Sunday, December 27, 2009

Second viewing thougths and grade report: USC

This was a frustrating game to watch back and not just because of the inexplicably bad officiating. [In addition to the poor replay decisions, there were several bad spots and as noted on the broadcast, they were slow on the whistles -- which is very dangerous.] The frustration came from how close this could have gone the other way. Some of the mistakes were on Shinskie, but then some of our best like Harris, Kuechly and Claiborne also made errors.

Offense: C+

One season into his career and I don't think we know what we have in Dave Shinskie. This game didn't clear up anything. There are moments when he makes some really nice throws. His pass to Jarvis between the zones stands out. Yet other passes were late or one-hopers or forced. He also lost focus on a shotgun snap and still is not using his outlets and checkdowns. The good news is that he looked good with a moving pocket and on a few runs. He also is willing to stand in the pocket and make a throw (I just wish the throws were better). His scatter shot throws in the second half limited the offense. Let's hope he takes his game to the next level next year.

Harris' fumble was a killer. I know the ball was slick and field was sloppy, but in the red zone you have to hold on. I also wish he would hand off on occasion out of the bazooka/shotgun. On the positive side, he made some nice cuts and ran through a bunch of USC tacklers. McCluskey was good in limited action. I wish he had been healthy all year.

Rich Gunnell might have moved up a few draft boards with his performance. Good runs, good hands and surprising speed. Larmond didn't get many chances but fought hard for some tough catches. Jarvis started strong but had a few passes he should have pulled in.

The offensive line played well. The inside guys like Tennant, Claiborne and Richman all looked good. When USC had success it was on stunts on the outside. Lapham struggled a few times. Castonzo was solid.

The Tight Ends blocked well but weren't involved in the passing game all that much.

Shinskie wasn't good but Tranq didn't help him much in the second half. We waited too long to get the focus back on the running game and we called too many pass that were too dependent on Shinskie making good throws and good reads. Why not simplify with quick slants or quick outs? Why not more throws to the backs or TEs? Putting all these long, slow developing plays on Shinskie are high risk, high reward. Would they use that sort of scheme with a 18 year old against USC?

Defense: B

The defensive line didn't make a ton of plays but they also didn't get pushed around. Solid effort overall. Scafe was good. Albright showed more burst and speed than he has all season. Newman played really well. Giles made a few plays. Ramella was quiet. The others DLinemen didn't see as much action.

The LBs made great plays yet all had major mistakes. Morrissey and Kuechly both missed tackles on the first TD. Morrissey failed to wrap up a few other times. All the LBs blew their coverage assignment on the second TD. McLaughlin missed some tackles. LeGrande was ok.

Although we allowed 350 passing yards, I thought the DBs played well. Davis had a pick and some nice tackles. Bowman made some solid tackles and made a great read on his INT. Despite the cushion, Gause was solid in coverage. Rollins wasn't thrown at much, but did well supporting the run and making good tackles. Fletcher and Johnson got on the field but weren't as involved in the action.

Special Teams: C

Stevie missed a PAT. We were ultra conservative on our kick offs and punt returns.

Smith had some nice runbacks on the kick returns.

Overall: C+

The defensive scheme was conservative and worked (for the most part). The special teams decisions were conservative and didn't cost BC (for the most part). Yet surprisingly the offensive scheme had many aggressive throws in the second half and probably cost us. In general, it seemed like Spaz had the guys mentally and physically ready. Things just didn't go our way. All our other losses this year could be blamed on coaching. This one was partially just some back luck. Now let's hope Spaz can start a new bowl streak next year.

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At 1:01 AM, Blogger matthew said...

thanks for another great year, atl.

I agree with most of your opinions, but disagree with the following statement -- "All our other losses this year could be blamed on coaching."

that statement seems a bit extreme.... I felt that Clemson and Va Tech were superior teams that would have taken nearly perfect performances/schemes in order for us to beat them. While I was frustrated with play calls and packages throughout all of our losses, I don't think I would go as far as you did in that statement.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger VinnyBostonCollegeEagle said...

