Sunday, November 20, 2011

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Notre Dame

This game was frustrating because we did so many things right. We had the perfect defense in place for them. Our special teams were excellent. But the offense couldn't do their part. The same problems plagued us and there is no reason things should be this bad with only one game left. It is a real shame that we are not going to a bowl game. The offensive guys could use the practice reps.

Offense: C

Rettig was very inconsistent. He made some great throws and some awful ones. As Mayock pointed out a lot of it is his footwork as the pocket collapses. But that doesn't explain it all. There are still some times when he has time and is a little off. Bordner seems like a tough kid and a hard runner. If he plays more, he'll get better at his reads (see below).

Finch played well and has a good feel for holes. Kimble also ran well. Williams was not as effective. Obviously in space Williams is great and he can run over anyone. Yet when things are clogged up, he doesn't have Kimble or Finch's knack for finding softness. Sinkovic played well.

The Tight ends were very good. We finally got to Pantale and he delivered. Anderson had a nice catch and blocked well. Swigert made some nice catches and in finally winning one on one battles. Larmond had a bad drop but also had a nice catch. Amidon was fine. Coleman made a nice catch.

Spinney was probably our best OLinemen Saturday, which makes sense since he was one of the only one now to get yanked out at some point. Richman, Harris Williams and Bettancourt all had snaps at LT, RG and RT respectively. Of the backups, I think Harris Williams was the most effective. Ian White struggled and missed some blocks. Cleary was fine. Wetzel was pretty good. Vardaro struggled.

My biggest problem with the offensive play calling is how we use Bordner. As long as he doesn't throw the football, it is a pure gimmick. I don't mind gimmicks if we benefit. But I feel like it slows the offense and hurts Rettig's rhythm. Plus it doesn't take long for the other team to figure it out. For example, it looks like we actually are using Chip Kelly's play design on the Bordner plays. In those Kelly leaves the DT unblocked and he is the read for the QB. But our plays developed so late and Bordner is not experienced in reading yet so the plays got blown up. ow that is not really Bordner's fault. If he was running this all game he'd have a better feel for when to keep it (see Chris Crane). If he had been in this offense all year, maybe we would throw it with him. It looked like he was going to throw on his roll to the right but he pulled it and ran. So right now it is a pure gimmick. What I would rather see is more of Rettig in the shotgun. We finally attempted nearly 40 passes (welcome to the 21st century). Now we just need to improve on the accuracy, blocking and catching on those plays.

Defense: B

I think we've found our next great DT. Appiah has the elements. He wins one on one battles. He clogged the pocket and he hustles. We dropped him into coverage a few times and he was making tackles downfield. Ricci played well. Quinn had one of his better games. O'Neal was good. Holloway played well and timed the INT well. Mihalik played well as did Edebali. Dan Williams played DE too and contributed.

Notre Dame seemed to focus on Kuechly early. They doubled him a good bit. They ran at him so that their blockers could focus on him. Although it slowed him a bit, he still made plenty of big plays. Divitto didn't play as well. Given his position he has to over a lot of space and sometimes it seems like he might be a step slow. KPL was back and made some nice plays. With him back, Duggan didn't play as much. Lawrence played a little but wasn't in on any tackles.

The announcers kept harping on Fletcher, but he had a decent game...considering all that he was asked. He missed the INT and had a stupid penalty. But he also did a good job of containing. He closed well and tackled well and made a few nice plays in coverage. Asprilla was also good and very active tackling. ALJ played a little. The bigger problem in our secondary were the Safeties. Sylvia had some missed tackles and stupid penalties. Hughes tackled better but still wasn't great in coverage. Rositano missed some chances at big plays.

The defense was well planned. We were aggressive early with blitzes and then as the game progressed dropped a lot of guys into coverage. It was classic BC, but it played well against Notre Dame.

Special Teams: A

In general I think Spaz is too quick to punt but Quigley paid off. Also credit to the overage team for getting downfield and fielding the punts deep in the ND end of the field. Evans was good in his returns. Swigert made some good decisions fielding the punts.
Overall: C

I appreciate the fire the team showed. The game was clearly chippy. However, that resulted in costly penalties. I also hated Spaz sitting on the ball at the end of the first half. It amazes me that no one has talked to him about this. Why haven't any of the assistants showed him the stats on wasting possessions? How can a man with so much football under his belt not realize that points are a premium for this team and he needs to adjust? When he does that, it gives fuel to the fire for those who think Spaz just wants to keep some games close.

