Sunday, September 04, 2016

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Georgia Tech

In December when BC is getting slotted for some fourth tier bowl, remember this game. This is going to cost BC in the ACC standings and allow all the mid-level bowls to skip right past the Eagles. We were better than Georgia Tech. Watching it back, I think we have more talent than Tech. Yet we blew it. (A Georgia Tech blogger even felt that BC should have won 24-7.) There were mistakes, but ultimately it was on the coach.

The only good news is that the team is clearly better than last year. The bad news is that I am sure we will blow another game this year.

Offense: C

If Patrick Towles were a freshman or sophomore I would be very excited. Instead my enthusiasm is muted. He had real solid moments and has good speed. But he made some mistakes early in the first half. Some throws were off. He didn't read an early blitz well. He ran when he should have thrown. Hopefully it is first game gitters and the staff finds things that work for him. He played well enough but he wasn't lights out perfect (like I was hoping).

Hilliman ran well. I thought he had a little bit of happy feet in the backfield. Sometimes it slowed him but a few times, resetting or stutter stepping did get him space. Willis was good as a change of pace when he was brought in for some read options. (Towles is going to get a big run with him out of the read option. No one stayed with the QB). Rouse played sparingly. Wofford blocked well.

The Offensive Line looked like a real Offensive Line. They got good push throughout. They moved well. Lindstrom made a great second level block on Hilliman's touchdown. In general, the right side did a good job opening up holes. They also gave Towles time on passes. Lowery was flagged a few times late (and was partially responsible for the second turnover), but he played well most of the game. Baker looked good. This group is why my hopes are high for the year.

The biggest blocking problems weren't the OLine, but the Tight Ends. Giacone and Sweeney both had real bad moments where they were beat on the edge. Jeff Smith looked very good for his first game. Callinan played well. Walker had a great catch.

Loeffler's approach created a little concern for me. But it is still early so maybe he is trying to see what works. We used I plus a little Pistol and some Shotgun. Towles actually looked OK under center, so I assume that will be our primary exchange. I did like the use of multiple TE/H Backs. I thought the playcalling was too conservative at times, especially in the fourth quarter, but I will address that below with Addazio. The good news is that there was nothing moronic and the basic execution was fine. The bad news was there wasn't a call or play that really made me say "wow."

Defense: B

The DLine looked really, really good. They stuffed the option all day and really controlled up front. Gutapfel led the way. He's going to be All ACC. Kavalec played well and looks much, much bigger. (If he gets that late sack though, we win the game.) Allen had some moments. Ray made some plays. So did Smith. Landry wasn't at 100%

You will have a hard time finding a pair of LBs play the option better than Milano and Strachan did. They were both quick, disciplined and came to hit. Schwab was all over the place too.

I won't kill the DBs for this loss, because they really have the toughest job in an option game. They have to think run, run, run and then turn on a moments notice and play pass. In general, they did well supporting the run. Take Johnson as an example. He caused a huge fumble for us. Yet he also allowed numerous big passes. Harris did too. Moore slipped on the final GT drive and was also called for pass interference. McClary was good.

Addazio killed the D was allowing the big conversions. That was bad, but overall they played well. Reid clearly had them ready for the triple option. The pass plays were more about breakdowns, not bad calls. I've read some people complain that BC didn't bring pressure on the 4th and 19. But that is not a terrible call and bringing pressure against a option team just exposes other areas. We were still aggressive considering the opponent.

Special Teams: C+

Missing two field goals was terrible. The kick off coverage wasn't great either.

Our punting and punt coverage was fine.

We didn't get to return any kickoffs. Rouse looked decent as a punt returner.

Overall: C

Even though it was a close game, I am grading the game low out of frustration with Addazio. Let's rehash the the two critical coaching errors. The first was attempting a field goal on 4th and 1. At this point BC's already missed one FG. The field is very wet. The balls are wet. Regardless of what Lichtenberg did this summer, he was an inconsistent kicker last year. Also, at this point BC's OLine is controlling. Converting a 4th and 1 is not hard. Every statistical model in football shows that aggressiveness is rewarded. Instead Addazio pretends that it is 1950 and goes for the Field Goal. We miss and waste the drive.

