Sunday, November 21, 2010

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Virginia

This is not going to come out right but that was actually a well-played bad game. What I mean by that is that most of the guys played well, there weren't many glaring mistakes yet we allowed a poor Virginia team to move the ball, hang around and put up a Hail Mary at the end that would have won the game if they connected. Sometimes you take the win any way you can.

Offense: B-

Rettig didn't look that great Saturday. He had a few passes that could have been picked off. He took some sacks when he probably should have run. Even his one TD pass was into double coverage and sort of a risky pass. My bigger concern though is he waited in the pocket for WRs to get open on their breaks...and waited and waited. He really should be getting rid of the ball faster and as they come out of breaks. If the pass catcher is stationary it gives the DBs time to break on the ball. I did like Chase's toughness on the few plays when he did run. And although he didn't connect a lot I did like his willingness to throw downfield.

Harris had a nice game. Most of his big runs came off of counters and traps instead of stretches or draws. Williams obviously had a nice day too. I don't know if he has Montel's vision or feel but he certainly hits the hole quickly. McCluskey had another great day as a lead blocker. I wish he would get more credit for it.

Amidon's TD was very nice and he should be applauded for his hands and focus. I think he has decent speed too, because he was winning one on one battles downfield (Chase just couldn't get him the ball deep that often). Momah had another nice day. Swigert wasn't as active but caught a ball as did Lee. I usually don't mention Pantale's blocking but he did a nice job on a few of Montel's runs. Anderson blocked well too.

The offensive line played well although they did have a few breakdowns. Claiborne whiffed on a later coming rusher who sacked Rettig. Spinney got overpowered at one point. White struggled a bit so they brought in Richman. Even Castonzo allowed a sack (but he played very well otherwise). The only Oline who played really well throughout was Cleary.

Aside from our first trip to the redzone, I didn't hate the play calling. It was a little conservative once we got the lead, but overall it was effective. I appreciate that Tranq is letting Rettig throw it deep. Our play fakes were effective. I just wish he would start throwing it more. We are not doing ourselves any favors with our slow tempo. Shortening the game against a UVA or say Syracuse next week doesn't play to our strengths.

Defense: C+

The defensive line as a group did not look that sharp. Scafe, Quinn and Holloway all had near sacks that turned into big UVA plays. Newman seemed a step slow or a little off. Edebali wasn't as effective and didn't seem to be on the field much after he got dinged. We clearly missed Ramsey. I do want to credit Dan Williams. He's been waiting to get on the field a long time and looked decent at DE this weekend.

Herzlich made his final day at Alumni memorable. I know everyone hyped the INT, but that was just him playing catch with one hand (as there was no one else around). The REAL jaw dropper was the play before when he tied up the TE and came down with the ball. They didn't call it our way but I think he had a pick there and it was amazing to 1. catch it and 2. wrestle it away with one hand. He also had some nice tackles. Kuechly was Kuechly with an added blitz or two mixed in. KPL had one of his better games. Devitto got in on a few plays too.

Fletcher played well until he got hurt. Fox was solid. Jones looked fine. The safeties weren't as active but Okaroha made a few nice plays. LeGrande and Noel played but weren't near the action all that much.

The good news was that Virginia only scored 13 points. The frustrating news was that they moved the ball up and down on us. We had a few dog blitzes in the first half, but didn't do much of that in the second. We should have as it was very effective. We also didn't do much to put them off balance. In fact by not mixing it up Virginia became more bold and Verica had no problem finding the spots in the zone.

Special Teams: B-

Quigley did a good job placing the ball. It was refreshing to see Ryan Lindsey get a shot at returning and he looked ok. Heads up play by Boek on the onsides. Freese shanked on kickoff but was otherwise good. My biggest problem on special teams was what we didn't do. Why not go for the block when they are pinned back? It is the sort of aggressive move that can put the game away. Instead we ended up with the ball back in our territory.

Overall: B-

As I mentioned in the quick review and earlier in the post, we didn't play poorly. We just played into their hands. In those situations, I just wish Spaz would do something to have his coordinators mix it up. Our two minute drill finally clicked: why not go uptempo for a drive or two? The blitz worked early. Why stop? But we stuck with our gameplan and won in the end. So Spaz has that to hang his hat on. Theses "win streak" games haven't been pretty but I'll take the winning over the losing any day. I am glad we are bowling. I hope with that pressure relieved Spaz really plays to win against Syracuse. I think all BC fans would be thankful for it.


