Saturday, October 16, 2021

Painful

That was one of the worst second halves I can remember. Everything fell apart. And on social media, the critics came out for Jeff Hafley. I give our coach a huge pass for what happened tonight. The Special Teams issues were not coaching...more just fluky. The D was out there a lot so somethings was going to give. I put a lot of blame on the Offense. I am doing everything I can from turning my twitter account into a "bash Grosel" feed, but he is the root of the problem on offense. We have a lot of talent but become so limited with him as QB that the talent is wasted. I think the staff is trying to coach around him but other teams adjust and then we are left with putting Grosel in positions that hurt us. If we don't run the ball down the other team's throat, we won't win with him. 

It will now be on Hafley to regroup and see how he can build a winning offense around a walk-on QB.

Game Day Info: NC State

No comments this year.

What you need to know.

Weather: Low 70s with a 30% chance of rain .

Radio: SiriusXM 193 .

TV: ACC Network

Thursday, October 14, 2021

BC-NC State preview

I guess under normal circumstances I like having a break after Clemson. It allows a team to reset and come off the high or low of facing the ACC's Power Team. I hope the time helped BC. They are saying all the right things, but even two weeks later, the Clemson game feels like a huge missed opportunity. And here we are, facing another legitimate team in NC State. They did what we couldn't -- beat Clemson -- and are feeling good about themselves. It is up to BC to bounce back and win an important game and establish who we are in the conference.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
The Alison Foley lawsuit finally hit the news this week. It had been circulated for a while, but the Heights was the first organization to touch it. In my opinion, it is not a big deal. She had been at BC a long time and had a certain level of success but had also worn out her welcome. The suit doesn't make anyone look good (including Foley, Jarmond, Bates and BC). In general BC has a history of paying well at the time of separation to avoid problems like this. But ultimately Women's Soccer is not moving the needle for many nor will it gain much attention. Even the gender discrimination issue becomes a bit muddied when you factor in the player complaints against Foley. I don't know how this will play out, but like BC's history of paying well at separation, BC also has a history of not settling. They probably think they have a strong case against Foley and certainly have more time and resources to fight their case.

Three Simple Keys
1. Contain the big plays. It seems like we are going to be a classic bend but don't break team. We've all been there before. But to do it well, you can't allow the big plays and need to force a few turnovers.
2. Establish the run early. That is our biggest advantage. We need to dictate pace of play and help Grosel.
3. Get to Devin Leary. I know we don't have pass rushers, but this might be the least mobile QB we've faced in two years. You got to get to him a bit.

Gambling Notes
-- NC State is 3-2 against the spread this year
-- BC leads the series 10-7
-- BC is 4-1 against the spread this season
The current line is BC+3.5

Factoid
This is the first time BC has hosted NC State on consecutive years since the 1930s.

Scoreboard Watching
It is a very light ACC Football weekend. The game that might be most interesting to us is actually Friday's matchup between Clemson and Syracuse. I am already counting on the Cuse game as a win for BC, but to their credit they have been in many tight games. It will be interesting to see how they do against Clemson.

I hope to see...
a comfortable win. The pacing and blood pumping of the Mizzou and Clemson games are reminders why we follow this stuff. But I would gladly take a nice, easy, stress free ACC win this weekend.

BC is in trouble if...
Grosel turns the ball over more than twice. NC State is not some ball hawking team, so Grosel should be fine as long as he is on target and smart.

Bottom Line
I know I keep hammering home that each new game is a test for Hafley, but it is true. Last game was a missed opportunity. It was a missed chance to break through. Those misses then become reflections on the coach to see how he handles it, learns from it and readies his team again. I think we will have a solid, Grosel friendly game plan, play good D and overpower NC State on the OLine.
Final Score: BC 27, NC State 20

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Wasted opportunities

That one will hurt for a while. BC should have won. This Clemson team is not good and BC's D -- which should be its liability -- did more than enough to win. But the Offense made too many mistakes and Dennis Grosel made more than his fair share of those mistakes for BC to beat anyone. 

