Monday, October 01, 2012

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Clemson

We didn't play well. Our passing was the only thing working and even that wasn't perfect. But it is good enough that we are going to steal a game or two. But to steal a game we need our defense to make more plays. They didn't on Saturday so we didn't deserve to win this game. The second viewing confirmed that. But you can see how this team could get on a roll. But will Spaz be willing and able to put it together?

Offense: B-

Rettig played well, but wasn't as sharp as some of his earlier games. He forced a few things and his footwork got sloppy. I don't know if he is getting frustrated or feels he has to do too much. What is getting better is his improvisation on broken plays. But overall he still made some great throws. Darts right dowfield and into tight spot. The first INT was not his fault. The second one was on him. He was too late getting off the pass and forced it.

Andre Williams is limited but he's basically all we have. The good news: he's getting very good at blitz pick up. He's also good in space. But most of our rushing issues were not really his fault. Dudeck looked good catching the ball, but he's got to get to the first down market. Sinkovec was involved in some of our best runs as a lead blocker.

When you pass a lot, someone is going to get to pad his stats. That's not the case with Amidon. He played really well. His route running is very, very good. If you look at his first TD, he made a pivot and cut so fast that he pulled away. He still had a drop, but is now a reliable real weapon. Coleman is playing better and had a few nice catches. I am glad to see Evans stepping up. He made some nice plays and is putting his early season drops behind him. Swigert made some nice catches. His throw was risky, but it worked. Parsons was okay. Larmond was on the field but wasn't thrown to.

Williams couldn't run much because our offensive line was not good. Collectively they can't get a push or to the second level on run plays. Wetzel and White were okay. Cleary was okay but had a killer holding call and he and Vardaro seemed to have some assignment issues. Vardaro struggles when he's asked to move or pull. He also allowed a blitzer in untouched while he was doubleteaming someone else. Gallik had a rough game. He got penalized before the half and got beat multiple times. With Gallik and Vardaro struggling the most, I think it might be time to give their backups a shot or shift White back to Center.

As I have been hammering home, we do one thing well and that is pass. Doug Martin called 28 rushes. Those are wasted opportunities. I appreciate the new wrinkles he added to take advantage of Williams. Like the toss with one side overloaded. He also called a lot of off tackle runs (Williams' comfort zone), but none of it was great. Some of Williams best stuff were draws when the field is spread. I am sure part of the reason we ran so much was to keep the game close. That's a common strategy against high powered teams like Clemson. But I think you defeat the strategic purpose if you don't run well. Our OL pass blocks well. We have a maturing group of pass catchers. We have a very good QB. Throw!!! If you want to control clocks than do it off of draws or short passes.

Defense: D

The defensive line wasn't bad, but they have to start making more plays. They rarely make tackles in the backfield and didn't force Clemson into many broken plays. Quinn made a big play on the third and short late in the game. Mihalik had one of his better games and is at least using his height to disrupt passes. Borcich made a few plays. Abdesmad was okay. Appiah didn't do much. Neither did Ricci.

KPL played really well early. He had multiple tackles but then got banged up. Clancy was pretty good and had a huge stop on the 4th down when we needed one. But Boyd did get off a few easy passes in Clancy's area.  Divitto was better but his shoulder block on Boyd on a crucial 3rd down was a big mistake. Duggan looked good and should be getting more snaps. At least he made some plays behind the line of scrimmage. Keyes was very active and needs to be on the field more. We should use more 3-4 from here on out just so our linebackers have more chances to make plays.

Like the defensive line, the secondary needs to make more plays. Other than Sylvia's INT, they didn't do much. When BC's D is at its best, we close quickly on quickouts to WRs. Clemson gashed us with that same play. Jones got burned multiple times. Asprilla was ok. All the Safeties had a rough day. They missed tackles. They got faked out on play action. They also didn't help on the deep plays. Rositano played more than Noel. On McDowell's TD run, I have no idea what Rositano was doing, but he was really out of position. Not a good day. Sylvia missed tackles and also didn't help the corners much.

Have you ever felt so helpless watching BC on defense? McGovern mixed it up. We used a lot of three man fronts. We blitzed a fair bit yet we still allowed 576 yards. There were so many huge holes in some of the zones, it was hard to tell if the guys we missing assignments or if we just can't cover. I like McGovern. It amazes me that he and Spaz ant come up with some gameplan that gets us off the field.  I hope we stick with the three man more in future games, if only to get better players on the field. But at this point what he is doing is not working.

Special Teams: D

Freese was solid. I also like Evans' aggressiveness on his returns. Our kick coverage was decent, although not as effective as last week. The problem was the punting. We've been spoiled for nearly eight years with great and consistent punting. That's not the case this year. Levano's two bad early punts killed our momentum and put the D in a huge hole.

Overall: C-

Aside from sticking with the run too long (as noted above), this was not a bad game strategically. I whined about the use of timeouts, but that wasn't why we lost the game. I also didn't mind the pooch punt nor going for the field goal down three scores. Spaz was appropriately aggressive on the other 4th downs. He didn't do anything to screw things up. That's improvement. But now he needs to do something about the defense. Even though we sort of hang around in these games, the defense is bad. He's stuck with the players he recruited, so it is now up to him and McGovern to smoke and mirror things for a few weeks.

