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Way-Too-Early Look: Boston College Eagles

Football season is less than 100 days away for the 2021 Clemson Tigers, so it is time to begin our way-too-early look at each of the opponents on the Tigers' schedule.

Head Coach: In his first season at BC, Jeff Hafley finished with the most victories of any first-year head coach in college football in 2020.

The 36th head coach in Boston College history, Hafley led BC to a 6-5 season that included near upsets of No. 1 Clemson and No. 11 North Carolina.

More impressive than the marked improvement on both sides of the ball from Boston College in 2020 was how the program handled playing in the COVID-19 pandemic. BC’s team had just one positive COVID-19 result in over 9,000 administered tests since the team returned to campus last June.

On the recruiting trail, Hafley and his staff signed the top recruiting class in school history in his first season. The recruiting class ranking by ESPN was the best in school history since their rankings began in 2006. It was BC's best showing in the 247 Sports rankings as well and the Eagles' highest Rivals ranking since 2008.

Hafley, one of college football’s top defensive minds, helped improve a BC defense 52 spots in the national rankings in total defense as the Eagles allowed 62 fewer yards per game than the previous year prior to his arrival.

Eagles on offense: Frank Cignetti Jr. begins his second season at Boston College as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Boston College picked up where it used to excel - passing the football under Cignetti’s watch. Known for having some of the nation’s top quarterbacks from Doug Flutie, Glenn Foley, Matt Hasselbeck to Matt Ryan, BC was always known to have one of the top passing offenses in the country.

After ranking in the 100s for the majority of the last 10 years, Cignetti installed a pro-style passing attack with significant, improved results. BC was 24th nationally in passing offense, averaging 284.2 yards per game.

First-year starter Phil Jurkovec burst onto the scene as the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Jurkovec’s 2,558 yards over his first 10 starts were the most by any BC quarterback in school history.

Jurkovec was the first player in BC history to total four, 300-yard passing games in his first five career starts at quarterback and the first BC quarterback with four or more 300-yard games in a season since Matt Ryan (2007).


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Eagles on defense: Tem Lukabu begins his second season at Boston College as defensive coordinator. A rising star in the coaching industry, Lukabu returned to the collegiate ranks after spending the 2019 season as the Cincinnati Bengals linebackers coach.

Lukabu oversaw a defense that jumped from finishing 125th in total defense the year prior to his arrival to 73rd in 2020. BC allowed 28.4 points per game last season, 60th nationally, after finishing 101st nationally in 2019 (32.2 points per game).

Three members of Lukabu’s defense were named All-ACC in 2020, including a pair of NFL bound linebackers. Isaiah McDuffie was All-ACC second-team, Max Richardson was All-ACC third-team and Josh DeBerry collected honorable mention All-ACC accolades.

McDuffie led BC and ranked fifth in the nation with 107 tackles in 2020. He was ranked 30th nationally with 9.7 tackles per game and was an All-ACC second-team selection.