Sunday, October 30, 2011

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Maryland

The second viewing was encouraging. It shows that our line can block someone. It also showed that BC can still have a dominant defensive effort with our simple base defense. What was a little disconcerting was that we strayed a bit from the model defensively later in the game. I was happy with the performance. I guess we will soon find out if it was because Maryland was so bad or if we are getting better.

Offense: B

Chase Rettig wasn't asked to do much but unfortunately he was still a little off in some of his passes. But I would toss most of it up to timing and the elements. The biggest surprise -- and perhaps the telling sign that the weather impacted things -- was that Chase couldn't get his Hail Mary into the endzone. But overall, I think the win has got to be a confidence builder.

Finch might not be as fast or powerful as Williams or as reliable as Harris, but he showed he's got good vision, patience and is hard to take down. I am willing to overlook the fumbles because it was so wet and terrible. Everyone had an issue with it. What's interesting is that he passed the 200 mark without any huge runs. Instead it was just a series of eight and nine yarders. Not a highlight reel, but obviously welcome. Williams had a nice day too. Williams best plays were actually as a lead blocker on Amidon's endarounds. No way Amidon gets the TD without Williams paving the way. Sinkovec is getting more time and doing a fine job blocking. Kimble played on special teams, but for some reason wasn't part of the offense.

Anderson started the day with a catch but did most of his work blocking. Swigert got one catch and wasn't heard from much the rest of the day. My biggest frustration was Larmond not tracking down Rettig's corner pass early in the game. It was a great throw that he should have been able to track down. Maybe the mud slowed him down. Amidon only caught one ball, but looked good on his runs. He manages to turn the corner well and has good speed. (I know the wildcat is now passe, but maybe we should break it out once a game with Finch/Amidon.)

The much maligned offensive line played a nearly flawless game. They dominated at the line of scrimmage, got to the second level and even did a good job pulling and trapping (which as been an issue). Vardaro played really well. Spinney deserves credit for much of the space opening up in the middle and for snapping the ball well in this environment. Both tackles were good as was Ian White.

Sometimes play calling is simple. You run something until the other guy shows he can stop you. If he can't you keep running. Although that over simplifies, that still is sort of what Brock did. Take the runs to Amidon. They were technically different plays from different formations, but they had the same spirit and net effect. I was hoping that BC would take advantage of Maryland's zone, but the weather didn't support throwing a lot. And we took advantage of Maryland's soft front anyway.

Defense: B

Appiah might now be our best Dlineman. He is taking up space, close to the action and making plays with good effort. Ricci looked better. Holloway had some nice moments -- like the tip. But also a few that were just so-so. Mihalik was good. Edebali was fine but didn't have a big impact. Abdesmad played but didn't do much.

Kuechly didn't have a ridiculous tackle day but made a big impact. Not only did he have the INT, but he also had a great read and tackle for a loss on their end around. Luke's handling of the option also kept them from using it much. Keyes played close to the line (almost over the center) and did well. Duggan looked good. Clancy was okay but didn't get a ton of PT. Divitto was good and good in coverage.

Hughes had some good tackles early but missed a few late. Sylvia did a good job tackling and showed good instinct on the interception. Williams played well. Rositano was okay. Fletcher was fine but not near much of the action. Noel made some nice plays before he got hurt. ALJ had two chances to track balls in the air for INTs but didn't pull them in.

The defense was simple and standard BC for most of the first half and it worked. However later in the game, BC used more of its new 3-4 and also didn't bring much pressure. Of course, Maryland started moving the ball and scoring. I also wish we had brought more pressure. We used the blitz well last week. Why back off?

Special Teams: D

There isn't a whole lot to go on here. We didn't do anything on punts and half of Maryland's kickoffs were onsides.

However, Freese had trouble with his field goals. That's on him and its also on Spaz for attempting them in such crappy conditions.

The punt returns were a little off too. Asprilla had a block go through his arms. He also lost contain on their rugby style (that bounced off of Naples's ankle).

Overall: B

BC wasn't overcome by the elements, BC bounced back from some mistakes, and BC beat a bad team on the road. That's what a good, well coached team should do. Any of the issues (like going prevent a little too early) would be nitpicking.

