Thursday, October 18, 2012

BC-Georgia Tech preview

This week's game is a different sort of paradox. Consider it the movable object vs the resistible force. Georgia Tech's defense is bad, to the point that they fired their Defensive Coordinator midseason. As anyone reading this knows, BC's defense is also terrible. There is no reason to believe that either will dramatically improve this week. Who has the ball going for the score on the last possession will probably win. Both teams are trying to save their season so there will also be an added level of desperation in how the game is played. This is probably a good thing for Spaz. A chaotic game might just lead to a BC victory.

Hot Seat Thermometer
It is over. There is no if...only a matter of when. I've been pleading for Bates to fire Spaz now, but most speculate that he'll wait until after the season. Last week's embarrassment only added to the chorus that Spaz's time was up. Even the broadcasters of the game -- who normally stay neutral or very bland with their criticism -- pointed out all of Spaz's issues and how far we've fallen in five years.
Temperature: Surface of the sun

Overlooked Storyline: Spaz's first game as a head coach was against Paul Johnson
Although he was just the interim head coach between TOB and Jags, Spaz did officially record a win for our 2006 bowl game against Navy. If you remember Johnson's guys moved the ball pretty well against us. It was only a late fumble while trying to kill clock that gave BC a chance to steal the win. Would things have been different if we lost and Spaz took the blame? Would he have still been promoted two years later? I don't know, but it shows that even then Spaz's game management left a lot to be desired.

Three Simple Keys
1. Win at the line of scrimmage. The cliche when playing the option is "assignment football" but that is not entirely true. If you do that, Johnson has a dozen counters for each and can keep moving the chains all day. To really set them back you need to win in the trenches and disrupt the whole play.
2. Use the run sparingly. I loved throwing to the backs last week and moving Williams into a receiver slot. Do more of that this week and only run the ball to keep them honest. Lots of draws like we did against Florida State.
3. Don't rush Chase. I think the whole "get rid of it after 3 seconds" idea didn't really help Rettig. He's at his best when he is buying time in the pocket and something opens up downfield. The potential sack is worth it in return for the big play.

Gambling Notes
-- Spaz is now 0-5 against the spread this year
-- Spaz is 1-8 on the road in October
-- Paul Johnson is 21-8 at home while coach of Georgia Tech
The current line is BC+14

The home team has lost five straight in this series. This even predates the ACC clashes. The most improbable win was in TOB's second year. George O'Leary was Tech's coach and they were in the middle of a very good run.

Scoreboard Watching
Could Maryland be good? Is this the year TOB finally gets his team to the ACCCG? I don't know. Something will give when the two teams faceoff this weekend.

I hope to see...
A win. That sounds simple, but the past two losses have been brutal for different reasons. The players looked dejected and if you follow any of them on twitter, they sound beaten down. I don't think a win will change the course of the season, but it might lift some spirits.

BC is in trouble if...
Georgia Tech passes on us. I am still amazed by how aggressive Army was in their passing game against us. What did they see? What did they know? If we haven't corrected the issue, Georgia Tech is going to kill us through the air.

Bottom Line
This is a terrible matchup for us when things are going well. It is even worse now. I don't expect us to have any answers for their offense. That leaves us in a shootout again. Tech is regrouping defensively, but I can't take much solace in that as we've regressed too. I think we will slow them down in the redzone but won't do enough to keep pace. They pull away in the second half.
Final Score: Georgia Tech 30, BC 17


Jeff said...

Agree with the entire article, except for the score prediction. These are two bad teams, it could be anyone's game. I say BC 34-31 (overtime).

mod34b said...

BC and GT have already had 2 common ACC opponents already this year.

Clemson beat BC 45-31
Clemson beat GT 47-31

Miami beat BC 41-32
Miami beat GT 42-36

GT allowed Clemson 600+ offense, including over 400 passing
GT allowed Miami 600+ offense including over 400 passing

So the teams do seem evenly matched. BUT, BC was utterly incapable of stopping Army. GT runs the same offense, but better. Spaz has put some faster DL in the lineup. Will that help?

Can Rettig pass on GT? GT has a bad pass defense (as bad as BC's) and is not great at sacks (better than BC, but not by much)

If Rettig has time, he could throw for 400 yards. So, I agree with Jeff, this is a toss up.

If BC finds some answers on defense, they can win.

Keys: 1. Protection for Rettig; 2. getting some 3rd down stops of GT

Laxman said...

I would tell Levano to leave his equipment in the locker and go for every 4th down, no matter where. The D won't stop GT BC will have to outscore them. I'd even onsides kick!

mod34b said...

