Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guest Blogger: ChantRant

This year's Florida State squad is the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde team. Will the team that dominated BYU show up on Saturday or will we face the unit that struggled against South Florida. To get a better feel for what is ahead, I've asked Rich from ChantRant some questions. His answers are below.

1. Ponder was under pressure from South Florida throughout. Is the FSU offensive line still an issue or is Ponder still holding onto the ball too long?

A couple of things put Ponder under the most intense pressure he's had all year. First, our O-Line had by far its worst day of the year. During the off-season they'd worked hard on pass blocking, with noticeable improvement. Ponder had only been sacked four times until the USF game. But the Bulls defense was on a mission and FSU's OL couldn't match their take-no-prisoners performance at BYU.

Second, Ponder's mobility was hampered by a nagging injury from the BYU win, so he just didn't have the mobility to evade the rush and scramble. Result: a QB who's known for his ability to escape the sack became a sitting duck. And late in the game, I believe it hampered his accuracy when throwing.

2. Last year, BC gashed the Florida State defense with a series of running plays. How is the run defense changed?

On the surface, it appears the run defense is more stout. FSU is ranked 37th in that department, allowing only 112 yards per game on the ground. In reality, teams aren't running as much because they're taking advantage of the Noles porous secondary. Florida State's giving up over 295 yards per game through the air, and D-Coordinator Mickey Andrews is ready to go with a youth movement, playing talented but inexperienced freshmen over some upperclassmen.

3. From afar, it seems like the coach in waiting thing is holding the program back. What's your take on these final Bowden years?

Ouch, you would bring that up. Bowden's determination to keep coaching has the Seminole nation sharply divided. There's the loyal core that believes Bobby should coach as long as he likes, even if he drops dead on the sidelines. But a growing majority insist it's past time for him step down, even though they love and respect the colorful old coach for building the program and winning two national championships. There are also rumors of possible problems due to players being confused about who's in charge of what. For a better look at that situation, read the column by Ryan at ChantRant.

4. What is your prediction for the game?

Hate to wimp out, but that depends on which FSU team shows up. Will it be the one that underachieved against USF and Jacksonville State? Or the fired-up bunch of Seminoles who smoked Top 10 BYU in Provo? If they continue the pattern of being up one week and down the next, they'll be ready and cranked for the game at Chestnut Hill (Lord knows they should have a chip on their shoulder after whiffing against South Florida).

Much will depend on the status of QB Christian Ponder. If he's still gimpy and immobile, FSU loses a weapon. Ponder at his best is one of the Noles best rushers. If he's not ready, or unable to be mobile and be an effective passer, we might see his back-up, E.J. Manuel. The redshirt freshman was one of the top QBs recruits in '08, but has played only in mop up action against BYU, plus one running play in the USF game. Manuel has great potential -- and O-Coordinaor Jimbo Fisher is slowly preparing him to be "The Man" -- but who knows if he's ready to go from being the QB-in-waiting to taking the entire offense on his shoulders.


mod34b said...

ATL -- Nice questions for your guest blog spot and good comments by the FSU guy.

This should be an interesting game. If FSU is so focused on shoring up a weak secondary, and we have a viable long-ball threat, as Shinskie demonstrated we do, it could really open up the field and allow for a great running day for Harris and Haden. Which, in turn, could make the passing easier . . a very good dynamic potentially at work in BC's favor.

On the other side of the ball, a big concern is our defensive pass rush. If we can't give Ponder trouble, he may turn in a BYU, not South Florida, type performance.

All in all, this is shaping up to be a very winnable game. But only a potentailly winnable game -- we need to know who will show up on offense and defense for both FSU and BC. This is what makes college football so exciting week to week -- you just never know what to expect with many games.

Erik said...

Why is it crappy weather everytime FSU comes here?

BCDoubleEagle said...

ABC TV coverage map for the game:

eagleboston said...

Not feeling good about this game at all. 1) Florida State has our number in Chestnut Hill. 2) Florida State is coming off a tough loss against USF. They are going to be fighting mad and they don't want to drop a 2nd ACC game this early. 3) BC is coming off an emotional OT game against Wake. The good news is Gameday should help pump them up for the 'Noles. 4) Our defense was exposed by Wake. If we don't generate pressure on Ponder, he will throw at will. 5) BC did not do a good job containing Ponder on the run last season. 6) I'm still not that excited about the BC offense. We just don't have any experience at the QB position.

I hope I'm wrong and that BC improves to 4-1, but right now, I have to agree with the line Florida State plus 5.

mod34b said...


some imPONDERable stats:

Using the pro QB rating as a snapshot of ability, we see Ponder had the following games this year
1. Miami, QBr of 86;
2. J'ville, QBr of 93;
3. BYU QBr of 123!! (21/26, 195 yds 2 td);
4. SFlorida QBr 78

Last year againt BC -- QBr of 27!! (15/31, 183 yds, 0 Tds and 3 pics, with only 20 yards rushing).

So, you might say BC has got Ponder's number. Let's hope so and that he is still gimpy too!

mod34b said...

Oh, almost forgot: we also won on the road last year against an FSU team ranked #20 -- 27-17!

As i recall, the o-line was nasty good in that game -- and they are back again!

mmason said...

Great stuff on the game, always. Thanks.

