Monday, October 05, 2015
While much of the TV appeal is based on Clemson's hot streak, BC is a big factor in the national prime time slot. Our game against FSU was one of ESPN's highest rated Friday night games.
The ESPN2-ESPNU aspect will be cleared up next week. I think the network is hoping we handle Wake and Clemson doesn't trip up against Georgia Tech.
Sunday, October 04, 2015
Neither Flutie or Smith is a good passer. They both miss open guys and both hold on to the ball too long. Flutie's TD showed he can sit in the pocket and let one go, but the pass was still wobbly. Neither have great awareness of the clock. Flutie might be able to "run more of the offense" but he's still not making good decisions or good plays in the offense. Smith had some nice runs, but made some questionable decisions on handing the ball off in the sweeps (unless he didn't have the green light). The running game is better with Smith.
Outlow was pretty good. I am not sure why he didn't get more touches. Rouse played pretty well. Wofford made a nice catch.
I thought Smith made a nice catch on the TD they called incomplete. His real TD was nice. Alston looked good running but couldn't pull a pass in. Swigert missed one too. Callinan was fine. As a group they did not block well.
The OLine is not the problem. They actually played well this week. There is only so much you can do when the other team is that aggressive loading the box and at the line. Most of the blocking breakdowns came from the Tight Ends and WRs (Sweeney had some issues).
The time to throw stuff against the wall isn't the game. Fitch and Addazio have the luxury of practicing against an elite D. Do that in practice. I know you don't want to be installing new offense at this point in the season, but this playbook was all over the place...especially with Smith. We used basically the Wildcat with the sweeps (but it didn't seem like Smith had the green light to keep it). We used pistol with Smith. How can he be expected to learn anything when we are asking him to do all this other stuff? I think simple would be better for this kid now. And give him more one look rollouts, then he can take off if nothing is there (like the near first down on the 1st and 20). They are not doing Flutie any favors either. While this wasn't a shutout, it was another series of scoreless quarters. This is wholesale failure and not bad luck or young talent. How they are handling the QBs, their shoot from the hip rotation and the overall approach is a failure. But I fear they (Addazio and the Offensive staff) are drowning in so many issues, that they don't recognize the way out. It felt like Smith finally gave it to them as he moved the ball, but then Flutie connected on some passes. So my fear is it will be more of the same.
Kavalec is back. He made some huge tackles during the goal line stand. Landry looked good and is also making some big plays stopping the run. Abdesmad played well. Gutapfel had one of his better games. Wujciak didn't cram the stat sheet, but played well.
I read a few criticisms of Daniels on the board, but watching it back, I didn't see any issues. He was good in coverage. He made a lot of tackles and had a sack. Milano was good. Strachan and Schwab weren't as productive but didn't have any glaring mistakes.
The stats for the DBs were somewhat deceiving. Most of the Duke yards came against one guy: Johnson. He's big and not as quick, so by putting some of their little guys in the slot, he got a bit exposed. He also got blown up on some tackles. Yiadom had a very good game. They rarely even threw his way and he made some nice plays. Moore was called for PI, but overall played well. Simmons was good.
I want to credit Brown for an adjustment that worked. In the first half Duke had pretty good success with passes over the middle against the safeties and linebackers and we weren't blitzing. Instead of adding more DBs to help pass coverage, Brown used the LBs for more pressure. The extra men and hint of pressure forced Duke into more rushed and in effective passes. The Defense is really the bright spot of the short season so far.
Special Teams: D
Alston is one of our most unique and potentially explosive players. But I am starting to wonder if we need to take him off punt returns. The fumble was brutal.
Lichtenberg's miss wasn't terrible. It was not a gimme. The early screw up was due to a bad snap.
Lichtenberg's kickoffs were fairly short. Was that on purpose or is leg just that short?
Howell's punts were good and so was the punt coverage.
I am so frustrated with the Offense, the same game issues reoccurring (use of timeouts, clock management, etc) and Special Teams, that I want to give it all an "F," but I can't. We lost, on the road, to a pretty good Duke team by two points. Was there bad coaching? Plenty. Was there some bad luck? Yes. But luck tends to even out and bad coaching is usually punished with a L. I don't think Addazio is a bad coach. But what we are going through now and how he is dealing with it, has me questioning his upside again. It is the first time since he started coaching actual games that I am starting to believe that his challenges will limit what he can do at BC. The good news is that there is still plenty of time and plenty of big games to work this out. Let's hope he starts with Wake Forest.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
I do think Duke is decent but BC could have and probably should have won that game. Even with QB confusion, really bad Special Teams and bad ref calls, BC had chances to win in the 4th. I am very frustrated.
I will have my grades and second thoughts late Sunday.
Leave your thoughts and comments below.
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Friday, October 02, 2015
(Picks in bold.)
