Sunday, October 04, 2015

Second viewing thoughts and grades:Duke

That was brutal to watch back. So much went wrong and we still could have won. So many people and units played well...really well in a losing effort. Usually I find the close calls reassuring. Now I am starting to worry. How are the players going to hold up? They feel the frustration too. You can lose teams in situations like this. We've seen it happen to BC and we've seen other teams go through it. If we just fix a few things, this team could be so, so much better.

Offense: D

Neither Flutie or Smith is a good passer. They both miss open guys and both hold on to the ball too long. Flutie's TD showed he can sit in the pocket and let one go, but the pass was still wobbly. Neither have great awareness of the clock. Flutie might be able to "run more of the offense" but he's still not making good decisions or good plays in the offense. Smith had some nice runs, but made some questionable decisions on handing the ball off in the sweeps (unless he didn't have the green light). The running game is better with Smith.

Outlow was pretty good. I am not sure why he didn't get more touches. Rouse played pretty well. Wofford made a nice catch.

I thought Smith made a nice catch on the TD they called incomplete. His real TD was nice. Alston looked good running but couldn't pull a pass in. Swigert missed one too. Callinan was fine. As a group they did not block well.

The OLine is not the problem. They actually played well this week. There is only so much you can do when the other team is that aggressive loading the box and at the line. Most of the blocking breakdowns came from the Tight Ends and WRs (Sweeney had some issues).

The time to throw stuff against the wall isn't the game. Fitch and Addazio have the luxury of practicing against an elite D. Do that in practice. I know you don't want to be installing new offense at this point in the season, but this playbook was all over the place...especially with Smith. We used basically the Wildcat with the sweeps (but it didn't seem like Smith had the green light to keep it). We used pistol with Smith. How can he be expected to learn anything when we are asking him to do all this other stuff? I think simple would be better for this kid now. And give him more one look rollouts, then he can take off if nothing is there (like the near first down on the 1st and 20). They are not doing Flutie any favors either. While this wasn't a shutout, it was another series of scoreless quarters. This is wholesale failure and not bad luck or young talent. How they are handling the QBs, their shoot from the hip rotation and the overall approach is a failure. But I fear they (Addazio and the Offensive staff) are drowning in so many issues, that they don't recognize the way out. It felt like Smith finally gave it to them as he moved the ball, but then Flutie connected on some passes. So my fear is it will be more of the same.

Defense: B+

Kavalec is back. He made some huge tackles during the goal line stand. Landry looked good and is also making some big plays stopping the run. Abdesmad played well. Gutapfel had one of his better games. Wujciak didn't cram the stat sheet, but played well.

I read a few criticisms of Daniels on the board, but watching it back, I didn't see any issues. He was good in coverage. He made a lot of tackles and had a sack. Milano was good. Strachan and Schwab weren't as productive but didn't have any glaring mistakes.

The stats for the DBs were somewhat deceiving. Most of the Duke yards came against one guy: Johnson. He's big and not as quick, so by putting some of their little guys in the slot, he got a bit exposed. He also got blown up on some tackles. Yiadom had a very good game. They rarely even threw his way and he made some nice plays. Moore was called for PI, but overall played well. Simmons was good.

I want to credit Brown for an adjustment that worked. In the first half Duke had pretty good success with passes over the middle against the safeties and linebackers and we weren't blitzing. Instead of adding more DBs to help pass coverage, Brown used the LBs for more pressure. The extra men and hint of pressure forced Duke into more rushed and in effective passes. The Defense is really the bright spot of the short season so far.

Special Teams: D

Alston is one of our most unique and potentially explosive players. But I am starting to wonder if we need to take him off punt returns. The fumble was brutal.

Lichtenberg's miss wasn't terrible. It was not a gimme. The early screw up was due to a bad snap.

Lichtenberg's kickoffs were fairly short. Was that on purpose or is leg just that short?

Howell's punts were good and so was the punt coverage.

Overall: C-

I am so frustrated with the Offense, the same game issues reoccurring (use of timeouts, clock management, etc) and Special Teams, that I want to give it all an "F," but I can't. We lost, on the road, to a pretty good Duke team by two points. Was there bad coaching? Plenty. Was there some bad luck? Yes. But luck tends to even out and bad coaching is usually punished with a L. I don't think Addazio is a bad coach. But what we are going through now and how he is dealing with it, has me questioning his upside again. It is the first time since he started coaching actual games that I am starting to believe that his challenges will limit what he can do at BC. The good news is that there is still plenty of time and plenty of big games to work this out. Let's hope he starts with Wake Forest.


