Monday, November 30, 2015

Transfer time UPDATE

Rumor moves to fact as both Marcus Outlow and Sherman Alston are gone. This is natural after a bad season and one that was disappointing for both players. Best of luck to them. Alston had his moments at BC. Unfortunately for Outlow, he never really did.

As frustrated as a I am with Addazio, this sort of attrition is natural. Now it is on him to go and get good replacements.

UPDATE: Gowins is gone too.

How much will the Offense really change?

During interviews over the past week, Daz made reference to changing the Offense next year. That's promising. At least he recognizes that things are broken and is indirectly owning up to the fact that injuries alone are not the reason BC couldn't score. But just because he referenced changes, doesn't mean we know exactly what he will do.

The conversations implied a "pro style" offense. Like "spread," "pro-style" can be a catch all term in college football. Implied is that it is an offense with throwing QB, Tight End, and multiple read passing trees. It is not a Texas Tech style five wide and nor is it Urban Meyer's Florida Offense. Current teams running "pro style" in college would be Michigan and USC. And for those with recent BC memories, "pro style" would include pretty much all the Dana Bible/TOB Offenses.

We know pro style can work at BC. We know we can recruit for it. If anything, compared to the spread, it puts a premium on OLine play. Even with the struggles of this year's OL, I think most BC fans will buy into a system that depends on OLine. On a basic level moving to pro style at BC is perfectly acceptable. The problem for Addazio comes in two forms: what to do with current players and what to do with current staff.

Because Addazio likes a power spread, the roster shakeup won't be too bad. We have Tight Ends. We have fullbacks. We have a good mix of size and speed at WR and even with transfers we have enough RBs. Quarterback is a question mark. Darius Wade seems to have enough skill to be a pocket passer in a pro system. Does Jeff Smith? Does John Fadule? Does Troy Flutie? Can incoming recruit Anthony Brown? If none of these guys can pass, we are screwed again. Regardless of style, Daz will always be run-first, so the running backs will be the primary playmakers. But can any of the QBs make enough plays for BC to move the ball? Will any have trouble learning another new system?

The other question is how will Addazio restructure his staff. If he is making a style change and keeping Todd Fitch as the primary playcaller and architect, Addazio's might as well get the moving boxes out. If Todd Fitch was some sort of genius in pro style, yet boxed in by personnel and Addazio's preferred approach, then both are idiots for wasting this season. The more likely explanation is that he's a mediocre to bad OC and changing systems won't do anything. Addazio could also turn to Brian White. White has OC experience in run-first pro style at Wisconsin. Under normal circumstances I would be on board with that, but White's time at Syracuse doesn't have me believing he's a miracle worker. And he hasn't called plays in nine seasons. Plus he's is associated with this season's mess. If White had the answers, why didn't he help the team/Fitch improve this year? The most likely outcome and the one that is easiest to sell to the public and to recruits is a new OC and playcaller. Who will that be (Scot Loeffler?) and what can he really do, won't be known for a few weeks.

Even if this is all part of rebuilding, Addazio spent a lot of goodwill. The next decision on OC needs to be the right one or else he won't get to make a fourth OC hire.

The good and the bad of the weekend

Aside from football there were plenty of highs and lows this weekend for BC Sports.

The Good
The Men's Soccer team advanced to the Elite Eight with a win over Georgetown. The game came down to Penalty Kicks with BC prevailing. They take on Syracuse next.

Also, Men's Hockey continued their hot start with a win over RIT.

Women's Hockey stayed unbeaten with a win over Northeastern.

The Bad
I don't know what happened to the basketball team. They looked young but promising against Michigan State. They followed that loss by sleep walking through a game with a respectable UC Irvine. That loss you could rationalize. The final game of the Wooden was against a bad Santa Clara team. That game was a must win and BC blew it. It wasn't even close. The team looked lost. The defense was lifeless and the offense consisted of Eli Carter chucking it.

Young teams are going to be inconsistent, but I would never expect wild swings like this. Now Jim Christian has to get a hold of things and get the guys ready for Penn State. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Syracuse

Saturday was a mixed bag. Some players finished the season strong and played like they cared. Others didn't. It happens when there is little at stake. What's frustrating is that like so many other games this year, BC could have and probably should have won this game.

Offense: C-

Jeff Smith wasn't as bad as his passing stats indicated. He wasn't good through the air, but the INTs were not bad decisions...just somewhat unlucky. Wofford and Robinson dropped catchable balls. And a few were purposely thrown away. His running was his best of the year. He finally kept the ball on more options and it led to a few longer drives. If Daz follows through on his plan to change the offense, then this was probably Smith's last start. I still think the kid has potential. He and BC didn't find it this year.

Tyler Rouse ran hard and made some nice cuts. Willis only played sparingly. Wofford blocked well enough and missed a pass that came his way. Wilson got one touch.

Robinson looked bad. I know he's new to the position, but there is no excuse for so many drops. Smith caught the only pass that counted. Callinan blocked well but also got called for a penalty. So did Dudeck. The Tight Ends didn't catch anything either, but the Burke, Sweeney combo blocked better than Tight Ends have all season.

The Offensive Line was really inconsistent. One play they would look good. The next it looked like they would get Smith killed. Monteiro looked good on the run plays. He missed on a few pass plays. Harris Williams had his best game of the season. Bowen struggled. Baker had some good moments. It was his assignment that tipped the second INT.

The passing game was a mess, the blocking, the catching and Smith's throws. But I feel like if we had used this offense -- Pistol with heavy read option -- all year, we win six games. That may sound silly in a loss, but I feel that sort of commitment would have sprung bigger plays from Smith and might have opened other things. How fitting that Fitch called his best game in our season finale and we still lost.

