Saturday, September 22, 2018

Boilermakers burst BC's bubble

Exposed is a strong word, but that is sort of how it feels. Purdue made BC one dimensional on offense or one dimensional on D. At least the Special Teams played better.

It will take a lot for BC to get ranked again. Addazio will have to spend a lot of time regrouping.

Second viewing thoughts and grades as soon as I can get to them.

In-game comments post: Purdue

Another road test. Can BC keep its strong start going? We will find out.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday picks

Last week was my first winning weekend of the season. I will keep it moving in the right direction this week.

Picks in bold

Navy-6.5 at SMU

Minnesota+2.5 at Maryland

Notre Dame-7 at Wake Forest

Pitt-3.5 at UNC

South Carolina-2.5 at Vanderbilt

TCU-3 at Texas

Florida-4 at Tennessee

NC State-5 at Marshall

Michigan State-5.5 at Indiana

Stanford-2.5 at Oregon

I went 5-4-1 last week. I am 11-20-1 on the season.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

BC-Purdue preview

Can you call a Big Ten road game, a trap game? That's what this feels like. I know Purdue is 0-3, but they lost their first game by four, their second by one and their last by three. That's bad luck. They could just as easily be 3-0. I hope BC is ready and not taking this for granted.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game) 
This might have been more important in the BC blogging and message board world, than the fanbase at large, but earlier this week The Heights published an article that said Addazio was calling the plays in the beginning of last year before handing it over to Loeffler. Then the O took off. BC -- via Sports Information -- said the article wasn't true and The Heights took it down. I don't know if the contents of the article are true. I can't even link to it now since the Heights pulled it. My bigger concern and complaint is that the Athletic Department even has to fight these sorts of battles with the student newspaper. I am all for accuracy, but too often BC coaches (past and present) are worried about perception and credit. My suggestion to them is to stop paying attention to what is being said and written about them and focus on the players and the game. You work in one of the true objective professions where your success is measured in a public way. Don't get caught up in what the crowd thinks. It is not productive. Just win and watch how little the message boards, blogs and twitter even matter. Don't worry about credit. If you truly want to recognize the difference makers between winning and losing, shine more light on the players. They never get enough credit. I know Sports Information is just doing their job, but come on, let one Heights article fade away and worry about promoting the Purdue game.

Three Simple Keys
1. Be stubborn with the run. I imagine, like everyone else, Purdue is going to sell out to stop the run. BC needs to keep pounding it anyway. Good things will happen and we will break some big plays. I also want to see BC run so they can control the tempo and clock. Last week our D was worn out and tired. Purdue will try the same thing if we don't control the clock.
2. No Special Teams mistakes. This is obvious but still important.
3. The DLine needs to win upfront. I don't care if Purdue runs one play or 100. Our DTs need to step up and keep them from running wild.

Gambling Notes
-- Brohm is 4-5 at home while at Purdue
-- BC is 1-7 on the road against Big Ten schools
-- Addazio is 19-6 in non-conference games at BC
The current line is BC-6.5

Scoreboard Watching
Notre Dame-Wake Forest. I know Addazio praised Wake, but I don't think they are that good. How they play against the Irish will tell us if we beat a good team or got fortunate that mistakes didn't hurt us because Wake was so weak.

With the game, BC will have now played 10 of the 14 Big Ten schools. We have yet to play Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

I hope to see... 
Dillon used in the passing game. People will be expecting the play action. Now on his release get him the ball as a pass catcher. It will lead to big plays.

BC is in trouble if...
Zach Allen doesn't have a big game. I know he is the focus of protection, but we still need him to make plays and get them off schedule.

I think this will be another shootout. I think like last week, BC gets a lead and then it goes back and forth for much of the game. There will be a late turnover that helps BC close it out in the 4th quarter.
Final Score: BC 38, Purdue 30

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

BC adds another basketball recruit

Maryland wing Kamari Williams verballed to BC Wednesday. He's 6'8 and the son of NBA veteran Walt Williams. He seems like a bit of a project but there is a lot to like about his future.

Currently the recruiting services do not list any other major offers for Williams. Supposedly he was considered a strong possibility for UMass and had interest from Power 5s. The BC commitment will likely catch someone's attention and bring in another P5 suitor.

I have no problem with another under the radar recruit who has a famous father. Williams' frame is promising and we will need a player with some positional flexibility. What I also like is that he is from one of Scott Spinelli's primary recruiting areas (DC/Maryland). Spinelli knows the area well and probably has a good understanding of how a player from there will fit in under Christian and where he can take his game.