Hoib said...

I've criticized Daniels before, but I thought he played great in this game. Got back to defend a pass, not his strength. His blitzing was super, and he was his usual self against the run. You can't run on us, so I think we will see more passing against us the rest of the way. This could help to generate more t/O's. On the kick offs L seemed to give it his all he just doesn't have the leg strength yet. I'm an old timer, but the kid looks about 13 to me! Like allot of the other young guys he'll get there. To use football terminology they just need game reps. The maturity will come, but never quick enough for fans liking.

GP11 said...

This was the first week that my frustration with Daz really boiled over. I won't argue against the game plan too much, but the in game adjustments were so lackluster. Smith had the team moving. He ran the ball well, and I don't think I'll ever understand why the refs didn't overturn the incomplete call on what should have been a TD for him (and a very good throw at that). Flutie's TD was the same pass he badly overthrew on the first series, but this time it was badly underthrown. Good adjustment from Smtih to bring it down, but pathetic play by the Duke player covering him. I'm sure Daz's play calls and adjustments will get beat like a dead horse so I won't blather on.

I will say that you can pick at the gameplan BUT if not for two terrible reviews by the officials (the TD pass and the Duke 3rd down conversion where the TV guys froze the replay and circled the ball sitting on the ground), we win the game. The missed FG gave Duke great field position at led to a FG and Duke used that conversion to kick a FG. All in, those two plays cost us 7 points and gave Duke 6. I think we all would have been frustrated but happy with a 10-6 or 13-6 victory.

This weekend is a must-win to say the least. 4 out of 5 from WF, LOU, NCST, VT, CUSE is within our grasp but will take very good gameplanning and quality in game adjustments. I don't want to have to hope that we can upset Clemson or ND to get that 7th win to get into a bowl.

WI_Eagle said...

Funny thing is that last year we were 3-2 after 5 games -- with a very ugly home loss to Pitt and a home choke to Colorado State (with a huge win in-between). Our two losses this year have been much "better" losses. And yet I felt a lot better about last year's team after the first 5 games than I do about this year's team.

Hoib said...


Big difference, last year we had Murph, this year we have a tin horn. QB is still the great equalizer. Smith did more in this last game than the prior. He ran plays from under center, he threw more passes, he didn't turn the ball over. Murph had 4 years to get ready, Smith has had 4 weeks. Keep the faith.

NEDofSavinHill said...

Claim that neither Flutie or Smith is a good passer is totally false. Flutie was 5 for 8. He had one drop. Should have been 6 for 8 or 75%. Is a 75% completion rate an indication of a poor passer? Flutie passed for 129 yards on 8 attempts or about 16 yards per pass play. Flutie ran 3 times for ten yards. On 11 plays Flutie produced about 140 yards of offense or 13 yards per play. Does Tom Brady get 13 yards per play? Smith had 24 plays. 13 passing and 11 running. He completed less than 25% of his throws. He compiled a total of 72 yards on those 24 plays or three yards per play. Which QB would one prefer? The one that gets 13 yards per play or the one that produces three? Flutie is a dramatically better QB than Smith or Wade. Shame on the coaching staff for being so wedded to the dead carcass of a failed 20th century offense i.e. the single wing that they can't adjust and let their best passer produce some offense and some points. Join the 21st century. If Flutie doesn't get 90% of the snaps after the Duke game something is rotten in Chestnut Hill. BB should have a three way call with Daz and TOB to explain that points can be scored and games won with the pass. How many points did Wade get against FSU? Zero. How many points did Smith produce against Duke? Zero. Beat Wake and the season can be a great success.

Bravesbill said...

GP11, the call on the failed TD was actually a good call; just a horrible rule. And Ned, 66 of those 129 yards from Flutie came on one play; on a "fluttering" duck at that.

Flatzip said...

Why so many low percentage 40 yard heaves when we need 5 yards, do the coaches know that short passes are high percentage shots at a first down

CT said...

Does Daz get any credit for recruiting defensive talent?

JBQ said...

@NedofSavinHill: I happen to agree with you. As for the "fluttering duck", he was flattened as he threw it. My frustration is with Swigert as the holder. Both missed field goals go directly to him. Who would have "thunk" it? He also dropped a wide open pass. His knees appear fine. The problem is with his hands. If he can't do the job, then he should be replaced. If there is one player who cost the loss, then lay it at the feet of Swigert.

Hoib said...


Glad the team doesn't think like you. If so the D would have walked off the field after Sherm's muff.


