Sunday, October 19, 2014

Will's thoughts on the Clemson game

Just a few quick thoughts about the game.  More will be posted later on.
  • There were so many missed opportunities that could have swung the game in BC's direction.  This article touches on a few of them, but the Bordner drop, the under-thrown pass off the reverse, and the Rouse drop are the top 3 in my mind.  Of course we all want to see BC make PATs, but those others hurt more. When you play very good teams (and Clemson is one of them), you have to take advantage of the opportunities you create for yourself.  If BC had executed on any one of those three plays, we would have had a much better chance of winning.  If we had hit two of them, the chances of winning would have jumped exponentially. 
  • It's nice to see Clemson travel in such strong numbers, but Alumni was embarrassingly filled with orange yesterday.  There were giant blocks of the upper sideline section closer to the reservoir filled with Clemson fans.  I think it may have been the loudest & largest Clemson fan base I've seen at Alumni.  Clemson fans are incredibly friendly, and it's great to see them come to Boston in the numbers that they do, but it'd be really nice to see much more maroon and gold than orange in the upper sections at kickoff.
  • Overall the defense played well, and it's hard to be critical of a group that allowed just 17 points, but we gave up too many 3rd down conversions.  Case in point - the series when BC had Clemson starting on their own 9.  After 2 plays netting negative one yard, Clemson had a 3rd and 11.  They ran for 13 and got to their 21.  BC held the next 2 downs, and on 3rd and 4 Clemson gained 16 to their 43.  BC stopped Clemson on the next set of downs, and they ended up punting....which BC received on their own 6.  To recap - that was a drive that started on Clemson's 9, and BC gave up two big plays on 3rd down which allowed Clemson to get to a place to pin BC within our 10.  It completely shifted the field position game and put a lot of pressure on the offense to move the ball.
  • BC's offense (understandably) didn't put up the big numbers like in other games this season, but it was nice to see Day & crew keep installing new looks/formations/plays.  The Bordner pass off the reverse was one, but the Sherman Alston TD reception was another - lining him up in the backfield, pulling a guard to make it look like a run....nice to see new wrinkles develop in our offensive attack each week.
  • Steven Daniels is coming on strong. He had a good game stopping the run and lead BC with 11 tackles.
  • Murphy's 43-yard run with the game on the line was something special.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tigers too much

I didn't get to see any of the game (family weddings take precedence over good blogging). From following a bit online I gather BC had some moments but didn't do enough. Like all losses it is now about regrouping. 

I will have more comments later and an update Sunday.

In-game comments post: Clemson

Most of the BC-Clemson games have been exciting. Let's hope this one is too. Leave your thoughts and comments during the game.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Tweets of the Week

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Game Watches: Clemson

Game Watches are going global with London hosting one this week. I don't know if it is the Clemson matchup or renewed enthusiasm, but there are more clubs hosting this week. If your club is hosting a Watch, be sure to post it in the comment section.

Charleston Game Watch
Manny's Neighborhood Grill
1680 Old Towne Rd
Charleston

Dallas Game Watch
Corner Bar
4830 McKinney Ave.
Dallas

Denver Game Watch
Whittier Pub
2000 East 28th Ave
Denver

London Game Watch
Jetlag
25 Cleveland St
Fitzrovia, W1T 6QB

Los Angeles Game Watch
Sonny McLeans Irish Pub
2615 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica

Naples Game Watch
Boston Beer Garden
2396 Immokalee Rd
Naples

New York City Game Watches
Joshua Tree
513 3rd Avenue (between 34th and 35th Street)
New York, N.Y.

American Whiskey
30th Street between 7th and 8th Ave

Philadelphia Game Watch
Fox & Hound
1501 Spruce St.
Philadelphia

Phoenix Game Watch
Gallagher's Sports Grill
7575 N. 16th Street
Phoenix

San Diego Game Watch
The Beer Company
602 Broadway St.
San Diego

San Francisco Game Watch
Shanghai Kelly's
2064 Polk St.
San Francisco

Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Irish Whiskey Public House
1207 19th Street Northwest
Washington, D.C.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

BC-Clemson preview

Think back to our first few years in the ACC. Every team was in it because no team was great. It all really came down to who played well within the division. That’s how Wake won. That’s how BC won during the two Jags years. Now -- with another Jameis Winston suspension looming -- it seems like the Division might be up for grabs again. BC remains a long shot, but there is no reason we cannot make a run. Our one ACC loss was out of the Division. If we play well, we can beat anyone left on our schedule. Of course to do that, we have to start by upsetting a vulnerable Clemson team this week.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game) 
I ran into a Clemson fan this morning...in Nantucket. I'm here for a wedding and he was here as part of his trip to see the game Saturday. He couldn't have been nicer and talked about how much he loves coming up to New England for the game and thinks we have a good team, etc. I know much has been written about the Clemson fan culture and their hospitality, but all the cliches and stereotypes are true. It is really hard to hate them when they are being so nice and courteous all the time. 

Three Simple Keys
1. Murphy rushing for more than 100 yard. Last week proved it is just that simple. He's our best player and our best chance to make a big play. We need him running at least 12 times and we need him to break some big plays.
2. Better Kickoff Coverage. We cannot give them shortfields. I am fine with the deep squibs. But the guys have to do a better job tackling.
3. Great blocking. As I wrote earlier in the week, Addazio is worried about Clemson's DLine. We need to control the line and avoid mistakes. If Murphy doesn't have time, we are not winning.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 7-3 at home
-- Addazio is 5-5 in ACC games
-- Swinney is 14-15 on the road
The current line is BC+5 

Factoid
Since we don't play Notre Dame annually anymore, the O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy is the only annual trophy tied to a BC game. Clemson is 5-1 in the series since the Trophy debuted.

