Sunday, September 26, 2010

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Virginia Tech

This was a bad one to watch back. Hopefully it will all be worth it at the end of the season.

Offense: F

When I watched the game live, my first impression was that Shinskie started off okay and then got worse as the line started falling apart. That wasn't the case. He was pretty bad from the start. He forced passes, missed some reads and obviously made some bad decisions and bad throws. It wasn't all his fault, but another QB might have been able to salvage a score or two. I feel for Shinskie. Maybe we will see him again, but at this point we've seen enough. He's gotten more than his fair share of starts. Despite the criticism of Marscovetra, I don't think he was terrible. His throws were on the mark. He checked down a bit too given the circumstances. The biggest problem was his ability to feel pressure. He needs to be more aware of the pocket and get rid of the ball a bit quicker. As I said in an earlier post, I think Rettig should get the starter, but Marscovetra might still be a serviceable option.

Montel Harris was the only offensive player who could hold his head high. He did his usual job of fighting for extra yards and finding holes. He also did a better job in pass protection, especially as our line started to get overwhelmed. Phifer was fine in limited use.

The wide receivers weren't blameless in this debacle. Amidon tripped over his feet on what should have been a TD. Momah dropped one of Marsco's passes. Lee couldn't stay in bounds when he had a wide open field after catching one of Shinskie's passes. Lee had a drop. Anderson was okay. Pantale didn't get thrown to.

I don't know what to make of the offensive line. As usual the tackles had trouble with the VT speed. Lapham's man stripped Shinskie on one fumble and Castonzo never took control of his matchups. Claiborne didn't start but looked good when he played. Richman was ok as was Cleary but we are not winning enough battles at the line of scrimmage.

I really don't understand our offense or our stubbornness. Even without Shinskie's decisions, we've shown that we don't have good redzone plays. Our line looks good on one play and terrible the next. We bring in Marscovetra and yet go conservative down 16 points. I know I've harped on this but I think part of the problem dating back to last season with the QBs and the oline has been the varied styles and approaches. To have success at this level, you need a certain degree of simplicity in your offense. The best offenses learn to execute certain plays, and their counters well. Yet we don't know what we do well and vear from one to another. Take for example, Marsco's first possession. The first play is the basic zone option stretch run to the left. The line executes and gets the smaller, faster, VT defense moving off the ball. Harris can run this play in his sleep, so he finds his hole and bursts down the field for 20 yards. The next play is another run. This time it is another delayed draw. In this case Cleary pulls to his right to try to kick something open and the other guys fill gaps to the left. VT is loading the box and ready for this that they all start crashing and we gain nothing. We then are forced into a passing down, they send the house, we get a penalty and the drive becomes a mess. Why can't our very experienced offensive coodinator find a basic package that we can execute? Why when VT started loading the box did we not do more short, quick outs? The offense has no identity and I think any Qb we have will suffer from it. I also keep hearing excuses and finger pointing regarding the offensive line. I don't know who is at fault but this is shaping up to be the worst BC line in 30 years. Someone needs to fix it soon.

Defense: B+

The defensive line did a very good job with Taylor. We got good penetration from Ramsey, Scafe and Gallik. Newman did a good job on contain. Albright had another very good day and is showing good speed and awareness. Altough he is not loading up the stat sheet, I think Edebali is looking good. Holloway made a few nice plays.

KPL had a very good day. I was surprised by his speed and I think he does a good job on his angles. Kuechly excellence is becoming so predictable, I have to remind myself that he is only a sophomore. Herzy is getting better with each game. I know there were a few plays were it seemed like he was a step slow, but I still don't know if he would have caught Wilson or Evans from behind two years ago. I think Mark will have a huge day against Notre Dame. Devitto got his first extended playing time. He made a few plays, but looked a little off in pass coverage. I would like to see more guys get on the field, but right now we have an embarassment of riches at LB.

Gause and Fletcher both played well. LeGrande made some nice plays in run support but lost his man on Taylor's big scramble pass. Davis was okay but not near the action much.

We kept the defense as basic as I've seen it in a long time and were very effective. W barely blitzed. We barely dropped 8 into coverage. It was the classic BC 4-3 for almost every snap. I thought all the units played well and we slowed them down for the most part. My fear going forward is that that D will start pressing thinking they have to score points to win games.

Special Teams: B-

Quigley punted well.

Fox looks good on the kick returns. I don't know if he will break one, but he seems pretty fearless.

