BC coach Jeff Hafley suspended Tuesday practice so the players can vote on election day.

Voting is a priority with the Boston College football program.

BC coach Jeff Hafley reconfigured his game week schedule for Saturday’s rivalry clash with Syracuse at the Carrier Dome so that coaches, players and staff members were free to vote on Election Day.

Hafley had the team on the practice field on Monday, normally an off day, and left Tuesday open so that everyone could access polling booths. This was especially beneficial for players who have to go home to vote.

There are activists’ sentiments expressed throughout the program and many players are involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. Hafley suspended training camp for a day in response to the Jacob Blake shooting by police in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23.

“We talked about the importance of voting,” said Hafley.  “I actually brought up the day we didn’t practice and voting is such a big step.”

Hafley credited Director of Football Initiatives Josh Beekman for organizing and coordinating the Eagles’ get out the vote activities.

“Josh Beekman, a former player here who works with us, he took over the initiative to educate the guys a little bit and help get them registered,” said Hafley.

“We have transportation set up so if anybody wants to go and vote. More importantly, he had a Zoom call for our team to kind of educate them about the candidates and talk to them about the process of voting.

“There is so much more to it than just saying, ‘hey go vote.’ A lot of credit goes to Josh for starting that initiative. I still think there is still more we can and will do moving forward but this is a good start.”

A political movement only works if it reaches the rank and file at the grass roots level. The players expressed gratification for the opportunity to have their voices heard in the political process.

“That is definitely important and everyone has a voice and everyone has the right to vote,” said linebacker Isaiah McDuffie.

“You should definitely go out and express your opinion. This is a really big election and everyone has a lot of opinions on what is going on, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement, and try and make a difference.”

Defensive end Brandon Barlow, a graduate student from Cohoes, N.Y., is politically engaged and was proactive in performing his civic duty.

“It very important day for everyone,” said Barlow. “I got my vote in, I had to get my absentee ballot, I’m from New York and it is something that is emphasized around here a lot.

“Coach Hafley said multiple times to take advantage of this opportunity to vote and have an impact on the change you want to see in this country. That is something we all echo in leadership.”

RED ZONE FORCE

When the Clemson Tigers gain access to an opponent’s red zone, the odds are very good they are going to score regardless of whether Trevor Lawrence or D.J. Uiagalelei is running the offense.

The Eagles’ showed why they have the fifth-ranked red zone defense in the ACC and are second in red zone turnovers (3) with an amazing goal line sequence early in the second quarter of Saturday’s 34-28 loss at Clemson.

On second and seven from the BC 11, tailback Travis Etienne took a dump pass from Uiagalelei and raced down the right sideline. Etienne’s dash was interrupted on the 2 yard line by BC safety Deon Jones, who delivered the signature hit of the day.

With first and goal from the two, Etienne was stuffed for minimal gain on two consecutive runs despite a heavy personnel grouping. On his third attempt, Etienne fumbled the handoff. BC cornerback Brandon Sebastian picked up the ball and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.

“That goal line series was pretty impressive,” said Hafley. “Etienne had a big play and he was one on one with our safety and they looked like two trains colliding and he didn’t get in.

“We talk about defending every blade of grass and making them earn everything. They came out in a heavy personnel group and we caught it and they fumbled. No one stops them on the goal line.”

CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Hafley was asked about Syracuse coach Dino Babers’ use of the hurry-up offense, how it can be productive and why it works for them. The Orangemen have maintained their up-tempo style despite losing starting quarterback Tommy DeVito to a leg injury against Duke on Oct. 9.

Babers has counted on backup Rex Culpepper to speed up the process with getting first downs and points on the board. Although Hafley is more of a clock management coach, he understands the dynamics of the up-tempo style

“I think it can be very effective with who you have,” said Hafley. “If you think you can run a team out of the stadium when you go really fast, it can be scary.

“Certainly, coach Babers has had a lot of success with it and we have to prepare for it.”

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