The officiating was down right criminal! Seriously it was scary how bad it was. I can't believe Spaz didn't punch the ref with the huge nose in the face after that blown punt/fum call. It was obvious they were looking for a way to give USC the ball. Terrible! And at least twice USC got a first down because of HORRIBLE spots!

At 9:42 AM, Blogger ObserverCollege said...

VinnyBCEagle, you said: "It was obvious they were looking for a way to give USC the ball. Terrible! And at least twice USC got a first down because of HORRIBLE spots!"

Well, of COURSE they were going to give USC the ball there. You're not going to have BC get the ball there on a deflection. And when it comes to the spots, don't you think USC has earned the benefit of the doubt in respect for their traditional achievements?

Remember who USC competes against in six weeks? Not the Pac-10, but the nation. That means Notre Dame, Texas, and the SEC. What kind of negative recruiting would Mr. Carroll have suffered if BC had somehow "won" this game? Credit must go to the officials for adjusting to the game situation. They recognized that Spaz seemed to forget his manners around the powers that be, and saw with Gunnell's catch and run that the disrespect toward Mr. Clausen on the hallowed grounds of Notre Dame Stadium was no fluke. In light of that, they did what's best for college football. In time, when you examine your stock portfolio for Citi, Allstate, "Tostitos" and FedEx, then you'll be at peace.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Laxman said...

If we had Urban Meyer we weren't beating VT and Clemson. C'mon you're being ridiculous again.

In the 2nd half it looked to me like USC made an adjustment to stop the runs between the tackles BC used with success in the 2nd quarter (after abandoning the stretch plays btw). Shinskie needed to hit a few passes to pull USC out of that D but missed open receivers (and a drop or two). Blaming that on GT is a stretch.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Bill -
Do you have either attendance (vs Capacity) figures, or TV ratings? I'm curious how "successful" the game was in the eyes of the people running the bowl game.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Watching Shinskie play is painful. In addition to throwing lollypops he constantly makes bad decisions. What are the odds that Redding starts as a true freshman next year? I can't take much more of Shinskie.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger CT said...

Agreed Laxman. I think it comes down to Shinskie making his mind up before the play where the ball is going. He's comfortable throwing (and accurate) on a couple of specific routes, but not so much on most others. His inaccuracy is as bad as his decision-making.

I think BC's D was helped by playing against a north-south guy like Bradford and not the faster McKnight. Their FB was good. Killed us. The TE that missed the game has Sunday written all over him. I guess class isn't his thing.

I actually think coaching hurt us. No adjustments on covering Williams. No adjustments in the run game when we stopped having success b/t the tackles. If we're 3rd and 8, we're dead. The short kickoffs were bad. I wish we had more 2 WR routes and max protected Shinskie more. Where is Harris on a screen in space?

Next year should be pretty good. If Herzy comes back, Luke adds a few lbs...if the new WR has an impact, we should be faster. That's right, Gorgias. Cuz the Fla.'s and Texas' of the world are maulers. Right.

Our dline really needs help, though. Kiwi-fast on the ends.

Can Spaz coach 'em up?

At 12:03 PM, Blogger AlbanyEagle said...

I really liked Shinskie's effort this year, and thought (hoped) he would have a gradual if staggered improvement over the course of the season. But I don't care how good the D we're facing might be, he just absolutely sucked in the secone half. SUCKED! He had good protection a lot of the time and most of his throws blew. With a few clear exceptions, even the completions were bad throws.

He was a good story for the season, and had some very good moments, but the Shinskie/Tranq combination is just not going to get us to the next level next year, and I doubt Tranq is going anywhere anytime soon.
Therefore, I REALLY hope we have some good QB competition in the spring, and one of the freshmen, or Marsc, can step up.

Isn't Rettig starting school in January, or is that the other guy?

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Overall a much better season than most of us saw coming.

I'm really excited about the QB competition. It will be all around a much better developmental process for all the QBs.