Gause allowed one punt to roll but was okay. I was also glad to see Swigert take a risk on his one attempt.

Overall: D

I will try not to allow my feelings about Spaz or how he mishandled the QBs this offseason influence this grade. Regardless of how well the defense played and how many mistakes Shinskie made, I still felt Spaz mismanaged the game. On the final drive before the half, we burned TOs and we too methodical. I also think we should have been more aggresive when we brought in Marscovetra. But my biggest gripe was that we didn't use a hurry up when down 16 in the second half. Instead we kept huddleing wasting valuable time. I know comeback is against the odds, but Spaz didn't help the cause by taking his sweet time. The challenge was the same way. Someone must have told Spaz it was a dropped pass, but he still challenged anyway, which burned another timeout. Did we need that timeout? No. But Spaz didn't know that at the time. Finally and this might be silly but the punt at the end of the final BC drive drove me nuts. Why not at least let the kid rip it on 4th down?

Spaz had two weeks to prepare for this game and laid an egg. He had two years to find a functional QB and hasn't. He mishandled the QB situation form the start of spring ball and now is paying the price. Now he has a week to get things right.


mod34b said...

I watched the rebroadcast of the game. The offense was actually pretty good in the first half EXCEPT for two horrible judgement calls by ShinSkie. We were moving ball pretty well. 3 of 5 drives were scoring drives where we came up empty. As for other bad plays: looked like shinskie underthrew to a wide open Momah early in game and underthrew Lee on other long ball play. Shinskie did have a number of good throws and had some bad receiver play to deal with. Oline was pretty solid in first half.

second half: shin fumble really not his fault. Shinskie. interception and forced throw/ almost interception the play before were his fault. He looked dazed and confused. What happened to OL and play calling? VT blitzing was so predictable.

So I get about 6 bad to horrible plays by shinskie. Still he is better than Marsco.

Marsco looks terrible in person and on rewatch. He excells at creating third-and-forever situations. He had one good throw. It was a nice one.

I hope Rettig starts and he does well. Thing is his biggest hurdle won't be ND defense, it will be Gary tranquil

I think we will see more Shinskie this year unless Rettig dazzles

mod10aeagle said...

I agree wholeheartedly with ATL's second viewing critique, particularly the closing sentiment regarding Spaz. His nonchalance in post-game press conference is an accurate demonstration of what's going on in his head, unfortunately. It translates into, "C'mon, this is BC, not [insert any other D1 program here]."

One nit: Lee went out of bounds because Shinskie lead him there by throwing over the wrong shoulder. If he had put the ball downfield instead of sideline, it would've been another 10 yards, anyway. Likewise, before the end of the half, when they needed to get out of bounds, he threw to Harris' enabling VT to keep him in-bounds. Little stuff like that can make a big difference.

Bravesbill said...

Wholeheartedly agree with you mod10. Had Shinskie throw a good ball to Lee, it would have been an easy 6.

Eddierock said...

There has been lots of play given to the post game comments by Tech CB Jayron Hosley re: shinskie: “He’s a good quarterback, but on film we saw that he folds under pressure. We wanted to put pressure on
him, so when the time came for the DBs to make play we could. We were playing on edge, waiting for
those big plays to come and they did.”

But how about this gem from Tech
ILB Bruce Taylor: “We know what they do on offense. We’ve seen everything that they’ve had, so we came out the second
half expecting them to run the plays that they did. Everything they did, we had planned for."

Need a new OC?; 'Nuff said...

mod34b said...

It is exciting to think that Rettig may start; pretty scary too. And amazing that 4 games into the season Spaz is having a 1 week competition between Marsco and Rettig. Spaz better go with Rettig. Marsco is worse than Shinskie.

The Marsco follies: 8 minutes under center; 12 pass plays; fumbled 2 times; sacked 5 times; 4 series, 4 punts; no drives; 2 first downs; completed 4 passes of 7 for positive yardage

1st series --
Marscovetra incomplete pass;

Marscovetra sacked 9 yard loss


2d series --

Marscovetra sacked for 4 yard loss. Marscovetra fumbled. Marscovetra recovered fumble

Marscovetra incomplete pass

Marscovetra passed to M. Harris to for 3 yard loss


3rd series --

Marscovetra passed to C. Lee to the right for 1 yard gain

Marscovetra sacked . M.
Marscovetra fumbled.
M. Harris recovered fumble

Marscovetra passed to L. Anderson for 7 yard gain

4th series --

Marscovetra passed to A. Amidon for 35 yard gain

Marscovetra sacked for 2 yard loss

Marscovetra sacked 8 yard loss

Marscovetra passed to B. Swigert down the middle for 9 yard gain


Unknown said...

