Thursday, November 23, 2017

BC-Syracuse preview

Because his terrible Year 3 derailed any concept of a steady, program-building progression, so many Addazio games seem to serve as tests. This season we wondered "could he beat one of the big ACC teams?" or "could he finally get the offense to click?" or "could his home grown QB excel?" This Syracuse game is key step to an even more basic question: "can he ever be more than a 7-6 coach?" We know we are bowling, but the difference between 7-6 and 8-5 is enormous at this point. To get to 8-5, he needs to win this weekend.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I don't speak to every Syracuse fan, but I do know a few pretty well. What's interesting is how closely they associate Addazio with Pasqualoni. They view him as Paul P 2.0 and are quick to point out the many similarities. Addazio is quick to mention Urban Meyer (he did it this week when talking about his Thanksgiving schedule) but I don't think any BC fan thinks he's the next coming of Meyer. I think it is fair to say he's Coach P with a little more personality.

Three Simple Keys
1. Force turnovers. Like last week, I think giving Syracuse many looks will lead to INTs.
2. No Field Goal attempts. I know it is indoors and presumably easier to convert, but why risk it? Treat everything as four-down territory.
3. Complete at least 15 passes. We were lucky to win with so many drops and bad passes. That can't happen this week. Give Wade some easy throws and keep the ball moving.

Gambling Notes
-- Syracuse leads the all time series 30-19
-- Addazio is 0-2 in the Carrier Dome
-- Addazio is 1-3 vs Syracuse
The current line is BC-3.5

Spaz is the only BC coach with a winning record (1-0) in the Carrier Dome.

Scoreboard Watching
Florida State-Florida is important to BC. If FSU gets to six wins, they will be a more desirable team than BC. A 'Noles loss would help BC's bowl options.

What I hope to see..
Perry get to make a real contribution. His redshirt is burned and we can't go back. Let's give him something to do.

BC is in trouble if...
This becomes a shoot out. Even without Dungey, Syracuse is built to score and score a lot. BC is not. That's why the ground game is so important this week.

After 2004, I will never take a Syracuse backup for granted. Regardless of who starts at QB for the Orange, I think they will move the ball. I think BC will control the tempo with the ground attack and hold off a Syracuse drive in the 4th to win the game.
Final Score: BC 28, Syracuse 21

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Basketball needs wakeup call to beat Colgate

BC Basketball has talent. But not enough to just show up and beat every team on the schedule. Wednesday they got a scare when Colgate took a big lead into halftime. Fortunately BC adjusted and clamped down and eventually pulled away in the second half. Hopefully this is just an early season bump in the road.

What I am most frustrated by was Christian and staff's preparation. Aside from the low energy of the first half, they were playing soft and relaxed D and daring Colgate to shoot. And they did and made BC look silly. BC also was way too quick to shoot 3s in the first half. The shots were rushed -- sometimes too far beyond the arc and just sloppy. At halftime Christian adjusted. BC trapped more and also played much tighter on Colgate's shooters. BC started hitting the 3s in the second half. 

Robinson led the way with 28 points. He was aggressive and made some good shots. The small lineup was most effective overall for BC. Bowman had 19. Chatman 17.

The team gets another test Saturday against Providence. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Revisiting the Thanskgiving Weekend problem

The Syracuse SB Nation bloggers asked this week if BC-Syracuse can ever become a rivalry if it is played on Thanksgiving Weekend. Their logic is two-fold. First the weekend is filled with established rivalries, so the BC-'Cuse game will rarely gain national attention. Their second issue is that with students off campus and many Alumni and fans not near each respective campus, the atmosphere and ticket demand will never be maximized. I agree with their logic and think BC should never play a home game Thanksgiving Weekend.

I don't want Thanksgiving Weekend home games for the simple reason that the atmosphere is subdued. Even when we are really good it is an effort to get students back on campus. If you are flying that weekend, you are likely not changing your tickets. It also puts a strain on BC fans from beyond the Boston area to get back during a holiday weekend that is also one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

If BC completely avoids home games Thanksgiving Weekend, then the Syracuse series has to find another date, because as it stands now, BC is hosting Thanksgiving Weekend every other year. Another permanent weekend might give the series a little bit more notoriety. Without the Syracuse series, BC can just be the road team for whatever other ACC team is not in a rivalry game. (It would be a rotation of NC State and Wake).

Football is a fun part of of Thanksgiving Weekend. I love watching BC play. Let's keep up the tradition...just not at Alumni.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Second viewing thoughts and grades: UConn

As the game played out, I was frustrated that Addazio kept going with Wade. In hindsight it wasn't as bad, but still no less frustrating.