Scott said...

Rettig is definitely late with the ball on outs and crossing routes, throwing after the cut rather than on timing. That will improve once he trusts his coverage reads and develops better chemistry/timing with his young WRs. But I really like that he sets up strong, keeps his eyes downfield while sliding in the pocket, and steps into his throws with confidence. It's helped his accuracy, and he's not showing signs of caving under pressure. Pretty good pocket presence, actually.

Herzy looked much quicker/explosive. Not only was he flying/diving all-around, but he was closing distance in time to make plays on the ball. The "quick twitch" is coming back.

A.Williams looks promising. So strong/compact, aggressive and explosive. Reminds me of W.Green. He'll do well if the O-Line re-establishes the physical, road-gradding identity BC used to be known for. Until then, we'll miss Montel's vision and ability to make yards for the smallest of cracks. Montel has made our o-line look better than they are. The line better get up for 'cuse and stay on their blocks.

As for D-line, I was encouraged by the number of times Edsail, Halloway, Momah, and Williams broke through. They applied real pressure, but whiffed virtually every time. That QB is definitely slippery in the pocket (much like M.Ryan), but he's an average athlete. No way he should be able to side-step rushers so easily.

Anyone see any recruits at the game?

mod34b said...

It is nice to see Tranq letting Rettig throw deep, and it is troubling he missed quite a few deep balls to seemingly open receivers.

But I do not recall seeing too many (any???) medium length balls over the middle. Maybe Rettig lacks the nerve and accuracy for that at this point in his career.

Anfield10 said...

Any word on Monetl's injury?

Big Jack Krack said...

Re: Harris - The Globe is reporting that "An MRI showed some cartilage damage."

Stay tuned for further news after more evaluation.

I think the coach is already planning on the freshman Williams against Syracuse.

bobble said...

Mod: I wouldn't say he lacks nerve or accuracy for those intermediate throws over the middle. He made at least three intermediate throws outside of the hashes that are more difficult than those over the middle. One of those throws came when he was deep in our territory.

Also in his defense it wasn't the easiest day to throw the ball

mod34b said...

Bobble -- yes,Rettig did make a very good throw from inside our end zone for 20+ yards, but the throw was to the outside. (pleasantly shocking that Tranq would call such a play!)

If a ball has enough zip and is thrown to the outside of the receiver, it is hard to intercept -- a lower risk throw than a ball in the middle.

Shinskie used to throw into traffic and in the middle quite a bit -- particularly when he had Gunnell to throw too -- but not so much for Rettig. Maybe they are just bringing him along more slowly and clearly there is no target like Gunnell around this year to make the QB look good.

However, is my impression right? Has Rettig been avoiding the middle area intermediate pass zone? (which is the sweet spot for our opponents when they pass on us)

I would rather see Rettig working the 10-20 yard ball (outide the hashes and inside the hashes) than the long ball. That kind of high percentage throwing is what will make the offense start clicking (next year)

bobble said...

I guess we just disagree on that then. To me that pass outside the hashes is a harder to complete because it is longer and must be thrown with close to perfect accuracy and velocity. Depending upon the coverage any throw just a little behind the receiver can be easily intercepted with the corner or linebacker trailing on that inside shoulder.

I understand your point that maybe there are more defenders in the middle of the field but I think the throw is a little easier cause of the bigger target. Its more a case of reading the coverage. All I'm saying is if he has the accuracy to throw those few out passes he should be able to throw passes over the middle.

I may be wrong, but just my opinion

Erik said...

Major Whalepants event tonight, basketball vs Holy Cross. No word on whether Heinsohn is starting for the purple people eaters.

I wonder if I can rent a 1957 Buick to drive up to Conte?

mod34b said...

Bobble -- you are right...throwing in the middle requires better defensive reading skills, so maybe that is still being developed in our impressive young lad.

