Sunday, September 15, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: UCS

Due to Pac 12 Network restrictions, I did not get to DVR the game nor access it online. So the following is based purely on what I saw live. Watching the game might have calmed me down a bit (it usually does). Overall I thought the talent gap was alarming, but the team still didn't play to their potential. If you're going to pull an upset, you need to play your best and hope the other team collapses. We didn't get that.

Offense: D+

If we planned on winning it would have taken a great effort from Rettig. It was just ok. He was really conservative in his deep throws early and didn't challenge much in the middle of the field. It was almost as he was avoiding risk too. His protection was terrible but he needed to settle down a bit when he was still in the pocket. The best part of the day was his long run. We can use that play again.

Like Rettig, Williams didn't get much help from his OL. But he didn't do anything special either. Rouse looked good but he was also going up against the backups. I liked Willis' burst. I liked throwing it to Dudeck. He didn't break anything but he's got good hands.

We finally passed to the Tight Ends. Naples, Parsons and Miller all had catches. That will be key going forward. Amidon wasn't thrown to much. Because I didn't get a chance to watch it back, I don't know if he was having issues getting open. Crimmins had a brutal drop.

The Oline didn't look lost. That was an issue under old regimes. But they did look slow. Over and over we kept getting beat on stunts and twists. We also couldn't pull and trap fast enough. Much of that pressure came up the middle. (I would have more specifics comments, but couldn't get all the line play breakdowns live.)

We had a gameplan that wasn't working and didn't really have great adjustments or counters. USC was too fast and too strong upfront and kept blowing up our runs. But he didn't make them pay with a Rettig run or misdirection until we were down by 28. We need to run counters early to keep them honest. I also think he needed to try passing a bit more.

Defense: C-

Above I referenced the issues on the Oline. The defensive line wasn't much better. We got pushed around and didn't make many big plays. Where was Edebali? Or why didn't Abdesmad look as good? Is Ramsey ever going to be a game changer? Those were all noticeable on Saturday. Mihalik forced a fumble and looked okay at times. Wujciak played a lot and hustled but couldn't get much penetration or disruption. 

Early in the game KPL looked great. He covered a lot of ground and was covering up others' mistakes. Later in the game he wasn't as near the action. Since I didn't get to watch the game back, I don't know why he wasn't as active. The announce team praised Daniels. I thought he was uneven. He looked good a few times and recognized some plays early. But he also seemed slow and out of place at other times. Divitto looked slow too. Keyes played a bit and was okay. Later in the game, I thought the backups -- including Strizak -- showed some promise.

Asprilla got targeted repeatedly. Under normal circumstances I would welcome that. Saturday wasn't normal. Asprilla played too far off and missed a key tackle on Lee's 80 yard TD. Jones didn't get targeted as often and played less. ALJ was back and seemed capable of running with USC's talent. I thought Sylvia played well and tackled well. Rositano wasn't as active. 

It seemed like we were conservative on defense early. I don't want to say "bend but don't break" but we played way off and gave the Trojans plenty of cushion. It was only later that we started to get a little more aggressive and finally get some pressure on USC. I can sort of justify the safe approach when you prepare for a talented team, but think an aggressive approach from the first snap would've been better for us.

Special Teams: B+

Freese's punts were the best part of our day. He pinned them back and gave us a chance with each possession. Our return game could use some spark. Maybe we will get it because Willis had a nice run on the late Kick return. 

Overall: C

We have talent issues. We've known it a few years and Addazio all but admitted it during all his preseason interviews. We needed a miracle and some lucky breaks to win and didn't get them. I don't really blame Addazio for the loss. But I do have concerns about the Offensive Line play and our slowness to adjust the gameplan once we were down 21. 

Great coaches are not perfect every week but do make their team better than it should be. BC is not at the place yet. Addazio has a few more rough games coming up. I hope he uses this game as a learning opportunity so that the next time we face an elite team, we win. 


Claver2010 said...

Some follow ups:

The offense was waaayyy too conservative. The 1950s called, they want 3 yards and a cloud of dust back. I have no problem running the ball but it clearly wasn't working and Day/Addazio need to adjust. Especially when our best offensive player is the QB. I hated a pair of 4th down decisions. First was punting in the first Q in their territory. This was a team that a quick score could've gotten them to quit. Need to go for the big first blow. And the power play on 4th down, it had zero shot.

Re Amidon: One of the worst thngs to come out of these first 3 games is we still don't have anyone else who can catch the ball. USC did an awesome job bracketing him and daring someone else to beat them. No one could.

Defense: Said this before the game but what Don Brown did the first two games with essentially the same D that was one of the worst in the country is extremely impressive. Well we saw the talent differential in full effect on Saturday. As for Ramsey, screw game changer, just want to be able to notice him once or twice a game.

Freese was the best player on Saturday.

Also of note, BC traveled extremely well. Every place I went to througout the weekend, there were BC people. The alumni tailgate was over 1000 people.

Pearl Washington said...

If we get the 4th and 1 in the 3rd quarter at 14-0 we maybe have a chance.

Players make plays.

The gameplan was fine. USC is great on D. The 1st team defense has not given up a TD this year. Read that again. 3 games no scores

4 and 5 stars versus 2 stars.

If we were down 14-7 with 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter the staff would be giggling. Especially with one wide receiver, 1 running back

NEDofSavinHill said...

It was one game. USC's flat performance against WSU gave us false hopes. At home even against FSU BC will be competitive. Recover that fumble at the five yard line and score then the 2nd half has a different feel. Expect to see a similar one sided game on the road at Clemson but possibilities exist in the others. Encouraged by the quickness of the freshman running backs the effort throughout the game.

ccw said...

How do you lose 35-7 and give the offense a D+ and the defense a C-?