Then there is drive when BC gets the ball with 6 minutes left and two timeouts. Six minutes is long time in college football. Regardless of what BC does on the drive, the odds say GT will get at least one more possession. Knowing that Georgia Tech will have a chance to win, BC needs to score again. Instead Addazio starts killing clock. We go power right into a crowded box and neither run does anything other than take some time off. Why telegraph like that? If Addazio wants to run, why not use the read option again. A play like that spreads the field a little and the QB keepers had been wide open earlier in the game. The fumbled snap on third down was just bad luck. But then Addazio let the clock run. I have no problem with that. But why run the playclock down to the point where you use a timeout? Why not run the clock, take the penalty and keep the TO?

Addazio is coaching from a different era. There are many issues where he's shown a willingness to embrace the new. Yet once the game starts he reverts to the old school ways. Maybe, just maybe, this will be a wake up call. My fear is that he won't change and that he'll be blowing games for the remainder or his tenure. 


Hario said...

Considering Dazs post game comments it's hard to imagine him changing his ways...he doesn't think it was his fault

Georgia Eagle said...

It's looking more and more like a 6-6 season. That scares me. Why? Dazoshit keeps his job.
Ever to be mediocre.

mod34b said...

Lichtenberg seems to a head case who lacks leg strength. He of course blew it in the Wake game missing a chip shot from the 14 yard line (a 31 yarder)

Missed against Duke

He was benched for being a head case.

He did hit from 26 vs ND. (43yds)

He then got Nate freese to tutor him on confidence. An odd choice given how Freese blew it in the NFL by being a head case.

So Nate tries to teach Colt how to be confident. Problem is it is not really a teachable skill

in The Heights, post game Daz, of course absolves himself of blame for the kicking fisgrace: “Our percentage of kicking field goals this training camp was really high,” Addazio said. “Yeah, I’m concerned: we didn’t make two field goals out here. But it’s not what I saw in camp.”

Per Herald, what he saw in preseason camp was an inconsistent Lichtenberg who could not hit from beyond the 14.

Herald 8/25/2016

"Sophomore kicker Colton Lichtenberg struggled in the first half but found his range in the second, nailing his final three kicks with a long of 31 yards. . . .”

31 yards means he could only make a successful FG from the 14 yard line. (14 +7 + 10) pathetic, not to mention form the 18 yard line

The odds of making a .4th and 1 were 64%. The odds of a head case inconsistent kicker making a chip shot were much lower.

Unknown said...

I think Addazio played with house money years 1 & 2, so he did decently with nothing to lose and we loved him. Now that he knows it's on him, he plays scared and plays with an eye to how he defends himself afterward (going for the FG was "the right decision" etc).

This is Bates last year of his real, right? Maybe we do get a new football coach next year b/c of that, tho I doubt it.

TheFive said...

Dazaster is not going to change and this game will not spur any reexamination of his coaching philosophy.

The problem with Daz is not that he's conservative. It's either that there's no strategy or a stupid one. Playing conservative up 4 with 6 min left on a wet field would not be my preference, but it's not stupid. Telegraphing your play calls and blowing a timeout to run 2 extra seconds off the clock...neither of those decisions are conservative. The former makes success unlikely and turnovers more likely. The latter means that if your strategy fails you have no safety valve. That's not conservative, it's stupid.

But when have we handled an end of half situation well in a competitive game over the last 4 years? I only remember one occasion, the end of the first half against USC. Other situations that worked out (eg, 3 years ago against Maryland) did so despite Daz, not because of him (AW ripped off a long run when Daz was trying to run the clock out and Freeze nailed a long FG for which Daz inexplicably settled).

BC football is unlikely to ever be good enough to win more than one or two conf games by more than a possession. So, best case scenario is that we are in a lot of close games. And Dazaster is uniquely ill suited to winning those games. He's a stubborn buffoon and that's not changing.

Lastly, BC recruits pretty intelligent athletes. I wonder what they think of the over cafinated, rah rah tough guy who coaches like a coward and refuses to take any responsibility post game. I bet not highly. Not highly at all.

Knucklehead said...

Special teams gets a "C+?" I would give them a "D."

You should add a grade for the coaching.

Calfrog208 said...

Fair analysis, I would agree. As frustrating as it was to lose that very winnable game let's try and look at the big picture. Our offense, for the most part, was much improved from last year as they were actually able to complete passes, gain 1st downs and even score some touchdowns! That was great to see and I think Towles will only get better and more confident. The defense looked solid other than a few big plays which were big plays unfortunately. I think we can feel confident that our defense will be solid. Improved offense, solid defense gives us some hope for a better season! Daz is Daz and that's what we've got so let's get behind the boys and stay positive. I know it was painful to watch that game slip away on Saturday but we are in a better place and will have some success this year! Let's show no mercy on UMASS and get back on track this week!!!

