Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The Tyler Murphy experiment might be the best move Addazio made in four years at BC. He carried the team and provided some very memorable moments. Patrick Towles' year wasn't a flat out disaster -- we are going to a bowl -- but it was very disappointing. Unlike Murphy, Towles did not unlock his potential at BC and it feels like we wasted a year of developing someone else in exchange for a 6-6 season. (I would also argue the staff didn't do Towles any favors.) Hopefully Towles has an incredible bowl game and makes us feel like the year was worth it.
As for next year, the current QB depth chart would be some combination of Wade, Brown, Fadule, and incoming recruit EJ Perry. Only Wade and Fadule have started games and neither did much in their limited time. Addazio has spent a lot of time talking up Brown's upside, leaving me and others to wonder if he and the staff have already written off Wade.
The transfer question really depends on Wade. If he stays, I think BC should ignore 5th year QBs. Even if Brown isn't a game changer as a RsF, Wade can be serviceable enough as a backup or transition QB. If Wade leaves, BC needs to get a 5th year. Just for depth alone. Do you want to go into a season with just Brown, Fadule and Perry?
Addazio is safe for another season, but next year is also critical. There will be a new AD and plenty of pressure to win. If his QBs continue to struggle, Addazio probably won't survive. Because of that looming threat, my guess is he will bring in some QB as an insurance policy. Whoever comes in, let's hope he's more Murphy than Towles.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
As silly as it seems, the difference between 7-6 and 6-7 is huge. BC needs that extra win to move this frustrating season into a winning season. That winning, however hollow, changes the perception of the season and perception still matters in college football. At 7-6, Addazio can spin 2015 as the bottoming out and sell this year at the first step in BC's ascension. If we lose the bowl game and finish 6-7, he can (and still probably will) spin the season as the first on the road back. But the message becomes less believable if BC has a losing record and loses in a bowl game.
To get that win, BC is probably best matched against a run-first, low scoring team. A team sort of like BC. Even our best wins -- Wake and NC State -- were not high scoring. I don't want BC in a shoot out.
I don't know where the players want to go, but I would like to see BC end up in Detroit. We have plenty of Midwest players who would love for their friends and relatives to come. Plus we still recruit Michigan and Ohio. Playing in a bowl nearby can help keep us top of mind for those players and their coaches.
So whenever BC plays, don't view it as a made up bowl. View it as a must win.
Monday, November 28, 2016
- Mike Holovak's first four seasons: 20 -- 14 -- 2. Winning Percentage .583
- Jim Miller's first four seasons: 26 -- 12. Winning Percentage .684
- Joe Yukica's first four seasons: 28 -- 11. Winning Percentage .717
- Jack Bicknell's first four seasons: 32 -- 14 -- 1. Winning Percentage .691
- Tom O'Brien's first four seasons: 23 -- 23. Winning Percentage .500
- Frank Spaziani's first four seasons: 21 -- 29. Winning Percentage .420
- Steve Addazio's first four seasons: 23 -- 27. Winning Percentage .460
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Towles was not sharp. His old habits came back -- waiting too long to get rid of it, off target. He did have a few nice runs. His passing improved in the second half.
Willis' TD was a great run. I wish we had used him more on the edges all year. Rouse had a nice run. Jones and Hilliman had more trouble finding space.
Smith was sloppy with the ball and didn't get much going in the Wildcat stuff. Sweeney made some nice grabs. Callinan had a nice catch that kept things alive. Walker wasn't targeted much.
The OLine wasn't great. They broke down on pass protection and also had some issues creating holes in the running game. The interior guys were better than the tackles.
The Offensive play calling was the usual mixed bag. The now predictable Wildcat. Way too much running between the tackles and problems with execution. Yet there were a few moments that had promise. We spread them out well with running to the edges. We were able to get some intermediate passing going on the final scoring drive. The Bowl game will hopefully improve all the execution issues and tighten the playbook to things BC does well.
The DEs were really game changers. Both Landry and Kavalec looked good and created all sorts of problems. Allen played well. Merritt and Gutapfel played well. Ray was okay in his limited snaps.
Before the game I said the LBs would have to play well. They were just okay. Their coverage was iffy. They were the ones who let Wolford break off his big runs. They didn't make tons of big plays. They still had their moments, but as a group, they weren't great.
I was happy for Denis. He was picked on earlier in the season yet made the INT to close out the win. I thought Moore played well. Yiadom got away with a few calls, but also played well. Johnson got a pick also.
BC didn't try to do too much unique stuff. We were in man for most of the game and didn't blitz much. If that is all it takes, then so be it. I hope Reid brings out some new stuff for the bowl game.
Special Teams: B
Rouse's first return was great until the fumble. Willis made a key play on punt coverage forcing the fumble.
Knoll's kickoffs were great. His punts were good.
