Sunday, November 03, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Virginia Tech

As the game happened I was very skeptical of Addazio's clock management before the half and our seeming lack of adjustments throughout the game. But watching back you see that those things weren't really part of the problem. BC didn't play great, but played well enough to win and that is a credit to Addazio. The lack of adjustments -- or long stretches where what worked early stopped working -- paid off in the end when our stubbornness led to big plays on both offense and defense. Many college games can turn when a player messes up or one team gets a late lead. BC kept playing hard and the tide did turn. That confidence in the plan and the players is also due to the new coaches and their play to win attitude. Watching back -- knowing that we had won -- revealed how the team is starting to reflect its coach's positivity. Even at halftime, Addazio told the TV folks we were doing what we planned on offense, we just needed to make more defensive plays. And he was right.

Offense: B

My gut told me Rettig played better, but watching the game back, I saw a few things that were troubling. There were more plays to be had and more guys getting open down field who he either didn't see or didn't want to force things towards them. I don't mind the checkdowns when they are the only thing open, but that wasn't always the case. To Rettig's credit, when he did pass, most of his throws were on time and fast. His one ugly duckling was the long ball to Amidon. Not sure what happened there (did he try to get it out early because of pressure?) but the play did work. He also ran more. As I said, those few runs did help him and did loosen up the defense. As long as those big holes are there, he needs to keep doing that.

Williams' first TD was another great run. He used his blockers as much as he could close to the line and then ran through a few arm tacklers for the score. He punished VT guys all day and yet still had energy late in the game. I am starting to worry that we are overworking him. I hope we ease up a bit this week. Willis didn't get many touches but had one nice little burst. Sinkovec's TD was a nice run after the short catch. He's also blocking well.

We have used Amidon much on the screen lately, so he is having to do all the work by himself getting open downfield. He did a good job holding onto what did come his way. He also drew a nice pass interference (that was offset anyway). Now all we need him to do is turn some of these tough catches into TDs. As we face less talented secondaries, I expect a few more big plays. Jackson held onto the balls that came his way. Miller had one nice grab and then got hurt.

The offensive line probably played their best game of the season. Minimal mistakes and good push throughout. Patchan was solid. Gallick had his best game of the year. Williams was strong. Vardaro was pulling and couldn't get his assignment out of the way. The guy then tripped up Andre on what would have been a big, big play. White was fine.

I know it comes off like I am defending anything Day does, but I think our gameplans, while conservative and a bit boring to watch, are sound. We play to our strengths and limit mistakes. This week we had some early success. Then they countered and we got stagnant, only to recover later. The later adjustments -- including weakside runs and more downfield passing were good calls. I also think they improved Rettig's comfort level.

Defense: B

Ramsey played well early and even as he went down, the DLine stayed strong. Edebali was very good. I am now starting to believe he might get NFL interest. His speed is decent and he's using his length well (see the critical tipped ball). Wujciak played a lot of snaps and got good push.

This was probably the best game of KPL's career. He's always covered a lot of space and been a good tackler but this was one of those games where he was reading everything right and his anticipation led to multiple big plays -- including the pick 6. Daniels had a very, very good game too. He made some nice tackles and started the pressure that led to the INT/TD. Daniels' size when blitzing the A gaps is a great disruption...especially since we've lost some DT depth. Divitto's game was not as good as his fellow starters. While he got a sack early and drew a critical holding call, he still missed too many tackles.

Asprilla was having a good game even before his INT. He made some nice tackles throughout and had good coverage most of the day. I don't know if Sylvia was still thinking about last week, but he wasn't as sharp. He missed a potential tipped INT and was playing too far off on in coverage. Williams was ok -- although giving huge cushions. Jones had a nice sack. Overall though the DBs didn't tackle as well as they have in previous games and it cost us a good deal of yardage.

Right when the game ended, I wrote that the defensive stats were a bit misleading. Logan threw for the ton of yards but I don't think he nor VT ever felt comfortable. And much of the yardage was a result of missed tackles -- not poor schemes. Still I felt like we did play too much zone behind the front four or front seven. Maybe there was fear after our other losses of letting up the big play. Maybe it was just to try something new. I don't know. I do know that the blitzing worked and we probably could have and should have used it more often.

Special Teams: B+

Freese is steady as they come on his field goals. His punting -- while not all league -- is getting better. Part of that is also our punt coverage.

The kick return coverage was not as clean. We had some poor tackling and one where no one seemed to keep their lane.

