Game News and Notes
Finally, a team that isn’t another variation of red. The black and gold come to town (albeit reluctantly), and it’s going to be fun to watch BC take on an SEC team for the first time since 2008. It’s always refreshing to see those teams we rarely see up close outside of our little conference bubbles. We’re not all making the playoff, so this is the best way to compare the teams. Now, we haven’t had the best track record in those games of late, but this is a new dawn.
These are two programs that are in similar positions. Second year head coaches that had similar levels of success in year one. They’re both energizing their respective fanbases and building towards a brighter future, all while residing in conferences where the top tier has by and large maintained dominance.
The Tigers sit at 2-1 to start the season, falling to Kentucky in week 2. BC is, of course, undefeated but without the services of star quarterback Phil Jurkovec. Mizzou HC Eli Drinkwitz has his share of ACC experience as OC/QB Coach at NC State during Ryan Finley’s playing days — going 2-1 against the Addazio Eagles. Defensively, former NFL Head Coach Steve Wilks is in charge, and the team seems to still be adjusting to his scheme.
As alluded to, Drinkwitz’s comments may not have been egregious understanding what he meant by it, but his words definitely stirred the pot. Given the social buzz, I think the players — especially the local ones — will have a little extra to give on Saturday. And Hafley himself really didn’t downplay it all that much. His response was one of the bigger takeaways, and he’s been a consistent all season when asked. “If he really didn’t want to come to Boston, he should have called me up and asked me, and I would have gotten on a plane and flew out to Missouri to play. I don’t care where we play. I don’t . . . So it is what it is.” What a perfect reply by a coach who couldn’t be more beloved. The game is literally on national TV and we play them again in three years in the home and home series. Hafley’s right, this is what college football is about, “getting better every day and having a great time doing with each other.” He’d embrace this game whoever and wherever we were playing. I love this guy.
Reallyyyyyyyyyyyy hoping to see Jaelen Gill. The redshirt junior receiver was my player to watch entering the season, and even though things are a bit different now can’t wait to see the added element he brings to the team. He had a foot injury, but he’s been up and running. The hope was to get him in against Temple, so the hope has shifted to Mizzou.
Matchup to Watch
We all want to see how Grosel improves with another week of preparation, but I’m going to focus on our defense again after a really special performance last week. Hafley came to BC with an emphasis on defenders keeping their eyes forward to hound and tackle. That’s exactly what’s going to be required of them this week. The Tigers have a good offense that spreads the ball around quickly, but their best weapon is a running back who can make people miss. I trust the Eagles in coverage, but let’s really see how far we’ve come on the fun-fundamentals.
Alright, we’re still going to touch on the offense. BC can win this game on line play alone. The offensive line needs to dominate. They had a really good first half, and then some mixed results in the second half, but I personally don’t have much concern. Garwo and Sinkfield in particular can cause some damage on the ground, and Grosel should be able to mix in his own legs quite a bit. Expect to see some good jet sweep action to attack the Missouri defense. I don’t expect Grosel to have to air it out, but hope to see him get into a good rhythm, and maybe take a shot here or there (but with a little extra on it this time).
The line ticked down on this one so BC is only a 1.5 point underdog
ML BC+105/Mizzou -125
BC 34 - Mizzou 27
Hafley may not have cared where the game is played, but boy was he happy to get a huge win in front of a raucous, sellout crowd (on Parent’s Weekend no less!). Plenty of eyes for a nationally televised game. A few too many eyeballs for Coach Drinkwitz’s liking, though. His poor choice of words really did add fuel to the fire and you could see it on the field. BC pounded the rock and wore down Mizzou’s defense showing some ACC physicality, while the defense made play after play, coming up with a few timely stops on a slightly damp Boston day.