There were the typical Addazio problems in this game, but they didn't cost us the game. That doesn't excuse them. We had confusion on 4th downs. We had ultra-conservative play calling that gave away possessions. We wasted timeouts. We had Offensive gimmicks that didn't work. If Wake's kicked doesn't miss those kicks, this is a different game.
But Addazio does deserve credit for the team not stopping and having an actual comeback. I got some heat on Twitter for sharing that some player parents were vocal in their frustration. I would be too. But it was also clear from the team reaction on the field and in the lockerroom, that Addazio still has the players behind him. That is a tribute to him. We've seen more successful teams check out on their coach. Despite all the struggles, Addazio's team has not.
Now BC gets one more game and Addazio gets a chance to end an up and down season on a high note.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Leave your thoughts and comments below.
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Friday, November 25, 2016
(Picks in bold.)
Michigan+7 at Ohio State
Georgia Tech+4 at Georgia
Virginia+18.5 at Virginia Tech
UCF+10 at USF
San Jose State-3 at Fresno State
Auburn+17 at Alabama
Michigan State+12.5 at Penn State
Oregon-3 at Oregon State
UCLA-3 at Cal
Florida+8 at Florida State
Last week I was 7-3. For the season I am 50-65-5
Thursday, November 24, 2016
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I don't follow Wake super closely, but I rarely hear casual fans talk about their limitations like they talk about BC's. Their stadium is not on campus and not that nice. They are a small private school with a small local fanbase. They don't have a huge local talent pool. They don't compete with professional teams for attention, but they certainly compete with more popular college programs in North Carolina. My point is that at BC we should not constantly apologize for what we are and instead just focus on winning and leveraging our strengths.
Three Simple Keys
1. Get Jones and Smith touches. I want Smith getting eight touches and Jones getting 12. These are guys who can make something out of nothing. It is really simple, but sometimes simple works.
2. Use more play action. It worked well early in the year, but BC has gotten away from it. It can be a good tool to help the passing game.
3. A big day from the Linebackers. They are the best indicators. When they are making plays (sacks, INTs, tackles for losses) BC does well. When they are a step slow or missing tackles, BC struggles.
-- BC is 3-3-1 in Winston-Salem
-- Addazio is 2-1 against Wake
-- Clawson is 8-10 at home while coaching Wake
The current line is BC+3
Did you know that BC played Wake 10 times in the '40s and '50s before taking a fifty year break in the series. The teams resumed the series right before BC joined the ACC.
With all the talk about Addazio being safe, I could retire the coaching profile bit...but if we get blown out, there will be a change. One name who might be good is USF's head coach Willie Taggart. He would be a bit of an outsider, but has recruited the Midwest and Florida. He also coached at Stanford, so he's dealt with academic restrictions. If we are one of the few schools to make a move, Taggart will listen to what we have to say.
What I hope to see...
Harold Landry dominate. Kind of like Herzy's incredible day in Winston-Salem in 2008. I think there is a chance he could enter the Draft this offseason. I hope not and think he would be premature. But if it is his final regular season BC game, why not go out owning the game?
BC is in trouble if...
We give a TD away. Despite our various problems this year, we haven't seen defenses turn our mistakes into Pick 6s or scoop and scores. Addazio himself has said how important momentum is to this team. We can't hand them a big score.
I am hoping last week wasn't a mirage. I think Towles makes a few good passes. I think the D gives Wake a hard time and BC ends the regular season with another ACC win and earns an invite to a bowl.
Final Score: BC 21, Wake 13
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I try to avoid posting too much gossip because it tends to blow up in my face as often as it is proven correct. There are a few major issues floating around message boards and Twitter that I am going to shoot down. Of course I could be wrong, but we will see.
Myth No. 1: A new Athletic Director will be in place by Christmas
This is on the Eagle Action boards. While I think that a public announcement might be made on Brad Bates within the next 30 days, there is no way BC has a new, permanent Athletic Director in place by the end of the semester. As the power structure on the Board comes together, they are not going to rush into a new A.D. decision. And the politics alone of how this all will work within the Board and the President still needs to be figured out.
Myth No. 2: the A.D. uncertainty buys Addazio more time
As I have been saying all along, Addazio's status is completely independent of Brad Bates' status. Bates can't save him and the idea of letting the next A.D. decide was not a factor. If Leahy and the Board feel he needs to be fired after Wake, they will fire him.
Myth No. 3: the Wake game does not impact Addazio's fate
If he gets to six wins, he is safe. If BC gets blown out (by 20 or more points), he is toast. The real grey area is a close loss that finishes the season at 5-7 and in a bowl. Addazio was told he had to win six games this year. Five wins clearly isn't six. But I think the bowl game might be a bit of a lifeline and I think the new Board involvement repesents the unknown. Will they say "he didn't win six, he's out" or will there be some backpedaling on the win total? No one knows. I don't. Message board posters don't. People on Twitter do not.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
BC can simplify things by just winning the Wake game. That sixth win would guarantee a bowl game. It would also stop some of the media snickering.
