Sunday, November 17, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: NC State

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.

Offense A-

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

Defense: C+

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.

Overall: B

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.


eddierock said...

Good analysis Atl. BC looked totally dominent throughout, even though NC State hung around some. What a great recruiting booster. What high school offensive lineman wouldn't want to come to BC to play? Do some serious down field run blocking instead of dancing around your own back field pass blocking. As for Dazz and the open mic, i say good for him. He is nothing if not authentic and he is our best salesman. Go for it. I will be in MD next weekend, with their obnoxious and low class fans. Let's send them off to the Big ten the right way, with a curb stomping.

GP11 said...

I loved Daz grabbing the mic at the end. I am not a Jets fan but it reminds me of the Rex Ryan schtick in a good way... If we were losing it would look embarassing as it does for Rex, but when they're winning it's great. It fires up the players and the fans. Maybe it will wear thin as Rex's has done, but there's no doubt the guys who play for Rex absolutely love him and push an extra gear for him. When so little can sway good recruits to choose BC, it can only be a positive to have a guy who shows so much emotion and passion.

Tim said...

Daz grabbing the mic was great. In the context of senior day, the last home game, becoming bowl eligible, etc. it worked perfectly.

Benjamin said...

Who was being critical of Daz grabbing the mic? I thought it was great.

Claver2010 said...

Agreed the postgame was one of the best BC football moments in a while. Was an awesome experience.

amdg1540 said...

Ditto, Tim. It's not like Daz is doing this on a weekly basis! This was about honoring a bunch of seniors (and fans!) who've had a tough go of it these past few years. The post game atmosphere was amazingly cathartic. A bunch of happy players, students, and fans snapping photos, singing, dancing and once again enjoying BC football. What more could you want?

Also, some continue to complain about Day and Daz's offensive play-calling, viz. the run/pass mix. (Still waiting for Mod28A to chime in!) But let's give the staff credit where credit is due, the offense is executing the run game extremely well and it's working.

WI_Eagle said...

Off topic, but after 4 games BC hoops is #12 in the country in points per posession and #298 in points allowed per possession (per kenpom) -- WAKE the F UP on D!! Defense is about toughness, hustle, concentration, and (some) athleticism. This team should go to a Tom Izzo Michigan State practice for a day and learn what real basketball is.

Big Jack Krack said...

Looking forward - what is Ramsey's status. We could really use him for the last 2 road games. I hope he's able to go.

Also, what about Miller?


JBQ said...

I would ask if 6 ft 5 Mehdi will recover from his injury and be back next season. He was "head targeted" by the grandson of Jack Nicklaus. What a louse who is supposedly the best tight end in college football at FSU.

NEDofSavinHill said...

Ten games played. Eight quality outings. Not bad. A home record of 5-1 with the only loss in a competitive game to the number two team in the land. Vast improvement from the prior year. Scoring wise you are almost ten points better per game. It's difficult to run on the D. Teams have to pass. They become one dimensional and easier to defend.2. AW reminds one of first and Toal. You knew what was coming but couldn't stop it. AW is not like Bo Jackson with his track star speed but is similar to Earl Campbell with his power and force. Maybe a slightly less forceful version. But still awesome. 3. Does it make sense to rest AW and Rettig at Maryland? AW is tired and hurt. He can reach two thousand yards in the Orange or Bowl games. Give another QB a shot. Rettig can return the next week. Give some younger players some experience.4. If 11 ACC teams are bowl eligible Maryland will be slotted at # 11. If FSU runs the table they'll be in the title game. Clemson is # 7 in the BCS. What happens if Baylor, Bama, Auburn, OSU and Oregon lose and Clemson beats USC. FSU v. Clemson for the title? Atl's recent post about the Heisman should be ignored. Per order of ESPN and CBS no mention of running back and Heisman in the same sentence will be permitted this year. Remember in 2006 " it's a down year for QBs in the ACC".( Ryan) IN 2008 it was a down year for D-Line in the ACC ( Raji) in 2011 there were no quality linebackers in the ACC ( Keuchley) and now there are no quality RBs. How did Keuchley, the best defensive player in the country get ignored and that mediocrity TEO end up as a finalist? The Heisman has become a fraud.

mod34b said...

I watched the game from the upper deck at Alumni. Quite a vantage point. I got a bird's eye view of Rettig. While there were some bad drops (Amidon in EZ), Rettig was totally missing wide open receivers. Balls were just way off. I don't get why his pass ability has regressed so much this year.

Amg, let's talk VT game vs NCSU game.

In the VT game, on first downs, AW got the ball 18/22 times. ~ 82%. Result was a BC median gain of 2 yards on first. As I noted, that is very bad offense approach because it is so predictable.

Now look at the NCSU game. Williams got the ball 21 times out of 31 ~68%. But 10 other players got touches too on first down - 32%. Result: median gain was 5 yards per first down try.

Obviously, there is a big, big diference between a 2 yard median gain on first down and a 5 yard median gain. The use of "non-AW" options 1/3 of the time helped AW and the team.

So, Day had good Day, which I'll take any Day.

Big Jack Krack said...

JBQ - I noticed Mehdi on TV walking around the post game celebration on the field.

