Sunday, October 12, 2014

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: NC State

The game had a disjointed feel on TV and I sense many of you felt that way. In some markets it started late because of the Miami game. We all sat through the rain. Finally others got cut off by hockey starts. Watching the game back uninterrupted it was much more obvious how much BC controlled the game. Even the early scores weren't telling the whole story. BC moved the ball methodically where NC State kept drives alive off of broken plays and near misses. It was no wonder once things settled that we pulled away. The score could have been more lopsided if not for a few BC mistakes and going easy on them late. The USC game was certainly more exciting, but this might have been the better performance.

Offense: B+

Where would this team be without Murphy? He's probably our best runner (or at least the one who is able to make something out of nothing) and he made good throws and decisions in the passing game. I never felt he forced anything. I also only counted two zone reads where he handed off and could have run for daylight on his own. The fumbled exchange with Willis wasn't great but that was more due to a good play NC State made.

Hilliman and Willis both got plenty of touches but neither had a perfect day. I liked Hilliman's toughness and willingness to fight and stiff arm for an extra yard. Now he just needs to make guys miss in traffic, so he can really break something. Willis is pressing. He took a big loss trying to make something out of nothing and the fumble was just a bad play all around. Wofford blocked well. I am glad we got Outlow the ball, but he needs some carries too.

Bordner's drop didn't cost us the game but it was still a play he should have made. He looked okay on the other plays. His blocking was good, as always. Alston showed that he could do more than the jet sweep. Crimmins looked better.

The Offensive line was nearly perfect. (I am pretty sure the breakdowns were by design, which I explain in the next paragraph.) Vardaro didn't show any rust. Silberman had one of his better games. Gallik was good. Betancourt was too.

When your biggest problem with the offense is lack of a killer instinct, you don't have real problems. Every time we could have put this game away (like the end of the first half) or a few of the drives in the second half, we would screw up or stall out. While there is blame to share, I still want Day to make things a little more crisp in our two minute drills. Other than that, it was a good scheme. The shovel passes worked well, especially off of the option. We got Alston more involved and gave Murphy some more direct runs. NC State did blow up a few plays when we purposely left a DLineman unblocked, but I think we will adjust. At Oregon Chip Kelly would often leave a big man unblocked if he was away from the action, yet he got burned with it a few times. BC just needs to be more respectful in future scouting of DTs.

Defense: B+

Wujciak played well and really kept after Brissett. He hasn't shown that much of a motor so far this year. Mihalik played well too. Obviously the INT was big, but in general he was doing a good job putting pressure on and helping collapse the pocket. Gutapfel also played one of his better games. Kavalec didn't record a tackle officially but was still involved in many of the collapsed pockets.

Keyes gets much of the media attention -- and played well Saturday -- but Daniels made some big plays too. When he's not asked to do too much in coverage he can be very good in stopping the run and getting to the QB. Both LBs were key in the pressure. Sometimes they came on delays. Sometimes on the edge. But it all worked. When we went with 3 LBs, Strizak also got some snaps (and some in place of Daniels) and looked good.

Johnson made the most of his new position and playing time. He made some nice tackles and was good in coverage. Asprilla tackled well and nearly had an INT. Simmons was very active and played well. Sylvia totally missed on one of Brissett's scrambles. Moore was fine. Brown played a bit more and looked ok.

I thought this was the best example of Brown adjusting in game. They moved the ball early by basically picking apart zones and overloading one side with three receivers to only watch one leak and find a soft spot. Our adjustment seemed to be to bring with just four guys by overloading one side or one gap. It worked for the most part and forced Brissett to start making bad throws and bad decisions. I don't know if the coverage improved (it probably didn't) but the pressure increased enough that it didn't matter. That is how the design is supposed to work. Aside from the whiffs mentioned above, the tackling was better. State doesn't have a good offense but they do have a good QB. We brought pressure and that made all the difference.