Defense: C+

Landry and Abdesmad had great games. Wujciak and Gutapfel did not. Those two guys have been huge difference makers all year. Saturday Wujciak looked a step slow and got pushed around. Gutapfel made some mistakes and missed tackles. Kavalec was okay. Moore missed a tackle. Ray got in some action.

Milano was very good. Yet if he makes the INT late, we go to OT. Daniels played well enough. Strachan had a few issues in coverage but was fine.

Simmons played well. Yiadom looked back to his preinjury form. Johnson was just ok. McClary was fine. Harris was ok.

Because Syracuse does a lot of funky stuff (lots of old school options and pitches), you have to play back. Brown didn't get super aggressive and I feel like it cost us. We should have put more pressure on. That was not a good offense and we allowed them to move the ball too freely.

Special Teams: C+

Walker was one of the bright spots of the season. I look forward to him returning kicks next year. We've also been very good in our blocking on returns.

I was glad to see Lichtenberg make a field goal. What was up with the kicks out of bounds? Both were costly.

Howell was fine. As was the punt coverage. We didn't return any punts, but Smith handled them without issue.

Overall: D

Some might wonder, why the lower overall grade when each unit rated higher. No one unit played all that well on Saturday, but all playing poorly leads to another bad grade for Addazio. Most frustrating was his willingness to eat yet another possession before the half. I was also frustrated he didn't use his timeouts earlier on the final drive, but the way Cuse moved the ball meant it didn't matter.

Losing another close game is bad luck but also bad coaching.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


During the offseason Steve Addazio will surely talk about injuries and bad luck. This team was also young. And next year things will get better. More games close games will break BC's way. Young players will improve. New players will emerge. But none of that excuses how bad this season went, including Saturday. Total offensive ineptitude, haphazard execution, questionable 3rd decisions, stupid penalties, and wasting huge opportunities.

This was BC's first winless conference season. The longest losing streak since 1978. The W-L record is masked by two wins that BC bought against FCS cupcakes.

Addazio has a lot to fix this year. When the offense is this bad, it is not purely a talent or age issue. The whole approach and the coaching shares the blame.

I will have my grades and second viewing thoughts up late Sunday.

In-game comments post: Syracuse

This is our last game of BC Football for a long time. Let's enjoy it.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Picks Week 13

Championship games near, so this is my last chance to cherry pick my selections. I went heavy on the rivalries.

Virginia Tech-3.5 at Virginia

Ohio State-1 at Michigan

Georgia-4 at Georgia Tech

Cincinnati+1.5 at East Carolina

Duke-4 at Wake Forest

North Carolina-5.5 at NC State


Ole Miss-1 at Mississippi State

Florida-3 at Florida State

Notre Dame+4 at Stanford

Last week I was 6-4. I am 64-53-3 on the season.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

BC-Syracuse preview

One day this game will have juice. It is not this year. Even if the Orange rally around Shafer, do you think BC fans are going to get emotional about this loss? I view it as a must win, but to the rest of the college football world doesn't care and few of either teams fans do. Hopefully in the near future both teams come into this game with something on the line.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
A few Addazio critics are pointing out the similarities between Shafer's record and Addazio's. To me it is not a fair comparison. Syracuse hired Shafer to continue Marrone's success. BC hired Addazio for a rebuild. Addazio's win percentage is not following the ideal path of a traditional rebuild, but he still deserves more time to see this out.

Three Simple Keys
1. Win the turnover battle.  The turnover battle didn't determine the winner last week, but with Syracuse's Offense it probably will. BC cannot cough it up and make things easier for the Orange.
2. Get 200 yards on the ground. If Smith get the majority of the snaps, then this becomes vital. BC needs to move the ball.
3. Build a lead. We've lost enough close games this year, plus we lost a close game in a our last trip to the Carrier Dome. Don't let this come down to the last possession. That's why BC cannot led Syracuse ride the emotional wave.

Gambling Notes
-- Shafer is 1-1 against BC
-- BC has never gone winless in conference play
-- BC is 3-11 in the Carrier Dome
The current line is BC-3

BC has not lost eight in a row since 1978.

Scoreboard Watching
Am I the only one curious to see how Notre Dame responds to their struggles against us? We probably did enough to keep them out of the Playoff, but a big win over Stanford might help them rise back up into the Top 4.

I hope to see...
BC shutout Syracuse. Think of what this season would have been like without the Defense. I would like to see them go out on top.

BC is in trouble if...
If they come out flat. I don't gather that Shafer is beloved, but you never want to let them ride the emotion of his last game.

I've called this a must win, but I do think BC will win. I think Syracuse will lose whatever emotion they have early in the game and the BC defense will control. Then Smith and Fadule do enough to get BC comfortably ahead.
Final Score: BC 21, Syracuse 10

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

All coaches should rent

A few days ago I was exchanging emails with a long-time and frustrated BC fan. I had to remind the fan that all of this is fluid. Every once in a while a school locks onto a Beamer type, but very few coaches end up being lifers. Just look at the ACC landscape. 

Clemson -- Dabo Swinney, 8th season
Duke -- David Cutcliffe, 8th season
Georgia Tech -- Paul Johnson, 8th season
Florida State -- Jimbo Fisher, 6th season
Virginia -- Mike London, 6th season
North Carolina -- Larry Fedora, 4th season
NC State -- Dave Doeren, 3rd season
Boston College -- Steve Addazio, 3rd season
Louisville -- Bobby Petrino, 2nd season
Wake Forest -- Dave Clawson, 2nd season
Pitt -- Pat Narduzzi, 1st season
Miami  -- will hire a new coach
Virginia Tech  -- will hire a new coach
Syracuse  -- will hire a new coach

Assuming Virginia fires Mike London soon, Addazio will have been around longer than half the coaches in the conference. And that is after just three years. Of the coaches with more seniority, who has the potential for real staying power? Maybe Swinney. Johnson is rubbing a lot of Georgia Tech fans the wrong way. Age and health will catch up with Cutcliffe. Fisher flirts with enough SEC and NFL jobs to know that he's looking beyond Tallahassee. Fedora could also be in the mix for the LSU job.