But as I said after the game, the fact that BC played well is hardly an endorsement of Spaz or his future. If anything it is an indictment of our awful start. We can quibble about expectations and things out of Spaz's control, but I think it is clear we should have more than two wins.


Jeff said...

Left a big post... where did it go?

mod34b said...

I recall the sideline reporter noting that the field in Byrd Stadium was filled with clay. Clay is prevalent in that part of MD. Clay apparently does not absorb water well, but holds it on the surface. This makes the field too slippery. You could see players sliding in puddles of water for yards after going down.

Just look at the kickers. A comedy of errors. The same for passing and running crisp routes.

What a crappy field (when it rains) for ACC-level play. But I think the reporter also said MD will be soon switching to field turf (artifical turf).

Both teams had to deal with the same conditions, YET BC figured out out to win. FINALLY. It was really pretty dominating. Score easily could have been 34-10.

Seemed like the sidelines were wetter than the middle (I guess the field drains to the sides), and so was it good coaching or good luck that Brock had Deuce running straight ahead on the least slippery part of the field?

Spaz, Brock, McGovern called a good game. And while Spaz's comments about Finch fumbling were stupid, I do not think they were as bad as some are saying.

I hope this new success-oriented team shows up on Thursday.

Jeff said...

Ugh... I'll just retype the bullet points:

* Starting D gave up on 3 points.
* Spaz to blame for mass subs halfway through 4th and resulting 14 points we gave up.
* O-line played amazingly well, and if we could execute like that every week, we really would be "O-line U" again.
* Finch opened my eyes and erased a lot of doubts. I take back anything I ever said about him.

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

"Spaz to blame for mass subs halfway through 4th and resulting 14 points we gave up."

A 1-6 team desperate for a win should not take any starters out.

But I am not sure it was a wholesale swap of first teamers for second teamers. Part of it was putting in fresh legs on the dline -- which actually helped. I am not quite sure, do I not think the first team DBs were swapped for second teamers. I think Keuchley did come out for one series.?? All i can really say is that a lot of clean jerseys showed up.

Rob said...

Here is Spencer Hall describing the Florida offense. I can't think of a better description for the Tranquill years.

"Take going for it on 4th and long. Florida hit a lottery shot to Jordan Reed for the TD in the first half on 4th and 13, but on what? What was the base play of the offense? The answer is that there is no base play, and that in itself is damnable because it means they can't do one play well, and thus have to do 30 of them horribly to make up the difference. This has been Limp Biskit attempting a concept album, and then a collection of Burt Bacharach standards. This is an offense that is currently outranked by Temple's to the tune of 27 spots. This is an exploding car with a cartload of puppies inside that you get to watch burn every Saturday."

Note: I don't want to know how many spots are offense is behind Temple. I don't want to rain on a nice win, but just thought this was well done.

Darius said...

It's a small consideration, but I think bringing in the clean jersey guys in a game completely in control is good for team unity. On such a sloppy day, if it's at all possible, you want every one of your guys to know and show that they were part of that win, that they've earned it. There shouldn't be a single able player celebrating in the locker room who isn't part of that messy jersey club. Build on that.

Big Jack Krack said...

Although FSU is a prohibitive favorite, I think our schedule has been a little tougher so far. Is that helpful? Who knows?

As horrible as this season has been, our young guns are getting better every game. (FSU is back to getting better as well).

We have a WTF chance.

We played Virginia Tech and Clemson on the road - both comparable or slightly better than the Seminoles. Will home field help us enough? FSU has a really short turnaround for a Thursday night game, because they have to travel.

36 Florida State



66.93( 84)

113 Boston College


68.70( 59)

Big Jack Krack said...

Sorry I jumped ahead to FSU.

It was good to see our OL take advantage of the weather at Maryland. BC made the weather our friend. Congratulations to all the players for this win under very difficult conditions.

If both lines develop (self motivation and proper coaching) - we could get back on track by next season.

However - here comes FSU and a real test for one Sean Devine this week. We haven't got anytime to even smile. I hope we didn't burn Deuce out because we will need another unbelievable effort from him.