Those are great quotes. I've been aboard the Spaz bandwagon since, figuring the Jags situation was what it was, but the QB situation and play calling have been frightening.

I almost overpaid to go to the game by myself. So glad I didn't make that decision.

That said, burn Rettig's redshirt. Worst comes to worst and he's way out of his element, you always can have him as a 3rd/4th string player next year, who might not see the field.

strongarm95 said...

mod34b, there is something that caught my eye in your series breakdown of Marsco - he got sacked, at least once, in each series, making it next to impossible to get a first down. I know he was holding on to the ball for too long, but I also saw the O-line getting beat. I'm willing to give the kid one legitimate start to see what he can do. I wish it didn't have to come against ND, but I guess it's better than against an ACC opponent. My guess is he's not that great since Shinkskie beat him out in practice, but I also remember Porter getting extra chances, while future 1st round draft pick Ryan was on the bench. Sometimes coaches can be stubborn. All that said, I'd also be 100% behind Rettig if he gets the call on Saturday.

evr2xl said...

Aren't these calls to commit to Rettig premature? We have no idea what he is other than from his recruiting which most of us are usually so quick to dismiss.

If Marsco was to get a week of practice with the 1st team, maybe he'd work out. He showed good things when given a fair chance in fall camp. Unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing because of the way the QB situation has been (mis-)handled.

In retrospect, it's easy to blame Spaz for mismanagement because we know Shinskie hasn't worked out. But if he had, giving as much practice time to our starter would obviously have been the right thing to do.

That said, Tranq needs to go. I think he's failed more egregiously than anyone (though that's ultimately Spaz's responsibility as HC). Play calling, in-game adjustments, player development - all of it subpar. Isn't Day a rising star? Get him in the OC spot before Tranq's influence ruins him.

Erik said...

Who cares about the 2013 season right now. Our league stinks now, so we need to win now. Success today means recruiting later.

Erik said...

What I'm saying is, "Burn baby burn"

Bravesbill said...

If Retting blows this year, at least you give him valuable experience so he can develop into a decent QB next year. If you don't go with Rettig this year, you might have 2 seasons go down in flames instead of just one.

AlbanyEagle said...


Burn, baby, BURN!

EL MIZ said...

ATL bringing the venom, i love it! if spaz misplays the QB situation this week the season will be lost and he should lose the gig.

hire mike leach!

mmason said...

ATL's comments are a reflection of the general consensus of all of us who watched this offensive debacle on the field. Especially disturbing is Bill's last comment about our present squad as possible candidates for the worst offensive line in 30 years if they don't simplify and execute. It's disturbing because it's dead-on accurate. Tranquil and Spaz have got to step up and coach these kids to their potential and not put this state of affairs on the players.

The coaches got them here and this offense is in nowhere land. That's a coaching fumble, number one. This team clearly needs a new game plan they can run, a QB who has the skills, smarts and faith in the system to pull it off, and head coach who can meet this challenge without laughing about it to the press corps. Spaz's attitude in that postgame thing was hard to read, but it seemed to me that he might have been less casual and more intense about the need for he and the offensive coaches to have done a better job after a two-week prep time. He should have accepted the blame for what happened. I've been a believer in Coach Spaz from day one, but this game and his response to it was not good form. I guarantee that Tom Coughlin would have handled that press event in a far more business like manner and he would have deflected the loss to where it belonged: The Fish stinks from the head on down.

Big Jack Krack said...

Building on Eddierock's posting, VT showed a pretty basic defense in the first half - knowing that they could blow us up in the 2nd half when BC would make zero adjustments.

These teams are laughing at us. Clemson says the same thing - BC = nothing fancy, very basic, here they are, come get you some, etc.

How long are we going to take it? Who is accountable - Spaz, Tranquill, Devine, Flipper? All of the above. Come on coaches - give our players something!

Let's jump on the women's soccer bandwagon - men are good too.

mod10aeagle said...

Watching the Patriots yesterday brought just the antidote I needed to the funk the Eagles put me into. Not because the Pats played so well -- they had their problems -- but just watching the little guys, Welker and Edelman, and the speed at which the offense operates got me thinking "why can't BC do that?".

I know, our QBs are the opposite of Tom Brady, especially in the speed reading department, and that's probably where this whole thing falls apart, but it's more fun than thinking about more of the same.

