Sunday, November 13, 2011

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: NC State

Watching this back sort of felt like the Maryland game and left me scratching my head. How is TOB's team this bad in his 5th year? I never thought he would be taking the Wolfpack to the BCS but I still thought they would be respectable. Holloway (who I will get to later) was running at Glennon nearly at will. We haven't seen that from him...ever. How have Jim Bridge and Don Horton screwed up their OLine to that extent? As for BC, the first half was pretty good football. The second half was poor and we were lucky NC State didn't steal the game from us.

Offense: C-

Rettig started off strong. He was sharp on his throws and made some nice adjustments. Then as the game progressed things weren't as good. The TD pass to Larmond was perfect, but the INT was bad (even though Elliot shares blame, Chase forced it). But given what he was asked to do and that he was yanked in and out, 9-13 is not a bad day. Bordner isn't really a QB at this point. We didn't ask him to throw. We didn't even add much variety when he is in the game. It was mostly the end around. No zone-option read. No passing. I don't know how long we can do this with him. It seems like TOB's guys adjusted to his presence. In the offseason he will have to improve his passing if we ever want to consider him as a real QB option.

Williams got most of the carries. He had a few nice runs, but I still think he lacks great cutting ability in traffic. He's best in open space and off tackle. Finch returned but didn't get to do much. Sinkovec has some good lead blocks. Glad Kimble is back and hopefully he will be used more in the passing game soon.

Larmond made some nice plays and runs after the catch. Amidon also fought hard for a first down. Amidon had some success early with the end around plays but they stuffed it as the game progressed. Because of limited throws we didn't see much from Swigert or the Tight Ends. Naples was okay with his grab. Elliott looked like he ran the wrong route on Chase's INT.

The offensive line was better as a whole. Wetzel looked really good in run blocking. But for some reason at times they pulled him to give Richman some snaps at LT. It was a mistake as Richman looked overmatched. Cleary and White played well on the right side. Spinney was okay. Vardaro made some good plays and had a few issues at other times. Collectively they still look terrible running screens. Gallik also got in for a few snaps.

I liked the play calling to begin the game. We established the run and then challenged deep. We throw a variety of passes and used the wildcat stuff in the redzone. Then in the second half, we pulled back. Ultra conservative and no variety. NC State adjusted. It was not a good performance. We are lucky we won with only 14 points. I guess my biggest gripe is that Brock didn't add any new wrinkles to the Bordner plays. How can you use him that much and not have more passing involved. It was totally one note and a waste of Bordner and those possessions.

Defense: B

Max Holloway really deserved the star of the game notice he received. He did a great job rushing the passer and playing the run. Quinn was better too but still had his stupid penalty. Edabali played well -- although he didn't get as much pressure on Glennon. Appiah took up a lot of space in the middle. Ricci didn't play as much. O'Neal was in for a bit and made a nice play.

Kuechly played well. As did Duggan. Divitto was good. However all three allowed too much space in the zones and hence we were killed by their Tight Ends. Keyes played well in limited time.

Asprilla is not getting enough attention but he might be the best of the young DBs. He makes good plays on the ball and tackles well. ALJ wasn't as active. Fletcher looked good and made a real nice adjustment on his INT. Sylvia was okay. Hughes is getting better at his tackling. I really like how Williams plays. He's aggressive and a good tackler.

When things are working the coordinator looks good. For the most part, I liked what McGovern did on Saturday. We used a lot of 3-4. This shouldn't have been a surprise to NC State yet they didn't know how to handle it. Even with five blocking three, we got a lot of one on ones on the edge. Since we were getting pressure there wasn't a need to do much blitzing. What I appreciated is that we have finally adjusted to bubble screens and passes to the flats. There was good contain and tackling any time Glennon stretched the field side to side. There one big play was a broken scramble, but overall we played much better defense than we did against Florida State.

Special Teams: C

Not a great day on special teams. A missed FG. The normally clutch Quigley with a kick out of bounds and some average punts. Neither Evans or Amidon broke anything on their kick returns. The punt returns were all fair catches.

The one point I did want to mention on special teams were two solid tackles by James McCaffrey. They were nice open field takedowns.

Overall: C+

If you recall, earlier this year Blauds wrote an article in Spaz's defense about how many close losses BC had. He was trying to frame the season as unlucky. BC's not unlucky. We are just poorly coached and we were lucky to win this game. The guys played hard and the defense made some crucial plays, but Spaz's approach in the second half was to sit on a minimal lead. We had no rhythm on offense as the game wore on. He wasn't aggressive in his use of timeouts to end the first half. It was just another mismanaged game where we had the good fortune to go against an equally mismanaged squad. How can you not challenge downfield more with such a minimal lead? How can you allow you coordinators to become so predictable in a tight game?

