No grades this week. What would I put? "A+" for the Offense. "A+" for the Defense? "A-" for the Special Teams. Maybe add a "C" for scheduling. I don't know if this game was truly useless yet. We won't know until deeper into the season. But we do know this wasn't a good measurement of the team's capabilities.
There was not real pressure and we didn't pass much, but I still liked what I saw from Wade. He's got nice touch. (Let's hope he can do it against elite DBs.) Flutie was fine, but there were a few issues (bad snap). Smith looked really good. Now Howard had no speed and couldn't tackle, but he still darted around well. The passes weren't real tests, but were fine.
The Running Backs were barely touched. They all looked fine. I know Willis supposedly had rust, but I didn't see it. This was the first extended time for Wilson and he played well. I liked Outlow's long run.
The Offensive Line dominated. Not only did they win upfront, I thought the moved well and did a good job with the kickouts and clearing space. Overall only one penalty on the group was a good sign too.
Jackson made a nice catch and looked healthy. Let's hope he's close to his old form. Barksdale will hopefully build off of this game.
Everything worked! Fitch is a genius! Not really, but can you say anything else? He did a good job mixing in the pass without being obnoxious. But was the scheming and game calling that effective or was our blocking and their tackling just that terrible?
The area where Howard seemed most overmatched was in the interior Offensive Line. Gutapfel looked super speedy and blew by their guards. Wujciak dominated early too. Kavalec looked very good. The young guys like Smith, Allen and Landry made the most of their extra snaps.
The LBs were very active. Strachan was everywhere (and had a good RAC). Daniels was very productive. Cottrell earned more PT.
The DBs didn't get tested because Howard's passing game was a disaster. Yet they did make good tackles in run support. Simmons was good. Ntantang played well.
Al Groh was all set to talk about Don Brown's blitzing and then Don Brown had to spoil Groh's preparation by rarely bringing extra pressure. We kept it base and got plenty of penetration without doing anything special.
Special Teams: N/A
In general I thought Howell kicked it well on the kickoffs. It seemed like his distance dipped a bit as the game wore on into the second half. The extra points were fine, although I didn't see the logic in the two-point conversion.
Alston's first return was great as he just weaved through everyone. I was glad others also got a chance to return punts too.
The game was over by the time we had our one kick return. I am glad Walker got a shot.
It didn't take much strategy or game management on Addazio's part, but I still felt he did the right things. First playing Jeff Smith. When Smith didn't play against Maine, there was plenty of message board chatter about his possible redshirt. Even though Howard was a joke, Smith showed the potential that had been gossiped about all summer. Now that he is playing he can challenge Flutie as the backup and potentially be used in unique packages.
I also appreciated Addazio agreeing to shorter quarters. It might seem unsporting, but it saved both teams from further injury. Based on production and sideline demeanor, I also felt like Addazio kept his team motivated and engaged.
While the win was never in doubt, there were a million ways Addazio could have hurt BC on Saturday. He didn't and for that I am thankful.