BC fan since the 1960s said...

Regarding blowing a timeout before punting, you offered the alternative of taking a delay of game penalty. How about a third alternative which would have been taken by 99% of decent coaches. The punt team was on the field and lined up to kick. Let the play clock run down to 2 seconds and then snap the ball. No 5 yard penalty and the timeout is preserved. Not rocket science.

Regarding this week's opponent, UMass was ranked #128 out of 128 Division 1 teams in College Football News' preseason rankings. They have gone 8-40 the last four seasons since moving to Division 1. They left the Mid-American conference after the end of last season and are now one of the few Division 1 independents (only others are Note Dame, Army and BYU).

I watched a lot of the UMass-Florida game Saturday night played in front of 80,000 in Gainesville. For all those who think this is a sure win for BC, consider that Florida won their division in the SEC last year. The score was 10-7 in the fourth quarter when it appeared UMass just ran out of gas (not enough depth to play with Florida). They lost 24-7 but throughout most of the game camera shots of the stands showed a lot of stunned faces as people couldn't believe that their SEC division champion was in a dogfight with the "worst team" in Division I.

I also watched the BC game on Saturday and would make the argument that the UMass defense is BETTER than Georgia Tech's. On offense they have a good running back and a young mobile QB who flashed potential on several occasions but didn't do enough to beat a team like Florida. UMass also has an edge when comparing the two head coaches. The UMass guy is aggressive and takes chances.

The early betting line has BC a 16.5 point favorite which makes no sense having seen the two teams play. Check that line on Friday.

This is a losable game and if rock bottom hasn't been reached by BC yet, a loss to UMass with no conference affiliation and 8 wins in the last four years (how's that for a major hurdle for recruiting not to mention playing in front of only 10,000 people at best each Saturday in Amherst or at Gillette) will arguably be the low point.

Be interested if anyone else saw the UMass-Florida game and what they thought.

Calfrog208 said...

Good insight BC fan, thanks! BC can't take ANYONE lightly nor assume victory is ever a guarantee! Anything short of 100% focus and intensity and we could be in trouble...we will be ready!

NEDofSavinHill said...

BC scored 73 points in ACC games last year. They added 14 to the total against GT. In their last nine ACC games they are averaging less than ten a game. How many games can a team win with that output? Texas had a poor offense last year. They changed. They implemented a hurry up wide open approach. They threw the ball down field. Now they have a potent offense. BC was supposed to implement more of a pro style O this year. Is 17 passes and 37 runs a pro style? At least half the plays should be passes. 2. Towles looked pretty good. All would acknowledge that. Especially as the game progressed. He passed for 130 yards with no TDs and one pick. He averaged eight yards per attempt Yet last year against Duke Flutie threw for 120 yards with a TD and no picks. He averaged a phenomenal 16 yards per attempt.Yet the coach thought Flutie was a failure. ATL who had the better game Flutie v. Duke or Towles v. GT? 3. Tough weekend so far for the SEC. Florida was leading UMass by three entering the fourth quarter. Georgia won a home game with some help from the refs, Bama was the only team that looked impressive. It is interesting to note that in the final Coaches poll last year six of the top 22 were from the big 10. Only three SEC teams were in the top 22.But when the pre season polls come out this year the SEC dominates. On the field they are mediocre. With the media they are unrivaled.The Big 10 was a better conference last year and they were much better on the first weekend of this year. So much for the press hype about SEC dominance or superiority. Panic is stting in at ESPN and CBS. Fox which gets the Big 10 contract next year must be doing cartwheels.HAPPY LABOR DAY.

Hoib said...

I like the idea of the read option w/ Towles. He reminds me of Crane in that regard, and Chris made a live nag running out of it. I was pleased w/ Smith, but I think he's better used closer to the formation. That way we can get him more carries on misdirection. The bubble to Walker when he fell would be a great play for Smith. Continuing a long BC tradition we don't really have a game breaker. Smith comes closest to that. He has speed but he's too short for thr deep ball, so bring him in closer

As to the D I don't recall Yiadim's name being called. All the big play's were at Moore. He's too small to cover big ACC type guys. I think that's where teams will go in crucial situations. It's only one game but thr D played like 2015 and not like last year. They did a poor job on 3 Rd and long.