Going to a bowl with a losing record seems like a hollow accomplishment, but there are some residual benefits. There is the extra practices, the last trip for the seniors and the chance to end the season on a positive note.
I don't like how expansive bowl season has become, but BC would be stupid to turn down an extra game. And as much as I mock these weird bowls, I will certainly watch.
Monday, November 21, 2016
One note related to the broadcast, but not BC's performance: TOB was very good as a color guy. He got a little technical at times with coaching jargon (which I don't mind), but other than that was really good. He showed more inflection in his voice than he ever did in prior interviews. He was well prepared with regards to both rosters. I felt he talked more about Diaco than Addazio, but provided good insight on the game and on the big picture for both programs. Maybe he will have a job with the ACC Network. That is not something I ever would have expected.
This was easily Towles best game. He made better decisions. He had a few nice runs. His deep ball to Smith was his best pass since the UMass game. He also completed passes to seven different players -- which shows he worked progressions more than he had all year. I have no idea why we didn't see extended time for Wade. The game conditions called for it. Maybe there are bigger issues at play.
Hilliman is not the guy who should be getting the most touches. Once again he lacked power and the ability to find an opening. Jones looked good and showed good power and burst in the redzone. I was glad they used Willis, especially in the passing game. Better late than never.
Using Smith in the Wildcat frustrates me, but I am glad he is getting multiple touches. He did a better job of pulling in all the passes thrown his way. He also looked good running the ball. Sweeney had some nice catches, especially with guys drapped on him. I am glad they threw to Idrizi. For all of Addazio's talk of not using redshirts, playing him seemed questionable. But if he can catch some balls, it makes it easier to rationalize.
The Line remained the weakest part of the offense, but they weren't terrible. The pass protection was better. But there were still a few breakdowns on the run blocking. Baker was solid. Johnson looked good. Montiero was okay. Better in run blocking than pass blocking. Lowery had some rough spots.
Loeffler deserves credit. When everyone has time and everyone catches a ball, the offense looked functional and the play calling made sense. My gripes are that we still stalled in the redzone. And even with some gimmicks like the Wildcat, the playcalling is still too predictable.
Kavalec had really good, active day. Landry got extra attention and still managed to make some plays. The young guys like Merritt, Allen and Ray all played well.
Milano played much better. Aside from the INT, he was good in coverage. Strachan was very active. Schwab played well.
The DBs finally looked like the guys we saw last year. Moore was really active. Yiadom made some great plays. Even the backups like El Attrach and Torres made plays.
BC was relatively conservative. That makes sense. UConn had a mobile and inexperienced QB. They contained him for the most part and didn't beat themselves. What's unfortunate, is that the success of keeping it simple might encourage them to move further away from the approach Brown used to take.
Special Teams: B
Rouse's best run was called back. Because UConn didn't score, we didn't see much in the kick return game.
The punting and place kicking was fine. We only really allowed one long kick return.
Other than the misuse of the timeouts, Addazio handled the game management well. Even as BC struggled to score early in the game, the team stayed composed. My biggest complaint was not playing Wade when BC was up significantly late in the game. I assume that is Addazio's decision.
Last week during his radio corrected Meter when he referred to what was remaining as a "two week season." Addazio said it is a "one week season." He won the game. No he has one more "one week season." He needs to put this game behind him, and regroup.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Great day for the seniors and for BC overall. It was probably the best effort of the season and probably what Addazio had in mind earlier in the year.
Now they have to build on it next week.
I will have grades up late Sunday night.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Of course the one problem with the timing is that we don't have a strong, empowered AD who can maneuver us through this. So instead I direct this to the BOT members who will be involved in the Daz decision and the search: DON'T SCREW THIS UP! Power 5 jobs are desirable. Things like the practice facility make BC more desirable. If we have the right recruiting resources and staff budgets, many great coaches would want to come here. With few jobs opening, even more guys will consider the position. Use the timing wisely!!!
(Picks in bold.)