Their defensive front was instrumental in limiting NC State to 36 rushing yards on 28 attempts and a season-low 166 total yards.

Rob said...

BC Fan of the Week:

Check out the bottom left hand corner. Someone showed up to Game Day in Cali just to taunt BU. I'm guessing this is an EO poster.

Love it.

Rob said...

BC Fan of the Week:


Check out the bottom left hand corner. Someone showed up to Game Day in Cali just to taunt BU. I'm guessing this is an EO poster.

Love it.

(Reposted w/ fixed link)

Big Jack Krack said...

How badly was Noel hurt? Will he be available Thursday night?

How about KPL - is he ready for FSU?

Will Quinn and O'Neal be available to help out Appiah, Ricci and Rudolph? How about Murray - anyone else?

Cranmore played briefly at MD - what position? DE? Did Bodner get in?

How about Abdesmad and Mihalik - did they play well? If these guys develop we can be really tough on the DL rotation next year.

Rob said...


Wouldn't it be nice if we had a beat reporter that asked/answered these questions

mod34b said...

Jack -- Cranmore is the 4th (5th) string QB. I think he was a walk on. I doubt be got in the game. I think the only QB who played was Rettig.

Cranmore is #9, same number as 2nd string SS Dominque Williams. So the stats probably says Cranmore played, when really it was D. Williams

Big Jack Krack said...

That's probably it, Mod - double numbers.

I was looking at the stat sheet.

Rob - I agree - mit would be nice to get the proper coverage.

Thanks Fenway Sports Group - great job.

mod34b said...

I took a peek at the Tomahawk Nation board. Interesting.

FSU is presently favored by 16.5 points. The FSU crowd is cocky, but seems to be very concerned about freezing their southern balls off.

But one poster nails the issue: FSU is #2 in USA against the run! Is that true??. If so, OMG

The comments

Seems high Boston College always finds a way to get our worst shot. On short rest, with Thursday night mojo in play, on the road, in potentially cold weather I definitely see the stars aligning for that to happen again.

I hear ya but this is not the same BC or FSU. They always gave us problems by being more physical (bigger) and better coached…particularly up front. Don’t think that’s the case anymore.

Agreed... Just apprehensive because of the travel, short prep and its going to be freaking COLD.

We will freeze our balls off and win by 3 tds. I’d be more concerned with wet conditions which neutralizes our speed and athleticism.

The cold in Florida when it does get cold, is a colder cold than up north. [This comment is so stupid, it is funny!]

Boston cold is wet cold. Coldest I have ever been was walking in the rain in Boston when the temp was supposedly 38. I barely survived three winters there.

I agree as I'm from West Palm where 60 degrees can be bone rattling cold, but Boston is really miserable.

FSU run defense second to only BAMA in ypp & no pass O this could get ugly for BC

My biggest concern is turnovers. Being a night game in cold weather is a concern. We’ve turned the ball over more than our fair share and have hardly taken it away at all. It’s an FSU win, but the margin will be determined by the TO ratio.

I just worry about our receivers catching and keeping the ball secure with cold hands. I can see the receivers fumbling or trying to catch it and having it slip through their hands for tipped ball interceptions or balls slipping out of EJ’s hands, being a bit inaccurate and winding up in the defender’s hands.

BC is so bad that I think we can handle a turnover or two. They suuuuuuuuuuuck

A33Jim said...

Any more snow in the forecast?

eagleboston said...

My gosh....Southerners.....what a bunch of wussies.

I'm heading east to Alumni Thursday night and I am just going to bring a light jacket. The low is supposed to be 42 that night, not exactly frigid and I'm sure game time it will be near 50.

On the other hand, let's keep saying it will be freezing. Sounds like that gets in their heads (although I recall the Jags -Ryan team losing at home in cold, wet conditions).

eagleboston said...

My favorite is "I'm from West Palm where 60 degrees can be bone-rattling cold."

Are they serious? There is some thin blood down in the Redneck Riviera (as well as West Palm, which I realize is a long way from Tallahassee.)