Sunday, September 29, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Florida State

Addazio has been pretty demonstrative in his unhappiness with the loss. That's good. That's the edge he needs and the team needs. I don't feel the same way and only felt better after watching the game back. We played well against a good team. If we play near that level the rest of the season, we will go bowling.

Offense: C+

Chase Rettig is not having the season I predicted. He's not been great but he hasn't been bad either. Yesterday captured the issues. He looked good within the offense. He passed on the move well. He ran when he had to. He turned a few broken plays into positive yards. Yet his mistakes were on full display too. He is not scanning the field and tends to lock in on one target. His passing was not crisp. The first INT was a total breakdown in throwing. (The second one was desperation and not really on him.) He wasn't the reason we lost yesterday, but we need him to play better in the big games. Also, if he wants to be an NFL QB, he's got to start being more accurate with his passes.

Andre Williams has taken his play to a new level the past two games. He's always been powerful, but now he is finding space and making people miss. He looked really good. Willis obviously looked good doing a bit of everything. I think he showed he can be more than a change of pace guy. He's got good hands and good speed. He can also run in traffic. I didn't realize what an upgrade Sinkovec was until he made the nice little cut and tuck on the TD. He blocked well too.

The offensive line played well. They moved and pulled much better than they did against USC...notably Williams and Patchan. The true pass blocking wasn't as strong. Gallik allowed a bad sack that killed a drive. But as a group it was a big improvement over USC. They are coming together.

Amidon is doing what he can. He's rarely open and not getting great balls. However, we did give him touches in the run game. Parsons was a nice surprise. Crimmins caught a ball and Miller had two. We really need to start getting other guys involved (Harrison was out there and so was Evans) just to see what they can do.

Although it was still conservative the offensive play calling was solid. The unbalanced line caught FSU by surprise (even though we've used it previously) and they never adjusted. So we kept going back to it and Williams had success on the edge and in the middle. We also used the run to effectively set up the pass on the rollouts and play action. All the TDs were great calls. The only frustrating part of the gameplan was that we are not very effective on passing downs or in true passing formations. It is a little bit of everything, guys cannot get open, protection is not great and Rettig's throws are not on target. We need to fix that but overall the offense put up points and dictated play most of the day against a quality opponent.

Defense: C+

Kaleb Ramsey played like a difference maker yesterday. And it wasn't just getting good push or pressure on Winston. He was also following the plays and making tackles after the line of scrimmage when his teammates got beat. If he can finish strong, he may give our defense a spark. As for the young guys Wujciak and Kavalec saw action and held their own. Edebali was more contained than he's been lately. Abdesmad had some good plays stuffing the run.

I thought Daniels played better. He wasn't asked to cover as much so we was able to run support in the middle of the field. KPL made an early play and then seemed a step slow the rest of the way. Perhaps he's not 100% yet. Keyes looked good. I loved sending him and KPL at the QB together on the edge. Divitto was ok and had a few issues tackling.

Asprilla is becoming a bit of a scape goat, but I think he is playing well given the system he was recruited for and what he is being asked to do now. He got beat deep but was with his man -- just a step slower. He also tackled well. Both Joneses made some nice plays. I liked what we saw from Williams. Sylvia wasn't as near the action. Rositano did not have a great day. He was beat on the Hail Mary and missed some tackles.

I know we gave up a ton of points, yardage and big plays, but I was happy with Don Brown's defense. Let me explain. Winston is an accurate passer and Florida State is a rhythm offense. We got to Winston and made multiple big plays on defense. We also showed different looks -- pressure early, backing off, pressure late. At times were were able to get penetration with just three lineman. Many of their biggest plays were either broken (like the Hail Mary) or just good plays from their players outperforming ours. My only complaint is that we didn't bring as much pressure as they were making their comeback in the first half. I don't know if that was by design or an adjustment once we got a big lead. Either way, it didn't work.