Ohio State-21.5 at Michigan State
Oklahoma State+4.5 at TCU
Kansas State-2 at Baylor
Miami-3 at NC State
Duke+7.5 at Pitt
Northwestern-2.5 at Minnesota
Washington State+5.5 at Colorado
Stanford-10.5 at Cal
Arkansas+2 at Mississippi State
Oklahoma-3.5 at West Virginia
Last week I was 4-5-1. For the season I am 43-62-5
Thursday, November 17, 2016
The old Marine TOB will be part of the broadcast team for this game. Clearly someone at ESPN has a sense of humor. I would love to be a fly on the wall during the coach and broadcast team meeting Friday afternoon. I have never heard how TOB feels about Addazio or vice versa. Given what I know about the two, I imagine TOB is much more at piece with his career and what he accomplished at BC. It is not like Gene is still around and despite the success that Jags had following him, Spaz and Daz's stumbles have made TOB's boring, but steady days seem that much more remarkable. I don't know if Daz would view TOB's success at BC as a threat or a model. I can't remember him ever even talking about TOB. Who knows? Maybe they will use their private time to discuss how hard it is to succeed at BC and all the BC fans are unappreciative morons.
Three Simple Keys
1. Emphasize the short passing game. UConn will stop the run. It is up to BC to keep drives alive with short passes early in possessions.
2. Keep contain. They have a QB who can move and make something out of nothing. It is important for our front four to pressure him and keep him in the pocket.
3. Consistent Oline play. UConn's strength is in their DLine. We need to win that battle and not let them blow up our running game or get to Towles.
-- Addazio is 11-1 against non-Power 5 teams while at BC
-- BC has not lost on back to back Senior Days since 2003-04
-- BC leads the all-time series 10-0-2
The current line is BC-7
Addazio dismissed UConn as a rival on his radio show and he sort of had a point. We have only played them four times since they made the jump to DIA in 2000.
No games will impact us, so I continue on with my coaching series. While I don't think BC will go this way, I would love to see a high risk, high ceiling type of hire, like Troy's Neal Brown. Troy is a different universe from BC Football, but I think Brown's offense would be fun to watch and his potential upside is huge. The UMass grad wouldn't be a total fish out of water either, having been an assistant at Catholic colleges and worked in the northeast. I don't think he is likely, but it wouldn't hurt to talk to him.
What I hope to see...
The seniors make the most out of Senior Day. This is their last chance to play at Alumni. As a team their careers started off so promising, but now it feels sort of hollow. I hope that they come out motivated and get one more win at home.
BC is in trouble if...
The game is close late in the fourth quarter. It took an INT to close out NC State. Otherwise I fear that Addazio's questionable game management tactics will doom us.
I think we win this week. It will be an ugly, defensive slog, but we have enough playmakers that turn something into nothing. When our play makers aren't breaking off long TDs, expect plenty of three and outs.
Final Score: BC 17, UConn, 10
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I'm proud to announce that I have commited to Boston College!! #Eagles #DonBosco pic.twitter.com/2TV9HlSVot— Luka Kraljevic (@_LukaKraljevic) November 17, 2016
Based on his demeanor, I feel like the last thing Addazio wants to do is talk to the media or do radio shows. Maybe the nature of the questions leads him to trot out excuses for the losing. But enough with the redshirting and youth. Figure out what you have and then try to win with it. I don't care if the kid is 18 or 23. Just do it.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
In his four years at BC Addazio has recruited (including transfers and preferred walk-ons) 10 quarterbacks. Of those ten, I think it is fair to say that only one has thrived. That would be Tyler Murphy. He played like an All-ACC QB, was a great story and carried BC through what could have been a challenging year. Addazio deserves much of the credit for Murphy since he initially recruited him to Florida and then leveraged that relationship to BC years later. Conversely Addazio also deserves blame for not finding or developing another Murphy. He's thrown all sorts of different types of QBs on the field in the past two years and had little success. If you are only hitting on 1 QB recruit for every 10 you bring in, you are doing something wrong.
2013 QB Recruits
Mackay Lowrie (inherited Spaz recruit)
2014 QB Recruits
2015 QB Recruits
John Fadule (Preferred Walk-on)
2016 QB Recruits
Other recruits of note who played QB in high school
In my opinion, Addazio's offensive issues are only partially QB related. I think there is something lacking in his offensive approach and preparation. BC has huge execution issues and has mixed a jumble of schemes, vision and talent. The mixed bag worked in the first two years with Ryan Day as the OC and a decent OLine. Since, Addazio has not had a good OL, QB or relationship with his Coordinator.
Play Brown now
If Addazio truly believes Brown is the future, he needs to play now. There is no next year for Addazio if he doesn't win these final two games. We know Towles is limited. If the staff has really given up on Wade, then Brown is the only choice. I don't care if he was going to redshirt. This happens. We've played plenty of true freshmen QBs over the years. He has more time in the program than most of the other guys before they were thrown to the wolves. It is sink or swim. Whatever time Brown might lose by playing now, he gains in game experience.
If Addazio feels like playing Brown sacrifices a 5th year four years from now, then it is on the coach to go out and find more QBs. His desired development cycle will never happen, if he doesn't start winning games now.
