Sunday, November 19, 2017

Basketball bounces back

The true test will come during ACC play, but BC Basketball acquitted itself relatively well during the Hall of Fame Tipoff. They lost Saturday to a pretty good Texas Tech team and then bounced back Sunday to beat La Salle. BC now stands at 4-1.

The best part of the La Salle game was Robinson filling up the stat sheet. It was easily his best game of the young season. We are now at the point where BC has multiple weapons and can be competitive even if one guy isn't at his best.

BC is off for a few days and then takes on Colgate Wednesday. A big test comes next week when we play Providence. I know I am still cautious about this team's potential, but the first two weeks have been a good step forward. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Boring but bowl bound

BC came out flat, but in the end it did not matter. BC trounced UConn at Fenway. Dillon made up for Wade's uneven performance. Hilliman also had his best game of the season. After a rough start, the D also adjusted. The score should have been even more one-sided, but BC couldn't convert extra points and UConn got some garbage points late in the game.

Beyond the game, the big issues of note were freshman EJ Perry playing and BC locking up a bowl bid. I will have more on both issues this week.

I will be traveling so I don't know if I will have the grades up Sunday night. I will have something up. Stay tuned.

Below is my Post-game Periscope.

In-game comments post: UConn

We've got UConn at Fenway. It should feel special. I hope it is a blowout. Let's get things back on track.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday picks

Picks in bold

TCU-6 at Texas Tech

Minnesota+7 at Northwestern

Texas+3 at West Virginia

Fresno State-2.5 at Wyoming

UMass+4.5 at BYU

Georgia Tech-6.5 at Duke

Army+2.5 at North Texas

Arizona+2.5 at Oregon

Texas A&M+2.5 at Ole Miss

NC State+1.5 at Wake Forest

Last week I went 7-3. For the season I am 53-53-3.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

BC-UConn preview

This is a layup game. A gimme. A cupcake. I don't care who starts at QB, BC should win with ease. I feel confident. And I know that is the worst feeling to have. We know how this could end. If Addazio does screw it up, there will be Hell to pay with the fans, his new boss and obviously the blogosphere.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I don't know if I will ever change my opinion of UConn. In sports, I have always found them insufferable. Even something like Women's Basketball -- where they have clearly been the best -- they come off like bullies and blowhards. The Big East lawsuits will always serve as a sign that they were the most jealous and petty school in the Northeast. I think Gene D. screwed up a lot of things, but keeping UConn out of the ACC (in favor of Pitt) will always be something for which I thank him.

Three Simple Keys
1. Don't let UConn's QB beat us with his feet. The Huskies made a QB change this week and the new guy Pindell can move. BC can't let him have big plays on the ground.
2. No mistakes from BC's QB. I know Addazio said he needs more than a game manager, but he also can't have someone who kills drives. So no INTs and no fumbles.
3. Get 200 yards from Dillon. If Dillon can pile up big yards, that means good things are happening. It will also help BC's D and control the tempo.

Gambling Notes
-- BC has never lost to UConn
-- Addazio is 1-4 at neutral site games while at BC
-- Addazio is 13-15 coming off a loss while at BC
The current line is BC-21.5

This will be BC's 77th game at Fenway Park.

Scoreboard Watching
Louisville could eliminate Syracuse from bowl contention this week and change the dynamic of our game with the Orange.

What I hope to see...
I want to see Levy get more snaps in the backfield. If you are taking Dillon out on passing downs, put in someone who will block well and pick up a late blitzer.

BC is in trouble if...
We allow UConn to score early. They are looking for any sort of momentum. BC can't let that happen. Take their team and the crowd out of it early.

I know BC is a heavy favorite, but I don't see the game being lopsided on the scoreboard. I think the weather and BC's QB uncertainty lead to Addazio going very conservative. I think we pound the ball and end up with a comfortable but not overwhelming lead.
Final Score: BC 31, UConn 17

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NC State loss didn't seem to impact BC's desirability to bowls

If BC had pulled off the win against NC State and run the table, we might have elevated into a higher level bowl. Now it seems like we are back where we started in the lowest rung of ACC games. Most experts see BC still going to the Pinstripe Bowl (here and here). Detroit is still in the mix. El Paso could happen. I think most BC fans would prefer the Pinstripe. The location -- while cold -- is accessible to a good portion of our fans. Most seemed to enjoy our last game there. Plus it would likely be against a Big Ten team so there is a chance to get a respectable win. But this is not settled. There are a few variables that will impact the ACC bowl pool. Here are some of the unknown issues.

