Monday, September 10, 2012

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Maine

I didn't get the warm fuzzies watching this game back. There was a lack of crispness and no sense of urgency in the team's play. I know we won comfortably, but it shouldn't have been so sluggish. Many of the big plays weren't about our guys dominating but about their guys making mistakes.

Offense: B-

Rettig wasn't as crisp as last week, but I thought he still played well. The completion percentage doesn't tell the story either. Many of the incomplete passes were long, downfield stuff that is hard to complete Plus there were some drops. I liked his touch on some plays and his decision to gun it on others. He's the best thing about our offense right now. Bordner played but didn't drop back to pass once. I don't advocate running up the score, but it would have been nice to give him some meaningful snaps once the game was in hand.

The running backs were rightfully slammed for their play on the message boards. They all had big issues or mistakes. Kimble looked good early but didn't get much action after the fumble. I know what he was trying to do at the goalline but at this point he needs it drilled into his head to hold onto the ball. The same could be said of Finch. He did respond and looked fine after. Williams was ok. He still didn't get out into space much and had hands of steel on the pass that came his way. Sinkovec was blocking well until he got hurt.

I liked how Coleman played. He made some catches in traffic and showed good hands. I didn't love his throw. They've clearly been working on it, but the pass was way off. Amidon was fine. Evans looked decent.  Other than Parsons, none of the other TEs were even thrown to.

The offensive line was not as crisp. We were solid in pass protection (although the sacks allowed seemed like blown assignments). I was surprised we didn't dominate the run more. Clearly that was the gameplan but we didn't get the push we needed or open up some of the huge holes you would expect against an FCS team. The left side was better than the right side.

I loved the game Martin called last week. This game wasn't as pretty. I understand keeping it vanilla against an undermatched opponent, but I felt BC should have opened it up much earlier. I also think we should've given Bordner more to do.

Defense: B-

I'm really disappointed in the defensive line so far this season. I predicted big things and thought they would surprise, but other than Ramsey, they are all regressing from how they finished 2011. Ramsey made some nice plays again. Appiah got more playing time but didn't make a big impact. Quinn was fine. Rudolph was fine. Abdesmad looked better. Edebali was ok. I liked the activity from Wujciak. Mihalik needs to get more pressure on the QB.

A few people are criticizing Clancy but in my opinion his only crime is not being Luechly. I thought he played well Saturday in coverage and tackling. Teams keep attacking Divitto's side. He played better though. KPL had a quiet game.

ESPN was critical of Asprilla on Maine's missed bomb, but I think they were wrong. He wasn't beat. I think he was expecting Safety help, but the safeties bit on the play action. He got better throughout the game too. I liked what I saw from Richardson. Jones struggled (to put it lightly). Corners in our defense need to make lots of tackles and hopefully he will improve. Sylvia was fine but not involved in as many plays. Noel was also away from a lot of the action.

McGovern used a lot of basic, base defense. Unlike my critique of Martin, I don't have a problem with him not mixing it up more or bringing more pressure. Maine never sustained much and their only threats were early. In the second half it was clear that we were in control, so there was no need to do anything unusual or tip your hand for future opponents.

Special Teams: B

Evans' punt return was great. He got under it, controlled and then took off into daylight. It made up for some of his kick return. I'll take the questionable kick returns if he keeps breaking others. The aggressiveness has been missing from BC special teams for a few years.

Levano was fine and really only had one clankish punt.

Freese was solid.

One other note about Special Teams...McCaffery has been all over the place on Special Teams through two games. Since I've been doing these rewatches, that's been a great sign of things to come from that player. I don't know if the pattern will hold or if he'll earn more playing time, but keep a note of it.

Overall: B-

A win always earns a decent grade. So does a blowout. But as I stated in the introduction, this was as lifeless a 31 point win as I remember. That lack of intensity and letting Maine hang around for 20 minutes is on Spaz. The fumbles and drops keep happening. That's on Spaz too. I do appreciate that he finally used his timeouts correctly and got a score before the half. I also appreciate that the special teams are improving. But overall it wasn't a shining example of BC Football.

I guess we won't know what any of this means until next week.


Joe Gravellese said...

Fair grades. The Northwestern game will tell us a lot about where we're at.

BCAlum2000 said...

I will be at the game this Saturday. Will be interesting to see how they perform against a team with a pulse on the road. I am not overly optimistic.