He was not on crutches, but may have been limping. I wish him the best and hope to see him on the field next year in uniform.

mod34b - I like it when we mix things up a little on 1st down as well. It gives Andre more chance to excel.

Bravesbill said...

Ned, what if a meteor hits the US and wipes out every FBS school in the country except Southern Miss and Georgia State....Southern Miss v. Georgia State for the title?!

eagle1331 said...

Anyone have a video of Daz grabbing the mic after the game and the subsequent speech? I had family over and missed this, if it was broadcast on TV...

Lenny Sienko said...

I saw video of Daz and microphone; but couldn't hear the audio. What did he say to the crowd?

Tim said...

VT has the nation's 14th best rushing defense, allowing just 103.3 yds per game and 2.9 yards per carry.
NCSU has the is #81 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 181.9 yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry.
I think that pretty well explains why we ran the ball better against NCSU than VT.

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mod34b said...


I think you are missing my point.

My point is that Day called a bad game against VT by relying on the same play for 82% of first down plays, yielding a drive-killing median gain of 2 yards. In contrast, Day mixed things up against NCSU and the offense looked a lot better.

We beat VT due to the Logan-Thomas-turn-over-machine, and we beat NCSU by smashing them in the mouth with a potent offense.

Let's home our success continues next week, even though our pass defense is #115 in the nation and Maryland's pass offense is #37.

Tim said...

I understood you point, I'm just not sure there is a causal relationship between our play calling and the number of yards we gained as you suggest. You think we gained more yards against NCSU than VT because of more diverse play calling. I think we gained more yards against NCSU than VT because NCSU's defense sucks and VT's is good.

You might actually be right, but I think to prove your point you need a larger sample of games than one game against a lousy defense and one game against a good defense. I'd be curious to see what you learn when you look at first down yards gained and play calling for all games this year.

mod34b said...

Tim, the point was Day's play calling sucked against VT.

That's it. No other sample sizes needed.

You think Day called a good game against VT?

Joseph said...

M34b seems to think that if the game did not go the way he would have planned it, it was bad. AW only got 166 yards against a good D. BC won. You can't prove anything with your hypothesizing. The proof is in the outcome. You cannot begin to say, logically, that another plan would have been batter. You can criticize all you want and give meaningless stats, but they mean nothing. NOTHING. Listen to Tim. He gets it.

Bravesbill said...

Joseph, according to your logic, wouldn't the inverse of your statement be true? "You cannot begin to say, logically, that another plan would have been worse." "You can't prove anything with your hypothesizing."

Joseph said...

True, but so what. The game was played the way it was played. AW got 166 yds. BC won. Nothing can change that. So, no matter how clever folks want to be, the facts are immutable and guesswork and what ifs mean zero.

amdg1540 said...

I hear you Mod. Sort of. I saw what you saw on Sat: Rettig missing a lot of open receivers and suffering from accuracy problems. But I disagree that this is the staff's fault. (You argued previously that R is "clearly worse" this year than last and argue here that he has "regressed".) Fact is, he's actually marginally better this year in completion % and YPD. So fine. What we have is a pedestrian QB, who's reached his ceiling. He's excelled this year as a game manager, doing the limited number of things this offense requires of him w decent efficiently. I'll take it.

CT said...

Wow. Some of these comments. Gotta love the complaints from two weeks ago. I guess the blog acts as a post-game microphone, too.

Between the 11:16 and 2:38

GP11 said...

I'd argue that the fact that Rettig consistently is missing open receivers or not even seeing them in the first place provides even more of a reason to employ the gameplan that Daz and Day are using. Why mix in more passes when they know it's a low-reward strategy? I get the need to mix things up, but we don't have 1 running play. We have a host of traditional plays, counters, unbalanced lines, etc that all provide the D with different looks. While Rettig has done a good job of not turning the ball over, throwing is still much higher risk than running and with such a dominant back, I don't think it's safe to assume you have a higher reward. The only type of pass play that I think would make sense to use more on 1st down would be the types of swing passes/bubble screens that Jags would use his first year. When people criticized Jags for a lack of running game, he would point to these as running subsistutes. The issue is AW hasn't shown an ability to be an effective pass-catcher so the swing passes may not even be possible. Nobody here is arguing Day is calling amazing games, but at least entertain the thought that he's calling the game that he needs to call even if it's not what you (or even he) want.

Joseph said...

Well said. He plays the cards that he was dealt.

mod34b said...

GP11 --

Should we be simply praising Day at all times?

Is an different point of view allowed on a anonymous blog? Is a different view point intolerable?

GP11 said...


Should we be simply criticizing Day at all times?

Is an different point of view allowed on a anonymous blog? Is a different view point intolerable?

Come on, be bigger than ridiculous rhetorical questions like that.

My point during these conversations has not been to praise Day/Daz for their incredible game-changing offense, but rather that calling for firings and drasticly new tactics is unwarranted and premature. In my opinion they have done well with this roster and focused on the teams strengths. They've helped foster the best rushing season in BC history and ACC history. Are there things to improve on? Absolutely. Next year or in two years if the passing game hasn't come around and if the running game regresses significantly, I'll be right there beside you. Right now though, week after week, you're nitpicking our weaknesses, complaining about scheme decisions that simply aren't going to change this year, and calling for guys to get fired from a coaching staff that has improved from 2 wins to 6 and counting.