1. Will BC win a sixth game? Without that, we stay home.
2.  Will Syracuse win a sixth game? To do so would involve beating BC. If they beat us Thanksgiving weekend, they will probably take the Pinstripe slot.
3. Will Florida State win a sixth game? They also have to run their table. On name alone, they would probably pass BC in bowl selections?
4. Will Pitt or Duke become bowl eligible? I don't think either would take a Pinstripe slot over BC, but they would become interchangeable on the other ACC games.

I don't think all the ACC teams still alive will make bowls. If they do, then suddenly BC is looking at even lower rung bowls. But now all we can do is take care of our business Saturday. Win that game and BC is going somewhere.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Perry in the mix

In his press conference Monday, Steve Addazio said all options are on the table, including playing true freshman EJ Perry. This should not be a surprise since there have been plenty of signs that the staff was high on Perry. The most basic is that Perry seems to shadow Addazio on the sidelines. There's always the No. 8 just over Addazio's shoulder. The other clue on Perry's standing is that over the past few weeks Meter and Cronin have brought him up on their broadcasts. This weekend all the talk and promise could shift from "what if" to actual playing time.

Some BC fans don't think it is fair or wise to use Perry now with just two games remaining. I don't really think it is the fans' call. Addazio mentioned having a talk with Perry and his parents about playing him now. If he and the Perrys want EJ on the field, why should we care about his redshirt? He can always redshirt again down the road. As much as more time and development helps a career, it doesn't guarantee anything. Look at all the "development" time Darius Wade has had. Does it show on the field? Does Wade's seem more comfortable in the pocket than he did two years ago? Playing now gives Perry a chance to see live action and something beyond practice.

If Perry does prove to be better than Wade and they beat UConn, he suddenly gets a chance to practice with the first team for month of bowl prep. The downside is if Perry struggles and only plays a little bit. Then he has little to show and has to sit another year. But either way if Perry plays now, sitting down the road is almost inevitable. You would have to assume he would want to be in a different eligibility year than Brown so that he could be the starter after Brown uses up his eligibility.

Even with the uncertain QB status, BC remains a heavy favorite over UConn. There is no reason BC should lose this game. Wade seems like the best answer, but I don't want BC to struggle if Perry is ready to go.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Brown out of year; Addazio gets no free pass

Some bad but not unexpected news on the injury front. Anthony Brown is done for the year.

This is unfortunate and very disappointing. While inconsistent and raw, Brown played very well as a Freshman and was a key part of BC's best games. I hope for a speedy and smooth recovery and look forward to him playing again.


BC sits at 5-5 with UConn and Syracuse remaining. Win won game and BC goes bowling. Lose both and BC is home with a 5-7 record in Year 5. If Addazio cannot get one win from these two struggling teams, he does not deserve to come back. Injuries are bad luck and BC has been unlucky this year, but a good coach manages games around injuries and a good program builder has an effective plan for his back up quarterback.

Darius Wade is the presumptive starter. Fadule is out for the year too, so I assume true freshman EJ Perry is the backup. I know Addazio wanted to redshirt Perry, but if Wade is not up to the task, I say play Perry now. If he helps beat UConn, then all of a sudden he is starting games as a true freshman and starting a bowl game. He can always redshirt next year if he and his parents want that extra year. But the point remains, Addazio has to pull out all the stops and get BC to a bowl game and finish with a winning record. UConn is terrible. There is no reason BC can't win just by handing it off to Dillon 30+ times.

When Addazio beat FSU, I said he was safe. Now -- because he mismanaged the NC State game -- that breathing room is gone. If he can't get this team ready without Brown, BC needs to make a change.