Let Momah and/or Coleman continue to try to be our Randy Moss deep threats, but use the little water bugs like Lee, Swigert, Amidon and Ryan Lindsey (guy ran a 4.29 at the '05 Elite College Combine) for quick stuff out of the slot. What could it hurt?

My point is, we need the adjust the offense to match the personnel we have. We all know that sticking a different mediocre QB into that same tired playbook isn't going to make a damned bit of difference. It's an offense designed for a dominating O-line and a QB with a pro-caliber arm. We don't have either of those. It's the playbook that needs to change. We can't throw the whole thing out and start over until the Spring, so we need to introduce some new wrinkles now that take advantage of the skills we do have.

Big Jack Krack said...

BTW - I don't want to be an alarmist, but we fell a couple of thousand short of a sellout on Parent's Weekend against Virginia Tech. We were 3,000 ashort when Clemson visited 2 years ago, and it might be worse this year.

If the season turns mediocre or worse, the stands will be half empty for Maryland and Virginia, because of the poor gameday experience with parking and tailgating.

Big Jack Krack said...

Agree with Mod wholeheartedly.

CT said...

Good post. Good comments.

Hey Mod, looks like I'm not the only Negative Nancy, huh?

Kinda been saying it for more than a season now. The ACC stinks. It will never be easier to win. The schedule is so favorable, it's like GDF actually drew it up himself. This is no surprise. It's the same story for three yrs now.

Agree w/ the ball to Lee, said it during the game...that should've been a TD pass, but it was a poorly thrown ball. Amidou or whatever, trips on his own then laughs about it on the sideline. Our HC laughs off an unacceptable display on offense. Dan Henning ruined my senior year at BC. Spaz is ruining what may be BC's (and his) best shot at the Orange Bowl. Just give me the perception that there's accountability somewhere in the team's hierarchy. Fake it.

What's the word on Rettig in practice anyway? Beyond a Rivals scouting report, does the offense whisper that we should give the guy a shot?

I know it's not a conference game, but just beating ND would give the kids confidence for the rest of the season. It's an important game. We haven't played well in, what...9 months?

Bravesbill said...

This whole situation is eerily similar to my beloved Buffalo Bills this year. The HC mishandles the QB situation, the line is a mess, and the play calling is predictable and putrid which leads to a bunch of sacks, 3 yard passes, runs up the middle, and no points.

downtown_resident said...

Sound familiar to anyone?

Weber State. Win. Hurricane weather soaks the opener. BC wins, but it is a messy, boring day.

Kent State. Win. BC wins despite shoddy play from Shinskie. Marscovetra comes in and looks as bad.

Virginia Tech. Loss. Although the defense plays better, the offense is incapable of moving the ball against the Hokies.

Yes, that's the worst case scenario. Except Rettig doesn't play until Clemson in that forecast.

(Full disclosure: Like ATL, I called a 10-2 season.)

mod34b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mod34b said...

Here is the Rettig High School highlight reel. Click Here .

It is a little hard to see, but he seems pretty good for a HSer. Hard to say how his game will translate into speed of NCAA ball. Throws ball into traffic well.

CT -- Good to see you self identify as a negative nancy! let the healing begin.

bobble said...

Saw Rettig play twice in the spring and his arm is electric. The ball gets to receivers so fast. Obviously that doesn't mean he will be successful its just fun to watch and worth noting. But as others have said it will probably not make much difference if the playcalling doesn't change. The tight ends are barely used. Pantale didn't catch a ball all game. Also I (and I have heard others) have been asking for more screens especially against aggressive defenses like VT for 2 years. We did throw one on that last possession of the first half and it worked well. It seems list common sense that any OC would make things easy for a struggling QB with short throws to TE, screens, swing passes. Ours can't seem to figure that out.

Lenny Sienko said...

I'm reading that we don't have the personnel to run the offense our OC and HC want to run. If that is the case, then adjustments should have been made in the off season to match the offense to the personnel and skills we do have.

This didn't happen, so we are SOL for the rest of the season. There is no way to change the offense at this late date. The best we can hope for are some tweaks with the plays and play calling. I don't see us installing the "fun & gun" at this point.

I think its too much pressure for Rettig to place the season on his shoulders. Isn't it a given that he will have the same skill set to a more or lesser degree than Shinskie and Marsco, since they were recruited to the same "Pro QB" model.