Monday, November 14, 2016
I don't know what promises were made, but we need to put Towles on the bench. Even just to try something new. He didn't get great protection, but once again the decisions and accuracy were not good. I know this might not make sense, but I think his INT numbers are telling too. He's not throwing many against good defenses. I think that is because he's so hesitant to throw into any coverage that we don't take any chances and pass on reasonably open WRs. That was the case Friday night. Wade was fine in mop up duty. He is more decisive. The game was over when he got in, so I don't know if we can take anything from it.
Hilliman is another square peg, round hole piece in this offense. We are not good enough to be a power running team so he's left to run into traffic and try to power through. I don't know if we are wasting as Andre Williams level talent, but he is being wasted. Willis played hard and is at least fighting. Jones didn't get enough touches this week,
Jeff Smith did get touches, but not in the right way. I know that they are using him in Wildcat to make something happen, but it reeks of desperation. He had too many drops Friday. Callinan, Sweeney and Walker all had nice catches. We just didn't get them enough catchable passes.
You can't win with two bad tackles. Montiero and Lowry both struggled. Baker was fine. Lindstrom was fine. Johnson wasn't great but he does seem to be getting better.
It seems like Loefler realizes the things he wants to do don't work (running between the tackles, play action, etc). Because he adds in misdirection and Wildcat packages and plenty of other quirks. But we still go back to those runs into the line and bad passes that we kill drive after drive. It is a gameplan issue and an execution issue. BC needs to find out what we can execute at a high level and build gameplans from there.
I can't imagine how things would be without Landry. He brought pressure and looked good against a good line. Kavelec played well too. Even though Smith was missing Gutapfel held his own in the interior. Merritt looked lost and overmatched. Allen was okay. So was Ray.
Strachan had a strong game. Schwab looked good. Milano needs to make more plays. Richardson had some nice tackles.
Although he was picked on during the game, I don't think Denis was bad. If we had more pass rush, those passes would't have been so on the mark. For a young guy in that situation, he held his own. Yiadom played well. Johnson was very active. Harris was ok.
The first TD was too easy. Yet the D adjusted only to see Special Teams give FSU new life. Then some more stops and more stops. Things didn't really fall apart until the second half. I think it remains hard to be on the field out there like that with no hope. My only real critique is that BC needs to show different looks up front like they did under Brown. If only to keep the other team guessing.
Special Teams: C
The biggest problem with Special Teams was roughing the kicker. It didn't decide the game, but it certainly killed momentum. For a team like BC that is struggling, we can't have plays like that. Those are self inflicted wounds.
The punt coverage was fine. The kick coverage was fine.
Neither Walker nor Willis did anything special on their return opportunities. Rouse kept calling for fair catches.
I referenced it up above, but I think the Wildcat Packages with Jeff Smith should have every BC fan wondering what the hell Addazio has been doing the past two years. Smith might not be the next Lamar Jackson, but he is a talent on a team lacking talent. If we had committed to running a Tyler Murphy style offense with him from Day 1 last year, we would not have gone winless last year in the ACC and would probably be in better shape now. What is so ironic is that Addazio did well in Year 1 and Year 2 in adapting his scheme to the roster he inherited. But in Year 3 and Year 4, once he finally had his own players, he made a mess of the whole thing. That shows a lack of vision, a lack of leadership and the inability to assess your own roster honestly. It is easy to take Spaz's players -- who you haven't been assessing and grooming for years -- and say this is what the guys can do. When it is your own -- your blinded by your own bias and wanting to be right.
Addazio still has a chance to save his job and the team still has enough guys playing hard, but I don't trust him to put two wins together.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
@BCHysteria @bcinterruption @bcatleagle Player comments on the McCaffrey post--taken from EA (not my compilation). pic.twitter.com/LtJBhwB0ZW— Seth Andrew (@SethAndrewY) November 14, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
I don't think BC should overreact to this sort of stuff, but these sorts of wake up calls are valuable to a place like BC. We know Bates is out. Barring a miracle finish, Addazio should be too. Yet if our decisions makers think twice if Addazio finishes 5-7, these sorts of comments can serve as the stark reminder that BC needs a new direction.
The ACC has a Boston College problem. What's the solution? (The ACC went 13-2 in fb and bkb Friday. BC lost both.) https://t.co/w975oEt88f— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) November 12, 2016
lol Boston College's former coach was trash-talking BC last night and it still wasn't worse than the box score https://t.co/dOxXkA5u0q— BUFFALO CHILL CODY (@edsbs) November 12, 2016
@BCHysteria @joegrav @MichaelJSully @bcatleagle This is getting big play...supposed large positive reaction by former players (not my pic) pic.twitter.com/evUZg2U2qf— Seth Andrew (@SethAndrewY) November 13, 2016
Embarrassing. I can't even watch this. Let me know when you want to be relevant again! You deserve better.— Jeff Jagodzinski (@CoachJags) November 12, 2016
Not bad night for new Nicholls State’s Richie Riley. Gets a win in his coaching debut — and school also got $90K to play at Boston College.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) November 12, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
Bates is practically gone, so firing him now might seem unnecessary. But I think you do it for one reason: send a message to the fans that BC cares and things will change. Firing someone to send a message might seem antiquated or not in BC's style, but who cares? Bates is and has been well paid for that type of risk.