I've whined about the Jurk injury already and on social media, but what makes this all more frustrating is that outside of QB, this might be the most talented offense we've had since Foley (if you include the depth and explosiveness of each position group).

Hafley did not sound defeated in the post game. I trust his steady hand to navigate the rest of the season. But I do think he needs to get snaps to other QBs. Just see what he has. Because he knows what he has in Grosel and the upside is very limited.

Game Day Info: Clemson

No comments this year.

What you need to know

Weather: In the 70s and partially cloudy

Radio: SiriusXM 194

TV: ACC Network

Thursday, September 30, 2021

BC-Clemson preview

Regardless of what BC does in this game, the post-game narrative will be all about Clemson. If they lose, everyone will talk about how far Clemson has fallen. If they win, it was a bounce back game. So in that sense, BC has nothing to lose. We won't get much credit either way. But a "W" in the Atlantic standings is critical, so let's go win this thing!


What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I've watched a lot of youtube highlights of last week and having Alumni filled makes a huge difference in how the game and program looks on those clips. When the game is televised live, the TV partner usually is so tight on the action, you rarely see the whole stadium or extensive shots of the crowd. But on these internet clips (usually taken by BC) the difference between packed stands and empty stands is dramatic. If Alumni does undergo renovations, I have no problem shrinking the seating capacity. I just think the density of a crowd needs to be maintained because it looks so much better.

Three Simple Keys
1. Dominate on the OLine. Last week's OLine performance was one the best of the BC unit in years (the home win against USC might have been the last time they looked that dominant at Alumni). Clemson's DLine is not as strong as some of their recent groups. It is paramount that our guys get good push, get to the second level and give Grosel time.
2. Give lots of looks defensively. We kept it simple the first few weeks and last week we dropped lots of guys into coverage. It made for some frustrating 3rd Down defense and didn't bring much pressure, but I think the same attack will work this week. Bend but don't break them to death.
3. Grosel need to be more accurate.  Can he be a 60% passer against Clemson and win? Probably not. But beyond juicing the completion percentage, he needs to be on time and on target (which was still an issue on some passes last week).

Gambling Notes
-- Clemson has won 10 straight in the series
-- BC is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games as an underdog
-- Clemson is 0-4 against the spread this year
The current line is BC+14.5

Factoid
Due to the COVID schedule shuffle, this game has been played three straight times in South Carolina. The teams faced each other four straight times in Boston in the 1940s.

Scoreboard Watching
BC is off to a great start. Clemson is down. Florida State is a mess. But look who is also hot: Wake. It had to be Wake, just when BC is trending up. Let's see if they are for real when they take on Louisville this weekend. Louisville is not special, so a good team should put the Cardinals away.

I hope to see...
Another big day from Patrick Garwo. Because Levy had the big carries late and because we went through the air in OT, Garwo probably didn't get the attention he deserved. If he has another big night, that will be a good sign for BC in this game and going forward.

BC is in trouble if...
We turn the ball over three times. We got lucky last week that the early INT didn't set the tone. Protecting the ball is critical again.

Bottom Line
I think it will be similar to last week on the BC side. I think we will run the ball to control and be conservative on D. I think Clemson has a better D than Mizzou but a worse offense, so I expect fewer points overall. In the end, I think we ride the Oline to another huge victory.
Final Score: BC 28, Clemson 24

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Game Day Info: Mizzou

No comments this year.

What you need to know

Weather: Low 70s and partially cloudy. It could rain a bit.

