Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Notre Dame
BC should preserve this game in some sort of time capsule. That way if future BC fans want to know what life was like under Spaz, they'll have the perfect example in this game. You had a fanbase and a team dying to compete and win (to the point that players were crying), yet we had an ineffective offense, breakdowns on defense and got overpowered in the trenches. As we move on from this mess, people are going to debate how much talent our new coach inherits and how long it will take to rebuild BC. I don't know but I think the simple key for whoever takes over is to get back to having great offensive and defensive lines and make sure they execute well. We've done that many times before and can do it again. And great line play covers a lot of other weaknesses. Too bad the buy who spent the past 16 years here never bothered to figure it out.
The only guy I felt remotely happy for after the game was Rettig. I am sure he doesn't care about stats or praise, but he played well against a Top Ten defense and earned some recognition. He moved well in the pocket and rolling. He made a bunch of good tight throws without wasting too many. He had too near TDs on long plays that Dudeck and Amidon should have pulled in. My only gripe is that as the game dragged on he started to feel the pressure in the pocket before it got there and took sacks.
Finch had a nice return to action. He only really had one explosive play, but he showed his value and versatility in catching five balls. Dudeck had some nice moments early but we didn't use him as much once the game progressed. As I mentioned earlier, he has to pull in that TD pass on the wheel route.
The drops and not coming back to the ball killed us. Evans had some momentum killing drops. Amidon was okay, but he needs to come back to the ball more when he is in tight man coverage. Swigert was good. The ball was a little behind Elliot on the INT, but he still should have pulled it in. Pantale was fine catching but has some issues blocking.
The offensive line was not good. We needed them to be great and we didn't get consistent protection or push from them. Cleary had some issues (as I mentioned in a previous post). Gallik struggled. Vardaro was inconsistent. Betancourt got the start in place of White and let a few different guys blow past him on the way to Rettig. Wetzel was fine.
Martin pulled out a lot of tricks, but I don't think we were aggressive in the right way. Notre Dame has killed drives all year. Dinking and dunking was not going to be the way to beat them. We needed to challenge them downfield more. We didn't do that. I also don't understand all the play action once the line started breaking down.
The defensive line was bad. Maybe their worst game all year. No push and no big plays. Wujciak played the best but he was far from a starr. Murray was okay but didn't make any big plays. Appiah played more in the second half and didn't do much. Edabali was quiet. Ricci got pushed around. Mihalik didn't get much pressure.
The linebackers were a mixed bag. Take Divitto for example. He had some big plays like the fumble strip but still missed tackles and was passed on. Duggan was aggressive but got burned in pass coverage. Daniels was covering a lot of ground but always seemed a step behind the play. Joy didn't play as much. Clancy didn't return after his head injury. One thing that killed us was the option. Duggan kept getting blocked leaving Divitto to guess on the QB or pitch each time. Stopping that play only works if either Divitto moves onto the QB and hopes the corner gets the pitch or Duggan gets there too. Either way it was a breakdown by the LBs.
Sylvia was very active and made a lot of plays, but still let his man go free on Notre Dame's first TD pass. They must have seen something in his coverage because they kept throwing to his side. Asprilla wasn't tested as much. I liked what I saw from Simmons. Rositano was okay.
Once again, I don't understand our aversion to risk. When we brought pressure or forced Golson to make a bad throw, it worked. Yet we were dropping nine guys in coverage at few times and giving Notre Dame time to work to someone open. We weren't ready for the option even though we've played Army and Georgia Tech. And our third down performance was embarrassing.
Special Teams: C
Freese was fine. So was Levano. Spiffy tried but didn't break anything significant. We contained them for the most part on our coverage teams.
I don't feel Spaz is mismanaging the games at this point. We went for it on 4th multiple times. You could quibble with his second field goal but at that point you needed multiple scores so you might as well kick the field goal. But as I wrote at the beginning, all the hallmarks for a Spaz loss were in this game. At this point that is on him.