(by the way, defense reading skills are needed to throw into traffic, unless you are playing BC and the defense has nicely left you with massive chunks of unguarded green between the hashes and from 10-18 yards from the line!!)

evr2xl said...

According to, Harris had a 'scope on his knee and will miss Syracuse.

Lenny Sienko said...

Here's your Buick:

CT said...

Throwing a long out is more dangerous/much harder than throwing inside the hashes.

But anyway, sad to think that Montel may miss a potential bowl game, after sacrificing himself when the OLine got pushed around by the meat of our schedule. Including Kent State. He's such a stud.

I saw some of the Syracuse/WVU game a few weeks back. Syracuse's defense looked good.

It's nice to see the team winning and Rettig looks like he's good enough to be the presumptive #1 next year, but let's also remember that beating Clemson/Duke/WF/UVA shouldn't cloud our judgment about where this team is. The four teams below us now in the standings. A combined record of 15-29. Kent State is 4-7. Weber State is 6-5 and played two real teams this year, BC and Texas Tech, losing by 43 in Lubbock. Our six wins have come against teams 25-41. Take away the five gimmes that those four teams had (Presbyterian twice, Elon, N Texas, VMI)...that's 20-41 against major competition.

The bowl threshhold drops every year it seems.

I'm absolutely thrilled that I'll have a game to watch in December (or January). But I'm not convinced this team will be more competitive next yr, with road games at VT/Clemson/ND/Miami/CFla.

I think we automatically assume that this team will get better. Rettig, of course, is the lynchpin in that assumption. But all we've proven is that we're not the dregs of the ACC and the competition has gotten much easier. It's easier to look improved against the four teams worse than you.

Last thing: lost in all of this too often was Herzy's story. The more I think about what he's accomplished this year--beating cancer, the foot, the broken hand--the more amazed I am. As soon as the bowl game is over, they need to be organizing his ceremony in our Hall of Fame. Take the number away. He got plenty of national pub when he came back, but it's been easy to be dulled to his plight after being 2-5. In my mind, he's an all-timer.

Galvin said...

Montel just had surgery

mod10aeagle said...

I'm definitely not taking off-season improvement for granted, but I do take hope from the fact that so many Freshmen and Sophomores got significant playing time this year, and the vast majority of them showed real promise. I'm more concerned about the O-line than anything else.

TheodorGeisel said...

CT I am
I am CT
I am CT
CT I am.
I would not like BC here or there.
I would not like BC anywhere.
I do not like BC in the ACC.
I do not like BC CT I Am.

CT said...

I do love me some Dr. Seuss.

Big Jack Krack said...

Too bad for Montel - and we wish him a speedy recovery.

It should be interesting to see the two deep at running back this week. Let's hope Andre can pull the load all by his true freshman self.

I don't know where he is going to end up, and I couldn't care less - but thanks for quitting on your teammates, Hampton Beach Phifer. I guess you knew that once Finch is healthy, you weren't going to get a sniff.

Erik said...

BC students are the worst fans in the world right now.

Big Jack Krack said...

Okay, here we go - here's the challenge from the wonderful Heather Dinich:

"Boston College won't beat Syracuse -- or anyone else for that matter -- without leading rusher Montel Harris, who injured his knee in the third quarter against Virginia on Saturday.

Harris is 125 yards away from becoming the leading rusher in school history. He's the most dependable player on that offense. He is the offense. The good news for BC? They're already bowl eligible.

The thing is, they couldn't have done it without him."

Let's go BC - let's go Hogs - Let's go Andre Williams - let's go Seniors and team - win this one for Montel Harris and all of our injured players, especially our injured seniors Alex, DeLeon and Wes.

Heather is a fool. Yes, we couldn't have done it without Montel, but don't sell this team short. They have persevered, stuck it out and improved under difficult circumstances. They are MEN!

They have not finished yet, and have one more huge game to go to put their mark on the back half of this season.What a comeback!!!!!!

John said...

We have needed payback for 6 years. As I recall, we were on our way to a good bowl - Fiesta Bowl maybe?

Let's go BC. Get focused!!!!

Diamond Ferri ran for 141 yards two touchdowns and scored again on an interception Saturday as Syracuse rolled to a 43-17 victory over No. 17 Boston College to deprive the Eagles of a Bowl Championship Series berth and a farewell outright Big East title. Despite the loss, Boston College earned finished in a four-way tie with West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse for the league championship, Boston College's first.

