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.
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.
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).
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.