Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Miami

Watching this game back might have spiked my bloodpressure. We should have won. There's been debate on the blogs and message boards regarding Miami's talent or some coaching issues. I really think it was about mistakes and conditioning. If we wrapped up a bit more and did a better job with drops and fumbles, this game was ours. A bad day or some bad bounces will happen to great teams too. But what frustrates is that we wasted a career day from Rettig and we wasted a potential wins. Great teams bounce back from games like these. Will this BC team?

Offense: B+

Rettig threw the ball like a pro. That's not an exaggeration. His throws were fast and on time. He also added touch and made good throws when the play broke down. The INT was bad, but those things are bound to happen when you throw it 50+ times. I appreciate that he kept going back to guys who had dropped the ball. I also like when he showed nice touch. Miami used a lot of zone and dropped a lot of guys into coverage. Rettig was patient and waited for things to open. The only small critique was that his footwork was a bit inconsistent in the second half, but overall it was a hell of a game. If he plays like this every week, we will win more games than we lose.

A big reason for Rettig's big day was the offensive line. They gave him plenty of time and were very good in pass protection. Miami didn't blitz much nor send more than four, so it was all about fundamentals, helping the guy next to you and maintaining your blocks. The run blocking wasn't as clean or dominant. Vardaro had a couple of mistakes when he pulled or trapped. He was the weak link of the line on Saturday. There was one botched exchange with Gallik but otherwise he was good. White, Wetzel and Cleary all had great days.

We've been so used to our WRs getting manhandled that it was shocking and refreshing to see them wide open. Much of that was because Miami used a lot of zone, but most of the WRs found the soft spots and exploited them. Amidon and Rettig were clearly on the same page and looked like they were improvising on play breakdowns. Amidon's drops cost us, but he made up for it with some really tough catches and nice runs. Miller had some nice catches in traffic but he also dropped some key passes. Evans was ok -- but hands were an issue too. Elliott had a nice grab. Coleman didn't do much but did make a good decision on running during the run/pass option. Parsons' step out of bounds was costly. Porter played but wasn't thrown to and got pushedover when blocking for a potential Kimble TD run.

Sinkovec was our secret weapon. I don't know if he'll be that wide open ever again, but he made the most of the throws to him and looked good running with the ball. His blocking was good too. Kimble had a huge day and looked really good in all aspects of the game. However, his fumble was terrible and he's got to do a better job holding onto it in traffic. Andre Williams started well but was contained as the game went on. Aside from his costly fumble the big issues seems to be his vision and cuts. When he has space and runs to daylight he looks great. Or if the hits a tight hole and just pushes. The problems come when he has a hole and cuts into traffic -- which he did a few times. I don't know what he's seeing, but it was disappointing.

I loved how Martin called the game. He had us finding soft spots in their zone. He kept Miami honest with a good mix of run and play action. We attacked downfield. The only gripe was that we stalled out some drives in the redzone, but two of those drives could have easily been TDs (Miller's drop and the final possession). But it was obvious to anyone who has followed BC recently that something was different. I hope Martin keeps things this interesting and keeps the other team's guessing.

Defense: D

Before the season, I thought the front seven would carry our defense. On Saturday they were the problem.

Other than Ramsey, none of the DLine disrupted Miami. Edebali hustles like no one else, but needs to make more plays. Quinn was a nonfactor and missed some tackles. Ricci didn't do much. Mihalik didn't get much penetration. Abdesmad lost contain and made some other mistakes.

Divitto's has had better days. I don't know if Miami decided to exploit him or if it was just bad timing, but many of the big plays were on his side. Although he did make some nice tackles, he still allowed too many big plays via missed tackles, getting swallowed on blocks or being a step late in coverage. Like all the LBs, Clancy missed tackles, but overall was good. KPL had some really good plays but also had a few mistakes in coverage. Duggan was very good and got in their backfield. We need to get him on the field more.

The DBs were actually pretty good. Noel made some big plays and hustled. Rositano was solid and showed good hands on the INT. Asprilla was all over the place.  Keyes was good. Sylvia was good in run support.

The defense missed a bunch of tackles and didn't make enough plays up front. You can debate how much of that was on coaching. What you can't debate was BC's failure to adjust or slow things down. We started to blitz KPL in the second half. We also used a bit of three-man fronts, but it wasn't enough. We couldn't get Miami off the field and didn't luck out on turnovers.

Special Teams: B-

I felt the punt and kick coverage was decent. I liked the use of the pooch. Evans had one nice run back. Rositano lucked out on his fumbled punt but we can't have him back there fair catching it every time. Levano's punts were fine. Freese was also solid.

