When talking to the media since the Georgia Tech game, Jags mentioned focusing on what Crane does well. Give the result through two games, most BC fans probably wonder: what does Crane do well? Now that I’ve cooled off and have a little perspective on things, I went back to the GT game. I watched and logged just Crane’s pass attempts to get a better feel for what worked and what didn’t.
As a reminder, this was Crane’s stat line from Saturday: 18-35 (51.4%), 142 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 fumble, 1 safety.
This is how things broke down upon closer inspection:
Shotgun (with a short or no drop) and staying in the pocket
25 attempts. 14 completions. 1 INT and 1 touchdown
This was our standard offense on Saturday. Crane was at his best when he would get the snap take a few quick steps and fire a short out to the flats. Georgia Tech was playing off the receivers, so this was an easy completion. However, the challenge with this style of attack is that our receivers are not game breakers. If they catch a short pass in the flats, they are unlikely to turn it into a big play. But pocket passing was not foolproof. Crane struggled from the same formation and progression when trying to make throws across the field. His timing was off or his throws were off or he was releasing too low and getting tipped. Also, his fundamentals went out the window as the game wore on.
Under Center (with five step drops)
4 attempts. 2 Completions. 1 INT
Crane was rarely under center in this game. Two plays were great and two were terrible. What did the terrible have in common? Play action. On both play action attempts, Crane rushed. One resulted in badly overthrown ball. The other…an INT. Yet the straight dropbacks from center were very good plays.
*Crane did fumble one time from under center. However, Jeff Smith missed his block.
Moving up in the pocket
1 play. 0 completions.
This was the shovel pass to McCluskey. It had a very rushed feel. Even the announcers said Crane would have been better running it.
Rollouts, Moved pockets
3 attempts. 0 completions.
These were some of Crane’s worst throws. On two he didn’t set his feet. On the other he floated the deep post.
2 attempts. 0 completions.
Unlike recent BC QBs like Matt Ryan or Paul Peterson, Crane is not a natural improviser. When the plays broke down he looked hurried and blew both throws. I hope that going forward he follows his first instinct and just runs when the play falls apart.
Crane was at his best when he didn’t have time to think and didn’t have to scan the field. Quick throws, mostly to the first read worked best. The more he dropped back, or moved or was asked to play fake, things started to get messy.
If Logan and Jags play to his strengths and comfort level they will have him dink and dunk it down the field. However, Central Florida will see the same things I did. Look for them to crowd the WRs and put more pressure on Crane than GT did. Will he adjust? That is the question keeping the staff and the fans up at night.