As I said, Spaz has now lost three straight to some mediocre Notre Dame teams. I guess we shouldn't expect anything different as long as he is in charge.


mod34b said...

Nice review. I'd like to see Rettig's stats half 1 vs half 2. He was impressive in half 1 and depressing in half 2. Saying his footwork was bad is really saying he lacked sufficient time or could not Read the defense and find the open man in the time he had. ND adjusted at half and had different defensive schemes and blitzed more. It worked and Rettig was lost until the final drive. In other words Rettig and line did not adjust until late - too late.

Glad you resisted saying (again) that someone with a mustache is coming back next season!

JBQ said...

It is stated that there is a problem with the safeties. There has still been no explanation on why both starting safeties were encouraged to leave the team.

Erik said...

I have a hard time defending Flethcer. His very nice BC career is ending horribly. From the unimportant stuff like not wearing #31 (but drawing criticism), to the important stuff like the dumb penalty which helped ND score on the first drive and the missed INT which resulted in ND points, those were things that assisted BC in losing.

One more chance to end his career right. Another game like this and I'd be really disappointed in how he went out.

Erik said...

Agreed about Bordner. He threw the ball against FSU when defenses knew nothign about him and had to respect both run and pass. Now that they know he's a runner, we only run him? Wouldn't passing catch them off guard. ATL is right, it's a gimmick. Let the kid play straight up quarterback and let him run, hand off, and pass.

dixieagle said...

The reason that none of the assistants has called Spaz on his stupid, infuriating time-wasting is that anyone who did so would likely find himself "on medical leave, requesting privacy."

He is a loser as a head coach, period.

mod10aeagle said...

Is there a QB coach? I know that was supposedly one of Rogers' strengths, but who has been coaching Rettig on the finer points of the position (like footwork) since Rogers' departure? Evidence suggests the answer is no one.

It's certainly understandable that Rettig would've developed bad footwork habits given how unreliable the O-line has been, particularly if he's not getting intense instruction from a technique coach. The fact that his back-up (Bordner) can't be trusted to throw the ball in his second year in the program is further evidence.

Big Jack Krack said...

JBQ - Dominick LeGrande, projected to start at strong safety decided to transfer in protest over the dismissal of junior Okechukwu Okoroha, projected to be the starting free safety, who was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons - about a week before the Northwestern game.

There has never been any further explanation as far as I know.

Losing those two players really hurt us this year - no question. Plus Fletcher was hurt - hence an all new defensive secondary just about. C.J. Jones wracked his knee early in the UCF game on kickoff coverage - out for the year. Who did we have left? Freshmen, red-shirt freshmen, Jim Noel and Hampton Hughes, who was listed as a wide receiver.

Big Jack Krack said...

Nothin against Bordner - but the defense knows exactly what's coming.

I will not be surprised to see Suntrup move up in the depth chart next season and maybe even win the starting job if he can handle the defensive pressure.

Jimmy said...

Did our "moral victory' (NOT) over ND help in the polls. Why yes it did!

In the latest BCS rankings, BC has improved from 4th worst BCS team in the USA to 7th worst. Quite an accomplisment to move up 3 spots in the polls when we lost. See how Spaz's strategy for a respectable lose to a superior program has already paid dividends (NOT!).

1. Indiana
2. Colorado
3. Minnesota
4. Maryland
5. Mississippi
6. BC
7. Duke
8. Oregon State
9. Washington State
10. Arizona

In the CBS Sports Computer Ranking, BC is 5th worst BCS team in USA!

1. Indiana
2. Colorado
3. Maryland
4. Minnesota
5. BC
6. Oregon State
7. Duke
8. Kansas
9. Washington State
10. Uconn

Sagarin has BC is 4th worst BCS team in USA!