Our greatest football success ever came with a non-conforming QB, who broke the mold. We had a coach whose nickname was "Cowboy Jack. he laughed a lot" and his son was the starting center. The qb's brother became one of his best receivers.
Our all-world nose tackle wanted to be a priest...right!!

My point is that flexibility and ADJUSTMENT to the situation in the program and in the game are needed. We don't have that now.

Darius said...

That greatest success ever came about after the coaching staff scrapped their original plan-- because it was obvious the season was headed nowhere--and stuck that non-conforming QB, a true freshman, into the middle of a game against the #2 team in the country. The success was not instantaneous, but it was undeniably worth it.

I'm not equating Rettig with Flutie any more than I'm equating this year's Irish with 1981's Nittany Lions. The point I'm making is that no redshirt is so sacred that it's worth riding a losing plan A or B to the bottom of the lake to preserve. Go to "Plan C" before it's too late.

Coaching is a big part of the problem. So much so that switching to a new QB, no matter how good he turns out to be, may make no difference whatsoever. But they've got to try something. You can't win a football game with zero points.

Big Jack Krack said...

Hello Lenny - this is an indication that our OC needs to be sacked quickly - "we don't have the personnel to run the offense our OC and HC want to run."

A person becomes a coach (teacher) to handle a situation just like this - "adjustments should have been made in the off season to match the offense to the personnel and skills we do have."

If there are no adjustments forthcoming, I will start or participate in a campaign to get these guys out. This is disgraceful.

Unknown said...

I watched the game. All you who are blaming Shinskie are dead wrong. So is the coach. The elephant in the room that no one wants to recognize is the Offensive Coordinator who had no plan for combating the blitz of VT. No slide passes, no end arounds, no side drop offs, no side screens, no quick outs, not two step side passes, nothing that would make Shinskie anything other than a sitting duck. Yes the offense deserved and F but the players didn't. That was the worst offensive display since, Ernie Clebeck coached.

Come on - you can't take an 80 year old guy out of retirement and expect him to relate to college kids. You want to be playing for your grandfather?

Greg said...


You can't convince me that with a different OC, suddenly Shinskie is a solid QB. Sure, we probably score some points and have a better game offensively. But to say we are "dead wrong" for blaming Shinskie is a bit much. Unfortunately he is not a good quarterback.

Now, a crappy OC makes the problem a lot worse, but the problem would still be there.

Unknown said...

I just watched Spaz's video posted below. That was a cool move watching him pick at his ear and then he brings down whatever he found and looks at it. Yuck.

You know, Spaz has difficulty communicating. That's not what you want in a coach. Someone said the fish rots from the head down, I thing the AD is the problem. Spaz isn't a head coach, he's a good defensive coordinator but man, he couldn't talk a hungry dog onto a meat wagon.

He hired his buddy the old OC. BC's doomed - it's sad.

EL MIZ said...

gary tranquill's career record as a head coach: 20-34-1 (according to wikipedia, i am far too young to remember this guy coaching).

while i don't agree entirely with wiggle (i think shinskie is lacking several of the needed tools -- namely composure and a strong arm -- to be a starting QB in the ACC) i do think the game calling since tranquill has been the OC has been absolutely atrocious.

the quotes from the Va Tech players are indicative. along with a QB change should be, at the very least, a change in who is calling the offensive plays and drawing up the startegy. tranquill has retired several times, maybe he can be talked into it again. if not, hand it over to day, who i thought was being groomed to be the next head coach?, or someone who can score more than 0 points.

it can't all be shinskie's fault. we have an all-acc running back in montel and what was rumored to be a good offensive line. why do we have absolutely zero mojo on offense? it comes down to coaching more than it does shinskie. get rid of both of em.

Greg said...

I definitely agree that it isn't all Shin's fault. In fact, I don't think most of it is his fault. There is not spark or excitement in the offense, and I think Montel, the O-Line, the WR's and the TE's have a lot of talent. We have some good potential on offense, but between an awful game plan/OC and a mediocre QB, the offense could not score a single point. Sad.

Bravesbill said...

Tranquil is sad and pathetic but no one could convince me that Shinskie is even a mediocre QB. He's plain terrible. Give him a better OC, and he will still make dumb decisions because he has no situational awareness. It wasn't Tranquil's fault that Shinskie threw the 2 INTs (and should have had 3 more). It wasn't Tranquil's fault that Shinskie decided to scramble for the endzone instead of throwing the ball out of bounds. It's Shinskie's decision making that will prevent him from even being a remotely adequate QB for BC.