Sunday, September 30, 2007

Second viewing listening thoughts and incomplete grade report: UMass

Although this game was on ESPN360, my ISP is not a participant. This meant I couldn’t watch it live or watch the replay. That makes grading this game nearly impossible. In fairness, I’ll give everyone an incomplete and just post my thoughts by areas. Keep in mind that this is based on what I heard via Cronin and Meterparel on the radio broadcast and what some people who did see the game have shared with me.

Offense: N/A

I cannot tell what is going on with Ryan. I’ve asked others and no one could pinpoint the problem. His passes were off at times, but he gunned some others perfectly. He also got lucky that a few of his forced passes weren’t picked. Someone else mentioned that the pocket is collapsing around him quickly and he is rushing his throws. I don’t know. Next week will be telling. I am hoping it was just two off days. The important thing is that he did enough to win.

From the sound of things the offensive line did not play that well. Ty Hall was back in for Ramsey. Cherilus got whistled for two dumb penalties again. That’s been a problem for two seasons now. Someone needs to get through to him.

Ryan Thompson was back in the mix. Good for him. Gunnell made some big catches. Robinson as well. Challenger was MIA. Jarvis made a play. My concern is that we didn’t make more plays. Some of those balls must have been catchable. I am also disappointed that these guys couldn’t get more separation. I know UMass has talent, but our WRs continue to get roughed up by everyone and have for two seasons. We need to adjust: more moves, fighting back, finding openings…whatever it takes.

It sure sounded like Andre Callender ran hard and helped save the game. 32 carries. 4 catches. Huge day. His second half running helped save the game. Brooks was the only other one to get carries and he did nothing. I have no idea how Newman played, but Thompson worked from the backfield, so I am wondering how much time Newman even got.

I don’t know what to make of Logan’s play calling. From what I can tell, we kept throwing deep when the short stuff was there. I wonder if giving Ryan all this freedom is hurting us. Is Matty looking for the big play when he should be dumping off? Does Logan need to reign him in? I don’t know. The three and outs are frustrating but not for why you think. I have no problem with being aggressive. What bothers me is that this sputtering seems to be coming in the second and third quarters. Are teams figuring us out? No idea. Logan, like Ryan, will be interesting to watch next week. I expect a bounce back game.

Defense: N/A
The defense is much harder to get a feel for. Things I liked: finally getting some pressure on the opposing QB. Continued to control the opposing team's running game. The first half we shut them down completely. I also liked that we got many of the second teamers in and they contributed.

Things I didn’t like: the mental lapses that allowed UMass to get back into the game on a few big plays (it seemed like they were picking on Morris). I also was shocked when they allowed UMass and their backup QB move the ball down the field in the fourth. The game was on the line and they didn’t make plays. Not good.

Special Teams: N/A

This is killing us. It seemed the kicks and coverage were better and the punting was strong. The punt returns or lack of returns are killing us. We continue to get pinned and lose the field position battle. That will make a difference in the second half of the season. If Tribble keeps waving for the fair catch, then we should give someone else a shot back there.

Overall: N/A

I am flying blind here, so no overall grade. I am glad we won. I am disappointed we didn’t play better, especially after last week’s struggles. Regardless of how ugly it got, Jags and the coordinators do deserve credit for keeping it together and getting the team to the win.


Goberry said...

Any thoughts of where we'll be ranked? I'm guessing 7th (also thinking that Kentucky leapfrogs BC).

flutie22phelan20 said...

One media line from today that I'm tired of reading is "oh, if only UMass hadn't committed those 17 penalties..."

Yup, I agree, if only. If only every time a wide receiver came open, they didn't commit pass interference, the game wouldn't have been so close. If only they didn't have to hold Ron Brace on every running play, etc, etc.

From the stands, my view of Matty going deep is because he does not trust his guys to catch the ball over the middle. Challenger was the biggest offender, but everyone was dropping crossing routes. Think NC State game.

Also, if Taji Morris turned around to play the ball at any time during UMass' first TD pass it was an INT, and the game would have taken an entirely different trajectory.

Close games aren't necessarily bad. It's probably healthy to have to gut a few out. I think we're just being hard on the guys because we realize what is at stake this season. If they just keep winning, the sky is the limit.

BCNorCal07 said...

What is going on with ESPN360 not being available on a lot of real big ISPs? I have Cox out here in Nebraska and they don't carry it either. Wouldn't ESPN and the conferences really be pushing for ISPs to support a website? It's just a website! It's annoying when I can't watch BC and they decide to show KState-Texas instead of Cal-Oregon. God it would've been nice to watch BC and that great game up in Eugene. Oh well, at least we won.

matthew2 said...

It seemed that even when the recevier got a step separation, ryan barely overthrew him or barely underthrew him and negated the WR advantage. That's 3 out of 5 games this year where it looks like Matty has been a little off.

This was the first time this year when I got frustrated with the offense and wanted run plays/shorter pass plays.

I also don't understand how our team handled Tenuta's blitzes better than UMASSes.

For the past few years, I have always thought we were better than our ranking... but as we close in on the top 5, I just don't see it. We need to play much better.. for some reason I can see a 2 game losing streak, falling into the middle of the pack in the conference... dejavu back at the tire bowl

but ill keep my confidence high until they actually lose a game.

Eagle in Brighton said...

#7 AP, #6 USA Today.