Special Teams: C

Knoll was steady on his chip shot and I don't blame Howell for missing the long one. Howell's punts are fine. The kickoffs are a disaster. Part of it is his inability to get them deep with hang, but the other issue is the porous tackling. How can you allow one return of 50 and another of 34? We are lucky that neither changed the game. I am really surprised we haven't figure it out yet and fear what we will do when a team has real playmakers back there like FSU.

Alston's long punt return was great. I am glad his first instinct is not just to fair catch it.

Overall: B+

As I mentioned in my first postgame reaction, I think Addazio passed a few test with this game. The first was bouncing back on the road following a loss. The second was dealing with the delays and coming out as the more dominant team. Now if he can get the Special Teams fixed and improve the two minute drill, we would really be on to something.

We are now at the midway point of the season sitting at 4-2. The record was very predictable, but our style of play and development speaks to more than that. We should be 5-1 and look like we will be better than the six wins that many of us projected. I am very encouraged by how this season is playing out and hope that we finish the second half as strong as the first.


JBQ said...

The BC defense is having a devil of a time picking up the running back coming out of the backfield on pass plays. Daniels couldn't keep up with a wide open receiver which should have been a touchdown. Against USC, the running back was wide open for a flare for a touchdown.

eagleboston said...

I'm still hoping for 6 wins. Clemson and Florida State are stretches. We should beat Wake. Syracuse figured us out last year and I am leery of that game but it is at home. Va Tech on the road is going to be very, very tough. Louisville is a toss-up. Thus, I'm just crossing my figures we can get to 6. Anything else will be a bonus.

Big Jack Krack said...

I am not looking past Clemson and we owe those boys a shocker.

Go BC - beat Clemson and "Hold that Tiger" off the scoreboard - at least for less scores than ours.

mod34b said...

i was out of town and did not see the game....but i watched a reply. impressive work

Day seems to have figured out the run-pass-run balance. and murphy seems a tad more accurate.

The time of possession difference was a major boost to our defense

I still can't figure our how our defense that was so awful on the first two drives changed magically to a shut-down defense the rest of the game. Some of that is on Brissett...he was bad...after the first two drives.

so what changes did Brown make to get the defense going? Seemed like on the replay that we played quite a bit of 3-4 defense....maybe 3-4 allowed us to keep the down DL fresher...

last, my favorite plays of the day:

1. Bordner making key block to spring Murphy for 47! Bordner and Callinan can block downfield..nice

2. Myles Willis - our starting RB - making a TD saving tackle on the 50 yard kickoff return by NCSU. That-a-boy!

Hoib said...

I think this game was a perfect exposition of Daz ball. As Mod just said our key offensive statistic should be time of possession. If we can come anywhere close to matching this output w/o turning the ball over we will win most if not all of our games.

We have some great backs, but I don't think our blocking gets enough credit. Every time when a replay is showm after one of our good gains there are always tremendous blocks.
I think Bordner's drop was part on Murphy. W/ a guy that slow you can't rifle the ball. If Murph could develope some touch we'd really be unstoppable.

Now onto the D. I'm going to give a half hearted endorsement to Brown. It seems in this age of college ball defense is a lost art. As an example 2 games this past week involving top 10 teams w/o OT. Baylor Tcu 61-58 Nd UNC 50-47. Our opponent State can't stop anyone and the list goes on and on.

Our WTF game w/ Co St.? The season has been riddled w/ them. So I don't think we have much to worry about there. After all we were USCs WTF game.

Several people have commented about our D's lack of condition. One guy who definitely looks out of shape to me is Daniels. He's good, but in every close up of him in the second half of the last 2 games, he is huffing and puffing.

CT said...

Kinda think the opponent helps in determining our winning most if not all of our games. Really? It was one game. Good win. But, please, slow down.

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


Didn't you see I prefaced my comment w/ if? Do you disagree that if we do the 2 things I mentioned that we will win most if not all of our games? Now if you were to ask me if I think we will do those things in all our remaining games I would say not likely. We didn't against Pitt & Col. st and lost.