Overall: C

BC played hard and looked great at times. But Spaz gets a C for not having an adjustment in the second half. You also have to question the missed tackles. Was it talent or conditioning? Either way it was a problem and Spaz needs to address it. We wasted a timeout on the first play (it didn't matter) but that's still on Spaz. (I know the we blamed TV, but it was never corrected. What if we needed it?) The final possession was also poorly managed. Why didn't we challenge the 3rd down catch? That looked like a TD to me.

Things look better and Spaz deserves credit for that. But now he needs to show that was not a fluke and he needs to actually pick up a win.


evr2xl said...

What's the word on Larmond? Was he injured?

NEDofSavinHill said...

I concur with your assessment. A slight improvement on defense and this team can compete with the best. The ACC looks wide open now. FSU loses it's best pass rusher. Clemson looks decent, not great. NC St. mistake prone. VT and GT have solid D but limited offense. Based on one weeks appraisal BC could be in the hunt. Rettig was ranked 10th best QB before the season and Morris at the U wasn't highly ranked. Yet they looked like the two best in the conference.2. Noticed the drones in the national media praising Bama for holding Michigan to 270 yards of offense. In their previous game VT held Michigan to 190 yards.3. Kentucky, Auburn and Vandy looked bad. How can the SEC be considered good with such weak teams. Ten years ago the national press said the BE was not a strong conference because of Rutgers and Temple. At the time Miami was easily the best team in the country(won BCS title) and the BE had 8 or 9 1st round NFL picks. Two different standards. 4.When is the last time an SEC team won at USC, Oregon, Texas, Oklahoma,Ohio St., ND, Michiga, Wisconsin, Boise St. VT or BC? Twenty years ago, thirty years ago.They only play in Dixie and never in weather.

ObserverCollege said...

SERIOUS COMMENT: I think it was conditioning. These guys didn't have the quickness to get in good position to tackle, then they didn't have the strength to slow the runner down. Hence broken tackle after broken tackle.

When the coach wraps up Spring Practice early so that he's free for baseball season, and the coach is known to take shortcuts--then the players will wrap up workouts early and take shortcuts when they do work out.

FWRR said...

I think Larmond got injured..he definitely was in uniform to begin the game (not sure if he saw the field at all?). Later in the game he was on the sideline wearing sweats though.

Lally said...

Not going to complain about how our offense looked Saturday, but I would hold off on annointing the O as solid. Miami's defense looked about as toothless as ours. But very happy to see us be aggressive and execute well. Can't complain about that.

Big Jack Krack said...

Boston College Eagles
Player Injury Status/Updated Notes
Colin Larmond Jr. WR Leg Ques Sat - 9/2/12 Larmond Jr. left Week 1 against Miami (FL) after suffering an apparent leg injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Maine. (I believe it's his lrft hamstring - BJK)

C.J. Jones DB Foot Ques Sat - 9/2/12 Jones did not play in Week 1 against Miami Florida because of a foot injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Maine.

Harris Williams G Foot Ques Sat - 9/2/12 Williams did not play in Week 1 against Miami Florida because of a foot injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Maine.

Mike Naples TE Back Ques Sat - 9/2/12 Naples did not play in Week 1 against Miami Florida because of a back injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Maine.

Rolandan Finch RB Foot Ques Sat - 9/2/12 Finch did not play in Week 1 against Miami Florida because of a foot injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Maine.

Bobby Swigert WR Knee Out indefinitely - 8/31/12 Swigert has been sidelined indefinitely due to a left knee injury.

Al Louis-Jean Jr. DB Foot Out indefinitely - 8/30/12 Louis-Jean will be out for an indefinite amount of time as he battles with a foot injury.

Chris Pantale TE Ankle Mid Sept - 8/26/12 Pantale is sidelined with a broken bone in his foot and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks.

Big Jack Krack said...

If we can get CJ Jones and Dominique Williams back into the DB rotation, it will help, I think.

It seems as though everyone in the ACC is playing up-tempo now, and we need all the help we can get to stay fresh.

As I mentioned earlier - if the player I saw on crutches before the Miami game was ALJ - he's not coming back any time soon. Did someone say he might be redshirted?

Go BC - don't let up against Maine. Let's keep the pressure on with this wide open offense and wear them out.

I'm actually flying back up for the game, as I have a business excuse in CT on Friday. :-)

eddierock said...

Wow. Give credit where credit is due: a) Retting looked like a pro b) offensive line was incredible. that was probably the best pass blocking I have ever seen. c) Martin did an awesome job dialing up the plays.

Defense looked slow and weak.

So, after a number of years of having a stout defense and anemic offense, we now flip the switch and have a potentially explosive offense and a suspect defense.

Oh well, it will be interesting to watch.

Big Jack Krack said...

One final comment looking ahead - Northwestern Wildcats - No injuries to report.

