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Banter: Can BC Football Build on Their First ACC Win?

Virginia v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Curtis: Hey, that’s a BC football win! Did we like what we saw from the team on Saturday? For me, it was a tale of two halves. BC came out of the gate looking like the same old squad who can’t get out of their own way. UVA was able to march down the field on our defense multiple times, including a score on that Hail Mary at the end of the half. And the offense looked inept, only putting up 7 points and punting too many times. But they pulled it together in the second half and performed like we all believed they could! The offense strung together a lot of successful drives and the defense got a lot more stops. If they can just play like that for a full 60 minutes, we may see a few more wins this year.

Arthur: Yeah, so I appreciate their grit, because it would have been very easy to pack it in after that Hail Mary. That was a brutal thing to happen going into the room. But they came back! The first half was rough. The second half looked pretty competent. And yeah, with BC’s schedule there may be more wins coming at that level. But first halves like Saturday can’t happen again against better competition.

Curran: Yes, it was nice to fight back and get the win. But to me, it just seems more of the same: BC came out flat, digging themselves into a huge hole, and just tried to beat themselves. Every time one issue is plugged, BC just finds other ways to hurt themselves. It was encouraging to see the improvement with penalties. Yet, against this awful UVA defense, we committed 4 turnovers that should’ve cost us the game. So yea, I’m happy about the win but I don’t see at as any sort of meaningful building block.

Kieran: A win is a win I guess, even if it wasn’t exactly how you drew it up. After that Hail Mary I kinda thought that’d be the end of the game and BC would pack it up. But they really fought back well on both sides. It was good to see sustained drives from the offense and nice stops from the defense. But I do see Curran’s point and agree with it. BC was lucky that those turnovers didn’t impact the game as much as they should have, and it’s definitely true that every time one issue seems to be solved, another one takes its place.

Arthur: I think mentally winning is important too. I think what could be built on is Hafley pointing to this game, saying “see we can do it if we keep our heads with us,” and let them keep digging in practice. It has to feel better in the room now that they’ve got that monkey off the back. That’s huge particularly with a team with a lot of youth.

Curran: The issue with that, Bailin, is that’s exactly what Hafley said after the NC State win last season. And that win came on the road, against a ranked team. We barely beat (and deserved to lose to) UVA. So sure, Hafley can repeat the message. But I remember the actual beatdown we took at Notre Dame the week after NC State. On top of the fact that sure, this team is pretty young, but this is also Hafley’s “best team” that has “gotten older,” as he repeated constantly throughout the preseason. We need a restart.

Arthur: I mean I don’t think anyone is disputing a need for a change. But they also have to keep fighting this season, and I think the big difference is now they got over the hump earlier in the season.

Curran: Yea that’s true. But at this point we are fighting for the sake of fighting.

Arthur: I mean they’ve got two months of football left. You weren’t around for BCI nihilism, but nothing actually matters, cosmically speaking, so yeah they are fighting for the sake of fighting because nothing has any actual meaning. But in that quest of emptiness they can build off that win to create something better.

Curtis: I’m just happy that these players were able to motivate themselves and put together some winning football, even if it was against a fellow bottom-feeder team. Whether or not the coach is here beyond 2023, most of these players will still be here, so it’s good to see them respond to coaching adjustments and overcome some adversity. That’s my takeaway from this whole thing about “fighting for the sake of fighting” in the midst of what likely will be a losing season.

Curran: Yea, I just meant that our chances of making a bowl game are slim meaning we have no achievable goal other than continued improvement and fight.

Niraj: I appreciated the [second half] effort certainly, and the fact that penalties plagued our opponent rather than ourselves. Like Curran said, the turnovers - blech. Very lucky on that front. The play calling and the first half performance, simply confirming Hafley is who we know him to be. Good call out on the NC State post game talk last year too. A healthy reminder to read into absolutely nothing and enjoy the win. Looking forward to Army.

Curtis: So do we think the team can turn this into a winning streak? Army is favored, but not by all that much. I can definitely see a world in which BC improves to 3-3.

Curran: Could they? For sure. I’d even go so far as to say they should; they are playing a service academy. But we haven’t won back to back games since what? 2021? I’m not getting my hopes up.

Niraj: Sheesh when you put it like that. Hafley teams have not really been able to string together multiple wins in a row. I count three winning streaks in total, his very first two games (though barely holding on by a thread vs Texas State), the four game joke start in ‘21, and then back to back against the Tech’s that same year. Yikes. Seems unlikely.

Curtis: The defense I think is likely to struggle against Army’s offense, which is now diversified from their usual triple-option. And as we saw against Holy Cross and NIU, BC’s pure talent is usually not enough to carry them to a win over a less talented team. So I’m definitely leaning towards a loss on this one.