As for the specifics of the football game, BC played ultra conservatively and not well and when things went bad there were no adjustments.
I will have second viewing thoughts and grades up late Sunday.
It wasn't a great night for BC Sports, but some of us commiserated on Periscope. I appreciate the interactions from you all. The more interactive the better. Thanks for the support.
Leave your thoughts and comments below.
You can also follow me on twitter.
There will also be a postgame Periscope.
(Picks in bold.)
West Virginia+2 at Texas
Rutgers+14 at Michigan State
Iowa State-10 at Kansas
Tulsa+2 at Navy
Miami-10.5 at Virginia
Vanderbilt+3.5 at Missouri
Auburn-10 at Georgia
Stanford-3 at Oregon
LSU-7 at Arkansas
USC+8.5 at Washington
Last week I was 5-5. For the season I am 39-57-4.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I haven't thought much about this game because we are not very good and because I've been reading and watching election coverage for three days straight. The only time I got into politics on the blog was a few years ago when I said "hey everyone, support Scott Brown because he's a BC guy..." It didn't go well. While the stakes are certainly different, there are plenty of parallels between sports fandom and being passionate about a political party or issue. Even being a BC fan far from BC has provided me a perspective on what it is like to be in a bubble or have a different background from those around you. I don't know what is going to happen, but my belief is similar to my view of BC sports: you've got to take a long-term perspective. Things might not be how you want them now, but there are good times ahead and in the end, we will all be okay.
Three Simple Keys
1. Run after the catch. Because we don't have an accurate passer or many dynamic skill guys, we rarely turn short catches into long runs. However, this Florida State team is not great at tackling. If we can get Jeff Smith the ball on a crossing pattern or maybe set up more screens for Willis or Jones, we can turn little plays into big ones.
2. A huge game from our DTs. They haven't been bad this year, but our DTs have been less impactful this season. We need Gutapfel to collapse their pockets and ruin their run game.
3. Avoid dumb penalties. It wasn't the reason we lost last week, but it certainly didn't help. The team needs to play smarter.
-- BC has lost six straight to FSU
-- BC is 2-4 all time in Tallahassee
-- Addazio is 5-9 in ACC road games
The current line is BC+21
Addazio remains the only BC coach who has not beaten Florida State in an ACC game.
If the press is saying Addazio is on the hot seat, then I am going to keep posting coaching profiles. I like Penn State Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead. I don't know much about his personality, but he's had all the seemingly perfect stops on his resume to prepare him for the BC job. I know fans will want a name and not some coordinator, but some of our best coaches have been coordinators looking for their shot at a major conference team.
What I hope to see...
The offensive line play better. Addazio didn't think things were bad, but we allowed way too much pressure last week and didn't own the line of scrimmage. If this group is ever going to turn the corner and give us hope, they have to come together as a unit now.
BC is in trouble if...
We can't stop the run. As much as I worry about big plays, it all starts with stopping the run. If we can make them one dimensional, we might keep it interesting.
By Jimbo Fisher's recent standards, this is not a good Florida State team. Yet they are still better than BC and can still score in bunches. I think this will feel like many of our other recent blowouts. The only difference is we might score a few more points in the second half.
Final Score: Florida State 38, BC 20
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Another blowout. Another ACC loss. Another week of Addazio being defensive with his critics. (Most importantly) another empty Alumni Stadium. This week felt so much like other rough times this year. The fact that there is a familiarity to all the losing should be enough to end Addazio's tenure. But it is not. Because he still has time. And fortunate scheduling might enable him to save his job and change the narrative on his season.
Let's say BC gets blown out on national TV this Friday night. Does Addazio get fired on Monday? Highly unlikely. If anything, I could see BC making an announcement on Bates just to send a message to frustrated fans and donors. But barring some unexpected transgression, Addazio is finishing out this season. That's where UConn and Wake Forest come into play.
UConn is bad and BC should be favored. I know this is assuming a lot, but let's call that a 'W.' That gets Addazio to five wins. Then he closes out the season at Wake Forest. Wake is a flawed team too. They will be favored, but it is a winnable game for BC. Now if he comes out of there with a win, he's safe. Because it means BC is bowling and he can tell the media and BC can tell the donors, "we took our lumps this year, but we finished strong and made a bowl game. Things will be better next year."
If we get blown out at Wake, all bets are off. But I don't think it will happen that way. I predict a convenient "winning streak" saves Addazio's skin.