If you lost faith in Addazio this year, take the long term view. He will either bounce back next year, or he is probably not long for BC. And even if his ceiling is low, he's not going to be here in much beyond five or six years anyway. That's just the nature of the sport. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Syracuse is a must win

Steve Addazio is not on the hot seat, but he must win this weekend. Syracuse just fired their head coach and is a bad, bad team. They have no reason to play. We have the best defense in the country. There is no reason we cannot overcome their emotion and win. 

Winning just one game won't change the course of this season, but it will avoid a complete rock bottom. If Addazio loses, he will have led BC through its first winless conference season, and only one win over a FBS team. It would be arguably as bad as Spaz's worst season and arguably BC's worst year since the '70s.

Plus the inability to scrap together or even luck into a win would speak to a bigger problem. BC is young. BC is flawed. BC will be better next year. But if Addazio can't even do enough schematically to fall into a win -- with the best BC defense in decades -- then he has bigger issues than QB and Offensive line.

This season is lost. We all understand that. But give us some hope. Give the people (fans, recruits, current players) something to look forward to. Addazio must win this weekend or else the offseason will be that much longer.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Notre Dame

That didn't feel like a three-point loss. Did any BC fan trust us to comeback once the Irish got up? Watching the game back just reinforced the point. The energy, the playcalling and even Notre Dame's reaction never turned. As frustrated as we are, I can only guess what some players are thinking.

Offense: C-

Fadule was ok. He's a fighter and looks good at times, but this was the first game where he seemed confused. There were clearly some runs (Williams was downfield blocking, as was Callinan) where Fadule dropped back to pass. He also had clock issues and timing the snap on the jet sweep. Addazio also got on him for some run pass/decisions. His passing wasn't particularly crisp and had trouble with blitzes. Smith looked good and ran with more purpose. His passing was good too. My only real issue was that he screwed up a snap again.

Rouse was fine but better receiving than rushing. Willis ran hard but did not break anything big. Same sort of feel from Wilson. What they all did though was help the play action and the Smith runs later.

This is a different game without the drop from Thadd Smith and less so with the Robinson drop. Those mistakes are killers, but also lead me to wonder why we didn't throw more. I know the QBs are not great passers, but there were open plays out there. Callinan had some really nice catches, including the TD. Sweeney's one grab was nice. Dudeck was fine as the emergency outlet, but when is he ever going to break a tackle? Addazio struggled blocking again.

Although Flutie got on them, the OLine wasn't their worst. Bowen did not play well and Williams struggled a bit, but I thought Baker looked good and moved well. Monteiro played well.

Put aside who is making the QB call for a moment and just look at some of the unintended byproducts. Snap issues. Wasted timeouts. General execution issues with regards to blocking and catching. Timing issues on timing plays (the sweep). This is happening in Week 11. I also don't understand why there wasn't more passing. Plenty of big plays were there. But Notre Dame knew if they stopped the run, they would stop BC. But even with a focus on stopping the run, BC got good run productivity from the QBs.

Defense: B

One of the reasons ND was able to move the ball was the Defensive Line. Each guy had some big plays, but in general they weren't at their best. Abdesmad made the most plays. Wujciak was contained for the most part. Landry missed big on an option. Kavalec was ok. Gutapel helped tip on of the INTs.

If the DLine was not their best, the LBs were. The most impressive play was Strachan and Milano blowing up ND's read option. Daniels also made some nice plays. He was very disruptive in the backfield. Strachan also did well when forced into coverage.

Simmons had a heck of a game. He made heads up plays all over the field. He tackled well too. McClary was tested the most and did ok -- despite the penalty. Johnson played well. Harris looked okay, but he missed a few tackles.

I thought we would blitz more against ND. But we didn't and that allowed them to pass a lot. We were fortunate that we turned the ball over so often. So Brown doesn't get a thumbs up for the scheme, but the players stripping the ball is all part of the package.

Special Teams: C

Lots of Special Teams mistakes to ruin the good stuff. Alston muffed a critical punt and we were lucky the D got the ball back. The penalty on the blocked kick was also bad. Sailing a kick off out of bounds was also bad.

Walker looked good. The punt coverage was good. And we made a field goal!!!

I didn't mind the fake punt. I just wish it had been executed better.

Overall: C+

Addazio said the plan was to play both Quarterbacks. That's fine, but the timing and the in and out still seemed so haphazard. As mentioned above, the rotation seemed to impact execution again. Addazio also deserves a little scorn for the unsportsmanlike penalty. This is a guy who preaches smart football and avoiding mistakes. Yet here he goes getting a 15-yard penalty when we are behind? If a player did that, he would be livid. Beyond the game, this is dumb because it was an ACC crew. Do you think Addazio is getting a reputation among officials? How is that going to pay off in the future?

We lost a close game against a top team. That is not the end of the world. But he gets a C+ because he's ineffective at fixing our issues in-season and keeps making the same mistakes.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Delay in second viewing

Sorry for the delay, but the second viewing thoughts won't be available until Monday. The Harvard basketball game cut into my time (I'll write about the hoops team too). As always, thanks for the support.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

More frustration in Fenway

Let's run through the 2015 BC Football checklist. QB rotation? Check. Ineffective Offense for long stretches? Check. Clock management issues? Check. Special Teams' mistakes? Check. Wasting a great defensive performance? Check. So, this was a complete copy of most of our loses this year, yet Addazio has the gall to lose it with the refs? This loss was on Addazio and his staff. This season is almost over and they still are just throwing stuff out there hoping it works.