Central Florida+2 at Tulane
Pitt+4.5 at Virginia Tech
Iowa+6.5 at Wisconsin
Louisville+4.5 at NC State
FIU+3 at UMass
Alabama+1.5 at Georgia
Ole Miss-7.5 at Florida
New Mexico State+12.5 at New Mexico
Notre Dame+1.5 at Clemson
Oregon-7.5 at Colorado
Last week I was 7-2-1. I am 21-17-2 on the season.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Addazio talked patience in his media appearances this week and there is also plenty of fan chatter about lowering expectations. I find all of it premature and a little disconcerting. Injuries happen. Having to play young QBs happens. Collectively we had low expectations for Addazio's first two seasons and his teams performed well. Now, in Year 3, why can't we expect him to do well again? We are already have three wins and have one of the best defenses in the country. Even with sloppy QB play, we should compete with every team on our schedule and still finish at .500 or better.
Three Simple Keys
1. Connect on at least three play actions passes. There were so many open WRs last week biting on our runs. Those plays should be there this week. Whoever is QB needs to hit the open men (in stride). It will lead to some huge plays.
2. Let them have the short stuff. In order to avoid our pressure, I think Duke will try to dink and dunk it down the field. I have no problem with that. It makes big plays less likely. Field goals will be iffy in this weather. And I think we are very capable of forcing turnovers on short passes.
3. Redzone scoring. Kicking is always an issue. Heavy wind and rain won't make it easier. BC needs to capitalize with touchdowns any time we get near the endzone.
-- Cutcliffe is 1-1 against BC
-- Addazio is 3-3 in October as BC's coach
-- Addazio is 4-4 in ACC road games
The current line is BC+6.5
BC won its only game in Wallace Wade Stadium.
Notre Dame at Clemson is probably the biggest ACC game of the week and are arguably the two best teams left on our schedule. I am hoping one team exposes the other and gives us hope for our contest later in the season.
I hope to see...
A big Jeff Smith TD run. I know there are plenty of Flutie fans out there. I don't dislike the kid, but I just think Smith is a better fit for everything we are trying to do. If he makes a big play, I think Addazio will roll with him and the offense will finally have some identity. Flutie feels like a square peg in a round hole.
BC is in trouble if...
They give up another non-offensive touchdown. This defense can cover a lot of mistakes but they can't stop points given away on a turnover or Special Teams screw up. If it happens against Duke, it will cost us the game.
I started off with the broken record analogy...well maybe it applies to bloggers too. I just feel this is the week where we figure it out on offense. I think the OL blocks well, Smith and Rouse cross Duke up on the option stuff and BC controls the tempo and score.
Final Score: BC 17, Duke 9
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
As of Wednesday afternoon, the forecast for Durham, North Carolina for Saturday is terrible. There is 100% chance of rain and winds in the teens. If Hurricane Joaquin turns right into North Carolina, the winds could be even worse. I don't take hurricanes lightly, but as long as the players and few fans are safe, I don't mind both teams playing in a downpour.
The weather works both ways. It will be just as tough for BC to move the ball as Duke, but we have less to lose. Our D is tough under normal conditions. In bad weather, we can shut any team down.
The weather can also invite fluky things to happen. If we were the better, more efficient team that would be an issue. But our offense is at the point where something odd might give us a chance.
There is always the chance that the hurricane could turn and not impact North Carolina at all. If that happens, then BC will have to hope for some type of luck.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Your memory might be a little hazy, but BC's Special Teams changed multiple games in 2008. We went for repeated punt blocks and converted one for a TD against ND. Toal converted a fake punt to help win a shootout with NC State. An onside kick against Florida State was a huge momentum swing. Billy Flutie also turned a fake field goal into a touchdown against Maryland. All made the difference between a team that won the division and a team that could have used a green QB as an excuse to squeak out six wins.
Aside from the offensive struggles, one of the reasons Jags could roll the dice on Special Teams was that he trusted his Defense. If any of those gambles had backfired, he still knew his defense could hold. I don't expect Addazio to suddenly become a riverboat gambler, but he needs to have that same faith in his defense. And he needs to start taking chances somewhere.
We might not be loaded at QB, but we have enough former QBs on Special Teams (Swigert, Robinson, Willis and Nosovitch) that we could incorporate some passes without alerting the other team. We also have plenty of pure athletes who could easily be part of a fake punt or take advantage of a surprise onside kick.
The other reason you can start with fake or aggressive Special Teams now is because you have four games of opponent film to pick up tendencies and opportunities.
The season is young and Addazio has already taken a lot of criticism for how he's handled the clock and his QBs. Who cares if he takes some chances and it blows up in his face? With this Defense most BC fans will forgive attempts to win. It is playing not to lose that will upset me.