I don't think it's fair ATL to criticize Daz for the play calls on the last series w/ the lead w/o even mentioning the weather. Twice in the game the ball slipped out of Towles hands, including on 3rd down of that series. You can still not like the calls, but the weather has to be acknowledged.

I think saying that we might blow another game like this is being optimistic. W/ our kicking game I'd sign up right now for only one blown game, there could be many. In typical BC fashion Daz Has decided to try and get by on the cheap w/ his stable of choke kickers. It could ultimately cost him his job, only to be replaced by someone worse, So long as Leahy remains at the helm.

Knucklehead said...

Towles was good. He was balky too though. The interception was a high throw that didn't look great out of his hand, the other fumble/interception happened because of pressure and indecision, there was the third down botched snap which was partially on him etc. The weather impacted him on of these plays. He looked competent but not comfortable all-in. Another reason to take the ball out of his hands on the second to last drive.

Compared to last season he was great. I like his game to calm down and be very good going forward. Having a competent o-line is good to see. I like the comparison to Fluties' numbers because I think with this line and receivers he could be comparable to Towles as a thrower(Towles is a better runner. Flutie doesn't run well). Would like to see Flutie get a start with this offense.

We have two receivers who can catch this season. Father Charlie made a couple nice catches. Walker has some of the best hands in college football based on the 5-6 games I watched so far this year.

Pearl Washington said...

Take away the 73 yard run

Hilliman 16 carries 29 yards

Team rushing 36 carries 101 yards

So by metrics which Daz doesn't subscribe too stuffing it up the middle 3 times with a 2.6 yard average was going to work?

This team has talent they passed the ball up the field.

Why after watching all the offenses would anyone want to play offense for Steve Addazio.

The o line was not good. The rushing game stunk.

14 points because they can't convert .

Unknown said...

Anyone who suggests firing Addazio after this year is crazy. You will just leave Bates in charge of making, most likely, another underwhelming hire, and the ensuing attrition will basically cause complete restart setting the program another 5 years back. There is talent on this roster comparable to any school in conference short of Clemson, FSU and maybe UNC/Louisville, its just a matter of praying Addazio changes or can build bigger early game leads (which I don't think he will, but hopefully GT was an eye opener).

Even if you were to completely clean house, ie a new AD and new HC, you're still tearing this thing completely down unless you have a game changing coach who can offset the administrations lack of financial/facility support (we know the names, no reason to rehash the pipe dreams that can offset BC being cheap and incompetent).

Unknown said...


I have to disagree with almost all of what you said.

I cant believe you are actually trying to defend Flutie over Towles, did you actually watch the games ? There is a reason that Flutie isn't ever going to see the field as a WR, yet alone a QB, he's just not good. Towles brings a vertical passing game, he showed it vs GT. I would personally like to see more of it, esp. play action off of Addazios heavy run bias, but that did not exist last year. While the scoring didn't show it, mainly because of poor conditions (yes I understand Duke was that way too) but also the style of the two teams who are clock control teams, there was no comparison between Towles and Flutie. Im not sitting here trying to advocate what Addazio did in the 4th quarter of that game. He had it won and his conversative mindset lost it, but trying to compare Towles to Flutie is straight up crazy.

Additionally, using Texas as an example is a poor choice. BC can not recruit athletes here (for a multitude of reasons, but mainly the schools support and lack of facilities) that can run that type of offense, plain and simple. I personally think it is going to flame out at Syracuse as well in the long run, but we will see (and don't point to their game vs. Colgate as a barometer).

TheFive said...

Unknown, above, is right. Firing Dazaster will only make things worse. His program has developed talent and this years team is (and those that follow will be) competitive. The problem is that in competitive games Daz is w uniquely awful coach.

Unless the school is actually willing to invest money in facilities and coaching talent, it's unreasonable to expect better. We are at the point where the type of coach we need is too smart to come to BC unless those things change -- he'd take one look at the facilities, the fan apathy, and administrative neglect and stay the hell away. So we are stuck with a guy to whom we threw a lifeline when his career dead ended at Temple. Go Eagles.

Guido said...

Having watched the game, I believe BC with PROPER NON- CONSERVATIVE play calling could be quite good. The defense , again , with proper coaching can be a very efficient unit - Milano and Strachan are excellent athletes with speed. The interior line led by a much bigger Smith and Gutapfel will anchor the defense. This should be a real "GOOD" team with the major weaknesses being the COACH and an unpredictable FG kicker. If they are really tested by UMASS , I would be shocked , but WHIPPLE is a quality coach far above the "Empty suit" that we have leading the way. I hope these kids are given a quality game plan , because THEY DESERVE BETTER. GO BC !!!! These young men deserve support , but unfortunately many fans have left because of Addazio and the poor Out of Conference schedule.