Offense: B-

As I've mentioned Wade started off horribly and then moved into just mediocre. I know the drops hurt his stats, but he was also off on some throws and looking to check down when there were bigger plays downfield. Perry played but didn't get to do anything.

Dillon carried the team again. He's getting better and better at waiting on his blocks and avoiding tackles in traffic. His power is amazing. Carrying three UConn guys into the endzone was fun to watch. Hilliman had his best game of the season. He was decisive and blocked well.

The drops were terrible for many of the WRs and TEs. Smith had a bad one that probably would have been a first down. White dropped more than one. Sweeney too. Garrison had a really nice grab for his TD. They did block well as a group. UConn was ready for Thadd Smith on the sweeps.

The OLine dominated. Aside from the rushing, Wade was rarely in danger. The times that UConn flushed him out of the pocket were often because he held it too long.

UConn has the worst pass D in the country and we couldn't exploit them through the air? That was on Loeffler (and Addazio). Even with the drops, there wasn't enough passing. Why not sharpen that area up? Fortunately the ground game was some dominant.

Defense: B

The DLine didn't seem that aggressive but I assume they were being conservative and doing their best to contain. Allen was active. Ray made some nice tackles. Merritt did a good job collapsing the interior. Smith was fine.

Lamont played well and once he got settled in seemed to adjust to UConn's offense. Schwab was fine. Bletzer was okay.

Cheevers played well. His first pick helped change momentum. Torres had a great run back on his as did Denis. Harris was fine. Yiadom was fine.

The gameplan was very conservative. I don't think BC's issues and the significant yards they gave up were schematic and on Reid. Instead it was more of an effort issue. In the beginning guys were quick to buy on the play action and not disciplined in their coverage. And there was bad tackling. UConn also added yards and points when we eased up and put the second teamers into the game.

Special Teams: D

I know the field was a mess and the weather was bad, but I don't know if you can keep going with Lichtenberg. Some of those misses were bad. Would you trust him if the game is on the line?

Walker's kick returns were good.

Das Boot's kickoffs were not as far again. Maybe it is the weather.

Knoll punted well, though he did have a shank.

The kick and punt coverage were good.

Overall: B

I hated how flat this team was to start the game. Addazio is supposed to be a motivator, yet this team had low energy, looked sloppy early on offense and allowed too many big plays. I know things improved, but this UConn team was terrible. A good team would have built a big lead against us and been much harder to put away. A game at Fenway shouldn't need hype. A killer instinct to put away a poor UConn team should be part of the program.

My other issue with Addazio is how he managed Lichtenberg. His confidence must be shot. Why keep sending him out there?

The good news for Addazio was that even with all the issues to start the game, he didn't lose his cool (like the last time at Fenway). We had an overwhelming depth and talent advantage and won. He got the team bowl eligible again and has a chance to keep improving. Now get rid of the Carrier Dome jinx.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Basketball bounces back

The true test will come during ACC play, but BC Basketball acquitted itself relatively well during the Hall of Fame Tipoff. They lost Saturday to a pretty good Texas Tech team and then bounced back Sunday to beat La Salle. BC now stands at 4-1.

The best part of the La Salle game was Robinson filling up the stat sheet. It was easily his best game of the young season. We are now at the point where BC has multiple weapons and can be competitive even if one guy isn't at his best.

BC is off for a few days and then takes on Colgate Wednesday. A big test comes next week when we play Providence. I know I am still cautious about this team's potential, but the first two weeks have been a good step forward. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Boring but bowl bound

BC came out flat, but in the end it did not matter. BC trounced UConn at Fenway. Dillon made up for Wade's uneven performance. Hilliman also had his best game of the season. After a rough start, the D also adjusted. The score should have been even more one-sided, but BC couldn't convert extra points and UConn got some garbage points late in the game.

Beyond the game, the big issues of note were freshman EJ Perry playing and BC locking up a bowl bid. I will have more on both issues this week.

I will be traveling so I don't know if I will have the grades up Sunday night. I will have something up. Stay tuned.

Below is my Post-game Periscope.

In-game comments post: UConn

We've got UConn at Fenway. It should feel special. I hope it is a blowout. Let's get things back on track.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday picks

Picks in bold

TCU-6 at Texas Tech

Minnesota+7 at Northwestern

Texas+3 at West Virginia

Fresno State-2.5 at Wyoming

UMass+4.5 at BYU

Georgia Tech-6.5 at Duke

Army+2.5 at North Texas

Arizona+2.5 at Oregon

Texas A&M+2.5 at Ole Miss

NC State+1.5 at Wake Forest

Last week I went 7-3. For the season I am 53-53-3.