
For 10th time since the FCS/FBS split in 1978, BC has started 3-0. Not all 3-0 starts are the same, but in general is a good sign for the season and for Hafley's future.
First let's look at the history.
|Year||Coach||First Loss||Final Record|
If you look at the list, the 3-0 seasons tend to correlate with our best years. We only had one losing season after starting 3-0 and had three different double digit win seasons after starting 3-0.
While this season's schedule opened up with some very easy games, I still think a bad coach can screw up an easy schedule. The fact that TOB navigated some friendly starts and Spaz never did and Addazio only did it once is telling. Hafley hasn't had to pull out any unusual stops in our first three games, but he has managed the starting QB going down and had the team focused and ready to play each game so far.
The ultimate test for this season is probably Saturday against Mizzou, but even if that doesn't go as hoped, the good start is sign of good things to come.
Lots of people (myself included) said the schedule and the roster might lead to a special season for BC. Saturday's win over UMass was a reminder that BC still has plenty of flaws and needs to improve before ACC play begins. But the biggest issue for this game and the season is Phil Jurkovec's health. The BC QB hurt his wrist early in the game and never returned. BC provided very little detail about the extent of the injury (although Hafley expressed optimism). Without Jurk, the offense still scored but mostly by just running the ball down UMass' throat. The passing game was much more limited.
The D was a bigger concern. They allowed UMass to move the ball with ease. While the turnovers and some goalline stands gave BC enough cushion, the pass coverage and QB pressures need to get better quickly.
A win is a win. I understand that and hope the staff is using these games to figure out what they have. Let's also hope that Jurk is back very soon.
Scheduling is an art, not a science. I don't have a problem scheduling UMass. They're close. It is a FBS win. We should encourage regional football. I even understand playing them this early. This allows Hafley and company to ease into the season. But it is hard to get excited about this game. When your primary concern is coming out unscathed, it is probably not an ideal opponent
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
The Big Ten-ACC-Pac 12 Alliance generated a lot of social media talk during last weekend's slate of games. I don't really get it or see it as a SEC vs us situation. In my opinion, the Alliance was just a counter measure to keep all the power going to the SEC. But the creep to true professionalism won't stop. And I don't think all the Alliance members are going to be on the same page when this goes to the next level. For BC, it makes sense. We just need to keep grouping ourselves with like-minded programs (private schools that somewhat care about academics). So while it is nice to see an Alliance partner -- like UCLA -- score a win over a big, bad SEC power, for BC it doesn't really mean much. We just need the Alliance to buy time until we know what we want to do with our sports programs.
Three Simple Keys
1. Execute better. Last weekend was a blowout, but there were still plenty of dropped passes and off target passes. That needs to be cleaned up this week.
2. Get pressure without blitzing. Someone in the front needs to establish himself as a dominant player. It would be nice to beat UMass without tipping off future opponents.
3. Avoid turnovers. Don't do anything stupid and give UMass hope.
-- BC leads the series 22-5.
-- BC has won 10 straight in the series.
-- Since making the jump to FBS, UMass has yet to beat a Power 5 team
The current line is BC-37
BC last played in Amherst in 1982.
It is sort of a slow weekend for ACC games. The most relevant to us is probably NC State vs Mississippi State. I don't think the Wolfpack are any better than we are, however, beating MSU would be impressive (or more impressive than wins over Colgate and UMass).
I hope to see...
Jurk leave the game without injury early in the second half. Hafley even mentioned that his brother got on him for leaving Jurk in too long last week. Don't make the same mistake again.
BC is in trouble if...
We turn the ball over five time. That's about it. That is the only way I see us losing.
I think UMass will go all out to stop the run like Colgate did. Then it is up to our passing threats to light up the scoreboard. I think BC plays better than last week and lots of guys play.
Final Score: BC 49, UMass 10
Highlights from today's win! pic.twitter.com/bgNQqxQ9CM— BC Football (@BCFootball) September 4, 2021
The outlook for this season is pretty straight forward...even from blind, Hafley apologists like me. We have a very good QB and what should be a prolific and explosive offense. We have a very friendly schedule with nearly four wins guaranteed. The biggest issue is going to be the D. Can Hafley and Lukabu get this group up to speed quickly? It lacks depth and much of that side of the ball is either mediocre or untested. I think the DBs will carry the team, but have no idea what the front will do to help out. I think Hafley will get the most out of them and it will be a fun season, but we are not at a championship level yet. This serves as my official prediction for the season.
What Will Happen
Colgate. Win. Colgate does some things well, but I can't see this one being close.
at UMass. Win. This should also be very one sided. I hope lots of backups play the first two weeks.
at Temple. Win. The first real test. I don't take it lightly but still think we win.
Mizzou. Win. The season turns on this game. By going 4-0 out of conference, Hafley puts BC in a position to exceed their win totals of the last decade.
at Clemson. Loss. Probably a lot like last year, where they take our early punch but we can't put them away.
NC State. Win. Probably a tougher game than many expect. We get back in the rankings after this 'W.'
at Louisville. Win. Another close game, but we hang on.
at Syracuse. Win. I think things could very well be falling apart for Syracuse by this point in their season.
Virginia Tech. Loss. I don't think VT is special, but I just don't see us navigating the second half of the schedule without some hiccups.
at Georgia Tech. Win. Hafley wins another close game. Jurk is generating a lot of buzz now.
Florida State. Loss. If FSU gets their offense going, I worry about this game.
Wake Forest. Win. Wake late in the season (or any time really) can always make things interesting. I think at this point Hafley would know what his team is and isn't and get them to perform at a high level.
9-3 (5-3 in the ACC) would be BC's best showing in years. Everyone is excited. But we push for the Holiday Bowl since not many ACC teams want to go west and we have enough fans and alums in Southern California to make it appealing. We play some mid-level Pac 12 team (Stanford?) and win. A 10-win season with seven wins over P5 teams is a huge deal in Year 2. Everyone is looking forward to Hafley Year 3.
The annual what could be series. I am excited about the season and do believe big things are ahead. But that doesn't mean that it couldn't all fall apart. We are young and have a ton of question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Teams will probably adjust to our our offense a bit. And that precious luck, which seemed to favor us last year, could even out with some bad bounces this season. This is a worst case scenario situation. Final prediction will post Wednesday.
Worst Case Scenario
Colgate. Win. The schedule is very friendly. This is example No. 1.
at UMass. Win. Even in our worst years, the schedule comes with a couple of built in wins.
at Temple. Win. A close game here has everyone nervous.
Mizzou. Loss. The bubble bursts.
at Clemson. Loss. The best team in the conference kills us.
NC State. Loss. I don't think the team will just roll over, but this is another loss.
at Louisville. Loss. A four game losing streak is a sign the season is falling apart.
at Syracuse. Win. stop the bleeding game. Even in terrible seasons, good coaches pull out wins.
Virginia Tech. Loss. If our D is terrible, these are the games we will lose.
at Georgia Tech. Loss. On the road...one of those bad luck games.
Florida State. Loss. Another losing streak.
Wake Forest. Win. Hafley ends the season with a win to calm everyone's nerves.
This scenario would be very disappointing. Hafley showed signs of being special last year with how he manages the team and manages a game. This would have me doubting Year 1. But as I said, I don't think it would happen. 5-7 would mean no bowl and lots of questions, but if 5-7 is a considered a terrible year, than that would show Hafley has just raised expectations.