Second viewing thoughts and grade report: UMass
Usually the second viewing makes me feel better after losses. Saturday was sort of the opposite. For a few weeks now, I've said repeatedly that this team is close. Yet in the win I saw some of the recurring issues that have cost us games. This week those issues didn't cost us, but they were still glaring. But we have a win and a chance to build on things. Let's hope this season is actually in turnaround.
Rettig was aggressive, which was good. But I feel like some of his passes would have been INTs against better defenses. I don't know if it was his timing or what, but the off target throws were of the longer variety. I did like when he tucked and ran. He needs to do that more often. He also showed decent pocket awareness, but like the slightly off throws, I don't know if he could have gotten away with it against a better team. Shinskie got some mopup duty. I don't know what that means for the backup role.
I know he didn't have any explosive plays, but it was nice to see Harris back. You could see what we've been missing. It was reassuring to see Montel make the first tackler miss. Williams was good and seems to be doing better reading the holes. Kimble had one big play and that was it. Finch made the most of his mopup duty. Maybe he can break into the regular offense. Dan Williams continues to play well at FB.
The offensive line was still an issue. I was disappointed to see the number of breakdowns and lost one-on-one battles. White had a few mistakes. Spinney got penalized as did Cleary. Wetzel probably looked the best. Gallik was pretty good.
Larmond had the big day. What was most impressive was his ability to adjust his routs and his ability to win one on one battles. Swigert made some nice plays. Everyone else was fine. I was glad to see Anderson get a TD. He does a good job blocking s it was nice to see him rewarded.
I liked the play calling. I am sure part of it was based on the talent disparity, but I appreciated the downfield passing. If we are ever going to get the offense moving again, it will be with big plays.
What was disappointing is that the DL didn't dominate against UMass. Neither Holloway nor Edebali put consistent pressure on the QB. Quinn drew some double teams, but didn't do as much. Like Quinn, O'Neal was on the field a lot without making big plays. Williams looked good. Rudolph was okay.
Some of the LBs aside from Kuechly forced their way into the spotlight. Devitto and KPL obviously had the biggest plays with their respective turnovers. Clancy had a good day too. Kuechly did his usual. What was unusual was how often he was chasing the QB on blitzes and delays. Maybe that will be a new wrinkle.
Well at least we adjusted to the bubble screen. I think it shows what a difference Noel and Fletcher can make. Both looked good. Both did a good job supporting the run. And they made some good takles. Hughes had his best game yet. Rositano was fine.
I don't think the scheme was all that unique from what we've been doing for the past few weeks. I guess the adjustment was having the corners play a little closer to the line, and as I mentioned, having the linebackers blitz a bit more. It was successful. But as a whole, there isn't much to take away from the game.
Special Teams: D
How can we have decent kick coverage all year and then allow a touchdown by UMass? I think it was in part because the team had a lead. But we are not good enough to lose our edge. It was also in part because the team got out of place and -- no one could catch the Levengood. Amidon tried but where was the rest of the team?
Glad to see Freese boucne back. Quigley had an uneventful day.
Kimble looked good on his returns.
These sorts of games are the ultimate "no win." If the game had been close, I would have killed Spaz. Yet I don't give him a ton of credit for the big win. I guess what concerns me is that both lines are still issues. When is the head man going to get improvement out of each?
BC had its most uneventful week of the year and it resulted in a win. Now let's hope Spaz builds on this.