Big Jack Krack said...

Our punting was fine? Maybe except for the most critical punt of the game - the last one, which traveled a whooping 32 yards.

This is going to be a problem all year.

Let's go coaches - give these guys a game plan to win. Coaching not to lose is stupid and unworthy of a HC making $3M. It's unworthy of any coach - so don't do it.

BCballer said...

Is NEDofSavinHill a parody poster? We all know how his Uncle Doug was the greatest impact guy in the history of our program, but c'mon man. That Duke game? One play there was a receiver 20 yards behind the defense...seriously...and Troy threw up an underthrown duck that could have gone for 6 if it went out on time and accurately. I pull for all BC guys, but Troy doesn't even play at FCS/CAA schools...and it's not his fault. He is what he is. To pump him for the starting job is about as ridiculous as putting Steve Addazio in charge of managing a game.

Big Jack Krack said...

JBQ already cited the 32 yard punt on the previous thread, but I didn't see it before posting mine. So I agree, JBQ - that was not "fine".

mod34b said...

The Daz-can't-get-it done file

3 for 13 in one score difference game

.230 winning percentage in one score games vs P5 opponents


1 usc 37-31

2 col state 21-24

3 clemson 13-17

4 wake 23-17

5 VT 33-31

6 FSU 17-20

7 PSU 30-31


8 duke 7-9

9 wake 0-3

10 lviil 14-17

11 nd 16 -19

12 SYr 17-20


13 GT 14-17

Big Jack Krack said...

I agree with you, Guido.

Unknown said...

in regards to his record in close games ...

1) usc 37-31 (Win, USC scored late to make it closer than it was)
2) col state 21-24 (Don Brown and his def blew this game, plain and simple)
3) clemson 13-17 (Rouse dropped the wide open game winner, not a result of Addazio being conservative )
4) wake 23-17 (conservative let wake back in, but still won)
5) VT 33-31 (conservative addazio let VT back in, but still won)
6) FSU 17-20 (This game was not dictated by poor Addazio play calling, they went for a pass to Murphy for christs sake, that's not conservative)
7) PSU 30-31 (this was on Addazio)

take whatever you want to from 2015, but that entire year is a wash to me. The personnel issue makes it hard to pin any game on Addazio (with exception of maybe Wake Forest and Syracuse although they were playing from behind the whole game) and poor in-game management, they just didn't have healthy bodies to be competitive offensively.

I don't disagree that he is a major issue because there is enough of a track record, and GT obviously belongs on a list of losses caused by Addazio, but that record isn't completely factual.

Hoib said...


Unfortunately the kicker is very predictable, he sucks, and BJK no coincidence Knolls worst punt was the one that mattered most. These two kids are in a death spiral competition for choke King.

mod34b said...

Unknown. You are what your records says you are.

Daz gets big boy pay and owns his results.

No more excuses. No more blaming everyone but Daz.

He sucks


Unknown said...

Again, I'm not trying to absolve Addazio from anything. I agree that he gets way too conservative with a lead and makes games that shouldn't be close, close. There is enough of a track record to say it is a problem (both losses and eventual wins), and we all know he is too thin skinned to admit it or change his ways.

With that being said, its not fair to use an incorrect data set to try and prove anything. I'll even give you the Colorado State game, even though it was the defense that let them score on 4th and long to win it, but of those 13 games, maybe 4 losses were a result of Addazio being a conservative play caller (2 others would fall in that group, however, BC still won those games)

mod34b said...

This is not a B school problem.

This is not a problem solved by logic, acceptable algorithms and valid data sets

Just watch the game with some knowledge about football, and it is obvious. As it is Obvious to 80% of knowledgable BC fans

Daz sucks for many reason not just conservative/boneheaded play calling. But for his entire offense, player management, game management,, recruiting etc. the results are due to all of Daz "empty sweatshirt" ways.
If you wish to see this as a business problem, consider the highly paid executive who under performs. For the good if the organization, you do not wait for enough data if your experience, judgment and limited data give you the answer. You act.

$%%&&$@@ said...

I love the salary talk from everyone who said the BOT is not behind athletics.

dixieagle said...

I did watch the UMass/FL game; their defense looked very good to me, the offense OK but not terrific. It makes me kind of nervous.