Because of the slow start and allowing an early score, I never felt at ease when the game was live. Watching it back made me appreciate how many things BC actually did well. I feel much better about the team than I did a week ago.
The more passes I see, the more I realize that Towles is not a great passer. He's not terrible. Both TDs were great throws. He has a live arm. But his placement and accuracy is not great. His high balls are going to get one of our pass catchers really hurt this year. He did make better decisions this week and didn't seem as quick to run.
With every team so focused on stopping BC's running attack, I don't know if we are going to see that many great games from any of the RBs. Hilliman is a power guy who needs holes. He's not someone who is going to make a quick cut in and out of traffic. He was fine in this game. I was glad to see Jones get some touches. Willis had a nice play.
The WRs are playing really well. Smith is a natural and has great hands considering he's only been doing this a few months. Callinan made some really touch catches. As did Walker. Sweeney pulled in one. Collectively their blocking wasn't great (Garrison had one real bad whiff). But they are playing well as a group.
I thought the game plan was decent. The passing attack was effective and we used some more play action. My biggest problem remains the stubbornness of running between the tackles in power set ups. UMass went all out on so many plays to stop the run. Other teams will too. Loeffler has to scheme around it. If he does there will be big plays (I loved the swing to Callinan out of the backfield.)
We knew the Gutapfel was good. Now we know the other guys have potential to be very good too. Allen, Ray and Landry all dominated at various points. They all got good push and good penetration. Everyone had a turn destroying Comis.
Milano is smart and fast, but I don't think I realized how strong he was until this game. At one point he caught a UMass guy from behind in a near horse collar and basically whipped him to the ground. Strachan was good (but not as dominant as last week). Schwab made plenty of tackles, but also might have been responsible for a coverage breakdown on their one TD.
I've read some criticism of the DBs, but I am not seeing the problems. Big hits again from Harris and Johnson. Good coverage from Moore, Torres and Yiadom. I thought they all played relatively well.
If you had any questions how aggressive BC would be against a conventional Offense, this answered it. Reid brought pressure and even got pressure with just the front four. It did look a lot like Don Brown, with plenty of man coverage. My only gripe was the blown coverage that lead to the TD. The TV guys blamed it on Schwab.
Special Teams: B+
The nice thing about having Willis and Rouse involved in kick and punt returns, respectively, is that they are mature, yet still aggressive. Both make good decisions on when and when not to return. And both helped change field positions.
Our kick coverage was decent. We hit them hard, but still allowed some longish returns. The punt coverage was fine.
I didn't like punting on their side of the field, but that is on Addazio.
We couldn't have a perfect place kicking day, but it was an improvement.
Just because things worked out, does not mean Addazio is suddenly a genius. He still made questionable decisions throughout the game on 4th down and still burned his timeouts in a relatively close game. However, he showed he can and will go for it on some fourth downs. He also showed a willingness to bounce ideas off of Paul Pasqualoni. That is what Pasqualoni is there for: to be a trusted voice of reason. (Of course Addazio's mentor/buddy is also notoriously conservative.) But enough things improved, including the passing and the Defensive pressure, to give Addazio some credit. I also appreciate that the team put last week behind them and didn't panic when UMass scored.
It was a game BC was supposed to win. They did and now it is on to Blacksburg.