I am Chairman of the Chase Rettig fan club, but this was not his best day. I don't know if he is feeling the pressure or feels like he has to force things, but many of our drives stalled based on the decisions he made. He made decent decisions when they blitzed. The problems came when they dropped seven and no one was open. Instead of looking for the big play or forcing a throw, he needs to occasionally tuck and run. If anything it will keep them honest. Chase also seemed off on the first drive regarding the plays. There were two runs where he turned to the backfield and was in the wrong place. I assume he was wrong because the OLine was pulling on the first and because no one moved on the second.
Andre Williams is playing hard and making some nice moves in open field. Between the tackles is still an issue, but I think that is more on the OL. Williams' biggest issue was not pulling in the screen pass we threw him deep in our own end. Kimble looked decent. Maybe we should get him more involved in the passing game. Dan Williams played a little FB but didn't make much of an impact (positive or negative).
Like Rettig, I've often been a defender of our WRs, but this was not their best day either. Coleman should have comeback a bit to help Rettig on the first INT. Larmond also needed to pull in that quick slant that the UCF DB got his hand on. The TEs were decent -- I still think Rettig should go to them more. As a group there were good examples of them blocking.
I don't know why the offensive line can't establish any consistency. I tend to blame coaching but there are other factors in play (like talent and play calling). But maybe it is talent. When our guys our pulling and getting blown up by UCF LBs, maybe they are not that great. But I also think there are some execution issues. These guys don't always seem in sync. White was our best yesterday. Clearly was ok. Wetzel was pretty good. Spinney, Gallick and Richman all had rough days.
I am tempted to give Rogers a pass for this game. He's still trying to figure out what he has and what works in live action. That said, UCF adjusted in this game and we did not. Early in the game they used blitzes and Rettig read them and delivered. Then they dropped guys into coverage and we had no answer. They were keying on the run and we didn't use much play action or misdirection. I think Rogers needs to keep things simple for the OL's sake and for Rettig's confidence. If we are having assignment issues on the opening drive you know there are some teaching and communication issues abound.
It may sound like I am picking on the Dline but they got outclassed. Both Halloway and Edebali got burned on the option. They both played hard but didn't do enough to disrupt their offense. And they were the good part. O'Neal got pushed around all night. Quinn looked okay early but didn't do much as the game progressed. Ricci was a non factor. Harris played a little and got pushed around. Rudolph -- didn't do anything in limited snaps. Murray was meh. We miss Ramsey more than anything right now. So much of what we do is about establishing the DL. If we cannot contain, cannot clog the run and cannot disrupt the pocket, a decent QB will find and connect with open WRs.
Kuechly made plenty of tackles, but they still gave him more trouble than usual. Godfrey faked him out and he got juked by their RBs a few times. KPL was solid. Devitto was better. Clancy got on the field more and played well.
The DBs were actaully better. You could see the difference Fletcher made the minute he got on the field. He closed quickly and read plays well. ALJ wasn't as active but his tackling was better. Noel played very well. Rositano got in. Williams was good. Sylvia showed good instincts and will make a big play soon. Hughes still looks a step slow. In many cases the UCF guys just made good catches.
When we brought pressure it was effective. We just didn't do it enough. I also appreciate that they tried new things. When the front four didn't do anything, we started using just three down lineman more. The defensive formula was working. We held them to under 9 for most of the game. It was only after we didn't score that the defense finally wore down. Plus our system is reliant on turnovers and we came up short in that department too.
Special Teams: C
There wasn't as much to judge this week. Freese fortunately made his kick. Quigley was solid as usual.
Kimble is pretty aggressive but had some nice returns.
Looking back, this might read like the game was much closer than 30-3. In a way it was. Even after were stopped on the 4th down, we still had some big stops on them. But we couldn't capitalize. Since the game wasn't as close, it was hard to nitpick the game management (although failing to challenge the out of bounds pass when it happened right in front of Spaz is head scratching). My biggest issue with Spaz is that we didn't look better from week 1 to week 2. We are not getting better and still making mental errors. When does he, as the head guy, figure out how to fix that?
In my quick review I said we have nine win talent and six win coaching. Many challenged my assessment of the talent. But my biggest issue with Spaz is that I don't feel he is maximizing the talent we have. I also question if he believes in the team. Why not challenge a play? If you are in four-down territory, why not go for a big play on 3rd?
Spaz needs to understand that when he is talking to the media, he is talking to BC fans. When he points out issues with detachment or sarcasm, it comes off like he is just playing the cards he was dealt. That is not cutting it. This is his team and we are still laying eggs. He needs to change something or to use his words "things could get ugly."