Radio: SiriusXM 192

TV: ESPN2

Thursday, September 23, 2021

BC-Mizzou preview

College Gameday will probably only mention this game in passing, but don't be mistaken. It is huge. Or at least huge for BC (and BC fans). Winning this game will lead to BC being ranked going into Clemson. It will mean a 4-0 non-conference record, which will likely lead to a strong final record. But a win would also mean that given time, Hafley can prep for a big non-conference game and win with his back-up QB and as a home underdog. Good teams and great coaches win games like this.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
There is always a bit of disconnect between the moods and perceptions of the casual BC fan, the casual college sports fan and the diehard BC football fan. (If you are reading this, you probably are closer to the diehard category.) To those who don't follow closely, the good start and the Grosel story are fun and nice to sees. To the more engaged fan, we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Is Hafley for real? Is Grosel going to be good or revert back to his previous form? So you come to a game like this weekend and the casual fan is sort of paying attention while the diehard is putting a lot more weight into the outcome. This happens with many BC events and sports. I don't know how you bridge the divide or if you should. Do the casual fans need to "get in" if you will? Do the diehards need to chill out? I don't know. Whether it is BC sports or even BC issues in general, the only real change comes is when there is consensus and everyone feels the same. 

Three Simple Keys
1. Don't force things downfield. I know that going conservative takes away some of our best weapons, but I don't trust us to force it with Grosel. His passes should be timing, shorter and often off of play action.
2. Control the line of scrimmage on Offense.  The Oline has been a bit inconsistent so far this season. One drive they look great and the next play things are a mess. To win this weekend, they need to play to their reputation and ability and control early.
3. Avoid costly penalties. BC ultimately held Temple in check but that doesn't mean there weren't plenty of stupid penalties. Many of them were drive extenders. That can't happen this week.

Gambling Notes
-- Drinkwitz is 2-1 in non-conference games
-- Mizzou is 5-4 vs the ACC
-- BC is 14-20-1 vs the SEC 
The current line is BC+1.5

Factoid
As you will probably hear once or twice this weekend, this is the first meeting of the two schools. With this game, BC will have played 11 of the current 14 members of the SEC.

Scoreboard Watching
The ACC is off to a horrible start so it makes sense that it happens when Wake is trending up! The Deacons play UVA this weekend. Like our game against Missouri, this will be a test if Wake is for real.

I hope to see...
A big crowd at kickoff. With the vaccine screening, BC knows there will be long lines and has sent out a message to get your bracelet early and get to your seats on time. I hope the fans follow the recommendations.

BC is in trouble if...
We don't make the Tigers pay for stacking the box. I have a feeling this will look like an Addazio game. The key for BC will be play action passing into a crowded box. Guys should be open.

Bottom Line
I don't have a great feeling going into this game. I will still pick BC to win, but think it will be very close. I think a defensive or special teams TD will be the difference.
Final Score: BC 24, Mizzou 17

Sunday, September 19, 2021

What to expect after a 3-0 start

For 10th time since the FCS/FBS split in 1978, BC has started 3-0. Not all 3-0 starts are the same, but in general is a good sign for the season and for Hafley's future. 

First let's look at the history.

Year Coach First Loss Final Record
2018 Addazio Week 4 7-5
2007 Jags Week 9 11-3
2006 TOB Week 4 10-3
2004 TOB Week 4 9-3
1999 TOB Week 5 8-4
1998 TOB Week 4 4-7
1992 Coughlin Week 9 8-3-1
1984 Bicknell Week 5 10-2
1983 Bicknell Week 4 9-3

If you look at the list, the 3-0 seasons tend to correlate with our best years. We only had one losing season after starting 3-0 and had three different double digit win seasons after starting 3-0. 

While this season's schedule opened up with some very easy games, I still think a bad coach can screw up an easy schedule. The fact that TOB navigated some friendly starts and Spaz never did and Addazio only did it once is telling. Hafley hasn't had to pull out any unusual stops in our first three games, but he has managed the starting QB going down and had the team focused and ready to play each game so far.

The ultimate test for this season is probably Saturday against Mizzou, but even if that doesn't go as hoped, the good start is sign of good things to come.