Willis didn't get to do much with his returns. Dudeck also had plenty of people around him on their few punts.

Overall: B

There was a surprising amount of nitpicking among BC fans regarding this game. The message boards and comments sections tend towards criticism, but I think some of the complaints about this win are a bit misguided.

While the play calling might still be a bit conservative, I think you have to judge possessions and points as the key result. BC's failed drives still moved the ball a bit and established the game's tempo and approach. Without those stuffed runs, BC wouldn't have the big plays that worked later. And for those who say that outside of Williams two big TDs, the running game was not that efficient can't just cherry pick the bad plays. Williams' scores those TDs in part because the Hokies were cheating up close to the line. Why were they cheating up? Because of what BC did earlier.

I am willing to defend the defensive effort for the same reason. While BC did allow a bunch of yards to an inconsistent QB, those same defenders created problems and turnovers. I hope in a next few games -- where we face fewer playmakers -- BC uses more man coverage. It is risk/reward, but I also think it will help our returning and younger players develop.

Let me return to Addazio's game management. Right now it seems somewhat one track. But I think he's got a better feel for the game than his reputation might be. He knew the offense wasn't the problem early in the game and he was right.  I am sure that confidence/borderline stubbornness will blow up in our faces at some point, but right now Addazio is proving to be a better than expected game manager.

Virginia Tech is somewhat of a Paper Tiger, but it is still an important conference win and the whole program should be proud.

31 comments:

philibusters said...

I don't think VT is a paper tiger, I think they are the second best team in the Coastal so this was a big win for BC.

I think if this was a best of 7 series, VT probably wins the series 4 games to 2. It was a nice win for BC, but they got outgained by 160 yards. They won because they won the turnover battle 4-0.

This is a big win for BC, BC beat a top 25 team.

Claver2010 said...

I don't really care about the prodcut being "boring" or whatever, I'll I care about is winning but...

"While the play calling might still be a bit conservative..."

Excluding kneeldowns we ran the ball 86% of the time on 1st down, I'm not even sure triple option offenses do that.

One thing that maybe the TV didn't pick up is how much different the emotion is from the players. To say it is night and day from last year is an understatement.

eddierock said...

Atl: your game analysis is spot on. nicely done.

Huge win for the program. Now need to focus on picking up a road win next week. Will be hard for the team to avoid a let down. this has all the elements of a trap game.

Go EAGLES!

eddierock said...

Atl: your game analysis is spot on. nicely done.

Huge win for the program. Now need to focus on picking up a road win next week. Will be hard for the team to avoid a let down. this has all the elements of a trap game.

Go EAGLES!

Joseph said...

I don't think that Day needs defenders. It is only a few folks who refuse to understand that a good plan plays to your strengths and the opponents weakness. It may not be pretty or exciting, but it got a win. Some are totally convinced that we aren't exciting because of Day, but the reality is we don't have a total offense that can be exciting. Then again, winning is exciting. Just ask the players.

GP11 said...

I agree that the coaching staff seems to have said. Let's focus only on what we know we do well, running the ball, and hope that we get enough plays on D to win. Those bringing in stats of total yards, scoring, etc fail to realize one important thing: Pace
i.e. when you run the ball so much, you limit the total number of plays and therefore opportunities to gain yards. That doesn't make us a top offense but it also underrates it. And definitely accounts for the difference between this year and past years. Last year we trailed so much we were forced to throw the ball and often threw against soft defenses after falling behind multiple scores.

The way the coaching staff handles this team reminds of Kansas City. They know they don't have a high powered attack so they rely on an All-Pro running back, one or two weapons in the passing game and tell Alex Smith to not turn the ball over and move the chains. Then they rely on one of, if not the best, D in the NFL. The difference is we don't have a top 10 defense. The strategy will help us get to a bowl in a year that most of us will be extactic to do so.

Knucklehead said...

Remember, the last two seasons with essentially the same players(pachan has helped dramatically) we were good at nothing offensively.

Big Jack Krack said...

Thanks ATL.

Any updates on our injured players - especially Miller and C.J. Jones?

I'm hoping Ramsey can deal with his hamstring issues and that Rudolph had only a mild concussion during the goal line defense - and held out as a precaution afterwards.

Big Jack Krack said...

Really worried about the knees - especially Miller, who has had a horrible knee injury in the past. - but CJJ as well, of course.

eagle1331 said...