The good news for Spaz is that we have Army next. The bad news is that they are unconventional, so the carryover from what we've done or what we will do later in the season is minimal. But it is his chance to right the ship.


EL MIZ said...

i agree that this team will steal a win or two down the stretch so long as the players don't give up. our passing O is dangerous and rettig is the best thing going on offense in a long time -- on pace for 3876 yards and a 27:9 TD:int ratio. the D has got to get better it can't get any worse.

Noel has been sub-par as a senior -- biggest of the senior let downs has gotta be larmond, who hardly even plays.

i've been really surprised with the subpar RB play -- coming into the season i thought that would be a strength but kimble, finch, and williams have all been disappointing.

happy that the D is finally going with 3 DL -- with the talent level so low, we really need to do everything to get the best players on the field -- if its duggan, clancy, KPL, and other LBs, then get em on the field even if its unconventional. more blitzes also -- the D line is yet again incapable of generating any pressure.

lets beat army and go in with a gameplan to beat FSU -- unconventional D looks, lots of passing, an onside kick maybe; still plenty of games left to maximize the good and try to hide the bad.

Claver2010 said...

Let me start with whoever the next coach is, he's going to have a hell of a QB on his hands.

Big believer in the OL makes much of the RB production. The OL run blocking wise has been absolutely terrible. There are plays when there are 4 men in the backfield when our RBs get the pitch/handoff.

Oh the defense...
Over 500 yards allowed and Clemson was missing their best player.

There is absolutely zero pressure. Against D1 teams we're getting 1 sack for every 41+ attempts. We're also allowing over 230 yards per game on the ground.

Looking forward to heading to West Point, pretty close to a sell out with a lot of BC fans making the trip.

8 more games of Spaz

12 more days till hockey.

Laxman said...

You're being kind to the DL, they were atrocious. I think part of your generosity may be how low the expectations have been set for the group. The DL never makes plays. They have been manhandled in every game except Maine.

I wonder if we will see any Harris Williams, thought he looked good late last year. Any word on his status? I know he was hurt.

Danny Boy said...

Fun fact (taken from ESPN). Amidon had the most receiving yards in a game for an Eagle since Gerard Phelan in the Hail Mary game.

Big Jack Krack said...

Year 4 of Frank Spaziani and the D is giving up over 500 yards every game.

It's really tough to watch.

Perhaps someone will get the chance to turn this ship around.

Until then, it's up to the players to relay on their own senses of pride and glue up.

We have some exciting players on our team and they still deserve our support. Everyone is trying haed.

Go BC - beat Army. If it's a good weather day, it's tough to beat being in West Point in early October! Wish I could be there.

Big Jack Krack said...

First day post Napoleon DeFilippo - Ahhh!

Might as well go for broke, Frank. What do you say - let's give it the old college try.

If the run is not working - don't run! Try some different things on defense.

Let the young dogs out.

Go for it. Otherwise you are the enigma wrapped up in a conundrum!

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mod34b said...

Some say BC has MAC level talent, and not ACC talent .

The stats do not bear this out: BC does even have MAC defensive ability.

So,if BC was the 14th MAC team where would BC rank MAC-wise?

Here are BC's ranks out of 14 MAC teams (assuming BC was a MAC team)

Total defense: MAC Rank 11/14
Rushing defense: MAC Rank 10/14
Pass defense: MAC Rank 9/14
Opponent 1st downs: MAC Rank: 12/14
Opponent 3d down conversion: MAC Rank 14/14

Verdict: BC lacks MAC level talent or coaching on defense

mod34b said...

So how far has BC's defense fallen under defensive-minded Coach Spaz?

Total defense: 2012 rank: 110 - 2009 rank: 37
Rushing defense: 2012 rank: 114 - 2009 rank: 14
Pass defense: 2012 rank: 94 - 2009 rank: 71
Opponent 1st downs: 2012 rank: 117 - 2009 rank: 45
Opponent 3d down conversion: 2012 rank: 121 - 2009 rank: 28

Verdict: BC defense has fallen, far under Spaz

mod34b said...

So how bad is the defense. Really bad

I ran some stats on CFB Stats for BC's defense nationally (all against only FBS competition). There are 124 FBS teams.

Here are BC's ranks out of 124 teams

Total defense: (517 yds/gm allowed) Rank 110
Rushing defense: (237 /gm allowed) Rank 114
Pass defense: (280 yds/gm allowed) Rank 94
Opponent 1st downs: Rank: 117
Opponent 3d down conversion (59%): Rank 121

Opponents Red Zone Conv. (88%): Rank 95
Sacks: Rank 91

Knucklehead said...

The offensive line was GREAT run blocking on the first two drives. I was at the game.

Then Clemson made some adjustments schemewise and attitude wise and the running game did not look the same.

We can run OK when Sinkovic is there to lead the back to the opening. Otherwise the running backs have trouble finding the hole and when they do especially in Andre Williams case the running backs to NOT run to daylight- they run into contact. Frustrating.

If Rettig makes it through the next two yeara he will be a first round pick, late buzz type of guy like the Miami Dolphins QB.

He poised and has serious fortitue. He literally got his ass kicked last season and wa absolutely destroyed late in the Clemson game. The tigers did not like the fourth q TD to Amidon in the corner of the endzone.