Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne Have the Respect of Boston College

Christopher Hall

Boston College (4-2) travels to No. 1 Clemson (6-0) this weekend for a noon kick against the Tigers. While this is the first meeting between the two teams under first-year BC head coach Jeff Hafley, he's no stranger to Dabo Swinney nor Clemson's personnel. 

Having served as Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach last season, the two were on opposing sidelines for the College Football Playoff Semifinal Fiesta Bowl thriller in Arizona. 

Hafley knows all too well about scheming against Clemson's sensational duo of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.

"I think (Lawerence) is even greatly improved from last year," Hafley said. "The way he plays in the pocket, I think it's better. He sits there, he reads things, sees things late and makes throws. He's got such a live body. He's a twitched up big guy who can run and throw. He's a really good player and I have a lot of respect for him."

Hafley was also very gracious in his comments on Clemson's star running back and the program's all-time leading scorer. 

"I think that running back is the most underrated player in college football. The way he runs--it's like he's on a mission constantly. I saw it firsthand last year and watched him on tape," he said. "Between the coaching staff, the weapons they have, the wideouts. It's a dynamic offense but we're going to do our best to stop it." 

Hafley said he believes the staff has come up with a great game plan and he's excited for the challenge. He also spoke well of Swinney and their initial encounters ahead of Saturday's ACC tilt in Death Valley and the two have mutual respect for each other. 

"He's done an unbelievable job there. I got a chance to meet him last year at the bowl game," Hafley said of Dabo Swinney. "He and his wife were really nice to me as a young coach getting ready to try and win a game and put a staff together for the first time. He was awesome.

"I have a ton of respect for him and the way he treated me through the offseason. I just love the way he goes about everything. He's got a great personality, he's a football guy and cares so much about the game."

Swinney echoed those same sentiments of Hafley as well and expects another typical another hard-nosed and physical Boston College squad to visit Death Valley this weekend.  

"He's a heck of a coach and done a great job. I was around him at the bowl game last year and we had a couple of functions so that was the first time I met him," Swinney said in his Sunday teleconference. "He had actually just gotten the job so we swapped numbers and I've talked to him once or twice. But we were on zoom calls every week since March so I feel like I know him well."