In the comments section during the game, I predicted a BC comeback. The momentum and our success passing had me thinking that we would score enough to tie it and win in overtime. It never really got that close. But watching the game back I understand why I got excited. There were multiple moments when the offense played really well and Rettig was completing tough throws. But there weren't enough of them and he compounded it with multiple mistakes.
Rettig makes so low percentage throws that it is amazing he doesn't throw more INTs. Aside from the last one where he got hit, the first two were examples of passes he's been trying all year. This week they didn't go his way. Ironically I thought his decision making and footwork were better this week. He didn't have many miss throws. The fumble was a killer, but I blamed that more on the offensive line. I also still believe that he needs to run on a drive. Once again there were plenty of plays where he had daylight. Instead he waited for the big play downfield.
Amidon had a few drops but is still our best WR. He is great at the comebacks and getting space. Swigert looked good. Coleman made some nice plays. Pantale was good, but struggled a bit in pass blocking. Naples had some nice blocks.
Dudeck was basically a one-man show after Williams went down. He actually played pretty well and had a few tough runs. He's not a game breaker but he's pretty reliable in space. I wish we had passed to him more often.
The offensive line was terrible. We know about the running game issues, but now even the pass protection started having breakdowns. Clancy got beat for a sack. Wetzel allowed penetration and got whistled for a penalty. Gallik got man handled a few times. White was okay prior to the injury. Betancourt struggled. Vardaro was okay.
At this point I am glad the Martin understands our limitations and is trying to work around them. The bubble screens seemed monotonous and ineffective, but the second time watching the game you could start to rationalize them. They are high percentage throws that Chase can complete. We move the chains and control the tempo and we don't depend on the oline. Those sorts of bubble screens have been a staple of Mike Leach's offense. This was just taking a page from his philosophy It was uninspiring but could have been effective. My biggest issue with Martin on Saturday was our playing calling in third and short and fourth and short. The execution was terrible. Wake knew what were running when we loaded up the backfield. We've run the same run with two lead blockers repeatedly. It is old news now. I also don't know what happened on the fourth and short near their goalline. Was that supposed to be an option play? Is that what we are really running with the game on the line. In those situations you need bread and butter plays that you can execute.
Bryan Murray has been one of the surprise players of the season. Where has this effort and difference been the past four years? Wujciak was good. Ricci was not much of a difference maker. Edebali didn't do much. Mihalik looked good. Borcich was impactful early, then was quiet. He did make a few plays late. Abdesmad played DT and didn't get much push. I didn't see Moore. Glad we burned his redshirt!
Nick Clancy had one of his better games. He was pretty active though the first TD pass was his zone. We are at our best when our MLBs make plays off of reading QBs. Clancy hasn't done much of that this season. Divitto was ok. Daniels played a lot but didn't make many plays. Duggan got his first extended time in a few games and played well. Joy was all over the place and made some nice plays.
I don't know what's going on with Noel. He was lost on some plays, including the second TD allowed. Sylvia played well, but wasn't in pass coverage. Rositano had an nice run back on the INT but was quiet otherwise. I thought Jones looked good in limited action. Asprilla wasn't as effective. Simmons was fine.
There were numerous coverage breakdowns on Saturday. That shouldn't be happening at this point in the season against this type of team. And it is coming from our experienced guys. They know the schemes. They should know their roles. Where is the execution? I also wondered why we didn't blitz more. Every time we brought pressure or broke down the pocket, Price made bad plays. When we sat back in a zone he moved the ball. Why didn't we bring more pressure? Surely others are saying this on the BC sideline?
Special Teams: B-
Freese miss wasn't too bad. We probably should have gone for it on that drive. Spiffy had a nice punt return that we couldn't capitalize on. The kick coverage was good.
Let me start with what I liked about Spaz's approach. We went for it on fourth. We didn't have success, but the aggressiveness is overdue. I also liked that the second team LBs got substantial playing time. We've got to try something new with the players so giving guys like Duggan or Joy a shot may wake things up and should pay off down the road.
But our inability to stop anyone on third down and our inability to run the ball have to fall at someone's feet and that's Spaz. How can this still be an issue. Where are the week to week adjustments? Where are the ingame adjustments? What is he doing on the sidelines?
I've heard rumors that Spaz and his staff are going all out for Notre Dame. While I want to win, I hope it is not true. Because selling out for a Notre Dame doesn't make sense when you cannot do the basics against Wake Forest.