Viewing thoughts and grade reports
I am on the road, so I won’t be able to rewatch this game again until later in the week. So here are my thoughts and grades based on the live viewing.
Matt Ryan didn’t have his best game. Clearly his left leg impacted his throwing. He floated a few passes and missed some deep opportunities. Despite his limitations, I thought he moved really well…especially in the pocket. The biggest intangible is his confidence. I know I never felt out of it with him. If I feel that way, I am sure his teammates did as well. I think the rah, rah firey leader stuff is overrated. Yelling at guys is fine if you make plays. However, I think confidence is very underrated. Ryan believes in himself and his team and it shows.
Rough day for Andre Callender. He ran well until the fumble. At this point I am starting to lose sympathy for him. He lost a near touchdown against Maryland last season. Regardless if the coaches tell him to stretch for the final yard, not protecting the ball is on him. Whitworth played well. He finally seems to be adjusting to plays as opposed to running where the play was supposed to be.
The wide receivers were fantastic. They found the soft spots in the zones. They fought hard for first downs. They stretched the field. Solid game from everyone. Gonzo and Challenger should get most of the credit. Both are so sure handed I expect them to catch everything. Neither will ever break loose, but they don’t screw up. I loved seeing us try to go deep with Gunnell and Robinson.
Tight ends -- a more quiet effort than I would’ve expected. Glad to see Loyte get in on the action.
The offensive line was an issue in the first half. Sheridan’s struggles were obvious. Poles struggled early too. So then we send in the subs and move Beekman to Center and things start clicking. What do we do in the second half? Go back to the starting lineup. Fortunately it worked. Sheridan looked much better as the game wore on. The pass blocking was excellent all night. The run blocking got better each quarter and BC really dominated the last drive in overtime (and Poles opened the final hole for LV).
Bible had me screaming at the TV early, but he eventually settled in and called a good game. The drive to tie the game in regulation was nearly all pass. Finally someone on the offensive staff realized that our guys could exploit their zones and space in the middle. It was really a nice drive. The first OT drive was too conservative, but the winning drive had a great mix of run pass.
The guys played hard, but were often reckless and dumb.
The Defensive line was still uneven. Nick Larkin played probably his best game at the Heights. Good pressure on Proctor and really good working down the line on run plays. Giles looked solid again. Willis continues to impress and collapses the line well for a skinny guy. Brace…showed me nothing. Someone his size should cause some sort of problems for the opponent. He doesn’t. He can get pushed around and was a non-factor. Raji – I do think he made a difference in the second half. He opened up lanes and clogged things up on some of the third and shorts. His face mask penalty was stupid.
The linebackers. Pruitt played well again. He is a good tackler and really good getting off blocks. His coverage technique is strong too. Francois looked good too. Toal started strong before going out with the injury. Dundar is frustrating. He made more mental mistakes again (including the late hit) and is still having problems in pass coverage. But he saved the game and deserves credit for that. Akins played well and is a great open field tackler. McLaughlin didn’t do much, but I am glad he is getting playing time.
The secondary was an issue. Tribble played really well and is becoming Jazzmen Williams-like run tackler. Anam was terrible. The first TD was on him. He is not a good coverage guy. I say Morris should start getting those snaps. Anderson look better. At least he didn’t let anyone behind him. Silva walks a fine line. He is clearly a head hunter. That helps us, but he is starting to get reckless. The late hit was stupid. And he is letting his coverage responsibilities suffer while he goes around looking to knock someone out.
Spaz has beaten Rob Spence three times already, so he is doing something right. The pressure on the QB was improved. I thought Spaz got too conservative on the third and longs. And the tackling on the Spiller play made me wonder how this keeps happening every year.
Special Teams: A-
Smith was unbelievable. If teams keep kicking to him, he might lead the country in return yards. He doesn’t have Blackmon’s vision, but he is clearly faster and able to make slight adjustments to avoid contact.
Tribble made good decisions on his returns.
Dunbar saved the day and saved Ohliger. Our kicker is now a lost cause.
A win over a ranked team and a division foe. Considering everything that went wrong, this was a great end result. I am tired of the stupid penalties – three personal fouls. Where is all this supposed discipline?
As I said earlier, BC can beat every team on its schedule. But to do so will take much more consistent efforts and fewer mistakes.