The game seemed more tense the first time around. Because we let them hang around a bit or got stagnant in the third quarter, I worried about BC blowing it when watching it live. Watching it back you realize how dominant the team was. A few mistakes kept the game close for long stretches. Williams deserves all the accolades but the offensive line was also outstanding. It was easily their best performance as a unit this year and one of the best games a BC OLine has put together since I've been doing this. BC might appear one dimensional, but when you watch the game again you realize that we are going to be tough to beat in the final two weeks.
Rettig's numbers were pedestrian, but he played well. I counted four drops, including a potential TD, that would have made a difference. He was better on third down and is also doing a better job feeling pressure. His runs weren't pretty but he ran hard and tough (see the two point conversion).
What is left to say about Williams day? He did it all. But what think needs to be pointed out is how much better he's become at seeing the holes and weaving through traffic. In previous years it was all power. Now he finds space too and can avoid the occasional tackle. The only gripe from the day were the fumbles. I don't think he's being careless. I think he's getting so many touches the other team is getting chances to knock it free. Willis showed great burst in his carries. I loved what he did on the delayed draw when the field was spread. I think he can be the feature back next year. Sinkovec played well. We didn't throw to him, but he deserves some of the credit for opening holes for Williams.
Amidon did the little things. The fumble recovery in the endzone was huge and only happened because he hustled and reacted quickly. He did drop a potential TD, but otherwise looked good. Crimmins fumbled his one catch but was ruled down (it looked like a fumble on the replay). Dudeck had one nice grab. Parsons had two catchable balls that he didn't pull in.
I didn't notice any OL issues or errors. It was perfect and dominant. Patchan and White got much of the attention from the TV crew deservedly. They both held their positions and also looked very good when pulling. Patchan's fumble recovery saved a scoring drive. Williams was good. Vardaro was good. Betancourt looked good when we went big.
Our offensive progression over the past few weeks is counterintuitive. We are getting better as we do fewer things and involve fewer players. But I have no problem with that. It may just be a series of powers and counters, but we use different blocking schemes each time. The other team doesn't know where we are going to put our emphasis. They don't know who is going to pull. It is gimmicky but effective. Then add Williams breaking a tackle or two and suddenly we have a series of big plays. When we pass it is low risk
The defensive line was solid. They aren't changing the game, but they're not getting gashed. Considering how thin they are, I am okay with that. Edabali was the best of the group. He had some big plays. Lifka got more snaps then usual and looked ok. Mihalik was fine. Appiah played a lot but didn't do much good or bad.
The defense sort of went the way the linebackers did. Early in the game KPL was all over the place and making tackles. Later he and Daniels were less active. In the final moments they were making plays again. Divitto missed some tackles -- including Dayes' long play.
ALJ had one of his best games...until he slipped and fell on their late TD. That is two weeks in a row our DBs fell on TDs. But overall I was pleased with ALJ and hope that he's finally fully healthy. Johnson also got more extended time and played well. Simmons was good. Bryce Jones had some nice tackles. Even outside of the fall down, the secondary did allow their share of big plays, but in many of those NC State just made good plays.
Special teams: B
Freese had a solid day. All his field goals were right on target. He muffed his first kickoff, but all the rest were fine. He also kicked one punt low, but we had good coverage.
The kick and punt coverage was very good throughout.
Neither of our kick returns were particularly good or bad. I was disappointed to see Dudeck letting punts roll again.
There have been a few critics of Addazio's postgame celebration -- which included grabbing a microphone and talking to the whole stadium via the PA. I liked it. College Football is an emotional sport and Addazio is an emotional guy. He's sincere. If were losing, this would look amateurish. But if this is what works for him, I welcome it. We all know it is more fun than the alternative.
As far as strategy, we were aggressive at the half even though it didn't lead to points. I worry about overusing Williams, but you cannot fault the results.
Addazio reached one of his stated goals of six wins. Considering where we were, that is a major accomplishment. Now we will see if he can keep the team motivated and focused down the stretch.