Last week I highlighted good offensive playcalling and play design. This week is the opposite. This was only one play, but I feel it captures many of the problems of the day and is an example of what Addazio explained away as things getting too complicated.
In my opinion, the best college offenses keep things as simple as possible. Variations, counters and new wrinkles are built on the foundation of what works. Because of the relative inexperience of all college players, the limitation on practice reps, and the challenge of trying new things, being a different offense week to week is nearly impossible. That was my frustration last year. We kept trying all sorts of things and none of it worked. It is all more frustrating because of what Day (and Addazio) did in Daz's first two years at BC was so brilliant. But that is another post for another time.
Here is the play. BC just got the ball back and it is early in the 2nd Quarter. This is first down. It is an empty backfield. Once they realize the backfield is empty, VT crowds the line and shows blitz.
Now this is just one play in a terrible game. Who cares? Well BC was already down at this point but there was plenty of time to play. Instead of trying something that worked earlier in the season or early in the game, BC comes out with an empty backfield. This is my first issue. Second there was the Pop Warner sloppy cut blocks. This is not something BC has done much this year or in recent years. That leads me to believe they don't spend a ton of time practicing it. So either two things happened for this play to make the gameplan. They either didn't practice enough so that the OL could cut blockin their sleep OR they did practice it a lot and the linemen still couldn't pull it off (therefore wasting valuable practice time). Neither answer is good. I hope they didn't practice it much and were just rolling the dice. If they did practice it well enough to make the gameplan and that is how the guys blocked, then we have bigger issues.
While Towles is a 5th year, he is still new to this Offense and facing Bud Foster. Why not keep things simple for him. Tell him to take off if the play breaks down or the cuts don't work.
Addazio mentioned getting back to basics. That's good, because we need to find what works. Save the cut blocking, five wide stuff once we can block, pass and run.