Fortunately for Addazio, he built up plenty of goodwill in his first two seasons, because this is using most of it.

I will have grades and second viewing thoughts late Sunday night.

In-game comments post: Notre Dame

Fenway Park. Notre Dame. This is supposed to be fun. Let's make it a good one and hope that something special happens.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Picks Week 12

I am looking to bounce back from another losing slate last week. I am still above .500 and hoping some of these Big Ten games will be the difference.

Illinois+5 at Minnesota

Michigan-3.5 at Penn State

Duke+2 at Virginia

Georgia Tech-2.5 at Miami

USC+4.5 at Oregon

Louisville+2 at Pitt

UCLA+3 at Utah

Buffalo+4 at Akron

Mississippi State+4.5 at Arkansas

Baylor+1 at Oklahoma State

Last week I was 4-6. I am 58-49-3 on the season.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BC-Notre Dame preview

The bye week made this forgettable season that much more forgettable. There certainly hasn't been one game we will remember in a positive light, but I can't even think of one play that stood out. Fenway will provide a unique stage this weekend, but at this point I can't count on anything great happening.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game) 

Doug Flutie's parents dying this week will get a mention or two during the broadcast. I think we all appreciate what the Fluties did for BC and Natick. In thinking about them, I also started thinking about all BC parents...even those parents whose children are not BC athletes. When people write how Boston College came together, they start with the Jesuits, they get into the parochial history in the Boston area with education and Catholics, most will mention the students and alumni, and the many great faculty. Flutie even gets plenty of credit. But BC parents don't get enough credit for the school's success. There wouldn't be so many good members of the BC community if there weren't so many good BC parents. Those parents instilled values and intelligence in many of our alumni that served them well before they arrived at the Heights. So thank you to the Fluties and all the BC parents out there.

Three Simple Keys
1. Use Fadule to open up the run. I'm glad Fadule could pass against NC State. But that's really not what we need. Balance would be ideal, but given our opponent and talent, I would rather run the ball. Let's see more read option and a few early passes. Then the Irish will stop stacking the box and we will get some longer runs.
2. No big pass interference penalties. I expect Notre Dame to copy Clemson and NC State's success and go deep. We need great play from all the DBs and we also need them to avoid dumb penalties.
3. Better blocking from the Tight Ends and WRs. It has been a mess all year. If we are ever pulling off an upset, we need these guys to sustain blocks all over the field. 

Gambling Notes
-- Notre Dame has won four straight over BC
-- Brian Kelly is 3-1 vs BC (one loss came when at Central Michigan)
-- Addazio is 1-4 against teams in the Top Ten
The current line is BC+16.5

This is only the third time BC has played Notre Dame on a neutral field.

Scoreboard Watching
We should all be on the Clemson bandwagon now. Just hope they steamroll everyone and win it all. We don't necessarily need a dominant power in our division, but winning championships helps the ACC's long term credibility.

I hope to see...
Fadule play the whole game. As touching as it might seem to play Troy Flutie this weekend, I don't want ceremonial snaps to take over a game. We are probably going to lose regardless of who plays at QB, but I still want to try to win. Rotating QBs just sets us back.

BC is in trouble if...
There is no pressure on Kizer. If he can just stand in the pocket, he will destroy our DBs.

Bottom Line
I can't talk myself into this one. At this point we've played all the cards. The only ones left to play are the huge in-game risks and Addazio clearly won't do that. I think BC will play hard, make it interesting in the first half, but ultimately stall out on offense. I think Notre Dame will add two touchdowns in the second half and win comfortably.
Final Score: BC 17, Notre Dame 28

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Guest Blogger: Inside the Irish's Keith Arnold

Because we haven't played them in a few years, the Irish don't seem as familiar to BC fans these days. Throw in the injuries and roster changes and there are very few Notre Dame players who have faced BC. To get a feel for this talented team and perspective on Notre Dame's run for the playoff, I asked Keith Arnold of Inside the Irish a few questions. His answers are below.

1. Kizer hasn't really played like a back-up quarterback. What are his weak spots and do you think he is good enough to lead the Irish to a Championship.

Keith Arnold: If Notre Dame fans aren't surprised by the impressive performance of DeShone Kizer they're lying. He was outplayed in the spring game by walk-on quarterback Montgomery VanGorder, the defensive coordinator's son, and looked absolutely terrible—rock bottom as a quarterback, he admitted a few weeks ago.

But Kizer's most impressive trait has been his ability to be unflappable. Pair that with an elite physical skill-set—he's 6-foot-4 and nearly 240 pounds—and he's used his great football IQ, NFL-caliber arm and sneaky-good zone-read option skills to move the passing game and serve as the goal line and short yardage running option.

Is he good enough to lead Notre Dame to a championship? Good question. I think he's good enough to win out the regular season—and then my bigger question is about the Irish defense, not the play of the first-year quarterback, oddly enough.

2. I know that many Notre Dame fans dislike Kelly and think he cannot win the big one. Where do you stand on him?

Keith Arnold: A Notre Dame fan that can't appreciate what Brian Kelly's doing—and really, has already done—is never going to be happy. (A shock, right?) I tend to think (and I wrote it last week) that this is going to be the beginning of a really impressive run for the Irish, who have a loaded roster, some really talented young depth, and stability at quarterback that should lead them for three more seasons (at least).