A 9 month actual competition with coaches in place is much better than last year's coaching change leading into a 2-3 month game of "which one of you assclowns is gonna turn it over the least" Hopefully, there will be a starter in place this year and no more on the job try outs. Or at least 2 SOLID candidates. The D will be strong again and we are now 4 deep at QB so hopefully they can throw some real pressure at these kids for 9 months.

Micro Strengths:

Shinskie- Showed flashes of greatness. Should be driven to not get knocked off.

Marsco- Probably the lowest in terms of recruiting and knows this could be his shot not to get buried on the 4-deep.

Rettig- Being touted as the next coming of Ryan. Hopefully this isn't just hype. Coming in early shows he is serious and should get him a lot of attention from the coaches since he is deemed "the future".

Bordner- Ditto on the early enrollment. He knows this will be a dogfight with a 50% chance of probably never playing in your 4 years if you lose. Must be motivated (or dumb).

I'm secretly hoping that Tranq's year was a favor to his old friend Spaz and the real OC shows up this year. Maybe it's Day's time? Can't we get some former players who were good college QBs to come in as assistants Flutie, Petersen, Hasselback #2, etc...?

At 1:21 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

The dilemma for the coaching staff is you have two choices, neither one very good. 1) Continue with Shinskie and unless he makes major improvement, you have a medicore QB that cannot lead you to the ACC title or 2) Go with an inexperienced QB for the third straight year. The options are Cody Boeck (Is he still in the running?), Marscovetra, or one of the 2 freshmen. If you start one of the freshmen, you are basically writing off the whole season as very few freshmen can come right in and play well (Even Ryan did not start until he was a redshirt freshman - the dreadful Syracuse game).

While I'm frustrated with the play of Shinskie, I'm hoping he dramatically improves in the offseason and is our starter next year. That is our best shot to win the title.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 2:52 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 2:53 PM, Blogger Dan said...

In defense of Dave Shinskie...

We all know the littany of things BC has been given credit for overcoming this year (Jags Debacle, DD debacle, Herz, Raji, Brace, McLaughlin, Tuggle/Haden debacle, etc...) and the whole team gets tons of credit for 8-5. But what about everything this dude had to overcome?

1) Hadn't played football in 6 years.
2) Hadn't been in a classroom for 6 years.
3) Didn't know the playbook.
4) Had to lead a team of 18-20 year olds he'd never met.
5) Only had summer camp to practice.
6) Cracked his ribs before the season even began.
7) Went from obscurity to getting romped on tv.

I'm not saying that Shinskie is the ultimate answer or that his lack of substantial progression wasn't unfreakingbelievably frustrating. I just don't think he has been given any credit for being at least serviceable in a rebuilding year in light of way more obstacles than your average college QB.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 5:19 PM, Blogger chicagofire1871 said...

Erik and Mod34b,

I attended the Emerald Bowl lunch on the Wednesday prior to the game and was told that there were only 100 more seats available. I guess, as you pointed out mod, that it was a sellout by game time.

Interestingly, one of the Emerald Bowl guys told me that aside from FSU, BC has brought more people and sold more tickets than any of the other ACC teams that have participated (VTech, GT, Maryland, Miami).

It's too bad the ACC is trading this game for the Advocare 100 Independence Bowl in friggin' Shrevesport, LA!

At 6:14 PM, Blogger mmason said...

Even my SC pals thought BC was robbed by some "weird calls", so, all grades aside--and since we have no pass rush and do not believe in throwing to the TE's--I have to go with the sadly true guy's headline:
"BC 13, USC 10, Referees 14".
That punt to SC fumble call will go down in history as one of the most creative instant replay voodoo shuck'n jive zebra stunts of all-time...even SEC bloggers were calling for an investigation into the officiating of the BC/USC game.

But, bottom line--if we can't throw to Montel Harris out of the backfield, we need to investigate our OC's state o' mind. The kid's money.
Happy New Year, BC Nation! The best is yet to come...

