Jeff Hafley's position is constantly changing, but his opinion remains the same: Clemson's offense is often explosive.
Hafley planned on December 28 against Clemson as Ohio State's defense coordinator. He will be part of the ESPNU Coaches Film Room, which will air on Monday evening during the College Football Playoff Championship game between Clemson and LSU. And as a new coach at Boston College, he's going to try to develop a program that can ultimately keep up at the ACC.
"I get excited if I just talk about it," Hafley told the post. “The parts are here, the support is here in BC. Do I think we will be a finished product soon? Not me. If you work hard over time and do it right, it becomes real – and if it becomes real, you have a chance to experience some special moments. "
First things first: The last game of the 2019 season is supposed to be a crowning glory for the 5-point favorite LSU and Joe Burrow – the winner of the Heisman Trophy, the alleged No. 1 in the NFL draft and the quarterback who was the first to throw seven -Half touchdown passes in the semi-final against Oklahoma – but Clemson is a very lively outsider.
"[Against Burrow] You have to mess everything up, be it pressure, by simulating pressure, showing him a picture before snapping, and giving him another after snapping, ”said Hafley. "You have to hit him and have a lot of ball interference."
The state of Ohio was not confronted with the LSU, but implemented its plan to stifle Clemson's recipients in the CFP semi-final. What happened in response?
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence posted a season high for 107 yards with 16 broadcasts and dropped the screens to run back Travis Etienne, who received a season high of 98 yards. In essence, Clemson set itself up in a new way to win.
"They haven't really led Trevor all year round," said Hafley. "You were smart. They didn't have to. Then you get to the biggest point of the year and they will lead it. He is fast. I said, "Wow, this guy can go."
"I think he's rightly one of the most underrated and best players in the country," said Hafley. "He can catch the ball. He can run away from people. If the LSU gets up and presses the receivers, I think they have the option of eliminating them. But you have to have enough in the box to stop the run. He breaks tackles more than any other back. "
The Ohio State defense jumped from 72nd to 1st in yards per game in one season under Hafley, who coached Ronde Barber, Richard Sherman, Joe Haden and others as an NFL defender coach from 2012-18. According to Sherman, Hafley's preparation is among the best I've ever seen.
The 40-year-old New Jersey native returned to college football to switch to a two- or three-year coaching career, but the opportunity came earlier than expected. Boston College fired coach Steve Addazio, who had six berths in seven seasons.
"I was wondering what jobs do you really believe in?" Said Hafley. “I felt that BC was right for me. I didn't think it was a total remodeling. You recruit well, you coach and develop. We just have to add our own personality. "
Hafley's staff include former Giants Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti as the offensive coordinator and Tem Lukabu as the defensive coordinator. All three were at Rutgers together in 2011 and the workforce has other connections to New Jersey.
"I really think you need to adapt the scheme to the players," said Hafley. "I want them to play really quickly and confidently."
What if a game is full of great attacking players like LSU-Clemson? There is a way for the defense to survive.
"Can you fix the big game?" Said Hafley. “If neither team does this, it will be a very valuable game. The higher it gets, the more possessions there are. "