I didn't get to see most of this game so it is hard to comment on anything other than the stats in the box score and ehat I saw in the 2nd half, plus your critique Bill. You highlight 2 observations I noticed though and said we needed to do more of.. a lit more play action passing and productive failed drives. In games like Clemson our failed drives went nowhere. The 3 or 4 and outs went on for stretches and were the bulk of our posessions. Not here. So the sutbborness of Day or Daz to adapt in this game was slightly different. And on that note, you can see it already has bitten us in the butt. That being said.. awesome game I'm happy for th e players and coaches. This was definitely the opposite feeling I had post game ladt week..

mod34b said...

"I think our gameplans, while conservative and a bit boring to watch, are sound" Really? Our game plan earned 10 points of 34.

Runing 19/23 times on first for a median gain of 2 yards is sound? I think not. In fact, it is unsound. Totally predictable and soundly defended, except once.

People think our offense in 2013 is better that 2012. Well Retig is clearly worse in 2013 than 2012. Is that because he is nervous about graduation? or becuase the coaches have not improved his play.

Is BC 2013 more productive than the Spaz-o-Horror of 2012? No. We gain less yards per game in 2012 than 2013. In 2012, we scored 31 on CU, in 2013, we scored 14. In 2012 we had 420 yards against CU, in 2013 we had 286. We had more yards in 2012 than 2013 vs VT.

We are ranked 113/121 team in total offense in the NCAA FBS. We are last in First Downs earned in the ACC and last in third down converations. LAST.

Is that good stuff? No, it is not. This has nothing to do with being conservative or boring. It has to do with terrible Offensive scheming.

Ryan Day is a bad OC.

Our offense is rotten and totally one-dimensional.

Let's state the obvious: We won the VT game due to turnovers, not offensive play. Credit for that goes to VT's offense and BC's defense. We scored 17 points off turnovers and 7 more on a flukey run.

We got lucky, and we needed it.

GP11 said...

I think this helps get my point accross: (I did this relatively quickly so if there are errors I apologize). Stats are from http://www.cfbstats.com/


BC 2012:
Rushing attempts: 345
Rushing Yards: 1091
Yds/Attempt: 3.16
Rushing TDs: 7

Passing Attempts: 473
Passing Completions: 256
Passing Yards: 3102
Yds/Attempt: 6.56
Yds/Completion: 12.12
Passing TDs: 18
Passing INTs: 13

Total Offense: 818 plays
Total Offense: 4193 Yards
Yds/Play: 5.13

BC 2013 Pace (adjusted for 12 games):

Rushing attempts: 476
Rushing Yards: 2148
Yds/Attempt: 4.51
Rushing TDs: 18

Passing Attempts: 249
Passing Completions: 158
Passing Yards: 1853
YDs/Attempt: 7.44
YDs/Completion: 11.73
Passing TDs: 17
Passing INTs: 6

Total Offense: 724 plays
Total Offense: 4001 Yards
YD/Play: 5.53

42% More Yards per Rush
13.4% More Yards per Attempt
3.2% Less Yards per Completion
7.8% More Yards per Play

This is after facing arguably our 4 most difficult opponents with at least 2 if not 3 of our weakest opponents remaining.

Moreover: Opponents are on pace 836 plays vs. 979 plays last year.
The total yards arguments can't be compared Year over Year because BC is running a drastically different offensive scheme.

I'm not going to do this analysis vs the rest of the conference but I have a feeling that you will get similar results on a per play basis showing that BC is more mid-tier on offense in 2013 vs. the ACC and vastly improved vs. the ACC from last year.

CT said...

Comparing stats on a year to year basis against college teams with the turnover that they have strikes me as silly. Moreover, playing on the road vs. at home produces a huge difference in college. Huge. Ignoring the long run b/c it skews your analysis is also silly, especially since it was a scoring run. Kinda the whole point of running, no? To play a close game and wear a defense down in the fourth qtr, given your limitations? That's as good a defense as BC will see all year, talent-wise.

I suspect Addazio's fingerprints are on this "predictable" scheme--we're going to run with a beastly RB, we're going to drain the clock, and we're not going to force Rettig to carry us. Addazio, having coached the talent at Florida, I'm sure understands that he's playing with little ammo.
Perhaps it's the offensive lineman in him coming out. Which is really what BC needs to get back to...mauling people along both lines, since we're apparently incapable of recruiting elite talent outside.

