CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – For the final time before an actual game, BC finished its third scrimmage of the preseason Saturday morning inside Alumni Stadium. The lengthiest scrimmage since the Eagles started practice in August, the first team offense squared off against the first team defense for 60 plays while the second and third team units combined to total 54 plays.
With a full officiating crew and half the coaching staff in the press box as they would be on a gameday, head coach Jeff Hafley put the Eagles through a full day of work in preparation for the season opener two weeks from today at Duke. BC also simulated coverage on kickoffs and punts as all three units got plenty of game action reps.
Hafley met with reporters following the scrimmage and shared his thoughts on today’s practice.
“On defense, the biggest thing I just I wanted to see execution and I wanted to see us flying around to the football,” Hafley said. “I talked to the staff today and I wanted to see how hard we could play because we were going to play longer today. You could tell there was a ton of energy and a ton of confidence. I think we saw some good stuff.”
The scrimmage featured big plays on both sides of the ball as the BC defense looked as sharp as it has all preseason.
“The offense had some big explosives and looked good in two minute,” Hafley said. “The defense took the ball away and had a couple really big sacks. (Both sides) went back and forth pretty well.”
Friday also marked another round of COVID-19 testing for the student-athletes, coaches and staff. In the latest round of testing, there were again no positive results. In all, 1,766 tests have been administered to Boston College football student-athletes, coaches and staff since late June with just one positive case. The one positive case occurred when student-athletes returned to campus in late June and he has since recovered.
“Yesterday, we all tested negative,” Hafley said. “You give these guys a ton of credit. With kids back on campus now, two straight negative tests, it sends a message. These kids love each other, they’ve bought into the staff and the staff’s done a great job. These kids want to play football and they’re now going to be rewarded for this, which is really, really awesome to see. I’m just excited for them.”
Boston College will be off Sunday and Monday before resuming practice on Tuesday morning.
Scrimmage Notes: The BC offense scored two touchdowns in the two-minute offense on Saturday. The defense also scored a touchdown as redshirt freshman cornerback Bryce Sebastian had a pick six for 35 yards … the defense also came up with three safeties, including one by junior defensive end Marcus Valdez … Valdez also forced a fumble Saturday … sophomore wide receiver Zay Flowers broke loose for the day’s first touchdown on a 60-yard score … the play of the day was a leaping, one-handed grab by sophomore wide receiver Ethon Williams on a pass from Dennis Grosel. The pass covered 50 yards in the air as Williams snagged the ball over the outstretched defender … sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec continued to be a threat running the football when the pocket breaks down as he ripped off a 40-yard run … Jurkovec also finished a drive in the two-minute drill with a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jaelen Gill … Grosel connected with sophomore wide out Jehlani Galloway in the corner of the end zone as the Rhode Island went up in traffic to come down with the score … junior linebacker Isaiah McDuffie read a pass over the middle for an interception … the first drive of the scrimmage ended with a 32-yard field goal by Danny Longman.