Laxman - great suggestion!! I would tweak it to no punting if we are at our own 40 or more. Others like ths idea too; If we don't really bother stopping teams until the redzone, why not!

San Diego State head coach Rocky Long told Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he’s considering not punting or kicking on fourth downs in 2012. Instead, Long is considering going for it on fourth downs inside an opponent’s 50-yard line in order to try and pick up a new set of downs every time.

Kevin Kelley, the head coach of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas has developed the strategy over the years. He claims punting is an offensive failure, and is essentially a voluntary turnover.

Long summed it up this way:

“It makes sense. Additional plays would allow you to score a lot more points. It also puts a whole lot of pressure on the defense.”

“It’s a day-to-day theory. I haven’t decided because we’re getting a feel for it out here. I just read about this guy, and I don’t know if I can do that because everybody in the world is going to say this is not Football 101, right?”

On Saturday night during a scrimmage, the Aztecs converted just one of five attempts on fourth down. But the strategy has worked for Kelley and Pulaski Academy. He has posted a 104-19 record and won three state titles over the past nine years.

While we’re not sure if Long and the Aztecs will actually go through with the strategy, the fact that the head coach of a major college football program is considering it is pretty amazing. It would be interesting to see, so we’re kind of rooting for it.

mod10aeagle said...
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mod10aeagle said...

Mod: that's a fun idea, but its success is at least as dependent (if not more) on your defense as it is on your offense, right? For example, this would've been insane for BC vs. FSU, but perhaps reasonable for BC vs. North Reading High School. I don't know anything about SDSU or Pulaski Academy.

mod34b said...

Mod10. Not really.

last few games if the oppoent has 40, 50 or 80 yards to get to the endzone, BC lets them get up to the REDZONE. Once in the RedZone they try to limit the drive to a FG.

So, if punting the ball will lead to a big drive and score, why not chance it with a 4th down attempt. If you convert 33% percent you will have stopped 33%of scoring drives by the other side.

Maybe anything inside the 50 with less than 5 yards to go.

AlbanyEagle said...

I'm so bummed about this team and this season. I can't bring myself to realistically expect anything close to a victory.

Hope I'm wrong. But even if this team squeaks by a bad GT squad, will anybody feel really good?

I feel so badly for the players.

Thanks, Spaz.

Unknown said...

The only way we win this game is if Martin/Rettig pull a Varsity Blues and call plays in spite of Spaz. Let's go Eagles!

Big Jack Krack said...

Yes - Martin/Rettig - call your own plays.

If Martin caves in, Rettig call your own plays.

Let Spaziani pull you out. You'r too good to play along with this Head Fool.

Martin has shown a lot of fun potential.but he caves in to the wishes of SadFace.

Be your own man, Chase, for the sake of your own pride and the pride of BC fans everywhere.

eagleboston said...

I'm predicting the first ever game with 2,000 yards in offense.

Bravesbill said...
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Bravesbill said...

Mod34b--The only reason why Long discussed that approach with SDSU is because his kickers and punters are absolutely dreadful. If he had a remotely capable kicker, he wouldn't even think about this strategy. He attempted a version of this strategy against Washington where he didn't kick a FG or attempt an extra point which was pretty unsuccessful. This strategy almost cost SDSU the game against Washington (although they eventually lost anyways). Long has now modified the approach and is kicking extra points although he still won't attempt FGs over 40 yards. He is punting as well. So as you can see, Long's "strategy" was based entirely on his personnel and not on some sort of coaching philosophy.

EL MIZ said...

given how bad our defense is, especially our run defense, i have absolutely zero problem with this. any time we are in their territory we should go for it.

here was the play by play from about halfway thru the 3rd quarter of the Army game on a drive where rettig, going into 3rd down, was 4 for 4 passing for 35 yards with one sack:

3rd and 6 at ARMY 39

Chase Rettig pass incomplete to Alex Amidon, broken up by Kyler Martin.

4th and 6 at ARMY 39

Gerald Levano punt for 39 yards for a touchback.

so we net freaking 19 yards! the game is TIED at this point. very next play:

1st and 10 at ARMY 20

Larry Dixon rush for 55 yards to the BC 25, tackled by Kasim Edebali for a 1ST down.

the punt accomplished zero. within one play they were in our territory.

let's give rettig the chance to WIN the game for a change. if its 4th and 10 on the GA Tech 40 and its tied in the 4th quarter, if spaz punts he should literally be fired that second. Leahy should call down and relieve him of his duties and he can walk off in disgrace. i am so sick of watching this coach "play it safe".