Scoreboard Watching
An undefeated Notre Dame is traveling to Tallahassee to play undefeated Florida State. The only thing that is missing is the Irish taking on BC the next week. I am not one of those BC fans who lives for the Notre Dame rivalry, but I never minded bursting their bubble the week after big Florida State wins.

I hope to see… 
BC connect on some deep balls. The bomb to Amidon last year was a thing of beauty. But it was also a good call because Clemson kept cheating up to stop the run. Murphy has yet to show he can throw a deep go as well as Rettig, but the play will be there.  

BC is in trouble if... 
We don’t get to Stoudt. When Brissett had time last week, he picked our secondary apart. Once we got pressure on him, NC State's offense went stagnant. If Stoudt has time, he can make the throws and Clemson still has plenty of playmakers.

Bottom Line
I see this as the game as the perfect storm for us. It is at home. We are riding high after last week and seemingly have most of our issues worked out. Clemson is trotting out their former starting QB after their dynamic freshman QB got hurt. I don’t think this will be easy, but I still think we can bring enough pressure to slow them in the redzone and we get a few scores on some big runs from Murphy.
Final Score: BC 27, Clemson 23

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mihalik & Keyes awarded ACC accolades and other links

Brian Mihalik was named Defensive Lineman of the Week and Josh Keyes received the Co-Linebacker of the Week award from the ACC.  Both had big games on Saturday.  Keyes notched double-digit tackles for the first time in his career.  We will need that continued effort on Saturday to stop Clemson.


Keyes and Hayley Dowd were named Eagles of the Week by BC.


Eric Hoffses has been providing some information about the basketball team's practices including a glimpse of how Dennis Clifford looks on the court.  All reports are that practices are intense and that Christian is working the team hard.  This Q&A with Patrick Heckmann touches a little on that and on his efforts to improve his defensive game this year.


Coach York has received a pledge from a class of 2018 recruit, TJ Walsh.  A lot can happen between now and 2018, but it's good to see that a strong recruiting pipeline is being built into the future.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How good is Clemson's Defense?

Clemson DC Brent Venables

After touching on BC's win, Addazio quickly turned his Monday press conference to Clemson and their Defense. He seems legitimately scared of the Tigers. This wasn't fluffy coach talk, Addazio is comparing them to the 2009 Alabama team he faced at Florida. Addazio is always respectful of our upcoming opponents but this was over the top for him. It got me thinking, if he is this worried, should we all be worried? After looking at the stats, I don't know what he's seeing.

I do think Clemson is talented and will give us trouble, but the numbers don't back up Addazio's fears. The Tigers are a middle of the pack defense so far. Their 7th in the ACC in scoring per game and 3rd in yards per game (just slightly ahead of BC). Georgia scored 45 on them and UNC score 35. They held Florida State to 23 points, but that was without Winston.

Will they put pressure on BC? Sure. Do they have playmakers? Of course. Is Venables a good coordinator? Yes, but we knew that last year. They contained our main threat in Williams, but Willis and Amidon exploited them for big TDs. This year we have more weapons and are not as one dimensional. Scoring won't be easy, but we have plenty of guys who can break a big play.

Addazio knows more about his team and more about Clemson than I do. Maybe he's right. I just hope we are giving the Clemson coaches the same sort of worries they are giving us.

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Bob Ryan: an appreciation

Grantland posted a great tribute to Bob Ryan last week that is well worth the read. I know many BC fans dislike Ryan, but he was great to me as a student and supported this blog in the early days. Anyone who likes sports and likes the passion and the arguments and being an advocate, should appreciate what Ryan did and how he changed the dialogue. The article doesn't focus on his time at BC, but Ryan has always kept BC close and mentioned how it helped shape his career. He's always been fun to read and fun to talk to, so I am glad he's getting his due.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Start petitioning for Williams, Swigert 6th years now

Every NCAA student athlete is eligible to play in four seasons. However, things are not always that cut and dry. When you start your playing time plays a role in the NCAA's eligibility clock. The varied transfer and graduation rules also apply and then there is the issue of injuries and redshirts. Every once in a while the NCAA will grant a sixth year of eligibility to a student athlete who faced a unique injury or extenuating circumstances. As anyone who followed the Ifeanyi Momah case knows, getting that 6th year is a total crapshoot. Now we have two more guys -- Bobby Swigert and Harris Williams -- looking at a potential 6th year request.

Of the two, Swigert seems like the more likely guy to get a 6th year. In fact it is sort of implied in Addazio's update on Monday.
To me, the "this season or next" means that BC knows Swigert will get a 6th year. Based on his numerous infections and setbacks, I could understand why. All the issues essentially relate back to the initial injury (one of the NCAA's loose criteria). I hope Bobby waits. We are not a pass heavy team this year, so I don't know if he would have much of an impact. Next year he could be featured from the beginning of the season and could potentially play in all 12 games.

Harris Williams' case won't be rubber stamped by the NCAA. He only played one game this year, but he redshirted as a true freshman. Like Momah, the NCAA could very well rule that decision was elective. Even if BC comes up with something to explain that first redshirt, I don't know if the NCAA will care. Like Swigert, Williams might be even more valuable next year when so much of the line turnsover.

We won't know anything officially until after the season is over. The best aspect of all of this is that both guys have their degrees and BC is playing well without them. Let's hope they play again though because both have earned a better ending than the one they've had.

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