Has Kelly been perfect? No. Did he rub people the wrong way early in his tenure? Some. But before he was immortalized and turned into the daffy and fun Dr. Lou, Notre Dame managed to run Lou Holtz out of South Bend, too. That didn't turn out too well. Athletic director Jack Swarbrick understands what he has in Kelly. The institutional arrogance that sometimes comes along with Notre Dame doesn't exist under the Golden Dome anymore—it's mostly relegated to certain subsets of alums and fans.

Can Kelly win the big one? Again—can't be sure until it happens. I don't think the Alabama game after the 2012 season was an indication of that. The Irish didn't have the horses then.

I thought Kelly's ability to out-maneuver LSU last year with a decimated defense was a great schematic victory. He also did some great things this season in wins over USC and the option teams, Navy (finally earning some respect) and Georgia Tech.

3. With Stanford looming, is there any chance Notre Dame overlooks this game?

Keith Arnold: I don't know if it's possible to overlook this game. The venue, the green jerseys, Boston College—an opponent that's pretty high on the Irish rivalry list, especially for fans. Add to that the leverage of the situation with a playoff berth on the cusp, and I'm more worried about the Irish being tight than looking ahead.

What really interests me about this game is figuring out how the Irish play offense against a really stingy and attacking defense. Notre Dame's offense line is hit-and-miss. They can key huge gains in the run game and then completely whiff and lose individual battles. And I'm curious if the Eagles can manufacture any big offensive plays against a defense that's really allowed everybody but Texas to make a handful of big-chunk plays. So far, they haven't been able to do that at all. Maybe Notre Dame will help open things up.

There are three-win teams. And then there's B.C. I tend to think this is the most dangerous version of this game—there's literally no reason for the Eagles NOT to pull out all the stops to try and steal a victory here.

4. What is your prediction for the game?

Keith Arnold: I don't name scores (would hate to let people confirm my stupidity), but essentially I just don't think Boston College can score enough points on offense to win this football game.

I'm not sure how well the Irish will move the ball, but I do think there'll be a big play or two in the passing game. But ultimately, it comes down to me seeing the Irish pulling away in the second half, more because the Eagles defense gets absolutely no support from the offense, not because of any great performance by the Irish.

I take all of this back if Notre Dame turns the football over early and more than once. Then it's chaos scenario and I actually think the Eagles will be a totally frightening team if they can get this game to the fourth quarter.

But I just don't see that happening in a stadium that should be mostly Notre Dame fans.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


When we used to play and upset Notre Dame annually, the game took on huge importance to the casual BC fan. During that time I always enjoyed upsetting the Irish, but tried to downplay the rivalry. I wished that those casual BC fans would instead put their ficus on our games that counted. This year is different. BC has nothing to play for. This year we need to upset the Irish just to give the season and rivalry a little boost.

One game shouldn't make a season, but if Addazio can pull off a win this week, it will answer the doubters and critics. If he and Fitch assemble an offensive gameplan that wins, then maybe their youth and injury excuses were legitimate. If the depleted DBs can stay with Notre Dame's talented WRs, then maybe Don Brown is a miracle worker.

Plus, winning will give the team confidence for Syracuse and for next year. It will help on the recruiting trail too.

But best of all, it would spoil another Irish season. If Notre Dame wins out, they are likely in the Playoff. Lose to us and they are out. Wouldn't that be nice?

I will preview our actual chances on Thursday, but for now, I hope everyone in the BC locker room believes we will win. Spoiling their season just might save ours. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Final game gets 12:30 treatment

Thanksgiving weekend provides tons of TV spots. There are college games Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Despite those opportunities, BC will face Syracuse in the now familiar 12:30 PM Saturday slot. The game will be broadcast, not cable and you can probably find it on the usual ACC local stations.

BC is a good TV draw in general and certainly when we win. This year even started out well from a ratings standpoint. But losing takes its toll. I don't blame the ACC or the TV execs. Nearly every other ACC game has more appeal. Syracuse isn't even bringing much to the matchup.

But I do hope that the ACC, BC and Syracuse keep playing this game on the final weekend. The only way to make it a true rivalry is to play it every year in this slot and hope for more meaningful matchups.

I don't think many casual BC fans will make a point of watching this game this year. However, if we upset Notre Dame, all the BC fans you know will come out of the woodwork.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Women's Hockey Team still perfect and other links

With so much going on at the Heights, it can be hard to give credit to those who deserve it. With that in mind, someone needs to acknowledge the Women's Ice Hockey team's incredible start. The team swept UNH this weekend to improve to 14-0.

The men's team defeated Michigan State this weekend. BCI has a shot chart of the game.

The Field Hockey team's run through the NCAA Tournament ended as UConn won 1-0.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Basketball starts off strong

The lackluster performances during exhibition season raised some concerns. Those issues weren't apparent Saturday as BC cruised to victory over St. Francis.

Even with Hanlan, there were many times the past few years where BC's talent wasn't even as good as many of our non-conference opponents. That wasn't an issue Saturday. Carter played as expected and freshman Jerome Robinson exploded. Even the bench players had moments.

The big men seem to still be a question mark as neither Clifford or Diallo looked crisp. But overall the rebounding continues to get better as we transition from Donahue to Christian.

BC takes on Central Connecticut State Thursday.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Picks Week 11

Last week was rough. This week I am looking to get back on track (purely for entertainment purposes). Maybe without a BC game to distract me, the picks will improve.

(Picks in bold.)

