Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Guest Blogger: All About the U

When Yahoo! Sports dropped the hammer on Miami this summer, the most informed rebuttal didn't come from Miami or a member of the established media, but from a blogger. That blogger was Vishnu Parasuraman of All About the U. Vishnu's work exposed some of the holes in the report and some of the credibility issues that Shapiro had. It was great work. In prep for BC's final game, I've asked him a few things about the 'Canes. His answers below.

1. How is offense under Fisch different from the Whipple days? What happened last week against USF?

VP: I think the main difference between the two offenses is the focus of the offense. Fisch is more dedicated to running the football (although that has been done inconsistently effective this year), while Whipple seemed to force the pass. By doing this, Fisch has taken pressure off of Jacory Harris to be the play maker on the offense, instead shifting focus to getting the ball to the WRs and RBs and letting them make plays. Jacory Harris is an intelligent, accurate QB. His one pitfall is his arm strength. Whipple's offense required deep, downfield, power throws that are more suited to an NFL arm. This resulted in a lot of interceptions. In Fisch's offense, Harris has been able to utilize his strengths and thrive, making the whole offense much more effective.

The difference between the offense against USF versus the rest of the season was the offensive line. USF's defensive line dominated, which shut down the entire offense. Jacory Harris was sacked 7 times, and the 'Canes totaled 40 carries for only 57 yards. Jacory Harris still managed to be effective and efficient, going 27/35, 259 yards with no interceptions, but the sacks and negative run plays constantly put the team behind the chains. Also, a drive ended with a fumble and another with a blocked FG, so there were some points left on the field.

2. The defense seems to be much more consistent. How should BC attack the scheme?

VP:I think the key to the defense's resurgence has been moving LB Sean Spence to MLB. He had been playing outside most of the year, with the exception of the Georgia Tech game where the 'Canes defense also thrived. He was moved back inside against FSU and remained there against USF. It has made all the difference in the world, as the defense was the weakness of the team most of the year.

Truth be told, for most of the year, whatever the opposition did, run or pass, it was effective. Obviously, this defensive resurgence the last few weeks has changed that. I think the way to attack this defense the way it is currently playing is to go with an intermediate passing game and mix in some runs. Mark D'Onofrio tends to play his CBs off the WRs, and there is room to complete passes in the 5-10 yard range. If BC is effective doing that, it should loosen up the run defense as well, and the 'Canes are susceptible to being run over. Also, play action passes to the TEs and FBs seem to be really effective. But in general, I would use the intermediate passing game to set up the run.

3. Given all that has happened, what is your opinion of Golden's first year? Do you think his name constantly being mentioned for other jobs will significantly impact the program he is trying to build?

VP: I would give him a passing grade, but barely. He certainly has had to deal with a lot of issues, and that does and should give him a lot of leeway. On the flip side, I think there is more talent on this team than the 6-5 record indicates. This senior class was the #1 recruiting class in the country, and while many of the big name players have not panned out as expected, enough of them have to warrant a better record. Every Miami loss has been close and decided in the last minute of the game, so there was certainly potential for a much better season. Golden's handling of the scandal off the field has been excellent, but I feel the team left a few wins out there.

The Miami program has never been about the coach, so I don't think Golden's name being mentioned will really hurt, especially since he has pretty emphatically said he is not going anywhere. The main concerns going forward are the on field play and obviously any sanctions that might come from the NCAA. The sanctions speak for themselves, but it has now been a decade since the 'Canes have won a championship and 8 years since they have been in a BCS bowl. The school is a small private school with limited resources competing in a pro sports town(something BC fans can sympathize with), so the main draw has always been the reputation of the school as a football powerhouse. Now, people like myself that are older remember the glory days, but the kids being recruited now were 8 years old the last time Miami was dominant. I think Miami needs to be relevant next year on a national level (at least ranked by year's end) to take a step forward in the building of the program.

4. What is your prediction for the game?

VP: I was concerned before the game that the 'Canes would come out flat on senior day after becoming bowl eligible. With the decision to not play in a bowl game, this game became a lot more interesting because it is essentially the bowl game for both teams now. I think it will be close for the first half, but that Miami, which is a second half team, will pull away in the second half and win 27-14.


eagle1331 said...

Just reposting this..
Steven Lively's letter is on now for you to support...

Jeff said...

Your game prediction is way off! Here is what will happen:

In a fit of madness, Spaz will bench Kuechly, grab a helmet himself, and start the game at middle lineback. Having taken the only player who knows how to tackle out of the game, Spaz will finish with 18 solo tackles and 3 personal fouls (for unnecessary pessimism). The game will end 6-3, but no spectators will still be awake. Spaz will tear down the goalpost himself, resulting in his subsequent termination.