Don't like to go negative on our chances, but if FSU watches that last quarter of the WF game, and how we were picked apart and worked like a pinball machine, our hopes of a W are slim to dim...Unless, of course, some serious coaching happens this week on both sides of the BC attack. Throw out last year's BC vs FSU stats,too--they're meaningless. Unless we can bring it for 4 quarters with this team against a dangerous, talented bunch 'o Noles with something to prove and an FSU program that loves a Gameday spotlight, our cover's blown.

This game now has bigger implications than I like to see at this point in this freshly grown, still unknown, BC football experiment. We'll have a big national audience, ESPN pundits yakking away that don't really respect this edition of BC football,(Just watch how Herbie & Co. damn us with faint praise and disregard), then there's Eagle rookies everywhere, and Clemson/WF game films that can teach FSU a course called How to Beat BC 101. Bottom line: It's coaching time for Spaz and his crew. By now there should begin to be more answers than questions from the new Eagles, and the whole college football world will be watching Chestnut Hill, once again, with a majority of 'em expecting us to tank like we did against Clemson.

This time, everybody on the home team better show up and play with 6 seconds of hell fire on every play from kickoff to final gun. No Less.
...but hey, it will be fun to watch.
Go Eagles!!!

mod34b said...

For a sports board directed only to FANS of a team, its such a low expectation, gloomy crowd here.

Do you think that this comfort with negativity/low expectations is a BC trait? a New England thing? a Catholic (irish?) thing? It is a trait that can also be strongly found in Red Sox fans too.

CT said...

Our defense was a bit better last year, too. Maybe that had something to do with shutting FSU down. We were the 5th best in the country.

This year's squad ain't 5th best in the country. Or all that close to it. At least that's what it looks like to this "doom-and-gloomer."

Rah rah.

B4 the season, the QB position colored everything we did on offense and defense. If you can't throw, you've got the Clemson game. A nice defensive effort wasted b/c they were always on the field. I was accused of being a doom and gloomer. A 6 or 7 win guy. That's okay.

I'm from Atlanta so I can't cop to the NE negativity. What I can cop to is an honest assessment.
Hopefully the OLine gets back to what we thought it was going to be. FSU's weakness is its secondary. There could be a big play or two to be had.

On the downside, I don't see how you correct an inept pass rush in one week w/o throwing the kitchen sink at Ponder.

As for the low expectations it a BC thing? I always ascribed it to being from Atlanta, since we've had worse professional luck than most.

I can say that I'm pretty high on the bball team. Always felt last season was the building block for the next two. So, there are some high expectations for ya'.

eagleboston said...

Mod 34B,

I want BC to win big time and I will cheer for them until 0:00. But, I am not one of those myopic fans that believes BC is going to win the national title. I'm a realist.

I will feel a lot better if LeGrande can play as I see him as key to stopping Ponder on the run. He also covers receivers much better than most of the other 'backers. I think the last 2 drives by Wake would have been different with LeGrande in the game.

Thus, I'm a fan. I love this team and have for 25 years, but I think it's going to take a major effort to win this week.

frank c said...

i completely agree with the sentiments of eagleboston. you put that well.

mod34b said...

EagleB (and lacky Frank)--

No BC "realist" or even 'myopic' fans ever expects BC to win the national championship. But a true realist can see the possibility of a positive outcome and embrace that possibility. A gloom-and-doomer can't.

Consider the pathetic clinging to Tuggle as our QB after the Clemson game by the g-and-d crowd, and the refusal to even consdier the possibility of Shinskie as an improvement -- a prime example of the g-and-d 'realists on this board!

FSU is just not that scary an opponent (it ain't V-tech).

Any positive thinkers out there!!! HELP!!!

CT said...

There are "myopic" BC fans who think we can win a national title?


Pray tell, introduce me. I've never met one.

As for the clinging to Shinskie comment, with all due respect, he wasn't exactly lighting it up, either.

And we really still have no idea what we have with him. Yet.

Maybe I'm a myopic doom-and-gloomer. Or an embracer of all. I can't decide which.

BC can win on Saturday and beat cancer. If we don't commit turnovers.

mod34b said...

Yes CT, you and Bravebill are thedoctors of doom and gloom

I've not seen a bravesbill comment in a while...wait...r u Bravesbill, or maybe you are that guy Stan?

matthew said...

CT is one of the more intelligent posters on this board, from what I have gathered in the last 3 or 4 years of reading.

I often 'pick fights' with people on here when they say things that bother me. I did that with CT once, and was satisfied with the defense of his reply. With you, mod34b, I haven't found such substance.

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mod34b said...

Matthew -- c'mon!

aren't you the guy who luv'd Tuggle and had no clue that Shinskie was as better option?

matthew said...

I didn't love tuggle, but yes I thought (and still think) that he is our best QB.

I admitted that DS played better and surprised me last week, but I stand by the fact that I don't think he is our QB of the future.

And I don't like our chances in this game either. I will be an optimist, get excited, and cheer my heart out.... but put a gun to my head? I'm going with FSU.

mod34b said...

For shame Matthew.

You must be a passionless SOMer!

matthew said...

forgive me, I can't figure out what that means.

mod34b said...

Matthew --

I take it you did not go to BC.

S.O.M. is the School of Managament -- financial and accounting types. SOMer is a student in SOM -- most of whom where dreadfully practical.

matthew said...

yes I went to BC, no I wasn't in CSOM.

mod34b said...

The was no "C" in SOM when i attended BC

matthew said...

I guess you are older than I.

mod34b said...

M - Yes older and wiser! ;-)