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Jeff Hafley
Mario Cristobal
Clemson Football

Jeff Hafley and Mario Cristobal Exclusives from the ACC Kickoff

July 27, 2022

Jeff Hafley | Boston College Head Coach

On conference realignment:

”My thoughts are, since I left the NFL, and got back into college football, there have been major changes since I've arrived. I mean, literally, my first month on the job, we get COVID. So we have to learn how to deal with COVID, then the transfer portal opens wide open, then NIL hits. Now the conference realignment, so things change. That's just the direction we're going. I'm the wrong guy to answer that question.”

On how he feels about the ACC:

“I read what you read. I feel comfortable with the direction of Boston College right now with Father Leahy, and now our new AD Blake James. If you look at the ACC, I think this is going to be the most competitive the league's been, at least since I've been here.”

On the Atlantic Division:

“Look at the Atlantic this year. Last year, everybody thought the world was ending with Clemson and what did you win 10 games last year? People are saying he's irrelevant, which is a joke. Then you get a team like NC State to step up, Pitt to step up, Wake Forest to step up. You're talking about a conference-- it's getting better-- has legitimate quarterbacks and players. So (are) the ACC people worried? I don't know, I'm not I'm worried about next year, we'll try to win as many games as I can, to be very honest with you. And putting trust and faith in the commissioner, in our President, and our AD.”

“You have to eliminate explosives. People want to throw the ball and score as many points as they can. If we can hold teams to 22 points a game, we should be in every single game in the fourth quarter.” ​​​​​​
- Jeff Hafley | Boston College

On Phil Jurkovec’s Improvement:

“This is what everybody needs to realize about Phil, and people forget, last year at this time, Phil's here, and everybody's talking about possibly the No. 1 pick in the draft as a quarterback. Phil played one game last year healthy, the opener against Colgate, and he barely played in the game because it was like 50-0 in the third quarter, so we took him out. Phil gets hurt in the first drive or second drive, the UMass game, then Phil’s out, Phil comes back with the 50% grip strength in his throwing hand and comes in my office and tells me he wants to play. I thought he was crazy. He could barely grip a ball. We won those two games and he's single-handedly against Georgia Tech, I think got about 500 yards by himself. So what does that tell you? It tells you how tough he is. What else does it tell you? He's not worried about having bad film out there, because he knows he can't throw a ball and that he actually loves his team and wants to play for them.”

On how the game favors the offense:

”Eliminate explosives, every call, and every thought I have and that we have on defense. It's all to eliminate explosives. So people talk about us last year, I don't know where like 89-90th  in rush defense, who cares, we gave up 22 points a game. That's Top 30 in the country. We're really good on third down. We were really good in the redzone. You have to eliminate explosives. People want to throw the ball and score as many points as they can. If we can hold teams to 22 points a game, we should be in every single game in the fourth quarter. That's how we're gonna approach this game.”

Mario Cristobal | Miami Head Coach

On his fit in Miami:

“It's about partnership, right? There's got to be a legitimate partnership where everybody's aligned. I think the draw for all of us coming back to Miami was that the President, the administration, the board, right, the trustees, the administration and the coaching staff, we're all going to be in alignment because that allows you to align your academic program as well.”

On focusing on recruiting South Florida:

“I think like anything else, it's the right ones. But obviously, yes, you want the best players in your backyard to come to your school because you want their families to take part in it.”

“We know that we have to work, we know we're not where Miami should be.”
- Mario Cristobal | Miami

On his strong new coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball:

“I think trust and confidence, both from our current players and from potential prospects and recruits, because they've done it at a high level, they know how to teach, they've had success, and they have excellent reputations not only as professionals, but as people.”

On the advantages of being in a city with NIL on the table:

“I think we're very fortunate to be in a city. It's, you know, they always send these statistics, it's one of the fastest rising cities in the country. Yeah. So it's become a hub for business, not only in central and Latin America but just globally. So for us, it's worked out well, because opportunities are there, the city's ascending, the university's ascending, so those things are those opportunities are going to be there.”

On Miami not winning a title in over 20 years:

“There's a lot of positives, but they're just things you've got to go to work. And for us, that's the only thing that's on our mind right now. We know that we have to work, we know we're not where Miami should be.”

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