I'm w/ you allot of the times but not on this. You can't conveniently not include the NIU game. Daz will continue to stick w/ the Single wing, and we will see more of Smith because he is the better fit for that offense. Flutie is the hold the fort guy and Smith is the future, and I think we will see it move that way.


The D is crowed in to stop the run, so they are also well position to stop the short stuff. That's why you go over the top. Glad to see we have a guy in T. Smith who looks like he can make a play. I'm sure he learned his lesson on trying to show the ref. the ball.

mod10aeagle said...

I agree with ATL, neither of these QBs is a better than average passer, at least not yet. More than a few passes, including completions, were behind the receiver or below the knees (or both). I think this explains why the coaches are more comfortable calling those low percentage 40 yard heaves than 10 or 12 yard passes -- INTs tend to be less damaging when the catch is made 30 yards downfield while running away from the line of scrimmage.

In a contrast that was really obvious to those of us at the game, the Duke QB, Sirk, made a number of great throws -- tight spirals with pace and accuracy -- before the aforementioned adjustment by BC.

On Flutie's TD pass, he was throwing a wet ball into a pretty good breeze and he threw it high to give Smith time to get under it, I guess. Swigert's inability to set the ball on the blown FG attempt had a lot to do with the ball bouncing twice before it got to him. In fact, it could have been worse: given the putrid snap, Duke very likely would've blocked the kick and advanced it, possibly for a TD.

Here's one play that should never be run again: the one that has the quarterback under center then walk back with the ball extended towards the stationary RB five yards deep in the backfield. We lost three yards every time they ran that abomination.

Hoib said...


Good points. I think we're much better off w/ Smith in the pistol. I don't know how much of the offense he can run, but I want to see more of him. W/ more experience I hope he will time his throws better. He had Robinson for 6 w/ a good throw. Sirk's a big tall guy who had good success w/ slants. Our guys are short and the middle isn't vacated because the D is stacked so close to the line. On to Wake, another chance for our young guys to grow.

mod34b said...

So it looked to me, that in the early 4Q, the OL was "gelling." The running game was looking good....then.....BC seemed to fool itself with shit pass plays.

What seemed glaring to me was the bad efforts of the WRs and TEs to block. I think it was Callinan on last series who gave a love tap to an LB, who brushed him aside and mashed our runner.

In other words, the OL seems to be getting better, but the WRs are not doing their bit to offer some minimally effective blocking. (again that coaching thing)

good to know Mod10 that the snap was off, not necessarily Swiggert. But the snapper is designated snapper Leonard Skubal... surprised he snapped a bad ball -- (in Elmer Fudd voice) a screwball by skubal (bah). And good point Mod10 about why the coaches fear (they fear so much don;t they??) the short pass - the dreaded pic! You'd think with such an awesome D, they would be comfortable taking a few more chances than normal. The goal line stand post-punt-muff was a thing of beauty

Hoib are you the designated responder now? with the Happy-Happy-Hoib bit. Didn't you agree to leave several times already?

Have we used the double TE, Jumbo in the backfield package this year yet? Do we have the horses for that? When that works, it is a thing of beauty

ATL_eagle said...


Don't let a silly thing like stats tell you Flutie is a good passer. His first attempt to Alston was nearly picked. His two big plays were just heaves to Smith. Not great throws. On passing plays he drops back and sets and should get rid of the ball, but he doesn't. He's not a good passer. Can he be? Maybe. But he's not yet.

Knucklehead said...

Everyone drops back and sits. Your binky Matt Ryan drops back and sits every week and throws 2 interceptions. No one, literally no one call him on it.

Peyton Manning throws wobblers as well and is the most prolific passer in football history.

Smith is Addazzio's guy. Only reason he is playing. He can run fine then put him at WR. The problem with that is he cannot hold onto the ball. Flutie stares down the WR's because they suck. Long term Flutie is the QB.

That game was a cross burning home job of highest level. That McCaffery "catch" was a drop. The touchdown at the end by us was just that a touchdown.

mod10aeagle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knucklehead said...

You make no sense. Your daughter was able to park in the law school lot for free but she obviously paid.

I hate Duke.

I have a fairly massive headache after reading through all your squawking.

always sunny in cleveland said...

First time an opponent gained more than 200 yards on the D to this point in the season. All of 230 or so. Only a B+?

always sunny in cleveland said...

First time an opponent gained more than 200 yards on the D to this point in the season. All of 230 or so. Only a B+?

SaturdaysOnShea said...

Flutie is not the answer and you're insane if you think so.