Saturday was a mixed bag. Some players finished the season strong and played like they cared. Others didn't. It happens when there is little at stake. What's frustrating is that like so many other games this year, BC could have and probably should have won this game.
Jeff Smith wasn't as bad as his passing stats indicated. He wasn't good through the air, but the INTs were not bad decisions...just somewhat unlucky. Wofford and Robinson dropped catchable balls. And a few were purposely thrown away. His running was his best of the year. He finally kept the ball on more options and it led to a few longer drives. If Daz follows through on his plan to change the offense, then this was probably Smith's last start. I still think the kid has potential. He and BC didn't find it this year.
Tyler Rouse ran hard and made some nice cuts. Willis only played sparingly. Wofford blocked well enough and missed a pass that came his way. Wilson got one touch.
Robinson looked bad. I know he's new to the position, but there is no excuse for so many drops. Smith caught the only pass that counted. Callinan blocked well but also got called for a penalty. So did Dudeck. The Tight Ends didn't catch anything either, but the Burke, Sweeney combo blocked better than Tight Ends have all season.
The Offensive Line was really inconsistent. One play they would look good. The next it looked like they would get Smith killed. Monteiro looked good on the run plays. He missed on a few pass plays. Harris Williams had his best game of the season. Bowen struggled. Baker had some good moments. It was his assignment that tipped the second INT.
The passing game was a mess, the blocking, the catching and Smith's throws. But I feel like if we had used this offense -- Pistol with heavy read option -- all year, we win six games. That may sound silly in a loss, but I feel that sort of commitment would have sprung bigger plays from Smith and might have opened other things. How fitting that Fitch called his best game in our season finale and we still lost.
Landry and Abdesmad had great games. Wujciak and Gutapfel did not. Those two guys have been huge difference makers all year. Saturday Wujciak looked a step slow and got pushed around. Gutapfel made some mistakes and missed tackles. Kavalec was okay. Moore missed a tackle. Ray got in some action.
Milano was very good. Yet if he makes the INT late, we go to OT. Daniels played well enough. Strachan had a few issues in coverage but was fine.
Simmons played well. Yiadom looked back to his preinjury form. Johnson was just ok. McClary was fine. Harris was ok.
Because Syracuse does a lot of funky stuff (lots of old school options and pitches), you have to play back. Brown didn't get super aggressive and I feel like it cost us. We should have put more pressure on. That was not a good offense and we allowed them to move the ball too freely.
Special Teams: C+
Walker was one of the bright spots of the season. I look forward to him returning kicks next year. We've also been very good in our blocking on returns.
I was glad to see Lichtenberg make a field goal. What was up with the kicks out of bounds? Both were costly.
Howell was fine. As was the punt coverage. We didn't return any punts, but Smith handled them without issue.
Some might wonder, why the lower overall grade when each unit rated higher. No one unit played all that well on Saturday, but all playing poorly leads to another bad grade for Addazio. Most frustrating was his willingness to eat yet another possession before the half. I was also frustrated he didn't use his timeouts earlier on the final drive, but the way Cuse moved the ball meant it didn't matter.
Losing another close game is bad luck but also bad coaching.