Mark it down.

eagle1331 said...

I hope Jeff is right.

Anyway, with the answer to #2, I wonder if this is the game that Bordner gets a little more time and the playbook opens up for him. The dink and dunk, option offense would seem to be the style that they are grooming him for.

High of 80 and Sunny of Friday. Pretty tempting to get on a plane and fly down from NJ. Anyone have a charter I can borrow?

Knucklehead said...

If you want to book a charter I can put you in touch with my buddy . . . bc grad in the boston area by the way

Knucklehead said...

BC will win this game. I don't think that they have won in Miami since the Hail Mary.

Our defense is getting better, especially the line.

The only qualifier to my prediction is how many run attempts we have. Rettig should not be throwing the ball 35 times. He is not good enough. We need to run the ball 40 times and throw 25 times to win this game.

Final Note: Max Holloway has been playing great the last couple weeks. He appears to have the potential and cache(productive and father was in the NFL) to become a leader on the defense and hopefully a leader on the team as a whole. We are lacking tremendously in the area of leadership.

Final score: 23-21 Boston College

eagle1331 said...

Knucklehead, thanks for the offer but I don't think my financial situation allows for that... One day though maybe!

Realized that "petition" link wasn't working. Here it is again:

Big Jack Krack said...

I'm down here at Doral and will probably wear shorts to the game. :-)

Spent a nice day in the Keys.

The last time we were here for the game in 2006, TOB coached us into a WTF loss, after we completely dominated the first half. Guess he knew he was leaving for Raleigh right after the game.

I remember that I was livid. It's one thing to lose a game, but you could have made a case for coaches' point shaving that night.

Big Jack Krack said...

"The school is a small private school with limited resources competing in a pro sports town(something BC fans can sympathize with),........"

The attendance for the 2006 game in the old Orange Bowl was pitiful. I'm thinking that now that the Hurricanes play in the pro stadium 20-25 miles from their campus, things haven't gotten any better - probably worse. It might be a stretch to see 30,000 in attendance in the 75,000 seat stadium, although the weather forecast is good.

If that's the case, and I'm sitting on the same side as the BC bench (unknown yet)the coaches will hear my opinion about any Prevent Offense on display.

As many of us have noticed, the ACC has some real attendance issues in football - not only BC, but Miami, Wake, Maryland, Virginia and Duke. Georgia Tech won't fill up for several games a year, much like UNC. FSU, Clemson, VT, and NC State are the only very strong attendance schools.

It should be interesting to see how the situation in Miami shakes out. "Now, people like myself that are older remember the glory days, but the kids being recruited now were 8 years old the last time Miami was dominant."

If Golden isn't able to turn it around with upcoming sanctions and the mandate to run a clean program - the Miami that we used to know may be gone forever.

I'd like to see BC beat them more than every once in a blue moon.

Go Eagles - beat the Hurricanes for Luke!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

eagleboston said...

Today is the 27th Anniversary of the Miracle in Miami! Like the day Germany bombed Pearl Harbor, we all remember where we were when Sir Douglass Flutie, Earl of Natick, tossed a Hail Mary pass to Gerard Phelan. The greatest day in BC football history!

Mike said...

Wake has sold out every game this year.

Big Jack Krack said...

Mike - I'm happy to hear that Wake sold out every game this year, and that I was mistaken. Although small, it's a nice stadium for a college game.

This year may have had something to do with Notre Dame coming to Winston Salem, although I don't know.

Did they actually fill the stadium every game (ND fans snap up season's tickets)? Anyway, I'm glad they filled it up - it's good for the league.

I have been there several times when it was half full; and that usually changes at halftime if it's a cool night, when half again don't come back.

Knucklehead said...

The attendance issues at these schools, most importantly at Boston College, are the reason why ticket prices have gone up. It is also the reason why the television deals are so important.

These schools are businesses and when sales go down or football attendance goes down instead of lowering prices across the board they raise them. The schools would rather have 65% capacity and get the same revenue as a sellout then have 90% capacity at a lower cost per ticket.

Similar theory with television. The schools would rather have money rolling in from a television deal, especially Boston College, then have money coming in at the gate. It is easier for the school than to have to foster a good game day experience.

The point is that alot of the schools in the ACC, not just Boston College, think that the fans(who are typically their alumni giving base) and the games don't really matter . . . the schools prefer to have television money coming in than create big community event- which is what makes college football special.

If you were to take it a step further . . I don't think that alot of the ratings for these televised games come from people who care about the schools. They care about and watch the game because they wager on it. So essentially these schools are taking television money from large corporations who are garnering ratings from gamblers.