Saturday, October 01, 2022

Thursday, September 29, 2022

BC-Louisville preview

The Jeff Hafley bandwagon is a lonely place right now. Can you blame his critics and doubters? Last week was a disaster. Florida State is good, but we were inept on Offense and wore down on Defense. I don't know where to start on Jurk. I drank the Kool-Aid, but I am not alone. He was on various watch lists and the Senior Bowl people were at the FSU game to scout him for their showcase game! This is a total regression that can't be pinned solely at the feet of the OLine. Phil deserves some heat, but Hafley should carry the brunt of it. The mismanagement of the Offensive Line in the offseason and the transition from Cig to McNulty's playbook and play calling has squandered some elite playmakers, set back a potential pro QB and put the D in huge holes. I trust Hafley to find and develop talent. He has done it before. But if he wants to stick around to coach this talent he has to make some tough and smart decisions now. He has to salvage any positivity and respectability he can out of this season. In the offseason he needs to figure out what his offense is and who he trusts to coach and execute that vision.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
As the games slip away, there is always someone on Twitter who says we never should have fired Addazio. I don't understand that logic. Even if you think Addazio is better than Hafley (I don't), he had seven years to show he was more than a .500 coach. He was never going to be anything more than that. BC athletes and the BC community deserve better than that. Will Hafley exceed Addazio's ceiling? I don't know. But if he can't then BC needs to move on again. Great programs move on from mediocre coaches.

Three Simple Keys
1. Establish the run early. Even if it feels Addazio-ish with run, run, pass, punt, I think BC needs to be stubborn and purposeful early. It will help the D, the Oline and even Jurk.
2. Get Jurk involved in the running game. This is sort of related to Key 1. Jurk can move. We run the read option, but he never keeps it. Having him run will move the chains and set up play action for him later in the game.
3. Allow fewer explosive plays. This means disciplined and smart tackling. 

Gambling Notes
-- Hafley is 0-4 against the spread this season
-- Louisville is 3-4 all time at Alumni
-- Louisville is 2-2 against the spread this year
The current line is BC+14.5

This is BC's 141 regular season ACC game.

Scoreboard Watching
FSU-Wake Forest. I think we made FSU look better than they are. If they throttle Wake then we know they are actually "back."

What I hope to see...
A non offensive touchdown. I don't care how it comes: punt return, pick 6, scoop and score. I just would love to see something go our way and create some excitement. 

BC is in trouble if...
We go down early. Hafley even said so himself. Execution and talent are the biggest issues right now, but the mental aspect of this all is also part of the problem. We have zero confidence and show little fight. If we get down early, I think this team could be in for another beat down.

Bottom Line
This is a bad time in a coaching tenure. I can't even talk myself into a win. I want it. I want to believe. I still like Hafley. But I have little faith in the offense being able to manufacture enough points to win the game.
Final Score: BC 17, Louisville 27

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Friday, September 23, 2022

BC-Florida State preview

Fan debates and discussion all drive towards the extreme. There are those who believe BC will never win another game again…ever. And those who think we are one move, play, player, a bit of luck away from greatness. When we step back and take a breath, the reality is probably the somewhere in the middle. (Where in the middle is another debate.) I still have hope for Hafley but until he gets an overwhelming talent advantage at BC, he is going to have to get better at the week-to-week, game-to-game aspect of managing the season. This Florida State team has a talent advantage. But they are not all that far removed from chaos and disappointment themselves. Prior to the season, Norvell was on everyone’s Hot Seat list. The best BC teams of the past would go into this game with quiet confidence, hang around and watch the Seminoles imploded. I don’t know if we are there yet. But if Hafley does show some ability to course correct midseason, that will be a great sign for this game and the weeks ahead.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Despite the disappointing start, Hafley and company still have recruiting momentum. This is a good sign for the future, but also is a good sign for the present. One of the most overlooked aspects of recruiting is how the current players sell the program and staff to visitors. Once a coach loses the locker room, you can start to see it with comments from potential recruits. Even though we are frustrated, it seems like the players still believe.

Three Simple Keys
1. Win the turnover margin. This means Jurk is making good decisions and the D is being opportunistic.
2. Get Takacs involved early. Short, quick passes will hopefully help Jurk get in a groove.
3. Incremental improvement on the Oline. Florida State has some depth issues in their front seven. If we can minimize mistakes and get to the second level, we might break some big runs.

Gambling Notes
-- BC is 0-3 against the spread this year
-- Florida State is 2-1 against the spread
-- BC is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games vs Florida State
The current line is BC+17.5

BC last won in Tallahassee in 2008. (This was such a fun game and fun season. Good back and read the recap.)

Scoreboard Watching
Clemson-Wake has huge implications for the ACC race. It is the biggest test either team has faced so far. I still think this might be one of those seasons where it all comes together for Wake. If so, they need to win this weekend.

What I hope to see…
The young running backs get touches. They provided a clear spark and nice change of pace last week. This is a little different than Maine, but I am all for giving the young guys a shot. You never know who will surprise

BC is in trouble if…
Jurk is out of rhythm and forcing things. If we are going to win, he needs to be the best quarterback in the stadium.

Bottom Line 
I want to I will keep pushing that rock up the hill hoping that things click this Saturday. With that in mind, Jurk looks better than he has all season and the BC offense explodes against a real team and avoids giving the ‘Noles a short field. The BC D also looks sturdier.
Final Score: BC 35, FSU 27

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Friday, September 16, 2022

BC-Maine preview

A must win against Maine. Who would have thought? BC is a heavy favorite, so there is no sense of dread heading into the game. But BC can't lose. If they do, that says more than enough about this team and this coaching staff.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
This biggest news of the week for BC football was the report that the the power football schools don't want to break away from the NCAA. Don't worry, it wasn't altruism. The report stated that the cost and infrastructure to break away would be too expensive. This means the ACC stays alive and BC conceviably has access to the playoff. However, there are still plenty of legal barriers regarding paying players as well as more conferences shuffles ahead. This is never over, but it looks like BC and the ACC will have a place at the table for another couple of years.

Three Simple Keys
1. Jurk going through his progressions. As much heat as the OLine has been getting, I am so disappointed in the Jurkovic-McNulty combination. They need to find plays they both like, that work and that Jurk can work through his options vs just forcing it in.
2. Defensive turnovers. This team needs to start ball hawking. It will help this game and hopefully set the tone for the rest of the season.
3. Better returns in the punt coverage. We are losing a lot of yards by letting the ball roll. BC needs to get more positive yards in the punt return team.

Gambling Notes
-- BC is 0-2 against the spread this season
-- BC has won six straight in the series
-- BC has not lost to an FCS team since 1978
The current line is BC-24.5

Maine has four victories over FBS teams.

Scoreboard Watching
Not a great weekend for ACC matchups. It will be interesting to see how NC State handles Texas Tech. I am not a big fan of NC State, but this sort of win would be big for them. 

What I hope to see…
No one get hurt. The UMass game last year changed the course of the season. Let's get through this one unscathed.

BC is in trouble if…
We can’t protect against Maine. I know it is still early in the season and how the Oline plays now vs later in the season won't be the same, but on raw talent and size, we can't let Maine push us around.

Bottom Line
Despite all the hand wringing after last week, I am not worried about this week. If we can’t score on this team, then give up on the whole season.
Final: BC 35, Maine 13

Saturday, September 10, 2022