The defense gave up over 500 yds of offense to an offense that had <200 yds the week before.

How can the offense get anything other than a F? Yes, the USC defense is terrific, but we didn't move the ball at all and got a garbage time touchdown.

mod34b said...

Yes, there was a talent gap on Saturday. Was there ever.

Here is an interesting snapshot of that talent gap. For the 2009-2013 classes, I looked at Rivals recruitung rankings for BC and USC. I also noted the total number of 4* and 5* players each school recruited.

2009 BC #70 (0 4/5*)
2009 USC #4 (14 4/5*)

2010 BC #47 (2 4/5*)
2010 USC #1 (19 4/5*)

2011 BC #38 (4 4/5*)
2011 USC #4 (15 4/5*)

2012 BC #63 (2 4/5*)
2012 USC #8 (13 4/5*)

2013 BC #87 (0 4/5*)
2013 USC #4 (19 4/5*)

Avg Rivals Rank > BC #61 USC #6
High Star recruits > BC 8 USC 80

Yes, there was a talent differential. Ha!

Oh our next opponent, FSU, is more of the same.
Ranks from 2009-2103: #7, #10, #2, #6, #10
Avg Rank #7 (1 above USC!)

EL MIZ said...

good point on the talent gap Mod. that is the main reason why i'm hesitant to criticize the play calling - even if Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator, what do you expect him to do with players who are subpar?

Day has designed the system to the "strenghths" of Rettig. well, we have seen 4 years of Rettig -- he is a slightly above average QB. he is pretty accurate with decent arm strength, and i'm sure with a good o-line, a good running game, and some playmakers he could lead a team to double-digit wins. unfortunately, BC has a below-average line, an average running game, and one above-average WR. it is hard to win with the talent BC has when playing a team like USC, a team like Clemson, a team like FSU. you can't pin the fact that this team has one good WR on Ryan Day, its just silly.

that said, given the talent gap, you would expect to see more aggressive play calls, and that falls on Addazio. we get a 3-and-out from the D to start, and then put a nice drive together and have 4th and 3 from the 41. you gotta have something lined up, either a quick get to the line of scrimmage and get a play off, a trick play, something to get the first, keep the drive moving, and get points. USC was the team reeling after a loss, put the pressure on them and force them to make a play. too conservative of a play call there. the downside is USC ball at the 40 instead of the 20? well they drove on us and scored anyway.

the Washington State loss last week was the worst thing for BC - USC played focused and were desperate for a win.

even accepting the reality of a loss versus FSU and Clemson, i still think we have the ability to win 6 games and get to a bowl. we should beat Army and New Mexico State with a good game plan and execution. that puts us at 4 wins.

we have a bye week before we travel to Chapel Hill to play the Tarheels. Va Tech and NC State are both on the Heights. Maryland and Cuse on the road to close the year. to get to 6 wins we need to win just two of those games. it is do-able and I expect it of the coaching staff and the players to get there.

Big Jack Krack said...

I am still in CA this week on vacation in the Newport Beach area.

I submitted some comments from my phone during the game, but I'm not very good at it.

Re: KPL - I stated that he had a bad hamstring problem. It happened in the 3rd quarter during a USC punt. I think we had a block play on.

He was spelled by Josh Keyes, who in turn went down when he got his bell rung during a tough tackle.

Both those guys are top notch players, but undersized. (All USC LBs are 250 lbs plus.)

KPL played on sheer guts after that, so let's give the guy credit.

Also, #30 saw action - RSF Mike Strizak. Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Concerning the defense - it seemed as though they never got a break - unlike the last two games. They were on the field a great deal. Each player gave a big effort and we can't fault them for lack of trying.

We have some game changers - just not against a team like USC on the 14th.

Big Jack Krack said...

Concerning Alex Amidon, Claver hit it right on the head - "USC did an awesome job bracketing him and daring someone else to beat them. No one could."

Everyone says that Crimmins is the real deal, but so far he has trouble creating much space.

USC receivers could easily get open by 5 yards, but ours could not. With a QB who was pressured on every play, a stuffed running game, and receivers who couldn't get open - it was not a good recipe for success. Simple as that.

Big Jack Krack said...

One more - I have stated in the past that I thought Howell should be the punter over Freese.

I don't know that I have ever seen that rugby style kick work better over the course of a game than what Freese did last Saturday. I wish him and the team best. His kickoffs were all touchbacks as well, I think.

Big Jack Krack said...

One more - I have stated in the past that I thought Howell should be the punter over Freese.

I don't know that I have ever seen that rugby style kick work better over the course of a game than what Freese did last Saturday. I wish him and the team best. His kickoffs were all touchbacks as well, I think.

EL MIZ said...

thanks for the commentary BJK.

i agree with you on Crimmins - not sure what happened to him, but he just isn't getting it done right now. the loss of Swigert has really hurt this team, he and Amidon would have formed a competent duo. with only 1 WR, its easy to double and force the others to make plays, which currently is not happening.

what happened to Harrison Jackson? he apparently had a great spring.

I was surprised to see Willis get his redshirt burned when Kimble should be back for the FSU game. i would imagine Dudeck is a WR from here on out and we will have a nice stable of RBs - Andre, Tahj, Rouse, and Willis.

coaching staff will have to get creative with the WRs -- how can we put Amidon, Spiffy, Crimmins, et al in a position to succeed given the limited skill sets?

happy to see ALJ back out there. hopefully he can be a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.

JBQ said...

If everyone had the faith of BJK, BC would have no problems. Rettig is a "surfer dude" from California. BJK met the parents and spread a bunch of his packet of Walt Disney fairy dust over the tailgate section. Somewhere along the way, BJK should be given the game ball when they pull that big upset.