EL MIZ said...

agree that the Northwestern game will be a good barometer of our team. Northwestern is 2-0 over 2 decent, big conference schools (Cuse is probably the best 0-2 team in the Country, they more or less hung with USC; Vandy played South Carolina tough). this is also our first road game. will our "veteran" team make the right corrections? i sure hope so, because if we lose i don't think there is any chance of winning 6 games.

the grades were fair. i am also confused as to the decline of the D-Line. they finally looked like they had figured it out in the last few games of last season, but they have been awful this year. no sacks, no pressure on the QB, really nothing to write home about. other than the fumbles, the regression of the D-Line has been the biggest disappointment through 2 games.

eagle1331 said...

IMO, we are screwed if the D-Line doesn't improve and improve quickly. Our corners, safeties, and linebackers are OK, but they're not good enough to win games if the D Line is getting no pressure what-so-ever (see the Miami game). Teams will walk all over this defense if if the QB has all day to play.

Never thought I'd see the day where I wrote a post complaining about our D and accepting our O...

Knucklehead said...

The defense was also treading water ast year until the 4th or 5th game when they began blitzing occaisonally. Sending a linebacker or saftey would be helpful against the run and the pass.

BCAlum2000 said...

The DLine has been in regression since Raji and Brace left. The recruiting has been awful. Ramsey was actually highly touted out of high school and sans injuries, has actually panned out. Quinn was also highly recruited but Latimer has been a complete and utter flop at The Heights. Outside of that, BC has not had signed one DT or DE of any quality ... and it is showing on the field.

mod34b said...

Solid review ATL.

How much pain is Rettig playing with? Right after Rettig threw the beautiful TD pass to Amidon, he was shown on TV on the sideline telephone. He looked to be grimacing in pain wile he was talking. I also saw on EO a report that he has a bad back and was x-rayed after the game, but the x-rays were negative. Perhaps that back pain contributed to his inaccuracy. He also seems -- once again - to be locking on to receivers and not finding the open man.

Disappointing that Martin did not use all of the BC plays. BC need pratice in executing all plays.

Running game at first was awful, but then seemed to improve. BC will really need a running game to keep the defenses off balance.

As for the defense. I am very worried. The DL is awful. Let me pick on Mihalik. The guy had a pass deflection. Great. Put he was being blocked at the time -- no penetration at all - and he made the best of a bad situation. Really, just a lucky play by a guy who happens to be 6'8". He can't seem to rush the passer and he does not seem able to contain the edge on running plays. I am not sure what he is good for.

The DL did not get much QB pressure and also seemed to get pushed backward off the ball on run plays BY freaking FCS MAINE @!&##*%! (same deal in Miami game)

Sad to say, but when you take out some of the unusual bounces that went BC's way (e.g., Punt muff by ME, Punt return by Spiffy), we look like a very competitive FCS team, not a quality ACC team. Even Spaz was pretty clear in his post-game remarks that this was not a good game for BC and was not up to the level of ACC play. Whatever Spaz's fault are -- of which there are many - he does have an eye for the negative, and he is now seeing RED, RED, RED

Big Jack Krack said...

The game this weekend is a huge game for us, as many had predicted before the season even started.

This is really a must win for us and it's a pressure game for our players. I am rooting for them to respond - and I especially hope that Chase Retigg can shake off his dinged up condition since the Miami game. It's no fun playing hurt.

I think out D will need to be more agressive this Saturday for sure - more agressive as in blitzing the QB at the right time!!!!

Injury Report:

Keyes is dealing with a concussion and remains questionable to play in Saturday's game against Northwestern.

Miller did not play in Week 2 against Maine due to a knee injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Northwestern.

Rositano did not play in Week 2 against Maine due to an unspecified lung issue and remains questionable to play Saturday against Northwestern.

Larmond did not play in Week 2 against Maine due to a leg injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Northwestern.

Williams did not play in Week 2 against Maine due to a foot injury and remains questionable to play Saturday against Northwestern.

Swigert has been sidelined indefinitely due to a left knee injury. (This is really not good - perhaps he should consider a medical redshirt?)

Louis-Jean will be out for an indefinite amount of time as he battles with a foot injury (another medical redshirt possibility?).

Pantale is sidelined with a broken bone in his foot and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks. (Probably mid-October)

No mention of Sinkovec.

EL MIZ said...

for the second year in a row i wonder whether the shift to the 3-4 would be a better fit for this team. we seem to have the big DT's that are needed in a 3-4 (ramsey could start and quinn could back him up), and the strength of our D seems to be the depth at linebacker. i know at times last year we'd go into some 3-4 looks, and it can't hurt to have some 3-4 packages just to get the better players on the field. it is frustrating to watch 4 down linemen rush and nobody even gets close to the QB.