Spaz got a little chocked up in his on field interview after the game. I imagine this season has been trying and he's just thankful for the staff and players still playing hard. He's seen enough football to know that many guys and programs would give up in a similar situation.

Fortunately our guys are not quitters. I expect they will play hard this week against Notre Dame too. But Spaz should remember to funnel his thoughts and preparedness into the Irish just like he does when taking on TOB. The TOB game might mean a lot to Gene and Spaz, but Notre Dame will mean a lot more to the people who count most -- the typical BC fans.


eagleboston said...

Looking at the stats, it appears Quigley had a sub-par game. However, my brother who was in Alumni said the conditions were horrible for kicking. We have been a little spoiled after Johnny Ayers and Quigley, two above average punters

Jimmy said...

Quigley is having a subpar year

2011 avg. 37.9 long  52
2010  avg.  41.5 long 71
2009 avg. 41.2 long 69

I wonder why?

Against FSU, Quigley avgeraged 33 yards, and against NCSU he averaged 37.

His long this year is 52 yards, about 20 yards short of his long the past two years.

Where has the kicking power gone?

Can we blame Spaz?

JBQ said...

In regard to Quigley, the two postings are very good to point out his deescalating amount of production. Notre Dame has been on a roll and will be loaded for bear.

EL MIZ said...

we can only hope spaz's emotions were a result of the team playing hard in what was his last home game as head coach. i expect the worse against ND and the U, and don't think we'll win either. a 2-win ACC season and 3 overall is enough for a change i PRAY.

for a team that has had a bad offense for the entire season, that we needed to wait, what, 8 games to see bordner is another thing to add on the long list of "why spaz is not a good coach and should no longer be the head coach of BC." that they can't use bordner effectively can also be added to that list. (remember last year we had to wait to get rettig instead of shinskie; rettig was clearly better; 2 seasons in a row you can see the trend.)

it is nice to see the 3-4 with a lot of success. given our plethora of good LBs and lack of talent on the D-line, it is also worth noting that it took several games for the coaching staff to make the obvious adjustment on that side of the ball. i think a 3-4 (LBs cover more ground, protects the flats better) could have been the wrinkle needed to beat duke and northwestern. 4-5 isn't a whole lot better than 2-7 but we'd still be potentially bowl eligible if we came into the season in a 3-4. KPL/kuechly/devitto/duggan as the 4 LBs to start the season would have been a really nice group.

eagle1331 said...

Does anyone have a link to the Spaz post game interview, or can you give me more detail on it? I missed the game to do some volunteer work and am intrigued. This is ATL's second mention of it but I have no clue what he's referencing...

mod34b said...

eagle1331 --

Right after the game ended, as per usual custom, Spaz ran to midfield and shook hands with TOB. They seemed to embrace each other and had a brief, seemingly warm, converstion.

Shortly after that, the sideline reporter interviewed Spaz on TV.

When the interview started Spaz's eye's were misty and his voice was cracking. He was about 1 second away from crying. Spaz was very emotional. As the interview went on, Spaz gathered himself and was fine.

To me, he seemed unstable.

eagle1331 said...

Thanks Mod. I'd imagine the conversation went something like this:

TOB: "Thanks for putting the final nail in my coffin. Career Over.
Spaz: "It wasn't me. I tried. Those damn kids, battling injuries, with their inexperience, don't know how to treat a well-respected coach like yourself. At least I have the cemetery plot next yours."

mod10aeagle said...

Andre Williams was awful. He attempted a spin move every time he encountered resistance at the line of scrimmage. Once or twice it worked and got him an extra hard or two (his feet aren't quick enough to get more out of it than that). Much more often, it resulted in him having his back to the point of contact so he could neither see a seam nor use his natural power to move the pile. He's got the build and speed of a power back, but the desire to avoid contact of a scat back. It's a horrible combination. That late fourth-and-one attempt in which he tip-toed toward the line in hopes that something would open up, only to get nailed for a two-yard loss, was embarrassing. If he would just square up and drive with his legs he might deserve the carries. If Finch isn't healthy enough to carry the load, it's time to give Taj Kimble a real shot.

mod34b said...

eagle1331 --

good one


TOB: I suck
Spaz: I suck more

Walter said...

I hope the average BC fans are never the ones we cater to.

On Quigley, average distances of his punts don't tell the whole story. I'm not sure if this stat is measurable/would be different, but if we've been getting relatively better field position, he wouldn't necessarily always be punting for maximum distance.

That said, his last two games haven't been great, but in general he's been solid. I don't think anyone for a second believes punting is our biggest problem.

Also, not putting Bordner in until now makes perfect sense. If Rettig is going to be our starting QB next year, then I don't want to see Bordner getting his snaps. Now that there's no bowl to play for, I don't mind seeing Bordner in just to see what happens, but a QB controversy does no one any good.