Welcome to BC Kamari. I hope you have a bright future on the Heights.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Brown hype building

Praise for AJ Dillon is not new. We heard it all summer. Seeing BC in the Top 25 is not unexpected. A good start and the sleeper talk from voters allowed BC to move into the rankings quickly. What is surprising is this early speculation about Anthony Brown. The AP's own hype machine is touting Brown's start in relation to its All-America team! This is a guy who wouldn't have been included in a discussion of the ACC's best preseason QBs. Now he is getting featured by the organization that produces the most prominent All America team in College Football.

Obviously this is very early in the process and probably premature. Even if Brown remains the FBS passing leader, an older or more high profile QB will probably get the call. But for Brown to get this sort of praise this early in the season is a nice surprise. As long as he keeps putting up big numbers and BC keeps winning, the praise will grow. So let's keep it going. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Wake Forest

[First a little bit of an explanation. Through the entire history of the blog, watching BC Football live and then rewatching it was not an issue or a challenge. Even as I had children, their activities tended to be more morning-based. Now increasingly my Saturday afternoons are spent watching (and coaching) their games and following BC on my phone or in the car. My Sundays in the fall are very busy too with volunteer work, leaving even less time to rewatch. I think rewatching is very valuable as a fan and blogger, so I plan to keep it up. However, I don't know if I can plan to regularly pump it out by Sunday night. Thanks for your continued support.]

For as dominant as an offensive performance as that was, the game was far, far from clean and did leave me with concerns. Beyond the Special Teams miscues, the OLine and DLine were not as consistent as they will need to be against elite competition. The conditioning issue -- which was mentioned on the broadcast multiple times -- also should have us and Addazio worried. Given the talent advantage and explosive plays, it never should have been that close. Watching it a second time only confirmed that belief.

Offense: A-

Brown looked even better than he did against UMass and Holy Cross. His deep throws weren't perfect but they were still pretty close. He didn't force things. He also was a little more accurate on his short passes. I would still like to see him running more but depends on his knee.

Dillon ran well. He didn't do anything to top some of his previous highlights, but his runs were solid and explosive. I would like to see him more in the passing game. Levy only got a few snaps.

I know a lot of guys are winning awards this week, but Jeff Smith might be most deserving. His hands have gotten so much better. He runs really well and his speed is impressive. If he stays healthy and teams keep leaving him open, he will have a huge season. White had a nice TD, as did Glines. Sweeney made a great adjustment on his TD. We didn't get the TEs more involved, but probably should have. There were lots of plays available.

The OLine was the most troubling spot. I know it is tough when the opponent sells out to stop the run, but that wasn't the main problem. In straight up powers, the oline looked good. When they had to move -- stretches, traps, counters, -- things broke down a bit. The counter seems to be the best play. The power sweep would seem to be a good idea but it was never very clean during the game. Monteiro seemed to struggle the most when moving or pulling. Schmaal was good. Petrula did a good job with the edge. If teams are going to keep challenging the OLine, they need to be ready for speedy penetration.

My only critique of the Offensive gameplan was too much variety in the run game. We tried a bit of everything and it was hit or miss. I think keeping things simple, especially when you have someone like Dillon, is the best plan. All he needs is one missed tackle and he can score. Loefler needs to focus on what BC does best in the running game and stop messing around with stuff the Oline can't pull off yet.

Defense: B-

Ray had a great game. He still was aggressive late in the game. Allen wasn't as dominant. He was fine. The DTs really struggled. I am not sure how much they were told to hold position against Wake's run game, but they were getting pushed back over and over. Smith got pushed back. Karafa was a step slow. Valdez and Rayam got playing time but didn't disrupt much.

Strachan was pretty active, but also had a few misses. Richardson also got lots of playing time and was ok.

The DBs were the best part of the D. Cheevers took some gambles, but also made plenty of plays. Harris played well. Denis was fine. Sebastian got beat a few times. Torres was good.

I am surprised we still haven't figured Wake out on D. Their approach under Clawson hasn't really changed. But they got lots of push and lots of plays off. We couldn't get them off the field. That's a bad sign. Why not bring more pressure? Or do something to help out the DTs.

Special Teams: B-

Even without the fumble or blocked punt there were still some other Special Teams issues. We missed an extra point. We got lucky on a penalty on one of Wake's long returns.

Overall: B

As Addazio pointed out in the post-game press conference, this team did persevere for the win. Overcoming mistakes and the shifting game times could easily have been a distraction. He deserves credit for that and for building such a talent advantage. But I think having two easy games to start the season was somewhat unnecessary and may have led to the tiredness and sloppy play.

In a way, it was ideal for Addazio in that he got the win, the team showed flashes of greatness, yet he can still keep them humble.

Sunday, September 16, 2018