BJK -- that is the first i heard of swigert being out indefinitely. he must've had a setback. at least Gene D is leaving and we won't hear any more excuses about injuries; spaz recruited all these guys and we should have depth. if we don't, its Spaz's fault and he needs to go.

i am hopeful, but worry the Northwestern game will be a lot like the Miami game -- BC scores in the 30s, but Northwestern hangs 40-50 on our bad Defense.

JBQ said...

Very good assessment posting. NW will be a good indicator.

mod34b said...

here is an updated injury report i saw online (seemed very credible)

[TE] 08/21/2012 - Chris Pantale expected to miss 3-6 weeks ( Ankle )

not a foot injury, but ankle.
[WR] 08/29/2012 - Bobby Swigert out indefinitely ( Knee )

Not a foot any more, but a knee injury.
[DB] 08/30/2012 - Al Louis-Jean out indefinitely ( Foot )
[TE] 09/09/2012 - Mike Naples "?" Saturday vs. Northwestern ( Back )
[WR] 09/09/2012 - Colin Larmond "?" Saturday vs. Northwestern ( Leg )
[G] 09/10/2012 - Harris Williams out indefinitely ( Foot )

this is new (to me)
[LB] 09/10/2012 - Josh Keyes is upgraded to probable Saturday vs. Northwestern ( Concussion )
[TE] 09/09/2012 - Brian Miller "?" Saturday vs. Northwestern ( Knee )
[DB] 09/10/2012 - Spenser Rositano is upgraded to probable Saturday vs. Northwestern ( Lung )

[FB] 09/10/2012 - Jake Sinkovec injured last game, doubtful Saturday vs. Northwestern ( Foot )

Big Jack Krack said...

Mod, his is more bad news about Jake Sinkovec being listed as doubtful Saturday. I thought he really added value in there.

I think Miller will have a tough year dealing with swelling and pain, etc.

Rositano was involved in a big hit vs Miami and was spitting up blood. I'm glad he's okay.

I am really worried about Swigert, Louis-Jean and Williams - and Pantale too. I think Larmond can get back in there, but if it was a hamstring, those things can linger on and on.

The northwestern game is huge because we need revenge for last year - and also we need some momentum.

If we can somehow win in Evanston, we would have some hope against Clemson. They will be at FSU while we have a week off to prepare for Clemson.

It looks as though Auburn wasn't necessarily that good.

Ball State rushed for 6.3 yards per carry against Clemson - and the Tigers have Furman this week. Clemson currently ranks 101st in the nation in rush yards allowed (216 ypg) and 115/124 in yards per attempt (5.6).

They are set up to go to FSU highly ranked, but with questions.

If they get banged up in Tallahassee, we have a shot, because they'll come to Boston maybe a little flat.

Go BC - beat the Northwestern Wildcats - it will be a huge feather in our cap. Imagine that - kudos to Northwestern for picking their program up several notches.

Walter said...

I don't see how our players making idiotic fumbles is on Spaz. At the end of the day, the score was 34-3, and that's good enough for me.

The last time BC scored 30 points or more in consecutive games was in 2009 with Northeastern and Kent State. At least if we're going to be terrible (which I agree is still a strong possibility) we're showing more signs of life on offense.

We really shouldn't be having as many careless turnovers going forward, and the lack of focus or intensity that I think is understandable to lack against Maine will hopefully show up for higher caliber opponents.

eagle1331 said...

Walter -

It is on Spaz because he recruited these players and is putting the ball in their hands. If his recruits have butterfingers he should have taken the appropriate steps to get new players on the team that don't. The fumbles were an issue with these kids last year and it hasn't gotten better, yet we haven't made it a priority to fix it (apparently, based on these results), or bring in stronger kids (one 2 star RB last year, 1 in this coming class). To make matters worse, our best RB was kicked off the team and there has never been any significant explanation of why.

Knucklehead said...

Check out the Boston Globe today Spaz DIRECTLY addresses the footwear issue as it relates to injuries.

Who says that this blog has no power?

brog33 said...

Williams is going to be out for a while. He is still on crutches.

mod34b said...

ahem, eagle1331. I think a better idea is to have Spaz/Bollman/Martin teach them not to fumble.

Think about Tiki Barber with the Giants. From Fumble king to no fumbling via solid coaching.

I do not think fumbling is a talent issue. I think it is a mental issue and a very coachable issue

Walter said...

Yeah I agree with mod; fumbling just isn't a big talent issue. I think it's a fluke more than anything else.

Even Montel had his bad fumbles that cost us big.