Monday, November 07, 2016
With the increase of big plays, the DBs would seemingly be the problem. But in my opinion, they are not. It is nearly the same group as last year. As much as we miss Justin Simmons, his absence is not the reason for the step back or the problems with the Defensive Backs. My short answer to why we've allowed so many big pass plays, is that we are bringing less effective pressure in the front seven and therefore giving opposing QBs more time and opportunity to go deep on BC. The long answer is more complicated.Props to @MichaelJSully for being only reporter to ask Addazio tough question after 45 pt loss. Predictably got irritated pic.twitter.com/glE0618NP3— ERIC HOFFSES (@EJHoffses) November 5, 2016
Addazio touched on this a little in his media rounds on Monday, but there are actually multiple contributing factors to the blowouts. I am trying to list them all so we understand, but I am not excusing it. Addazio arrogantly claimed that this was "BC's defense" not "Don Brown's" when Brown left for Michigan. It was on Addazio to help maintain or improve what Brown built. He didn't. And if he does get fired, it will be in part because he couldn't keep BC in the games against the ACC's better teams. Here are all the contributing factors that I see.
1. Don Brown
This is the no brainer. I don't think Don Brown was some sort of miracle worker, but he is a good college Defensive Coordinator and especially good once he gets the talent he needs in place. That is why our D got really good in his third year at BC. While Jim Reid and Paul Pasqualoni are familiar with Brown's scheme and approach, it is not the same as the creator running it.
2. Kevin Lempa.
Gone from last year is also the position coach for the DBs. Kevin Lempa helped guide these guys. Now he is in Hawaii. Lempa is a strange dude. He may not be the recruiter Addazio needed, but his players always seemed prepared and understood their roles.
3. Facing better Offenses.
If you look at our three blowouts, you see other teams with great QBs or great player callers. Look at Louisville. Even if we had Don Brown back, don't you think Petrino would have figured things out? Petrino is not going to be fooled forever. Clemson also overwhelmed us in part because of their talented QB. The other team that blew us out, was VT. Maybe they struggled against BC last year because of their OC Scot Loefller.
In the end, having multiple contributing factors to the drop off makes fixing them more complicated. I hope Addazio has a plan for Florida State and the weeks ahead.
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Towles wasn't good, but he wasn't as bad as he's been. Other than the INT, his throws were decent. He was still to slow to get rid of the ball or feel where the pressure is really coming from. Wade's one completion was nice. I wish he had received more playing time. I don't think we have anything to lose.
Rouse's TD run was nice. Even as he was getting popped and twisted around, Jones still looks good in the passing game. Hilliman's still lacking the physical skills or instinct to find the soft spots.
Callinan made some nice catches. I was glad to see Thadd and Jeff get the ball on running plays. Sweeney didn't get targeted enough.
This might be the worst OLine performance I've seen in four years under Addazio. It might be one of the worst I've every seen any BC OLine play. They looked slow, lost and then ever got called for some dumb penalties. Lowry as terrible. Lindstrom also had all sorts of problems, whether it be assignments or even just getting push around. The only guy who didn't have a rough day was Baker. He is probably our best Lineman. Montiero had some bad misses and a costly penalty.
The Wildcat and return of the Jones throw and the end arounds and reverses. all scream of desperation. The stuff that worked last week, didn't work this week. My problem is that our base stuff was totally ineffective. But when the blocking is that bad, there is not much you can do.
You know the team was overthinking when Landry got near Jackson and then slowed down to sort of wait on him. He shouldn't even be thinking that way, especially when he is steps away from a sack. Kavalec had some nice plays. Ray had a really dumb penalty. Allen struggled. Gutapfel was fine. Smith was fine.
Considering what a running threat we knew he would be, the LBs struggled. They were out of position or missed tackles on some of Jackson's best runs. Strachan played pretty well and was active. Schwab missed Jackson a few times. Milano also seemed to miss him when he had the chance on big plays.
Moore had his best game in a long time and made some good tackles. Harris had an INT, but also made some big mental/coverage mistakes. Yiadom didn't look good, but then made one pass deflection in the second half that showed glimpses of what he did last year. Johnson was active. McClary missed some tackles.
Jackson makes everyone look bad, but I don't think we adjusted well nor executed well. We needed more pressure and to give him more different looks. Reid was back but there was never any indication of who was performing what task or calling the D. I don't know who to blame, but I am going to have a bigger piece this week about the DBs.
Special Teams: B
The best play on the day for Special Teams was picking up the fumbled punt. At least the guys were ready and hustling.
They put Walker back on Kick Returns. He had good success last year, but hasn't been featured there much this year. He was good. So was Willis. Maybe because there were so many kick returns, they hoped a change up might spark something.
The punts were fine.