At 6:41 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 9:23 PM, Blogger matthew said...

Am I reading these comments correctly?

Shinskie had flashes of greatness this year? that might be a bit extreme.

Hopefully confidence and weight lifting will give him what he needs in the off season????? The guy was blessed with arm strength. I don't think he understands the game. He needs to work on virtually every area of his game in order to get better. That includes learning defensive schemes first and foremost.

And enough with the Tuggle comments, mod. There's no way to prove how the season would have ended up if he were the starting QB. It's not like DS WON us any games this year...

At 10:24 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 11:04 PM, Blogger Coast said...

About that Bleacher Report article- the author, Larry Burton, is one of the crown jewels of stupidity. I would not want that man and his writing in my corner.

His ascent to "featured writer" status is purely quantity over quality, with all the Alabama flavor he needs to get views and comments.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger matthew said...

I'm not pining for the guy, at all. I'm just saying, there's now way to know how things would have panned out with him. I personally think our season wouldn't have been much different, but that can't be proven either.

At 12:51 AM, Blogger mmason said...

Mod, you blow like the wind--the player must be blocked INTO the ball by the opposing player. IF you look at the play you can see that such was not the case. Hence, why don't you fake-think about that issue while I quickly forget that you exist in a real world not of your own making...and consider a name that is not a rehash of your long forgotten dorm days. Capiche?

At 1:05 AM, Blogger matthew said...


At 10:46 AM, Blogger bobble said...

Thank you mmason,

Well said. haha.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Capiche? Thanks Uncle Jessie.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 12:06 PM, Blogger CT said...

come on mod, lighten up, man. you know how many games mmason has personally won just by drinking a voluminous amount of tequila? i know the wake game wasn't about that fluky goal-line fumble that gave us the win. that had mmason's salt-crusted lip stains all over it. so be nice, one day he might need your liver. plus, i like his contribution.

so, seriously, while i don't agree with much of anything you say, don't be the soup nazi. agree to disagree. the ball on the punt, even by your own admission, was subject to interpretation b/c it appeared the usc guy engaged the bc guy--after all, that's what you do on a punt return--and, plus, the ball bounced laterally, so nobody was blocked into the ball. you disagree, fine. big play, but whatever. never seen that called that way. same with the 45 yd pass play to set up the 2nd usc td. guy completed the catch after his left foot came up and he stepped out. whatever.

we're on to, hopefully, brighter days, don't we agree on that?

as for shinskie...i appreciate how tough his situation was. he's got a few strengths--strong arm, occasional pretty throw that makes you forget those 6 yrs. but, in all honesty, the dude didn't improve in my eyes. that's my complaint. we still don't know for sure if he's the guy. after 8 games or so, that's not so good.

my .02

At 1:10 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 2:23 PM, Blogger ASDFJKL; said...

mod is a douchebag! i dont mind reading comments from mmason, ct, or anyone else, but mod is terrible! boo mod! booooooo!

At 2:25 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

i know i suck. i cant help it. i will stop posting.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 2:32 PM, Blogger CT said...

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At 2:34 PM, Blogger ASDFJKL said...

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At 2:35 PM, Blogger mmason said...

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At 2:38 PM, Blogger boble said...

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At 2:39 PM, Blogger Observer College said...

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At 2:43 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 3:01 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 9:18 PM, Blogger ASDF JKL: said...

mod, this is hilarious! youre even more of a loser!

At 11:00 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 11:13 PM, Blogger ASDF JKL: said...

mod, thats not nice! stop being such a douche and take it like a man, just like you tell everyone else! we are trying to make these boards more interesting... if you cant hack it, go away! no one will miss you!

At 11:25 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 11:31 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

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At 11:36 PM, Blogger mod34b said...


ATL has worked too hard and had too much success with this fine blog for me to accept your invitation to take a trip to the gutter. There is just no need to get involved with this kind of garbage. If we want to talk BC sports fine, if we want to talk about who is a douche bag, who blows, and the like, I'd rather find something else to do.


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