Sunday, September 06, 2015

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Maine

The win is nice. The game went about as well as you could expect. All the reports from Alumni talked about the great weather. Even ESPN3's production looked good. Yet I still have this feeling that the season hasn't really started. Even watching it back, it still seemed like a scrimmage. I am not trying to dismiss Maine and winning these games is better than losing them (see Kansas), but there is and was a lack of intensity. But even without the intensity there was still some positive takeaways.

Offense: B-

I thought Wade was okay live, but watching it back I realized he had a pretty good first game. His arm is good -- good touch, good placement and good strength. What concerned me was his missed opportunities on the few run plays we ran for him. He didn't exploded to holes nor show much elusiveness. Flutie's few snaps didn't tell us anything.

Hilliman's best play might have been a big block on a play for Outlow. Hilliman's catches were nice. Wofford also did a good job in the passing game. Outlow was fine and seemed to do alright in the crowds around the line. Rouse had the biggest day, but I think a lot of that was fresh legs and the line playing better.

Swigert's TD wasn't just a feel good gimme. He made a real good cut and did a good job getting open. I liked Smith's hands on the one slant he caught. Alston needs to fix those drops.

Watching live, I thought the OL just had trouble because Maine was so aggressive. In the second viewing things just looked really inconsistent. All had struggles at different parts of the game. I thought the right side played better than the left (Bowen and Baker). Taylor got better as the game went on. Williams was okay. Schmal came off the bench and played extensively as did Lindstrom, so both might be in the mix for starting spots.

I am going to forgive Fitch for BC's head scratching play calling. There wasn't much rhythm and too many drives stalled early. We also didn't call obvious counters -- zone reads or short passes -- to Maine's pressure until later in the second half. We seemed determined to overpower them in most situations instead. If we were this basic against Maine it will only be more so against Howard.

Defense: A-

The Defensive Line was the best part of the team on Saturday. Landry looked very quick and much stronger. Wujciak caused plenty of disruption and won most of his battles. Kavalec did a nice job reading the option. Abdesmad looked good.

Milano was very active and played well. Daniels got fooled once on one of Maine's big passes, but played well. Schwab looked good in the second half. Strachan did a good job.

I thought all the DBs looked good, but I don't know how much of that was BC's pass rush or Maine's FCS talent. Simmons had a good day. McClary seemed to do well with coverage. Johnson looked good. Congrats to Harris on his first INT.

We don't know enough about Finch's play calling to tell if he was keeping it simple. We do know that Brown did. BC generated plenty of pressure without getting very exotic nor even blitzing too much. That's a good sign.

Special Teams: C

For years and years, I bemoaned all our punt returners signalling for fair catch. So in the big picture, I love Alston's confidence and aggressiveness. It will pay off. Saturday though had me taking deep breathes for the wrong reasons. He needs to be more careful, especially when he is dealing with a bouncing ball. His kick returns were fine.

Howell's place kicking was not great. The miss was very wide and even the extra points looked low. Let's hope they have someone else lined up in case this remains an issue.

Howell's punts were better. I thought most of the coverage units looked good.

Overall: B-

The final score was about what I expected. How we got there wasn't what I expected. But on a whole this was a good first game. I am hoping the offensive issues are a mix of first game sloppiness, wanting to keep things simple and Maine selling out at the line. With the Defense and Special Teams playing to expectations, I'm still very optimistic.

Considering all the unknowns, I still feel like Addazio had the team prepared, motivated and had just enough adjustments. Let's hope it is a sign of things to come.


Big Jack Krack said...

Wade had a hamstring issue going into the game. Hence his seeming lack of explosiveness.

mod34b said...

OL needs to 'gelling time'

check out the ESPN's highlights of the scoring plays, particularly the Rouse 31 and 45 yards TD runs ESPn Highlights of BC v Maine

In the 31 yard Run - even though successful - you can see Schmal blocks badly.. his guy just about tackles Rouse, who wriggles out of it and goes for 31 yards

in the 45 yard run Schmal pulls nicely and make the key block on the edge.

likewise, #81, Little Daz, had some terrible blocks that resulted in losses, but in the Rouse 45 yards run he throws a key block.