Damien Rhodes ran for a 69-yard touchdown on the game's first play from scrimmage and 107 yards in all for Syracuse (6-5, 4-2 Big East) before leaving with a leg injury. That pressed Ferri, a third-teamer behind Rhodes and the injured Walter Reyes, into the lead role.

Because of the four-way logjam atop the Big East, Pitt would earn the BCS berth and a possible Fiesta Bowl matchup against Utah with a victory over South Florida next week. BC will go to its sixth consecutive bowl game, likely the Insight or Gator.

Perry Patterson was 9-for-16 for 88 yards, adding 48 yards rushing and a touchdown in what could be coach Paul Pasqualoni's last game at Syracuse.

Pasqualoni lost a staunch ally when athletic director Jake Crouthamel announced that he will retire; Crouthamel hired Pasqualoni to replace Dick McPherson in 1991 and has defended his coach the past two seasons.

Saturday's win helped him avoid a third consecutive year without a winning record. Pasqualoni, who has a year remaining on his contract, followed 11 consecutive winning seasons by going 4-8 in 2002 and 6-6 last year.

BC was playing without quarterback Paul Peterson, who broke his right hand in last week's victory over Temple. Freshman Matt Ryan was 24-for-51 for 200 yards with three interceptions and several early dropped passes as BC mustered little offense to fall behind 24-3 before scoring on a (Brian Toal) blocked punt in the final minute of the first half.

Walter said...

CT, our wins may not have been over the best opponents, but a win is a win is a win.

Clemson has a winning record and took the number 2 team in the country to overtime.

And yes, Wake, Duke, and Virginia are terrible. But we won, and that's the end of it. No, we didn't put the teams away like we should have, but we still won. If we lost I might care more about their records, but who cares?

Kent State and Weber State....are not good football programs. They will never be the strong part of our program. We can't help the perceived talent level of the ACC and we're allowed to schedule cupcakes just like everyone else does.

The bowl threshold has not been dropping every year. Maybe the last two years, but what do you expect? If we don't make the ACC championship game and if our fans don't travel better, there is no reason for a bowl committee to select us over other people who do travel better. To me, the bowls we go to say more about our fans than our team.

Finally, I think it's fair to think this team will be better next year - or at least not worse, which is what happened from last year to this years (even though we are still in position to finish with the same record and on a much stronger note).

Rettig is a true freshman and doesn't have as many variables as Shinskie did. No one contests that he's been getting better each week. We'll still have Montel and other pieces from this year's team next year. As far as the competition goes, we always seem to play close to our opponent's skill anyway. When do we ever actually blow people out?

I agree with Herzlich. Amazing story and he should be getting more coverage.

Snuffy said...

When I was at BC in mid 90's, things were bad. But we did not trash our team when it won or trash our next season. Fo' 'shizzle.

EagleManhattan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mmason said...

Don't think CT is "trashing" BC at all. Yes,our Eagles won the game against an opponent who managed to run far too often on us going wide, and passed against us effectively but could not score. We got some breaks and UVA was penalty prone at key moments. Their kicker blew a gimme FG and we got some calls too--that UVA catch in the end zone could have gone the other way on the road. A win's a win...

This is a young team. Nobody can complain about a win, but let's be real. Yeah, Chase took his time throwing, and yet had a couple of good passes. BUT: Our O Line was weak in pass protect (Chase was sacked 3 times), and we still played soft D in that damn cushion pass protect. The same recurring problems against a 7-4 Syracuse at home are not a good recipe for success.

Herzy was truly great. What a guy. and the WR's improved. Our throws to Pantale should become a habit and not just an occasion. We just need to see some toughness from the O Line--too much penetration from UVA's pass rush just sucked. Momah is starting to look good--and Andre will kick some butt on long runs if our blockers move their feet and get some meanness going.

We should be guardedly optimistic, hoping that our defense shows up and plays aggressively wide and deep. The speed we lack on the outside was exploited too much and 'Cuse will beat on that from the get go.

Go Eagles! Let's tighten it up and bring it to the 'Cuse.