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Jeff Hafley on NC State: ‘It’s the best team we’ve played’

Boston College v Clemson Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Because NC State and Boston College didn’t play each other in 2020, this will be the first time that Dave Doeren and the Wolfpack go up against Jeff Hafley, who is in his second season as the Eagles’ head coach.

This is Hafley’s first head-coaching gig after stints in both college and the NFL as an assistant and he’s off to a solid start: the Eagles finished last season 6-5 and sit 4-1 through five games in 2021. Steve Addazio may not be there anymore, but they’ve still got some guys being dudes.

Hafley said this week he thinks NC State is the best team the Eagles will have faced up to this point in the season and has a lot of respect for State’s coaching staff, having worked with several Pack coaches:

Running backs, seven and eight, they’re good. They’re really big and they break a lot of tackles. Coach [Kurt] Roper and I were together in Cleveland. He does a heck of a job with them. Wide receivers are big. 86, 88, five, four. Joker Phillips and I were together in Cleveland, too. He does a really good job with the wide receivers. Tight ends, 28, 29, six, very athletic. We’ll have our work cut out for us. It’s going to be a very physical game, but they also have the ability to throw the ball down the field. Really balanced offense.

He goes back a ways with Dave Doeren:

Coach Doeren has done a really good job. I’ve known him for a while. When I was a young coach, way back in maybe 2006 or 2007, I went out to Wisconsin to visit them and he was the defensive coordinator. I was a young coach, I had a lot of respect for him. Really good defensive football coach. I followed him when he was at Northern [Illinois]. We had a few conversations when I was in the NFL when some jobs came open, so he and I have talked.

The transcript from Hafley’s weekly press conference is available in full here.