Sunday, November 01, 2009

Second viewing thougths and grade report: Central Michigan

I missed watching the 4th quarter live while trick-or-treating. I watched the whole second half back after the kids went to sleep and then the whole game back after the wife went to bed. Through all the viewings I couldn’t put my finger on why the second half was so much better than the first. It was a series of little things that clicked, that didn’t click in the first. You can chalk it up to being “flat”, but that's sort of subjective. Ultimately I think we stopped trying to force things and took what they gave us. Hopefully any "flatness" doesn't come out in the final three games.

Offense: B

Shinskie had trouble with the long ball yesterday. Maybe it was the wind but for whatever reason, his deep passes, which have been pretty good, were missing their targets. What I liked about Shinskie’s day though was his improving feel for the pocket. One time he stood through the rush and then took off on a short run. Other times including the bootlegs, he got rid of the ball at just the right time. He seems comfortable on the crossing and slant patterns. And he made the most of a few broken plays – like the pass to Anderson. We hoped for a bounce back performance after last week and we got one.

Harris didn’t bust a series of big plays, but put together a solid, even day. He also got in the passing game for the first time in a while. McCluskey relieved him on our thin depth chart and looked fine. We should really make an effort to get him into the passing game since he looked good as a pass catcher last year.

Gunnell out of the slot might be the biggest no brainer in football. The past two weeks he has shown the ability to burn the safeties or LBs covering him and he is finding the spots in the zone on crossing routes. Larmond stretched the field, Shinskie just didn’t connect with him enough. Jarvis made a big play. Nice to see Flutie get the ball, but he’s got to get to the first down marker on those third and shorts.

With things shuffled a bit, the offensive line did not miss a beat. There was trouble running the ball early, but that was more due to CMU crowding the line. Claiborne got a lot of attention for his pulling but Cleary had his best game of the year. Richman was fine. Tennant was solid. Castanzo looked good.

Pantale looks good in the passing game but yesterday he impressed me with his blocking. He did a good job getting to the second level and helping Harris extend some of his runs. Anderson had a big play for the first time in a while.

I can’t confirm that we do, but I assume that we are scripting our first few series (everyone does). What bothers me is that our scripted plays seemed to struggle so much. For example, yesterday, CMU seemed ready for our running and crowded the line. Our counter were some deep balls, but the wind probably made connecting on those more difficult. Later, when we were probably off the script, we started killing them with short passes. I was glad we made the adjustment. I just wish we showed a little more flexibility early. But I do want to give the offensive staff for getting more guys involved and for not limiting anything based our limited running back group.

Defense: B

It was nice to have Scafe back. He’s not 100% but looked very good. Although the Dline didn’t get to LeFevour all that much they were able to flush him out. Much of that pressure came up the middle from Scafe. Giles and Rossi were fine. O’Neal looked okay. Newman had a solid game. Ramella was good.

At times this year, Kuechly has probably been a bit overpraised. Not yesterday. He was everywhere and made some big plays, including the INT. Morrissey was a bit more helter skelter. He had some great plays and then some that weren’t so great. And it wasn’t a case of him looking good in the pass game but not in the run or vice versa. He just was a bit inconsistent, but overall he was solid. LeGrande was good. DiSanzo was ok. Thompson and Clancy got on the field late and were okay.

Although Central Michigan completed 24 passes, it wasn’t because the DBs had a bad day. Much of the Chipps success was due to dump offs and check downs. Bowman looked good. Davis was active. Rollins played well as did Fletcher. Gause was fine.

Special Teams: B

Quigley is doing a great job of pinning back the other team on punts. He's really developing well.

The kick offs were good too.

I am frustrated by the continued fair catches on punts. Hopefully we get aggressive soon.

Not much to go on via the kick returns. They were fine but we only had two.

Overall: B

I had a bit of concern when we did not look sharp early and let CMU hang around most of the first half. Then to the staff’s credit, we made adjustments and pulled away. There were no distractions. There was no sense of malaise. We put Notre Dame and the transfers behind us and won. We have now achieved our first benchmark for success. There is still so much to play for. Let's hope Spaz gets the guys peaking at the right time.


matthew2 said...

Is Harris OK? I was screaming towards the end to get him out of the game..... especially with only one RB!!!

that was irresponsible when we clearly had the game on ice... give the ball to the FB and pound it up the middle

I'm pretty sure he'll be OK in 2 weeks, but still.... bad job by the coaching staff

SaturdaysOnShea said...

Larmond had an amazing catch in the game Saturday. I can't remember what quarter it was in, but he caught the ball on the sideline and simultaneously got LIT UP by a CMU defender who sent him out of bounds...I thought for sure he dropped it, but then popped up with the ball in his hands.

I'd like to see him get the ball more often, especially since I think Uncle Dave is relying a bit too much on Gunnell right now.

Unknown said...

it still seems extremely troublesome that we only have 1 RB. McCluskey is a full back pure and simple and can't be relied on for productive carries when Monty needs a break.

Erik said...

Just speculating... I think with the bye that the staff will consider getting Donte Elliot or Dan Mulrooney some looks at the offensive playbook (HS running backs), and mentally prepare Sterlin Phifer for game action. No need to save Phifer since we're in the hunt for an ACC Championship and if he gets the green light, it won't be for 5 plays this season, it will be for significant action.

I like how Gunnell is holding on the the ball after hits over the middle. That takes courage and he's doing a great job there.

The CMU garbage time TD... was that Will Thompson who got faked out of his jock? Make that play!!!

Unknown said...

I'm guessing Finch will be lucky to return for a bowl game?

Still surprised Haden left, I would like to see Monty with 20 carries tops so that still leaves some for Haden if he could stay on the field.

BCNorCal07 said...

