Happy New Years everyone! With 2020 thankfully in the rear view mirror, it's time to look at 2021. Here are some resolutions for BC football heading into the new year.
Figure out the running game
It's pretty odd that in the span of 12 months we have gone from "please stop running the ball exclusively", to "why can't this team run the ball". The Eagles changed offensive scheme, and with it their running game fell off a cliff. Boston College struggled to not only run the ball effectively, averaging 1.9 yards less per carry, but they also struggled to hold on to the football. Frank Cignetti's offense stresses balance, and BC was able to weasel out of running the ball for most of the season. If this team is going to take the next step this needs to be the top resolution in 2020.
Stop mobile quarterbacks
Folks who follow the program don't need to be told how poorly Boston College did against quarterbacks who could run in 2020. Against teams with qb's that could move, BC allowed 176, 350, 274, 199, 262 yards on the ground (team totals). Clearly Jeff Hafley saw the need to improve on team speed at the second level this offseason not only hitting the transfer portal for Jaiden Lars Woodbey and Isaiah Graham Mobley but also recruiting speed with Bryce Steele.
Close out a big game
The Eagles were in position to win games this past season against two top ten teams (UNC & Clemson). They didn't win either. Good teams finish off these games. Jeff Hafley's squad is going to need to show they can take out a big team to get themselves up to the next level, and become a serious contender in the ACC.
Phil Jurkovec needs to lessen physical toll on his body
Now you can't say something like "he needs to slide more" or he "needs to throw the ball away" when getting chased, because his toughness is what makes Phil Jurkovec the kind of quarterback that he is. Maybe he just needs to get the ball out quicker, or the offensive line needs to be more consistent. But getting hit over and over again takes a toll on any player, no matter how tough, and it will wear a player down. Jurkovec had two injuries by the end of the season, he needs to stay healthy, and to do that lessen the wear on the quarterback. If Jurkovec wants to get into talk for the Heisman Trophy, and honestly he's not that far away from it, he can't be taking so many hits and missing games.
Better Red Zone Offense
One of the more concerning statistics for Boston College is their red zone efficiency. In 2020 the Eagles were 116th in touchdown percentages in the red zone. This wasn't caused by turnovers for the most part, it was because the Eagles didn't have a running game, and had mental errors that cost them points. Just think of how much more lethal this offense could be if they got the ball into the end zone when they got inside the 20.
Cut down on the mental mistakes
It was a theme all season long, the little mistakes that cost Boston College. Whether it was the penalties, or missing targets, the Eagles hurt themselves quite a bit in 2020. Was that due to the pandemic and just the uneven practice schedule? I find it hard to blame it on that, but Jeff Hafley will need to tighten up some of those issues for '21.
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