Sunday, October 29, 2006

Grades and partial viewing thoughts

My grades for this game must be taken with a large grain of salt. I listened to Meterperal and Cronin for the first quarter. Then someone posted a bypass link to ESPN360. From there I was able to watch for nearly two quarters. But it started “buffering” in the fourth. Not sure if it was my ISP or the link. So I had to move back to the radio stream. With that said, this is what I thought.

Offense: B+

Chris Crane played well considering it was his first start and the conditions were horrendous. I liked his ability to run. I think he seems to understand the offense well. However, he was seemingly hesitant to throw downfield. Maybe it was the rain. Maybe it was the gameplan. But he clearly tucked and ran a few times. It was Porter-esque. I am hoping that with more snaps and better weather we’ll see him become more aggressive and the coaches will use more of the playbook with him.

Whitworth and Callender both had nice days. They haven’t had many breakaways or big runs this year, so it was nice to see them make a few big plays Saturday. Considering their troubles holding onto the ball this season, both did a good job of securing it in the rain. Ross is blossoming as a pass catcher. Let’s see more of that down the stretch. Solid day from Palmer. I was also glad to see the return of A.J. Brooks. Much has been speculated about his future. Hopefully little moments like this will keep him committed and in the program.

Who would have guessed that we would score 41 points, yet only complete 10 passes to Wide Receivers and Tight Ends. Gonzo got the day off and everyone else played pretty well considering the limited opportunities and the weather. I wasn’t so surprised that we didn’t go deep too often but I was surprised that none of the WRs broke a play for a long gain. The RBs and Return men were able to make things happen. Why couldn’t the WRs?

The offensive line had its best game of the season. Even on the choppy ESPN360 feed, I could see good push and good holes. Other than that, not much too add. I usually pick up the line play on the second viewing. Couldn’t really do that this weekend.

Bible went pretty conservative. There were plenty of screens and I assume limited reads where they told Crane to run if nothing looked good. I would hope things would have been more explosive if Ryan had played and if the weather was better.

Defense: A

The Defensive line played well. Very active good push. The second teamers getting plenty of snaps.

Herzlich is getting pub and it is well deserved. He is all over the place and plays smart which is so surprising from a true freshman. The other guys played well too. Once again, it was hard to get a great feel from the streams.

The DBs really clamped down on Buffalo. I was really happy with Anderson’s INT. Love the intensity of trying to preserve the touchdown.

Special Teams: B+

Very good place kicking. Sid Vicious had to kick in his worst conditions yet and still came through. Ohliger is having trouble getting the ball into the endzone on kickoffs.

Great kick returns. And it was nice to see Smith finally deliver another long run.

But this wouldn’t be a BC game without one disconcerting play. The bad punt in the fourth. Let’s hope that is out of our system.

Overall: A

Not much to complain about. The next game is really important so it is nice to have this out of the way and get some guys healthy.

1 comment:

flutie22phelan20 said...

Good analysis as always. I wouldn't worry about Crane's tendency to run. It was raining so hard, and it was so windy that all but sure thing passes would have fallen incomplete. And I would say that Crane looked more like Ryan in his first start against Cuse or even when he came in against FSU...quick to run, sure, but able to run. Porter not only hesitated, but could not run.

As far as why the WRs didn't really break any passes...the RBs and Crane had the opportunity of running straight downfield. Most of the WR passes were to Challenger on little WR screens, or to the FB/TEs on our favorite little play action pass. In each case, the players were going sideways, and then forced to cut upfield...not going to happen with much success in those conditions. The few slants that Crane tried to throw weren't too successful, balls slipped out of his hand, etc.