This game was not emotional for me. Once Smith got hurt, I just felt it was over. I was right and wrong. Technically the game was over when Flutie came in as QB (BC never took the lead). But the lone bright spot was that Addazio didn't waive the white flag. He still kept trying and pushing it and throwing with Flutie. I am hoping that fight pays off in one of the few games we have left.
I don't know how much of what Smith is doing is on him or just on the coaching. Obviously some of it is just a Freshman getting his first playing time. But I still feel like he should have better awareness of pressure. I also keep expecting him to have big runs, but they're really not using him like they did with Murphy. The TD was really a broken play where he took off. Flutie playing wasn't by design, so I am less harsh on the coaching staff for his results. But what confuses me is for all his supposed Football IQ and understanding of the offense, Flutie still wastes a lot of time and seems to create confusion when he shouts out things presnap. Also when we were driving late, he motioned to the sideline about spiking it to kill clock on 3rd and 12. How did he not know that was a bad idea? What I did like about Flutie is he started to look better when the play broke down. I don't know if he suddenly got faster, but he escaped a little better than he did earlier in the season.
Willis was the only RB to get significant carries. He was okay. I don't know what anyone could have behind that OLine. Willis (and Louie Addazio) missed the edge guy who crashed in and blindsided Smith on Louisville's fumble return. Wofford was fine.
The Louie Addazio stuff is getting frustrating. Penalties and missed blocks are killing drives. Thadd Smith made some nice grabs. Robinson's drop late hurt, but it wasn't a good throw. Callinan is not getting targeted. Neither is Swigert.
We saw worse OLine play under Spaz, but this was the worst day of the Addazio era. Harris Williams is a shell of his former self. I don't know if he's checked out or just that much slower, but it is not there. Schmal struggled too. As did Taylor. I thought Baker had the most consistent game. Monteiro looked better considering it how new he still is.
Louisville has a good D and we suffered injuries, but that doesn't explain all the offensive woes. The line was a mess and that was the base problem. But why not adjust and give Smith some easy read/throw plays? Let him try to make someone miss before four guys are in his face? We threw as much with one quarter of Flutie than we did with three of Smith, but the results weren't much different. When are these guys going to find something that works?
The Defensive line bounced back from last week. Gutapfel played really well. Perhaps one of his better games. Abdesmad looked good and played more on the edge. Landry was decent, but we need him to get to the QB more often. Wujciak looked good. Kavalec played but didn't make much of an impact. I don't know if he is still not 100% or the emergence of Gutapfel bumped Abdesmad to more DE snaps and cuts some of Kavalec's time.
Daniels' monster season continued. I think he's going to make an All ACC team. Strachan also played well and showed good speed. Milano was fine.
The nature of this defense exposes the corners. There will be times when these guys get beat. But don't mistake that for lack of skill. Yiadom showed that skill on his pick. With Moore out, McClary played extensively again and looked much better. Simmons played well and so did Johnson.
This was not the defensively clinic other BC games have been, but the ability to generate huge defensive plays (turnovers and sacks) kept BC in the game and almost won it. I was a little surprised by what Louisville tried. I thought they would have more success passing against us and try to copy what Clemson did. They're not as talented as the Tigers and clearly BC adjusted from last week.
Special Teams: B
Because of the lack of scoring, we haven't been kicking off much, so I was pleased with Lichtenberg's output. Walker was fine on the kick returns.
On the punts, Howell didn't boom them like last week, but all were placed well. (Our punt coverage is very strong.)
Alston didn't try to challenge anything.
For all the issues I have had with Addazio's game management, I actually felt he handled the Smith injury well. He took some chances and still tried to win the game (however ineffective it might have been). The other sign of hope -- the punt block. We need game changing plays out of our Special Teams. Hopefully the success of the blocked punt encourages Addazio to take more risks.
The biggest gripe I have was with how Addazio handled the Offensive Line. Like QB, I don't understand the logic of pulling guys in and out during the game. If a starter is not playing well, then pull him. If his replacement doesn't do well let the replacement ride it out. Bringing guys on and off only creates confusion in an area where we need simplicity and a execution.
Who knows where Addazio goes from here. The health of Smith and plenty of other guys will determine some of the strategies and substitutions, but at this point we just need a win.