Special Teams: B

The Special teams were better than they've been. We had strong kickoffs from Freese. Spiffy made some nice cuts on returns. Willis' big kick return and we made our field goals. The blocking on returns was even better (Willis made a huge block on Spiffy's long return). The only complaint was the punting. Overall they were high enough to be unreturnable but still too short. We didn't change field position enough. Freese has shown he can pin teams down, but I wonder if we need to try something else when we are deep in our own end.

Overall: B-

As I've said, this wasn't a moral victory but it was a decent gameplan and a good effort. We didn't execute well enough, but still had chances to win. The biggest game management issue that opens up second guessing was how Addazio managed the final minutes before the half.

As someone who endlessly bashed Spaz for wasting possessions and taking a knee, I actually think Addazio did the right thing on Saturday. The game was tied and we were set to get the ball at the start of the second half. That gives us the advantage. Pressing for another score makes sense against a Wake Forest or Army, but at the time our offense had stalled against Florida State. So we tried our best play of the game to that point (running off tackle). If Williams burst a big run, I assume we would have hurried up and tried something else. Instead he was tackled for a short gain and forced an FSU timeout. We followed with two other conservative plays and forced more timeouts. We eat up every last bit of clock before calling a timeout and punting. Then we make two defensive stops and the clock is running. Of course the series ends with Winston making one of the all-time "holy shit" plays in Alumni Stadium history. It was a fluke from a great player.

Addazio has now had two ends of half go poorly (Wake and FSU). Both times I agreed with his logic and cringed at the execution. If that becomes a consistent pattern, then we will have issues with him as coach. Now I feel he is doing the right things.

This game didn't come strictly down to coaching. If anything I thought our preparation and motivation were better than Florida State's. But it was still a loss, so the pats on the back only go so far. I feel better about this team than I did after USC and think measuring Addazio will really come down to the how we finish the season.


Sal said...

That sequence at the end of the first half will leave me bitter for a while. I understand that we could've easily thrown 3 incomplete passes then punt it it away, but there's no doubt we were playing for halftime and it bit us in the ass. It was very Spaz. I was livid.

PutYourChuckieDukesUp said...

I think a C+ is being a little tough on the offense. They were able to move the ball better than I've seen a BC offense do in years. That said, one issue I did have with the offense was that--unless I missed it--we never tried a play action pass on 1st down. With all the draw plays we ran on 1st downs throughout the game, I felt like we were set up perfectly for a play action pass at some point, but it never came.

Some other general observations on the game (I was in the stadium for it):

-Not getting off the field on 3rd and long killed us and the scrambles by James on those 3rd and longs reminded me of Michael Vick: tough to do anything about, but very frustrating nonetheless.

-I'm not sure I agree with those who have been saying we should have gone for it on 4th and 1 when we were up 14-3 instead of taking the field goal. All the momentum was on our side at that point, and if we got stuffed on 4th and 1 it would have been a real momentum shift. Granted, that shift happened anyway, but I think taking the points was the right call at that point in the game.

-Speaking of the momentum shift, the play at the end of the half was obviously a killer and changed the dynamic of the game from then on out. It was strange because in person it didn't look as if FSU was rushing to get that play off and that they would have been fine to let the clock run out. Maybe a second viewing would prove me wrong on that. Nonetheless, that play took the air out of a very excited crowd in exactly the same way as Ed Reed pick in the 2001 Miami game (I was there for that one too), except in this case we still had a full half to play and the crowd never got back into it in the game in the same way as they were before that play.

-I think the team deserves some credit for fighting back after they went down by 18 at the end of the 3rd. I was sure that the game was going to get even more out of hand at that point, but they deserve credit for being in the game late in the 4th.

-All that said, it is frustrating (but not necessarily uncommon for BC teams throughout the year) to take loss against a good team in an inherently winnable game. Still, I feel OK about how this season has gone thus far on the whole and I'm looking forward to seeing what this team does from here on out.

Walter said...

I agree with the above. C+ is too harsh on an offense that put up quality points against a top ten team. FSU is better than last year (so say the polls) and our results were better against them, too.

I also agree with Sal that the end of the first half play calling was inexcusable. Rushing 2/3 would have been bad enough, but to go for that 3 times in a row is wrong.

