With Notre Dame this Saturday and large vocal portions of the fan base losing faith, why not have a good ole fashion “Come to Jesus” meeting for BC football? The guys dumb enough to blog about BC sports decided to have a dialogue about where we are and where we are going and is it time to start panicking. In it we discuss QB controversies, special teams, recruiting and the Jags bandwagon. Below is part 1. The conclusion is on BC Interruption.
Bill: I was upset after the loss, but now find myself defending the staff and playing apologist because there are many BC fans throwing in the towel after these past two games. There are multiple issues to debate and defend. At the forefront is the QB situation. I am in the play Davis camp but can somewhat understand the staff's position on Crane. Regardless of whom you play at the end of the day we don't have great QB solutions. Is that Jags and Logan's fault? Sure. But to play it both ways: these guys looked like geniuses last year when they took Matt Ryan to the next level. I don't think Crane's issues or Davis' progression or anything else are signs of doom and gloom or signs that the season is over.
Jeff: I am also in the play Davis camp and think that Jags has no excuse to not play him. He came in promising that fans would be more exciting to head to Alumni or turn on their TVs on Saturdays and he is not delivering at all this year. The fans especially, and even the team could rally behind Davis even if he is no better than Chris Crane. Right now it just looks like Jags was all talk when he took over the team. The fake punt Saturday was great but it just delayed the inevitable. I haven't seen anything exciting since the NC State game and the Wolfpack is a clearly inferior team.
Brian: I find myself playing coaching staff apologist and don't think that Jags is simply all talk. I think that Davis should get some snaps but also think I understand what Jags and Logan are doing. There may be a couple of explanations to leaving Crane in. One thought is that the coaching staff just doesn't think Davis is ready for big time game action and Crane truly is the most talented of the two. The other line of thought I can buy into is that the coaching staff thinks that Justin Tuggle and not Davis is the future, in which case, it doesn't really matter if Davis gets snaps this year. And if that's the case, you certainly don't want to burn Tuggle's redshirt to throw him into the fire for the last 4 games and possibly the bowl game. Now is this Jags and Logan's fault? While Jags and Logan did recruit Dominique Davis and Justin Tuggle, they are playing the hand they were dealt with Crane this year. So from a personnel perspective, I don't blame the coaching staff. However, I do look critically on our offensive playcalling of late. In the Virginia Tech and North Carolina games, Jags and Logan's stepped full throttle on the passing game, and Crane pressed. The result? 6 interceptions and basically 35 points given to the other team. Jags took the opposite approach in the Clemson game, and the playcalling was too conservative to be effective. Crane didn't throw a pick, but only amassed 116 yards through the air, completing an anemic 46 percent of passes. There has to be a happy medium somewhere where Logan can call a game where Crane can be a game manager, moves the ball down the field and limits the mistakes.
Bill: Do you guys think Crane can lead us to Tampa? Although not officially in control of our destiny, running the table would probably get us to the ACC Championship Game. I think serviceable QB play from either guy could be enough.
Brian: Crane can get us to Tampa. I haven't been overly impressed with either Florida State or Wake Forest, and we have the advantage of hosting Maryland at home to finish the season (although I can't say we've had much of a home field advantage in the ACC this year). All Crane has to do is manage the game and make the big play once in a while. It's not all on Crane though. One of our other skill players needs to step up and make plays. Whether that's a Robinson or a Purvis, a Jeff Smith or the froshs Haden/Harris, someone needs to provide that added spark on offense. Otherwise, we'll continue to gain 2 yards a play and struggle to move the ball. If we continue along that path and ask our defense and special teams to win games, I wouldn't count on a trip to Tampa for the Eagles.
Bill: The special teams have been terrible on a whole and some fans want a scapegoat. I obviously want it addressed, but once again, I don't think Jags should necessarily make a staff change. Do you guys blame the coaches or the missing talent? And how can a unit that has been good on blocking punts and punt fakes not get better execution on kick returns?
Jeff: I do not blame the coaches at this point for the kickers being as bad as they are. It is not their fault that Steve Aponavicious has regressed since coming out of the stands and onto the field just a little over two years ago. He could hit a 38 yard field and in with great accuracy at first but since he has become less accurate and he leg seems no stronger whatsoever. This is not the coaches fault. But at this point, like I said earlier, just leave him on the bench. On to the kick returns, I still blame the kickers there more so than the unit. We have some playmakers on special teams who are capable of making tackles and plays but when you give someone with CJ Spiller speed and some of these other kick returners who are faster than anyone one BC a running start, they are going to be tough to catch.
Brian: Faster than anyone on the team except Marty Bowman. That kid can fly and ran down Spiller to save a sure touchdown on Saturday.
PART II is on BC Interruption.