Pitt+2.5 at Duke

Georgia+1 at Auburn

UMass+7 at Eastern Michigan

NC State+7.5 at Florida State

Kansas State+5.5 at Texas Tech

Washington+3 at Arizona State

Georgia Southern-6 at Troy

Temple-2.5 at South Florida

Oklahoma+2.5 at Baylor

Fresno State+4.5 at Hawaii

Last week I was 3-7. I am 54-43-3 on the season.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Looking at Baylor and other links

This isn't specifically BC-related, but I recommend this Wall Street Journal article on Baylor's offense. The beauty of college football is that you can have above average success by being totally unconventional (see Navy, Baylor, the Mike Leach teams, etc). Is it hard to win championships like that? Perhaps, but good unconventional schools often outperform their talents and limitations. The other reason I look to places like Baylor when we struggle is that I feel at times that our offensive approach is broken. Injuries happen, but if you have a consistent approach and an emphasis on certain aspects of offense (Baylor it is big plays, Oregon it is tempo) you can score points. In Addazio's first two years, our approaches were also pretty simplistic. This year we clearly lacked identity, direction and execution. Those are fixable. I am not saying become Baylor, but look to their approach and figure out what BC can be. (HT to AR for the article).

The Globe had a nice feature on Eli Carter. So much of this season depends on how much he can carry this young team.

(I am leery to post this because it is not really sports, but it is a hot college topic...please be thoughtful in the comments section.) BC students held a "blackout" in a show of solidarity with Mizzou students and other college campuses dealing with speech and race issues. There were a very similar series of protests when I was a student at BC in the '90s. My issue then and now remains, that these issues and topics are very real and very serious. They deserve discussion and debate and solutions. But in the '90s and now, college kids are not always the best ones to lead the debate. They clearly have the passion, but too often lack the perspective, appreciation or the ability to articulate real change.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Christian makes the most of Early Signing Day

College Basketball, unlike College Football, has an official Early Signing Day. This allows hoops commits to sign an official Letter of Intent before the season and locks them into the commitment. Timing and circumstances forced Jim Christian to fill in his first two classes with late bloomers and kids screwed over by coaching changes. This year is different. Christian signed two well-regarded recruits Wednesday for his 2016 recruiting class. 

The bigger get is North Carolina guard Ty Graves. Landing a prospect deep in Tobacco Road might raise eyebrows. Why didn't the local powers want him? Well, they did. He had interest and offers from many ACC programs, but BC worked him hard and offered more immediate playing time. Some are calling Graves the steal of the recruiting season. Graves is smallish, but has more than enough ball skills and defensive acumen to be our starting point guard in the near future.

Not as heralded but still important is the other new commitment: wing Mike Sagay. He's a New England product so you always hope that helps local recruiting. Sagay is still growing. At BC he might physically develop to the point where he can play a little power forward.

So now Christian has the centerpiece of this recruiting class locked up, he can use his remaining openings to find another player or two that can help speed up the rebuilding. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How the ACC's dumb Raycom deal turned out to be smart

During the last ACC TV rights deal, ESPN bought the rights to all the conference's content. However, the old guard on Tobacco Road didn't want to leave their long-time media partner Raycom out of the package. So all agreed that ESPN would resell certain games back to Raycom for Raycom to then produce and distribute. (When you see the ACC Games on regional sports networks or your local broadcast station, those are Raycom productions.)

At the time many critics found the Raycom deal outdated and provincial. The ACC was keeping old friends happy at the expense of more dollars from ESPN and should have spent that energy pushing for its own ACC Network. ESPN didn't care. They got to resell games and reserved the right to all the content if and when the ACC put together a plan for the ACC Network. Basically the ACC Network couldn't happen during this contract without ESPN's involvement. 

But I don't think anyone truly anticipated the rush to cord cutting. Cable companies are bleeding traditional subscribers and ESPN is suffering from it. ESPN's rights fees and those expensive Network deals with Texas and the SEC are partially to blame. With a cloudy future and questionable business model the ACC Network seems less likely by the day.

But that is where the Raycom deal comes back into play. Because of that deal, the ACC is the only Power 5 conference with a traditional "over the air" syndicated distribution package [UPDATE: I forgot to mention the SEC's CBS deal. So the ACC is the only Power 5 where their secondary games are syndicated over the air. Pac 12's Fox deal is based on Fox powering their Network. All ABC games are part of ESPN cable deals. Notre Dame is not in a conference.]. You don't have to worry about cord cutting when there is no cord to cut. By having a traditional model for games the ACC/Raycom can sell advertisers consistent ratings and a growing audience. Right now the typical ACC Raycom advertiser is Carolina-centric (Bojangles, Food Lion, etc.) but that will change. I imagine the growing footprints and over the air aspect will get more national ads in the next few years. 

The Raycom games that are not over the air, are carried on regional sports networks (Fox Sports Whatever, NESN, etc.). This is also good for distribution. Those networks are not going away immediately and need content on late fall Saturdays after baseball ends. They are exposed to cord cutters but are not as controversial or as expensive as the new college network startups or any of the ESPN channels. 

Would the ACC like to have the SEC's or Big Ten's money right now? Of course. But what was once the table scrapes of the college football media world, now looks a whole lot better than it did at deal time. I still think there will be an ACC Network in the future, but I think the Raycom experience will change the way the channel is created and distributed. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Expectations for Basketball

BC concluded its second scrimmage last week with a 85-75 win over Bentley. Message board comments said that the team looked raw and the defensive awareness was bad, but that Carter looked like the real deal and the young guys showed flashes. Saturday the season start for real with St. Francis. Once again BC is in the unfortunate position of bringing in a mega-class of freshmen recruits. We've learned enough from Skinner and Donohue's super-sized classes to know that the first year will be rough. But how rough?