EL MIZ said...

agree that Duggan needs to see the field more -- he is a playmaker and young. give him time and he will shine.

i agree that the ACC is wide open -- i also would not be surprised if Miami winds up being one of the better teams. they have playmakers, a competent QB, and athletes all over. this loss may not look that bad in November.

RE: injuries, here is what BC beat writer McCluskey tweeted "Finch should play against Maine and Spaziani said there were no serious injuries vs. Miami so Larmond doesn't seem to be big concern."

We are going to need all hands on deck against Northwestern, as those guys can score. Lets get Finch back in the mix and go exclusively with Deuce and Tahj -- Andre leaves way too much to be desired. Add Swigert and Larmond to the mix at WR and Rettig's gonna break 500.

evr2xl said...

I never understood the infatuation with Andre Williams. He has tools but doesn't know how to play the position. Doesn't see running lanes, doesn't wait for blocks to develop in front of him.

Anyone know how many snaps Larmond got? I only remember one pass to him -incompletion on a bad pass to the right flat.

Bravesbill said...

Ned, explain to me how Vandy looked awful. They lost by 4 points to a Top 10 team. While their offense didn't look very good, their defense was pretty stellar.

mod34b said...

"The DBs were actually pretty good. Noel made some big plays and hustled"

maybe Noel looked ok on some plays, but on the three big plays -- the two 50 yards runs and the 18 yard pass/run for TDs - Noel looked awful. Clancy was awful too. Both lacked quickness and were each easily faked out by the Miami players.

Also, you can see we will miss Kuechly. In both of the 50 yard runs, the outside LB/Corner did their job and forced the runner inside. Clancy in each instance was close to where he should be, but not close enough, to make the tackle. Each time he was a half step too slow, and slightly out of position to make the tackle. Result Miami's speedy runner evaded him. Kuechly, of course, would have made the tackle.

On 50 yard run #1, it was a comedy of errors. Misses by Clancy, Noel, Sylvia, Rositano, Asprilla. Miami was on the left hash. They ran to the right side. The field was wide open. Only one out there was Noel who was easily blocked.

Run #2, Noel was easily blocked and never in postion to contain the runner.

On the 18 yard pass for a TD, Miami out schemed BC. Essentially, they had 2 WR blockers and 1 WR with the ball. We had 2 guys blocked out. Noel was all that was left. And Noel had the WR in his sights but was faked out of his jock. Result TD.

So, sad to say, the lack of Kuechly's speed combined with the real quickness of Miami lead to 3 scores. Add in that Miami out schemed McGovern in each of the three TD plays and you have got a loss! These 3 Miami plays were not flukes, but wre well executed plays that worked to perfection.

Here is a nice YouTube video with game high lights Click here

Scoop said...

Perhaps our "lack of conditioning" is partially tied to our lack of depth and injuries. The D was on the field for extended periods with seemingly few substitutions. I wasn't at the game so it was difficult to tell how much subbing was taking place.

As far as our inability to "wrap up" I believe it's somewhat related to our lack of speed, which others might include in comments about talent level.

Overall, we played better than I expected and at least the game was entertaining until the final quarter. Let's see how the O performs against man coverage. I hope we continue to use a lot of motion and misdirection. I think that confused Miami's young D.

mod10aeagle said...

On the 18-yard Miami TD (pass to the flat), Clancy was in position to blow the play up. Unfortunately, he had his eyes closed and never saw the receiver; he took on the blocker instead. He's going to hate watching the film of that.

TheShowGoesOnLupeFiasco said...

Colter is hurt for NW, he's probable but he has bruised ribs so it would be nice to have a good Vandy D rough him up a bit.

NW's pass defense is horrible, the only QB who had more yards than Rettig week 1 was Nassib, the Cuse QB.

eagleboston said...

As with last year, Northwestern will be a significant challenge for BC, especially given our defensive issues and the fact the game is on the road. However, I want to get through Maine before we worry about NW. Just need to get that first win and build some confidence.

mod10aeagle said...

Not that it matters, but I want to correct my earlier statement -- it was Devitto who missed badly on Miami's 18 yard pass & run TD, not Clancy.

Owen Kehoe said...

Looking back at the game, and I was there, I honestly think it wasntso much the defense as the special teams that killed the eagles... 1 or 2 kickoff returns were brought back to midfield by Miami and a few punt returns by Miami gave them excellent field positions... Bc also could not pin Miami sucessfully inside their ten. If BC improved on special teams (something that used to be big for them), then watch out, this bc team could be a acc contender

Knucklehead said...

The miss Keuchly on kick coverage as well as defense.

Dan said...

Yea I agree Owen. In this week's press conference Spaz was asked two areas of improvement for the team and he mentioned kicking as one. At first I thought this was weird because Freese hit his FGs but then I thought back to punts and kickoffs and you are right they were not great and we generally did ourselves no favors with starting field position.