Claver2010 said...

First have to start out w/ Daz's postgame presser, what a difference from Spaz. (Found at end of here:

Agree the C+ is a little rough on the offense. This was a top 10 D and we put up 34 points on them.

Unlike ATL, I had a huge problem with the final 2 minute scenario to end the first half. From an offensive POV, it was purely Spaztastic. I don't have as much of an issue with the hail mary, shit happens. I also had an issue not going for it on 4th & 1 at 14-3. Andre had been gashing them at that point (16 for 86) and the play action was very effective as well. Either way, you don't get it you pin them deep in their own territory down 2 scores when their O really had trouble moving the ball.

There are no moral victories but I can't see how anyone who was at Alumni for 60 minutes walks away anything but encouraged. This team fought their asses off for 60 minutes.

WI_Eagle said...

My issue with the hail mary was the way it was defended. It is one thing if it happened off a fluke deflection in the endzone or something like that, but it was 1x1 coverage with the WR a step ahead of Rositano. There is 1 second left in the half -- the only thing that matters is stopping them before the goal line. We should have had 7 DBs standing on the goal line. Instead we were in some kind of man coverage that left a saftey all alone 1x1 with a more athletic WR. Not sure if that is coaching or the players, but that was a huge mental mistake.

eagle1331 said...

+1 to WI Eagle. Man coverage with 1 second left when they weren't going to kneel it. Bad, bad call.

Big Jack Krack said...

By phone - I agree wholeheartedly with all who mention the pass at the end of the first half.

It would have been a different second half if we prevented that TD. While it showed how great Winston is - we should have prevented that play.

JBQ said...

"That play" was the difference maker. If you knock him down, it is a 15 yrd penalty instead of a 55 yrd completion. I was disappointed in the play of Rettig. Don't know what the problem is. His pick 6 was also a difference maker. How is Mehdi (45) doing. The hit in the head by their tight end O'Leary was cowardly. He should have been ejected for targeting. The announcers stated that this play could have been reviewed. Addazio should have asked the referees to review the play. So far, Addazio is missing on some of the small things that need to be done. His enthusiasm is contagious. The bottom line is that "that play" was the definer for the game and BC screwed up with their defensive set. No problem with mistakes. Just don't repeat them.

eddierock said...

Let's focus for a moment on the positive: the first quarter was the best BC has played since Matty ice wore the uniform. And they can do that again.

Big Jack Krack said...

I loved all the positives and I am encouraged with the direction of our program.

I do not agree with everything, but I support the HC, his staff and the efforts of BB.

We were put in a huge hole and we are digging ourselves out of it.

Go BC.

JBQ said...

I believe that the moon is made of cheese and that Gerard Phelan will never drop the pass. You have to "tip your hat" to BJK for believing in "the tooth fairy". Of such dreams are the "roots of greatness". Positive thinking is contagious. "Put me in coach" and when BC pulls that big upset have a "game ball" set aside for BJK.

CT said...

Is JBQ Latin for "drunk"or am I "reading too much" into "posts that have quotes" and "by the way, put me in, coach."

bcb4doug said...

Great discussion. I was at the game and have a different take on the play at the end of the half. It was not designed as a flood tip hail mary play. I think that FSU was planning an intermediate pass to potentially set up a field goal. But the good BC pressure forced Winston into a broken play that isolated Rositano on the receiver and he got beat by a terrific pitch and catch. I agree with ATL that Rettig has been so-so this year and needs to play like a four-year starter for BC to go bowling this year, which is not realistic in my view.

bcb4doug said...

Great discussion. I was at the game and have a different take on the play at the end of the half. It was not designed as a flood tip hail mary play. I think that FSU was planning an intermediate pass to potentially set up a field goal. But the good BC pressure forced Winston into a broken play that isolated Rositano on the receiver and he got beat by a terrific pitch and catch. I agree with ATL that Rettig has been so-so this year and needs to play like a four-year starter for BC to go bowling this year, which is not realistic in my view.