Thing is THIS WAS MAINE. Hard to have good feeling about the team when they could not dominate Maine. Still, there were some high points, and something to build upon....

Knucklehead said...

Rouse was the only player on the team who showed any level of enthusiasm. Hilliman and Outlow were com si com sa. Difficult to play a physical sport with a low level of emotion. That with the Wade hamstring leads to 24-3.

As Flutie said at the beginning of ND Texas game, probably alluding to BC, there need to be more games like this to start the season . . . ie BC not playing Maine to start the season.

Not concerned with the line after the second half changes. More effort lead to more results. Am concerned with a hamstring injury to a running QB.

eagleboston said...

I would not classify Wade as a running QB. He does possess the threat to run, but he is a pocket passer first. If you look at the passing downs, he did a really good job sitting in the pocket and waiting for his receivers to get open. His throws were accurate and I was impressed that he did not get happy feet and hung in there despite facing pressure. I'm even more impressed knowing he played hurt. This kid is going to be a very good quarterback for BC, especially when the O-line protection improves.

CT said...

As a junior in high school, Wade ran for 546 yards. As a senior he ran for 197 on 49 attempts. Don't know how that constitutes a "running" QB.

And how does one wait more than 8 months to play a game and have no emotion? Or effort? No, those weren't effort issues in my opinion. It obviously had more to do with Maine's incredible front four.

Knucklehead said...
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Knucklehead said...

A running QB by definition is one who when the pocket breaks down he runs. A pocket passer on the other hand will step up in the pocket, roll out to find a receiver but ultimately if nothing is available he throws the ball away.

If nobody is open Wade will scramble a little but really he looks to run. Since he has par wide outs he is going to be doing a lot of running this season.

He is going to run for 350 yards this year not including lost yards for sacks.

Against Maine he passed or ran 36 times, wiseguy, guess how many of the 36 were runs? 11. 11 runs. That is a running quarterback. You give me the one game spiel. I counter that with him running 11 times with a hamstring problem. No hamstring he runs more than 11 times.

Tyler Murphy averaged 14 rushes per game. Was he not a running QB?

A whole different discussion is how good of a runner Wade is. I don't know yet if he is a good runner.

There was literally no emotion from the team in the game. I explained to you how/why there was not emotion. They were playing Maine in front of 30,000 people at 1pm. Despite what you say, wiseguy, Maine does not have an incredible front 4. They were excited to play and we were not. That means everything in college football.

Knucklehead said...

Maine does have darn good kicking and kick coverage.

CT said...

No emotion for the season-opener? Sure. If it's because of crowd size/start time, at least you'll have a running narrative. Have a feeling those two factors have occured before. A 1 pm start! No way.

A running QB has plays designed for him specifically to do just that. Wade has no history of that ad a strength. That may change. But there is no evirnce for that. He was a prolific passer in high school, in fact. It's almost hard to rush 49 times for 150 yds as the best athlete on the field.

Murphy rushed for how much last yr? And now 350 puts Wade in the same category? Ok. Come on.

I hope we get "excited" to play in the future. And all games start late enough so that our guys are awake with high blood-sugar levels.

But you are right about one thing. Maine doesn't have a good front four. Perhaps you are after all the real wiseguy.

Hoib said...


Daz will always have a running QB. The zone read is bread and butter is was there all game long for Wade, but I guess because of the injury he handed off. He does throw a nice ball. If he can be a real duel threat we're in busines.

Surprised no one mentioned the tackling in space. So much better, anytime our guys got near him, no matter how big, the QB went down. In the past we'd wif at laest half the time. I'll be looking for this against FBS teams. I also want to see if they can stop the quick pass to the flat that we've seen ad nauseum for many years now. If this happens I'll know Daz has upgraded the athletes on D.

bc1900 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bc1900 said...

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