I touched a bit on this in each unit, but I find Addazio's game planning very disconcerting. For example, it felt like he decided to run the ball and keep Jackson off the field. The problem is we are not a great run blocking team. Especially when teams either load the box or have a great DLine (like Louisville). What we can do relatively well is quick short passes. That worked against NC State and put less pressure on the OLine and on Towles. If done well, short passing can still have a ball control feel. Yet we didn't take that approach, therefore we couldn't move the ball and couldn't slow down the Cardinals.
The only positive I picked up on is that the Defense played hard even as they were being crushed. I know there are no points for "heart" but I am hypersensitive to teams checking out on losing coaches. I don't see it here.
The timing couldn't be worse for Florida State, but that is why Addazio makes the big bucks! Hopefully we can figure out a way to hang with an elite team and win a big game.
Saturday, November 05, 2016
The score wasn't surprising. Louisville was a heavy favorite and they won. What was disappointing was how many of our problems were self-induced.
The worst thing about this sort of game is that it erases all the vibes from last week.
Now BC has to rally during a short week.
I will have my grades and second viewing thoughts up late Sunday night.
Friday, November 04, 2016
The fanbase is dying for BC basketball to be back. If this team does anything positive, people will give Christian more time. But there has to be a killer instinct that puts lower level teams away and really explodes! If we don't have intensity for a Stonehill game, how are we ever going to hold on for an ACC team?
I am not giving up just yet, but there better be noticeable improvements this year. We waited as Donahue said development would come and he wasn't worried about winning. But he never turned the corner. Now Christian needs to do something. Don't let this team go through the motions. And the players need to step up too. They came to BC to be in an elite conference. Show intensity and show your skill. Please don't let this season fall apart before it has even started.
(Picks in bold.)
Temple-10 at UConn
Notre Dame-7 at Navy
Texas-3 at Texas Tech
Air Force+1.5 at Army
Pitt+3 at Miami
Virginia+3 at Duke
Syracuse+26.5 at Clemson
Georgia-2.5 at Kentucky
Alabama-8 at LSU
Washington-17 at Cal
Last week I was 4-6. For the season I am 34-52-4.
Thursday, November 03, 2016
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I wonder what will happen to Louisville once Bobby Petrino leaves again. Charlie Strong won there at a high rate and so have a few others, but they've also had some dud head coaches. In theory, the ACC cash should enable a good post-Petrino hire, but it is not always that simple. I think Petrino takes an SEC job this offseason (LSU or Tennessee) and the dynamic of our division will change.
Three Simple Keys
1. Contain big plays. Nearly every team we've played this year has scored an explosive play against us. It is the risk that comes with the aggressiveness. But if we are going to pull off the upset, we can't let it happen this week.
2. Sack Jackson at least five times. This guy might be the best QB at escaping pressure that we face all year. To win, we have to sell out and rattle him.
3. Remain creative on Offense. I hope BC has another wrinkle or two. We need all the help we can get.
-- Petrino is 26-11 on road while coaching Louisville
-- Louisville is 1-1 against the spread while facing BC in ACC games
-- Addazio is 0-3 against Louisville (including his game at Temple)
The current line is BC+25
Considering we've only been in the same conference three years, we actually have an active history with Louisville. We've played them eight times in the last 30 years. That's more than we've played UMass in that same time period.
Daz's seat is a little cooler, but he's not out of the danger zone yet, so I will continue with my coaching bio series. I've always like Air Force's Troy Calhoun. While he does run an option offense, it is not nearly as rigid as the other service academies. He also has an NFL background, so I think he could adapt his approach and succeed at BC. He would be the most experienced football coach we've ever hired. Would he take the job? I don't know. He has been rumored for other opportunities. Maybe the last chance to test himself at a Power 5 job would be tempting.
I hope to see...
An excited and motivated crowd at Alumni. This is not Senior Day, but it is the last "big" home game of the year. This is our chance to do something that would get attention and to see a great player. Louisville won't fill Alumni with red like Clemson did with Orange. I hope the BC fans are there early and we don't see a lot of empty bleachers.
BC is in trouble if...
Towles tries to do too much. He has admitted that this game means more to him because of the Kentucky connection. I don't want to see him forcing things or making dumb plays. And no more intentional groundings.
I think the progress our Defense showed last week continues. Louisville still moves the ball, but BC gets a defensive score and sacks Jackson often. I still think we cannot go score for score with them, so in the second half, they pull away.
Final Score: Louisville 35, BC 20
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Jerone Robinson is one of many basketball players heading in the season as optimistic. Listen to his interview here.
BC didn't do enough to change the public's perception of us, so therefore Louisville opened up as a 24.5 favorite.
People back in Naples are still rooting for Mike Walker.
BCI pointed out that we've owned NC State of late and historically.