Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Florida State
Numb. That's how I feel at this point. It makes watching the games back a little easier. Actually I feel bad for some players. Some are playing hard and some who have struggled recently played well. Too bad good efforts were wasted in such a lopsided game.
I will defend Chase Rettig day and night, but this was not a good game. I don't know what went wrong. Where at times this season he has held too long or forced things, this week he wasn't even trying to make difficult throws. He had multiple passes that he just hurled away. Maybe the idea of getting rid of it early was drilled into him. Maybe he's frustrated. I don't know but it wasn't the Chase we've seen this year. When he did settle down, he made some nice throws. The TD to Swigert had nice touch and he put a couple into tight places with Amidon. But overall it was his worst game of the season. His decision making was off, his timing was off, he didn't work his reads like he did earlier. Hopefully he puts it behind him. Bordner got multiple series for the first time this year, but there was nothing definitive about his play.
We really only played two running backs and both were decent. Williams was good in the draws and delays. The WRs pulled many guys away from the line so there was space. I was frustrated with his inability to push it in on the goaline, but I will get to that in the play calling. Dudeck also looked pretty good. He's not a game changer, but he's got good hands and seems to be improving week to week. McCaffery got some carries in garbage time.
It is nice to have Swigert back. He made some tough catches and took some big hits. I think he would have made a difference in the beginning of the year. Amidon wasn't targeted as much but still made some good catches. Evans had one catch and so did Coleman. Neither made much of them. Pantale, Larmond, Parson and others played but were not involved in the action.
The offensive line as a whole did not play well. But Vardaro -- who I've been rough on -- did. He moved and pulled much better and held his blocks. Cleary got called for holding and had some trouble with their speed. Wetzel was all called for holding. White got blown up a few times. Gallik wasn't good, but when he missed series and we shifted White and brought in Betancourt, things really looked bad.
I didn't like the game Martin called. After the first possession we never got in rhythm. We only had a few counters (like Swigert out of the backfield) and couldn't sustain anything. There were a few things I liked -- Williams motioning out to a WR slot. A lot of draws in space. Trying to move the pocket. I didn't like other things. The toss plays?! The goaline series. How can you leave their best player unblocked. I know it is a read and the goal is to get the pass off, but can't we adjust the play so that you are exploiting one of their weak links instead of an All America DE?
The defensive line is where this team really starts to crumble. I know they were short handed, but they missed tons of tackles and couldn't get even the slightest pressure on Manuel. Borchich was the unblocked guy on a lot of their option stuff, but was a step too slow to make many plays. Murray, Ricci and Quinn (who did play in the second half) got pushed around. Rudolph played hard but missed tackles. Moore made some nice plays but I wish we didn't burn his redshirt midway through the season. Edebali once again plays hard. He never gives up on plays. I just don't know why that same motor cannot create more havoc in the other team's backfield.
Divitto is another guy who had his best game in a while. He didn't miss as many tackles and was pretty good in coverage. Joy played well too when Divitto missed some time. KPL is another guy who played hard and didn't miss many tackles. You could see his frustration. Clancy had a rough game. He missed a lot of tackles and was pushed around a lot.
I don't know what is wrong with Noel and Asprilla. Many of the big plays happened in their areas. All the DBs had coverage breakdowns. I cannot remember the last time I saw so many opponents run free. This is where I think the talent argument is negated. Talent wise I would put Noel and Asprilla in the middle of the pack as far as BC DBs of the last decade. Yet their less talented predecessors never made that many glaring mistakes in one game. At times Noel and Asprilla both showed their talent in this game. But that didn't make up for the glaring issues. Simmons got extensive time at Safety and actually looked good. Bryce Jones also looked good. Richardson played a little and didn't make an impact. Sylvia was at corner again and played well.
We were down four TDs before we starting mixing things up with zone pressure or dropping eight. Why? Are we that much in fear of Florida State that we were only going to play way off? Do we think that much of Manuel as a QB that we didn't try to confuse him or disguise things early? It was a ultra conservative gameplan and we still got killed. I don't know who has true ownership of our defense, but it is clear that two heads are not better than one. Somebody's got to do something.
Special Teams: C
Levano -- who has not been good lately -- had a decent game. He got his punts off and while not all were beauties, they were much better and helped change field position.
Spiffy had solid returns all day. Elliot had one bad one where the ball knuckled and stopped in bounds on the two yard line. Those sort of things seem to happen when the game is falling apart.
Forget about the breakdowns or the talent difference. Forget about Rettig having an off day or all the missed tackles. Our coaching staff gave up. We came out in the second half and didn't try anything new. A little blitzing in the third quarter and a few more draws is not going to change the course of a game. And our pace showed the whole stadium we had no urgency to erase the huge halftime deficit. Of course the odds that a 1-4 team was not going on the road to erase the biggest deficit in BC history against a top 10 team. No one expected that. But you would hope Spaz would do something to even try to alter the course of the game.
Once again we were unprepared and executed like a Pop Warner team. That's on the Head Coach. There is part of me that still believes this team has talent. I no longer believe Spaz can do anything with it.