Just using the eye test, this staff has had a positive impact and I think drawing conclusions on 8 games with essentially the same personnel is akin to guessing the end of the book after the first chapter.

This is a work in progress. I think more rational judgments can come only after the staff has a couple of recruiting classes. And there's no better recruiting pitch than results.

But I can see the incessant drumbeat emerging. So get back to it. Drudge up those two Temple years.



Joseph said...

A gameplan never passed , caught or ran with the ball.

How many yards were gainde on the ground?


How many ws last year vs this? Any other choices about Rettig' play? How about "maxed out and not versatile"


What does "productive mean" what counts more points and yards, or Ws?

Again, how many Ws last year vs this year? Are we rebuilding or all through with rebuilding and this is it? How long has current coaching staff been at BC?

Once more, Ws matter more than your opinions. We all want to win with 500 offense yards per game and a D that throws shutouts. I'll take steady improvements that gets Ws and better recruits.

You are a really bad judge of OCs.

"Our offense is rotten and totally one-dimensional.", BUT IS GETTING BETTER IN SPITE OF NEGATIVE DOPES.

"Let's state the obvious: We won the VT game due to turnovers, not offensive play. Credit for that goes to VT's offense and BC's defense. We scored 17 points off turnovers and 7 more on a flukey run." Fluckey run" Tell that to Dre and he'll put you on your dumb ass.

And, I don't work for BC and I am not Blauds. And, I am not as dumb as a rock and ignorant and negative. Go post on stuff on Yukons boards.

mod34b said...

Joseph. Why so angry? None of this is directed to you. You know that right? Just people expressing different opinions.

If you like Day, and BC's offense, well that is just fine. Really. If you see promise, beautiful.

But do allow for a difference of opinion without being a complete A-HOLE.

mod34b said...

GP11 --

Interesting points.

So what do you make of BC's offense being listed on CFBstats as

-- #113/121 in total offense in NCAA?
-- last in First downs in ACC?
-- last in 3rd down conversion in ACC?




mod34b said...

GP11 --

Also, would agree that a rushing attack geared to chew up clock and limit your opponets total plays only work if you can sustain drives?

In other words, the Ryan Day "3 and out" approach does not chew up clock or limit opponents tocuhes. Gotta get a lot of more first downs for that.

Joseph said...

Why so angry? let me tell you.
i never have suffered fools graciously. Constant negativity offends me , especially when it is based on ignorance and is about somebody, something, I love. Like BC. I don't love Day. Never met him. Probably never will. But, I do know that he has a team that went with only 2 Ws last year, and has actually been operating with less offensive firepower than they had last year. I don't assume that he doesn't know the abilities of the players. I do assume, however, that he attends the practices and watches hours of video on our games and opponents games. I also assume that he consults regularly with DAZ and the position coaches. I also assume that Daz is not going to approve a game plan that is as bad as you say. If Day is "bad" like you think, then Daz, who had him at Temple and hired him at BC is totally out of his depth and should be fired today.

To you there is no reason. I never said that I liked Day. Never said that I liked the offense. You assumed that I do. Why? I have not clue. How can anyone get all in love with an offense that is so ineffective? However, I, and many others, can use our reasoning power to understand the situation, rather than have knee-jerk spasms about gameplans and OCs.

By the way, the Patriots ran on first and second downs a lot yesterday. They scored 55 points. Brady had over 400 yards. I wasn't the game plan. It was a game plan built around the talents of the players in the game and the opposition in the game. Wha is so hard to understand about that simple concept.

So, I am not really angry, but having fun playing with an unreasonable, hard-headed, ignorant mind.

Bravesbill said...

"Why so angry? let me tell you.
i never have suffered fools graciously. Constant negativity offends me , especially when it is based on ignorance and is about somebody, something, I love. Like BC."

"So, I am not really angry, but having fun playing with an unreasonable, hard-headed, ignorant mind."

So are you angry Joseph or not?

JBQ said...

I disagree with the assessment of Virginia Tech as being a "paper tiger". Logan Thomas is 6 ft 6, 260. Obviously, he is sporadic. However, Frank Beamer is a great coach and the win was a big win and a decisive one over a great opponent especially their defense. VTs offense sputters but their defense is always hummin'. If they win out, they will still be in the championship game against FSt. Great win for BC. Now, let's accentuate the positive and b uild onit.

Knucklehead said...

Mod is trying to apply sabermetrics or the equivalent to football.