I have relatively high expectations for this season. I think we will play well in the non-conference games, steal a few ACC games to avoid a last-place finish and get one win in the ACC Tournament. Is that too much to ask? So here is one blogger's game-by-game prediction for out of conference schedule:

-- St. Francis Brooklyn: W
-- Central Conneticut: W
-- Harvard: L
-- Wooden Legacy against Michigan State: L
-- Wooden Legacy Game 2: W
-- Wooden Legacy Game 3: L
-- Penn State: L
-- UMass Lowell: W
-- Providence: W
-- Maine: W
-- Delaware: L
-- Fordham: W
-- New Hampshire: W

I also think BC goes 5-13 in ACC games (with a strong finish) and 1-1 in the ACC Tournament. This would be a very respectable 14-19 season. Can Christian do it? Will the talent mature quickly. We will soon find out.

Leave your expectations for the season in the comments section.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Second viewing thoughts and grades: NC State

That was a frustrating re-watch. Not just because of the losing or the lack of energy. I am concerned because Fadule made things look better than they were or are. That's disconcerting when you only score eight points.

Offense: D

I don't want to predict or project too much on Fadule. I don't know if he can be a star or even lead us to a win. All I know is he's playing well for now. He made things happen and many of our best plays came when plays broke down and he found someone downfield. He showed good touch on his passes. The first INT wasn't really his fault. The second two he was just forcing things while trying to get BC on the scoreboard. I don't think he makes the best decisions on the reads or when to run. I also think he's got to be more careful when the pocket is collapsing.

The running backs didn't do much but that was because they weren't given much in the way of good blocking. Rouse had a few big runs up the middle, but nothing where he made a great play. Outlow had a nice catch and I was reminded that we should throw to him more often. Willis was bottled up. Wilson was fine in limited touches. Wofford was fine.

Thadd Smith played well. He made some nice catches and showed the ability to win one on one battles. Robinson looked good after the catch. I was frustrated by Dudeck being short of the first down multiple times, but he was really trying to bail Fadule out. Callinan had a few nice plays. As a whole this group's blocking was bad and kept a few plays from breaking. (Louie had a terrible block on one of Smith's sweeps.)

The Offensive Line did not play well. I've been praising Baker for weeks, but this game was not his best. He was overpowered repeatedly. Lindstrom also has some issues. Bowen played a bit better. Williams was not good again. I get so frustrated when he is literally blocking no one and standing there as a play breaks down around him.

Aside from criticizing the development of the Offensive line, I feel like Fitch and Addazio are failing the team in how they prepare and plan. Take all the options and read plays we have. By design these plays leave a man unblocked. In theory the unblocked player is far enough from the action or such a weakness on the other team that he won't impact the play. That didn't happen against NC State. Over and over, the unblocked man burst into the backfield to blow up the play. How does that happen? It is either bad design or bad scouting. But it is a coaching issue. I also get frustrated as we run sweeps or flanker screens and the downfield blocking is embarrassing. Why are we running these plays? Are they executing in practice? I don't know, but they've been drive killers. I also wonder why we have so many slow developing plays with an offensive line that cannot sustain blocks. Keep it simple. All of it. Good OCs tailor their schemes to their roster's strengths or create such a simple and consistent system, that they can plug in any player and still move the ball. We have neither.

Defense: B-

After a few slow weeks Landry bounced back and played well. Kavalec also looked better. NC State contained Wujciak and it impacted everything. Gutapfel was fine.

Strachan played very well and was forced into coverage often. He acquitted himself there too. Milano played well and was very active. Even before he got dinged up Daniels wasn't his normal disruptive self.

NC State went after Torres and McClary and came out ahead. That's not meant to bury those guys -- who were okay -- but to point out how dependent we were on Yiadom and Moore. Simmons played well and so did Johnson. There was a little confusion on the first TD, but all of the big plays were in part because we didn't get enough pressure up front. Harris got lots of playing time and looked good.

I feel the big plays and the score were a bit misleading to what Don Brown did. He puts his corners on an island and at times we will pay for it. My bigger complaint is that he didn't bring more pressure early as it would have helped the young corners. I still don't know what happened on their third TD. I don't know if it was a mistake or design that that box was full and there was no safety back.

Special Teams: B

The consistency of the Special Teams is encouraging. Walker keeps getting better on Kick Returns. The punts and punt coverage was good. We didn't have much to judge in the place kicking department. Alston made decent decisions on his fair catches.

Overall: D

Addazio is selling the future of this team hard to the media. Either he has extreme confidence in his own abilities or he full of bluster (and some other stuff). He points to gaps on the depth chart and roster and talks about the 27 upper classmen who aren't around. He is also sure to mention it wasn't his fault. I consider Spaz the worst BC coach in my lifetime and felt he gloriously mismanaged the team and recruiting, but Addazio just got smacked around by a third year coach who inherited TOB's NC State roster. It is not like the Old Marine left behind a stocked cupboard. The team who beat us were made up a a Florida transfer (sound familiar) and a bunch of young Doeren recruits. This is not just youth and bad luck. They're are preparation issues and coaching issues too and not filling gaps fast enough.

The other aspect that Addazio seems to overlook or under appreciate in his talks to the media are the Duke and Wake losses. Win both of those and this team is 5-5. Not bowl bound and not winning anything big, but there would be a better feeling about all aspect of the program. Instead we are 3-7 and looking at a potentially an 0-8 ACC season.

This loss wasn't unexpected but still disappointed. The team seemed flat from the beginning and scoring late felt more like we were avoiding complete embarrassment rather than making a comeback. The off week couldn't come at a better time.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Senior Day disappointment

BC avoided the shutout, but the Offense was terrible once again. Injuries and a walk-on QB explain some of the problems but not all of them. There were so many basic execution problems again in the loss to NC State, that Addazio needs to rethink his approach for the remainder of the season and for next year. The Defense also could not save the team. They weren't terrible but it wasn't their best effort either.