1. Indiana
2. Colorado
3. Duke
4. BC
5. Minnesota
6. Maryland
7. Mississippi
8. Oregon State
9. Washington State
10. Uconn

Massey Poll -- BC 7th worst BCS team

1. Indiana
2. Oregon State
3. Colorado
4. Arizona
5. Mississippi
6. Duke
7. BC
8. Maryland
9. Minnesota
10. Washington State

Where does BC rank in the ACC for BCS rankings? 2nd worst in ACC. ACC averge rank is 48.5. BC is 42 spots BELOW the ACC average. UGGGHH

1. VT BCS #5
2. Clemson 17
3. GTEch 23
4. UVA 27
5 FSU 37
6. Miami (40 assumed withdrew from BCS)
7. UNC 44
8. Wake 50
9. NCSU 62
10. Duke 90
11. BC 91
12. Maryland 97

Darius said...

dixieagle's response is accurate and probably says all that needs to be said, but just to pile on: There is a REMARKABLE lot of things that, given his many years of experience, Spaz ought to understand about college football by now that he simply doesn't--and won't.

eagleboston said...

Dixie eagles is right,

Spaz is a tyrant, as opposed to a true leader. He is a loser and needs to go. How else do you explain a true professional taking a "medical leave" and then we never hear another peep out of him. People have survived horrible car accidents and cancer quicker than whatever ails Rogers. And how many players have left the program. 3-5 is normal with a coaching change, but I think at least a dozen have left since Spaz took over. If he is back next year, I'm sure I'll be a sucker and watch the games, but my excitement level will be way, way down.

mod10aeagle said...

I thought Tahj Kimble looked terrific carrying the ball, as did one of the announcers who raved about him. Why he didn't get more carries is beyond me. In fact, I'd rather see him in the wildcat than see Bordner, who, while big and tough like Crane, is also big and slow like Crane. I like Deuce's acceleration into the line of scrimmage and ability to find seams, but Kimble looks dangerous (in a good way). Williams looks like he's had too much BC coaching and has regressed badly.

mod34b said...

Spaz is a Loser HC: yes.

But a loser only stays in power if they remain a 'useful idiot' to a manipulator -- GDF.

So point your arrows away from our fool and instead point them a little higher up the pecking order.

Can you even imagine how GDF came to conclusion to promote Spaz to HC, or to grant him an extension? Spaz always presents himself as a non-leader, lackey. He is just embarassing in so many ways as a #1 guy.

Mike said...

Okoroha is back in school at BC. Not sure if it is just to finish out this semester/year or what but that is the update I have for you guys.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KSchohl said...

ATL- I'm surprised you've glossed over the end-of-first-half thing too. At least you mention it, unlike the terrible press coverage of the game, but fact is:

There was 1:20 left, we had 2 time-outs, down 6 points on the road, on national TV against our biggest rival, in a year in which we have nothing else to play for.

In what universe does it make sense to surrender the first half? A field goal there would've given us 3 points in a game we lost by 2 points.

In addition, we can't even surrender properly. I assume Spaz didn't take two knees because it would look ridiculous, but what if one of those runs-up-the-middle ended in a lost fumble? At least surrender correctly if you're going to do it.

In any case, I'd love for you to write a whole post examining this issue and using some of this same logic, to start calling more attention to this insanity.

I know in the past he's given up at the end of the first half, but I don't think any were as egregious as this and maybe we're just numb to it.

mod10aeagle said...

Spaziani is the High Priest of the Church of Low Expectations. It is at the core of his approach to coaching and game management. His game plans, like his post-game excuses, are simple, repetitive, predictable; in-game adjustments are for teams that don't sweat graduation rates. Ironically, Spaz's teams play with heart and brawn, but not brains. Mental errors abound, on the field, on the sidelines, in the coaches box high above the din. Given that context for the last three years, did anyone think they were going to try to move the ball before the end of the half? Of course not. But, let the kids have some fun and hand the ball off, anyway. They don't need to know that you don't believe in them.

EL MIZ said...

mod 10a - i agree with you about kimble. i thought he looked excellent and have been waiting for him to have a 'break out' game. he's had some good games (had a TD against duke and looked good in that game) but also a handful of games where he didn't play.

and i also agree on the wild cat -- if we aren't going to pass, put in a more adept runner than bordner.

the playcalling at the end of the first half was another white flag planted by spaz. "we are who we are." indeed. we are a team coached by a coward.

i understand why spaz was hired as HC -- we needed continuity at the time, he had been with the program in charge of great Defenses for a while, etc. fact of the matter is 3 years into this, and with 2 of the best players the program has seen EVER (in kuechly and harris) we have precipitously declined every year.

the writing is on the wall in big block letters -- FIRE SPAZ. if gene doesn't, fans will "vote with their feet" and slick gene can expect a very empty alumni come september.