I don't know if the final score or even the mood during the game captured BC's effort on Saturday. When I watched live, I was tense and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. When you watch it back -- knowing the outcome -- the defensive issues become less frustrating and you can appreciate how good the other aspects of the team were.
Our style of play wasn't an NFL showcase, but Rettig played really well. Although he is not a runner, he doesn't look terrible when he does keep it. He also looked good throwing on the bootlegs and rollouts. His passing in general was very sharp. I also like that he was still able to make plays on the quick outs to Amidon (which I assume are his call to make at the line). It shows good decision making and understanding of the offense.
Other than tripping over his own feet right outside the endzone, Williams was great. He's much better in traffic than he used to be and still has good speed in open space. I also appreciate how hard he's running. Not only is he pounding tacklers, he keeps doing it on carry No. 28 just like he did on his first. Willis had a few nice runs and is providing a nice change of pace.
As you would expect with a record-tying day, the OLine was great. Because of our huge size advantage we we able to get our lineman totally released and pulling deep into the second level. Patchan, White and Williams all looked good pulling around the ends. I don't know if we have the stars on the line yet or if the USC game was just an anomaly, but our OLine is playing really well as a unit and this was their best game.
Amidon's running away from tackles and through traffic was impressive. Even end-around show that he can make something out of nothing. Spiffy made a nice catch on an underthown ball. He also did a good job with running after the catch. Dudeck made a nice grab on the TD and got a hand on a tough throw later that he didn't pull in. I am glad Jackson was targeted but it was hard to read much into it. The Tight Ends were strictly blockers and decoys as none were targeted.
It is hard to nitpick on a 48 point day when your running back broke records and your QB only had two incompletions (one of which was catchable). I thought the gameplan was solid and the play calling also good. Our only stalled drives were really about a few penalties and execution issues. I also appreciate that Day likes to go back to plays that work. It is a simple philosophy, but you might as well keep running something until the other team proves they can stop it. Steve Logan often did the same thing.
Mihalik had one of his better days. He was able to keep his assignments and still make some nice tackles. Edebali was good. Army had good success on the middle dives but it wasn't really the fault of BC's DTs. Wujciak was fine. He didn't miss as much as Army did a nice job opening up small creases in the interior. We also used a lot of three-man fronts so there wasn't as much for these guys to do.
KPL looked really good early. There were a few plays where Army ran away from him and he still caught the runner. Daniels has really improved from the start of the season. Keyes wasn't as sharp on the option plays his way, but still made some nice tackles. Divitto was good.
Asprilla was really good breaking up the option and made some nice tackles. Sylvia covered a lot of space and was solid tackling. Williams got a lot of time in place of Rositano but wasn't as active. Jones was good. Army didn't pass as much as they did last year, but our coverage was much improved and other than the flea flicker, there weren't any real coverage breakdowns.
We went vanilla (for us) and did enough to win. That's what matters on defense. But I still don't love giving up so much yardage and so many points to Army. The good news is that the guys were prepared for Army. They flowed to the action and played their assignments.
Special Teams looked good -- and have most of the season. Freese was perfect on his FGs and extra points. His punting was better and he put nearly every kickoff into the endzone.
Spiffy had a nice return on a punt and Willis was explosive again. He's providing a spark, but he's also getting good blocking.
Other than Dudeck taking an accidental knee, it was a perfect day on Special Teams.
Temple played Army in both of Addazio's seasons there. He referenced that experience and the quirkiness of playing the Cadets in his post-game comments. His main point was you need to establish the run and run all day because these games often become a matter of holding serve. Army is not going to score at will but if you don't overpower them and rely on a mediocre passing game, it can turn into last season's disaster, where a team is pressing late, not using the clock well and allows a late Army score. It was an candid assessment gives you some insight into why this game matters.
I think maybe we underestimated Addazio's game preparation and game management skills based on his reputation. He's not calling the plays here, so that isn't an issue. Instead he's leading and setting our philosophy game to game and adjustments. And so far, I think he's done well. Did our defense dominate? No. But they did enough. When you do so well in Offense and Special Teams, one area can be just okay. And because of his experience, Addazio set the tone for this week and the team went out and executed.
Under normal circumstances, Army shouldn't really be a test of anything or an indicator of anything. We weren't normal or stable last year, so I have to use it as progress. Let's hope that as long as Addazio is around Army is never an issue again.