You cannot do it.

There is no way to quantify the effort, toughness and consistency or the intangibles that can lead to success in football.

Look at the numbers all day long. We wanted to win that game more than they did. I was there. That was the difference.

What algorithm is there for that, none?

GP11 said...

Mod,

The point of my post was that just using Total Yards, Total First downs, etc often do not tell the whole story. I will try to break it down more. I'm not going to argue that BC is a high powered offensive attack; however BC is 122/125 in plays with 483. Again, my point is regarding pace. I'm arguing the the coaching staff has intentionally focused the offense on our strength in running the ball and limiting turnovers in order to maximize efficiency. BC is 76 in the nation in yards/play which is respectable. BC is also 2nd in the conference in 1st downs/play which I would interpret as a good sign of our efficiency on offense. Finally, I did a little more research and Football Outsiders which is the premier advanced metrics group focusing on football rates BC's offense as 75th (not including VTech which was one of BC's better offensive games). Last year, the rank was 89. In regards to your point about needing to get first downs... BC is 53rd in % of drives that garner at least 1 first down. Behind only FSU, Miami, Gerogia Tech, and Clemson (only .014% behind Clemson) http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feioff2013

Once again, is our offense great, no. But the coaching staff has taken a team with less offensive talent than last year and made it passable. This is a positive sign. This team was not going to go from 2-10 to 10-2 in one season. But the coaching staff is doing what it needs to do to win games. It can be frustrating, but it is working.

One last stat to shock you. BC ranks #34 in the country in Football Outsiders "Explosive Drives" the percentage of each offense's drives that average at least 10 yards per play. Again, not including V Tech which should move that up.

The sky is not falling.

Joseph said...

Angry? Or not. Depends on which dope is getting my attention. up to you as to which dope you are.

Joseph said...

I think after reading so many nice thoughtful posts that I should maybe take a chill pill and learn from an old Latin teacher: non illigitimus carborundum esse. I'll try very hard to learn from our more moderate colleagues. Peace.

amdg1540 said...

Knucklehead expresses my sentiments exactly:
"Look at the numbers all day long. We wanted to win that game more than they did. I was there. That was the difference."

Ditto. That game was fun to be present for. Alumni wasn't packed, but by the 2nd half, place was rocking and so was the team. I think the assertion (a la Logan Tomas) that this win was "lucky" -- handed to us by VT -- is foolish. You never once felt BC was in over its head or surviving on VT mistakes. They boys made plays. They played with grit and tenacity. They earned that W. If they can do that with a bland, conservative O, I have absolutely no complaints. They provided me great entertainment on a beautiful NE fall day. I'm a happy camper.

eagle said...

"I was there. That was the difference."

Did you have a Rally cap on backwards and inside out?

Did you click you heels together and really, really "believe"?

Seriously. Talk about utter nonsense. Ha ha ha.

Knucklehead said...

I was there live. Saw what was going on between the tv timeouts etc. The team was pumped up and it helped them win.

No metrics for that.

amdg1540 said...

Eagle,
You're missing my point entirely. Perhaps that was my fault. My point is that this is a game. This is sport. This is something I do to relax and be entertained on weekends in the fall. So the question I'm concerned with is: does it fulfill this telos? Thus far, under the Daz regime, my answer is yes. When we start losing games we shouldn't, and more importantly, not enjoying the product BC is putting on the field -- then I'll listen to moaning about offensive strategy.

mod34b said...

GP11


you've filibustered my comment - a very Clintonian approach.

BC is near last natioally in total offense and IS last in ACC in first downs and third down conversions.

What can be said about that? This: the offense stinks and the coaches are responsible for making crappy choices.

And what is the basis for this: "But the coaching staff has taken a team with less offensive talent than last year and made it passable". The same key players are back, and the OL got a **** stud added to the mix. So, if anything, the 2013 offense has better (and more mature) talent than last year.

Joseph said...

Unshakeable ignorance. Yes,possibly more talent , but not in the receivers. But, so we have arguably more talent? Some might say less. All seem to say not good enough. We also have more Ws, which is meaningless to you. You would prefer more yards. You would prefer a gemeplan that you devise. You would prefer to blame the staff for us having lost to some damned good programs and not run up more yards against one of the best Ds in the country. As they say "you can't make this stuff up". But, somehow you manage to do just that. Carry on. You amuse us.

Bravesbill said...

You actually amuse me Joseph.