Yeah, what's the deal with Finch still not getting any game action? The word for ND was that he had the flu, but why didn't he play against CMU?

Erik said...

Mono. Tough one to bounce back from.

Erik said...

RANDOM, but if anyone is curious, as I was leaving the stadium on Saturday I passed Reggie Jackson and asked him how they did that day against Northeastern (scrimmage) and he said they won by 8.

DS said...

it was very windy on that day, probably the windiest fall day in new england yet. this explains a couple of shinskies throws that werent so pretty

almost_paul said...

Thanks for the info, Erik. I didn't know they had a scrimmage. Only winning by 8 sounds ugly, but barely winning early season scrimmages and exhibitions against bad teams is party of Skinner's mystique. HA.

WajuTalkinBout said...

One concerning play with Shinskie you neglected to mention was how, on our second FG drive (I believe), we called roughly the same play that ended the game against ND. Gunnell in motion pre-snap with an out to the flats, and a bootleg to the right by Shinskie. What did he do this time? With a week's more experience, and having a bad decision burn him for a loss? MADE THE SAME BAD DECISION. Looked to Gunnell first, wasn't there, hesitated, and tried to force it to the TE slanting across the middle. He never saw the Outside linebacker pick up underneath coverage. Fortunately the pass was batted down by the D lineman, so it's a moot point. But still, he needs to learn from his mistakes...

Unknown said...

I was at the game and have a few random observations/questions (in no particular order):

1. CMU kicked into the wind to start the second half presumably b/c they wanted to be able to throw more effectively in 4th... big mistake as BC put the game out of reach by scoring on first three possessions of the second half.

2. Why is LeGrande deep w/ Gause on kickoffs (second week in a row - he actually had to return one against ND and looked like a linebacker as you would expect). We have lots of talented receivers - can't we use one of the instead (maybe Clyde Lee)?

3. Tom McManus looked like he still should be playing when he was inducted into the varsity club hall of fame at halftime.

4. The check down pass by Shinskie to Harris for a big gain in third quarter made me think (as others have said) that what ATL does here actually matters (note I did not type this one observation with one hand, I promise).

5. First game all year the student section was not full (close but not quite) - do college students really need to miss a game for Halloween? Not to worry the streak of the students singing "Build me up Buttercup" in the fourth quarter continues - worst tradition ever!?! Come on, Something About Mary was over 10 years ago (which is what caused this mess).

6. Seemed like Kuechly had his name announced about 6 plays in a row at one point in first half for making tackles - shocked he only got credit for 11 - many ACC accolades to come for this kid.

7. Shinskie reminds me of a starting pitcher who needs an inning to get warned up (never got out of the first vs. VT or Clemson I guess) - wonder if he was like that in the minors?

8. Clairborne is not the best guard in BC history but I love his fire/intensity - he clearly cares about the team unlike others who left for "greener" pastures mid season.

9. CMU taking a knee at end of first half w/ 3 TOs and 50 seconds from their own 30 and wind at their back was a curious decision (maybe CMUs coach went as TOB for Halloween).

10. Gunnell and Gause were both deep (Pats have done this with Welker and Faulk) for a CMU punt into the wind early in the 3rd quarter (they were staggered in terms of depth with Gause shorter) - first time all year based on weather conditions and an excellent coaching adjustment - small stuff for sure but by doing that Gause was able to catch a really short punt instead of it rolling another 20 yards (as the previous one did) and got us excellent field position that resulted in a score to put the game away.

10. Entire CMU defense did about 5 simultaneous chest bumps at the end of the third quarter - if that is their tradition fine but looked really weird especially given the score and the fact that they collectively reminded me of my favorite type of cheese from the Alps region in the third quarter.

11. Somebody on the line puked right before the punt by CMU at mid field in first quarter - couldn't tell who but he didn't come out of the game - intense!

12. 4th and 7 on BC 40 down 24-3 in fourth and you punt? Horrible coaching by CMU and confirmation on the TOB costume for Halloween.

13. Aponavicius breaks scoring record on chip shot FG - seems appropriate.

14. Some special teamer on CMU named Seay (#9) had a pumpkin painted on his head - no wonder they lost!

Erik said...

customerservice - good point about Claiborne (he loves when RBs score TDs), and Gause was perfectly positioned to receive that short punt.

Andrew said...

yea Claiborne almost took Montel's head off after one TD

Dan said...

I've started writing Montel Harris in for the fan heisman vote on espn. He's never gonna get it but it would be cool if we all voted for him every day and at least got his name up the list. He's not far off from Ingram for yards and is ahead of him by 4 or 5 TDs so hey why not right?

BCDoubleEagle said...

Kuechly named ACC defensive back of the week:


CT said...

Yeah Dan, I actually was curious about how they compared after the CMU game and you're right...Montel has 13 rushing TDs to 8 for Ingram.

But Ingram has a game in hand and, what, about 75 yds more, a yd higher avg and much better receiving stats. And definitely more consistent. Oh and the whole #3 in the country thing helps, huh?

Tough to get the pub if you're not on a big-time team, high in the polls, and the media doesn't hop on the bandwagon. And too many of your games are only on 360.

We've been lucky to have some good RBs with pretty big stats over the last 15 yrs. And barely a whiff of nat'l attention for them. Would 1,500 yds and 20 TDs get him a seat in NY?

mmason said...

What will get Montel a seat in New York will be next year's team when we run the table with a squad filled with experience, a QB who can spread the ball to 7 guys, coaches who aren't afraid to try the kids with gutsy calls in crunch time and not going prevent D so Montel gets more touches and scores more TD's...simple, right?

Dan said...

Alright well I'm gonna go ahead and vote again. He'll never get the vote or a seat this year but his name appearing on the list of players receiving fan votes is a start to getting him some pub.