On Saturday, Boston College lost a heartbreaker to UNC 26-22. The Eagles had another last minute drive that looked to tie the game, but Trey Morrison intercepted the two point conversion and returned it for two points for the Tar Heels. We’ve broken the game down in many ways, and now it’s time to hand out grades, beginning with the defense.
(Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed. We did the best we could to evaluate what was visible. Also for grading: A: Great Game, B:Good Game, C: Average Game D: Below Average F: Poor Game)
Coaching: A. If you were to say before the game that BC would hold UNC to 24 points on defense, I would have told you they win that game. If you told me that BC’s defense would hold the Tar Heels to three points in the second half. They win that game. All the talk so far has been about the coaching ability of Jeff Hafley, and withe good reason, he has done a great job. But Tem Lukabu has quietly fixed BC’s defense and made it one of the better units in the country. After two tough drives, BC’s defense basically had one blip the rest of the game, it was an excellent coaching job and gameplan by Lukabu and his staff.
Marcus Valdez: B-. Another sack up front by Valdez, who continues to show improvement this year. Would like to see him more consistently get home for pressure, which I think this whole line had trouble with against Sam Howell.
Chibueze Onwuka: C. Didn’t record a tackle in the game, though UNC did a nice job running up the middle. UNC’s offensive line gave Sam Howell a ton of time out there, and beat up BC’s front for most of the game.
Luc Bequette: C. Also no tackles in the game, didn’t see him shed blocks on those runs. Many runs were on the edge as well, but didn’t see a whole lot of push up front.
Shitta Sillah: C. Had trouble against the run (the whole front line did). Allowed UNC’s quick runner to turn the corner and grab loads of extra yards.
Max Richardson: A- Led the team in tackles again, quiet presence but held the unit together through the tough start of the game. He doesn’t make the flashiest plays, but he is rock solid in what he needs to do.
Max Roberts: A. Forced a fumble, had a sack. This defensive end from Maine has been quite the find for Jeff Hafley. Love his speed off the edge. Being used situationally right now which I think is the wise thing to do, don’t know if keep him out there more might expose something.
Brandon Barlow: A-. Again like Roberts, he is having a great season in the role that he is asked to play. Is he an every down defensive end? Probably not. But does he do an excellent job when he is out there? Definitely.
Isaiah McDuffie: B. The two penalties were brutal. But the PI he needed to commit otherwise that running back burns him on the wheel route. At this point we know what we are going to get with McDuffie, big plays mixed with some tough ones.
Brandon Sebastian: A. Got flagged for two penalties, but I thought did an excellent job in coverage. Dazz Newsome and Dyami Brown were pretty much held in check for the entire game. Hafley talked this week about the secondary having a fantastic game, I thought Sebastian was the top. Also had the lone interception of the game, great concentration on a tipped ball.
Elijah Jones: A: Again, just like Sebastian strong throughout the game, plays with a ton of heart. Not going to throw out many tough grades on this secondary.
Josh DeBerry: A. Going to be throwing out A’s to the corners for their play. Against that wide receiver crew, he was phenomenal.
Jason Maitre: A. See above
Jahmin Muse: A-. What a find he has become. The perfect example of what happens when good coaching finds the right role for you. Muse knocked the pass in the air for the interception. Good physical safety, good game all around.
Mike Palmer: C+. Was ok in coverage, it was the open space tackling again where he struggled. On the long touchdown pass to Javonte Williams, it looked like he was out of place and should have been there to support Max Richardson after he missed the tackle.
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