Heady numbers, but enough of all "the sky is falling" in terms of our quality of play. We really have looked bad the past two weeks ( I should know, I was there), but I genuinely feel like there is an element of playing to the level of our opponents. I know this isn't the mark of transcendent teams, but I can't genuinely knock the team until they fail to show up against a legit opponent. Jags got the boys to maximize their performance v. GT when the road spotlight shined bright, and I have seen nothing to convince me otherwise that this can't be duplicated v. the likes of VT, Clemson, etc.

If we play VT like we played UMass, we're in trouble. But I'm still optimistic we can play up/with anyone left on our schedule.

Bryan said...

All the "correct ranking" talk is kind of aimless, I think. Rankings don't matter at this point in the season, and I think people have a misconception about "what a top 10 program should play like" - just look at what happened yesterday for half of those top 10. It's cliched - but win, and none of this will matter. The only real benefit of the high ranking is that people around the country see BC at #6 or 7 and start to internalize that it's a good program.

tkow said...

b, I don't think you should underestimate the importance of the "good program" effect of the rankings. If BC lost to Appalachian St. in Week 1, they wouldn't have been in the "still receiving votes" part of your program. The benefit that the big time programs receive from being a part of the conversation week after week is one reason they stay at the top of the polls (via inertia in the short term and recuriting in the long term). We have the best conference record among teams in our division since joining the ACC, yet we still need to prove ourself year after year. My concern about becoming "overrated" will be how easily we're dismissed if things go wrong, especially if they go wrong against a team like UMass or Army. This isn't exactly coherent, but hopefully my point still comes across.

LAEagle said...

Anyone else think we're simply holding off calling the good plays until we get to this third trimester of BC glory?

ToTheHeights said...

I definitely agree and think Logan is holding off and doing just enough to win. I don't necessarily like the apologist attitude that everyone around here seems to have. We are a very good team and we are an exciting team to watch. The last two games were not that convincing, but the three before that certainly were. A win is a win and I am ecstatic that we are 5-0.

My biggest concern at this point is losing to an 0-6 Notre Dame team. Notre Dame continues to receive the press (as always) despite their poor performance and everyone is writing them off until the Navy game. This is a dangerous formula. I do not want to be the team that receives the dubious title of giving ND its first win. We have a lot to lose there and I think Charlie is closer to getting his house in order. I am hoping they look past us to USC.

Bravesbill said...

ND's offense looked pretty good Saturday with Sharpley as the QB. They actually outgained a Purdue offense that had to face their crummy defense. Knowing Spaz's history of zone coverage and no blitzing, ND is very scary now. Those 5 yard passes Weis loves will pick apart BC's defense, and since there's no blitzing, BC will not be able to take it to the ND line which is awful.

McCabe said...

The current ranking is pretty inflated. I don't feel any better right now this year at this stage than I have in any previous year. Clemson, FSU, Miami, V. Tech, are all possible losses. Notre Dame scares me as well. There's a lot of tough games left to play before I get excited about an ACC championship.

Eagle in Brighton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eagle in Brighton said...

Just since the ACC championship is not a lock is not reason to get down on the team- I'm just stoked we are in the position we are (elite exposure, national buzz).

I have no doubt the team will be up for VT, Clemson, the FL. schools simply because they are top programs nationally that most of the team either was recruited by, or shrived to be part of. I'm more worried about ND (a game many have already written off) and BG (who much like UMass is a "solid" cupcake and could be underestimated mentally).

As long as we take care of Atlantic games, I feel like we could weather even 2 conferences losses for a spot in the title game.

AlbanyEagle said...

Great blog. Enjoy the comments. Had to join in.

These closer-than-they-should-be games have made me nervous. I am dreading reading about how BC is one of possibly several current top 10 teams that don't deserve to be there.

Don't get me wrong, I too am ecstatic about being in the top ten. It just doesn't taste as sweet as one would expect, stumbling into it with back to back soft wins and multiple strong teams tumbling to make the spots available.

That said, I'm optimistic the Eagles will prove their worth, and although I share some others' concerns about ND's growing danger, I can't wait to get out there to South Bend and witness ANOTHER victory the "irish". GO EAGLES!!

Eagle in Brighton said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

TMDavin said...

These last two games haven't exactly been works of art, so I share the sentiments of everyone who says our ranking is a bit high (although, given the circumstances, still makes sense). But when I start thinking negatively, I just recall that we still haven't had a game that was closer than 10 points. Last season, we'd had two double-overtime games by this point -- games we were lucky to win. This season we've (mostly) been in control throughout games, and I take that as a very good sign.

Unknown said...

Like someone mentioned earlier, Rankings at this point of the season don't mean much. I mean the BCS rankings dont come out for a couple of weeks and that's the one that I hope we're ranked high in.

I just hope that our current high ranking:
1) Gives recruits who wouldn't have really though about us in previous years a reason to visit BC and hopefully sign on, bringing up our talent level. Especially if they're from parts of the country that we haven't been traditionally strong recruiting from.

2) Gives all those sportswriters who wrote off BC & Coach Jags a reason to eat crow.

3) Gives all those NC State Fans who thought BC, Gene D, & the Athletic Dept were nuts for letting TOB go a reason to eat crow.

4) Just like Jags said in his Dec Press Conference, I want to be able to wear my BC gear and have someone ask me, "Hey are you a BC guy? Wow. You guys have a great looking football team."

Big Jack Krack said...

Let's not look past Bowling Green - especially in light of our performances the past two weeks.

One game at a time - and I'm okay with the ranking.