Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec had free rein to air it out. He threw 56 passes, the most by a BC quarterback at Alumni Stadium since at least 1996. And even though his 37 completions, 313 yards, and two touchdowns nearly brought the Eagles back after falling behind, 14-3, in the first quarter, Hafley said there were plays he missed that could have swung the momentum long before BC’s fourth-quarter rally.
“If you watch the tape, there are some plays — there are some explosive plays out there — that with experience, we could’ve hit a couple of big ones,” Hafley said.
More than the plays the Eagles missed, Hafley was concerned by the mistakes that sabotaged them. The Eagles committed 12 penalties, costing them 110 yards. From false starts to unsportsmanlike conduct, the flags were drive killers at pivotal times.
“Whether it was from the wide receiver room or the offensive line or the quarterback, we just need to do a better job in practice,” Hafley said. “It’s fourth and 1, third and 1 and we’re going backwards . . . It can’t happen. We need to do a better job of cleaning up that procedurally and we will.”
The quiet killer for the Eagles was third-down defense. North Carolina’s first two scoring drives were fueled by four straight third-down conversions to start the game. They converted a fifth before a BC stop, and 7 of 12 overall.
“There’s a lot of conversation between [defensive coordinator] Tem [Lukabu] and I talking about third down,” Hafley said. “If you look early in that game — I think there were like six or seven to start — the coverage was there, we had a guy, had a sack, and we just let him off the hook. I mean, you’re talking about changing