Now -- officially -- BC is finally eliminated from bowl eligibility.

I will have grades and second viewing thoughts late Sunday.

In-game comments post: NC State

The last home game for an unusual group of seniors. I hope they play with a little fire. I also hope Fadule or Smith do enough to win.

Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Friday Picks Week 10

I am not having big weeks, but I keep plugging along. Here are this week's picks (for entertainment purposes). I avoided most of the ACC games since I have no idea what's going on with our own conference.

(Picks in bold.)

Illinois-4 at Purdue

Penn State+2 at Northwestern

Akron+2.5 at UMass

Florida State+11 at Clemson

Arizona State+2.5 at Washington State

TCU-6 at Oklahoma State

UConn-6 at Tulane

South Florida+4 at East Carolina

Utah+1.5 at Washington

LSU+7 at Alabama

Last week I was 6-4. I am 51-36-3 on the season.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

BC-NC State preview

Outside of the dark days of the Spaz era, I always pick BC to win. It is not a gimmick. I genuinely talk myself into the idea that we can win if a few things happen. Last week I didn't really feel it. This week, I am back believing! The Fadule showing gave me a boost of confidence. I don't think he is the savior. I don't even know if he will be our only QB this week (Smith is practicing again). But I saw enough movement from the Offense to believe that we can beat this mediocre NC State team.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I think this is Dave Doeren's last season at NC State. Based on what I learned when he was a candidate for the BC job, I think the guy is fairly ambitious and looking for his next spot. He didn't get the Wisconsin job last year but now there are so many openings, I could see him jumping at a Big Ten job (Minnesota?) Maybe Illinois. While his work in Raleigh has not been overly impressive, he can sell it as rebuilding and heading in the right direction. Plus what other Power 5 coaches are lining up for a lower level Big Ten job? As for why he would leave NC State...I think that is one of those jobs that is not all it is cracked up to be. Just look at what TOB found out. It is not easy to win there. You are stuck in a division with Clemson and Florida State and have second fiddle status in the state to UNC. Could someone make it work? Sure, but I don't think Doeren is that sort of guy. The Big Ten schools could offer more money, more short-term stability and a chance to return to the Midwest. As for what this means for BC, I think coaching turnover in the conference is very good for us. It shifts the balance, hurts a recruiting cycle or two and more than one of these schools will make a bad hire. Right now Miami and Virginia Tech are looking. Virginia is probably close behind. Add in one or two leaving for different jobs and you have a nice shakeup that can hopefully benefit out team.

Three Simple Keys
1.  Rush for 200 yards. I don't care if it is with Smith or Fadule. It doesn't really matter. Someone has to open up something and the running backs have to make plays too. We are not beating anyone through the air. If we rush for 200 yards, we win this game easily.
2. Get a big passing TD. Even the threat of running opened up some passing last week. Now we need one of those passes to break for a TD.  
3. Sack Brissett five times. Like the 200 yard mark, this might seem like an arbirtary number, but I think that many sacks would kill enough drives to keep their score low.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 2-0 vs Doeren
-- Doeren is 6-7 on the road as NC State's coach
-- Addazio is 7-8 after a loss while at BC
The current line is BC+4

NC State has yet to win at Alumni in an ACC game.

Scoreboard Watching
I am keeping hope alive that we run the table and get bowl eligible at 6-6 (with an exemption). But to get that exemption there needs to be multiple seven loss ACC teams that cannot jump us. Wake and Georgia Tech are off this week, so we have to hope Syracuse gets one step closer to seven by losing to Louisville.

I hope to see...
Gowins get a big play. His first fumble was not his fault. Last week was. I would hate to see his season come down to that. Let's hope he gets more playing time, holds onto the ball and makes a big contribution.

BC is in trouble if...
Neither QB gets in a rhythm. One of my biggest problems with QB rotations (going back to the TOB days) is that it too often wastes possessions. And those wasted possessions are killers in low scoring games. Yanking guys in and out is rarely productive. I hope one guy looks good and one looks terrible just so Addazio can stop wasting time.

I think we move the ball this week. Whoever turns out to be QB gets the read option going with some power runs behind Baker and we eat clock and score points. That puts NC State in catch up mode and they never get enough TDs to match us.
Final Score: BC 21, NC State 13

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Gossip from the Basketball scrimmage

The Basketball team played George Washington Sunday in a private scrimmage. As often happens with these things, results and comments got out. Everyone says that GW won handily. They were up by 30 at one point and according to this George Washington message board, subbed in their bench late and still won by 20. This is to be somewhat expected. BC is a very young team that hasn't played together. And each coach has different goals for these sorts of scrimmages.

There was some good news. People who saw and who talked to the staff, said our team looks talented. There isn't a question if it is ACC-level talent. They clearly need to add weight and get used to each other, but these kids will grow together.

The other good news is that all agreed Jerome Robinson was the best player in the gym (GW's squad included). Robinson was a late bloomer in a competitive high school area, so it should be no surprise that he keeps getting better. Is he good enough to carry BC from Day 1? Probably not, but he's one of the guys who will hopefully be an All-ACC Freshman.

More news will leak out as the season approaches. For now, I think we just have to be patient and hope the talent blossoms early.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

There are gaps in the ACC Network this week

Even as the season fell apart, there was generally easy access to BC games. We haven't had an ESPN3 game in weeks. This week it gets a little complicated. The ACC Network game is split between BC-NC State and Louisville-Syracuse. If you are in New England or the traditional ACC territories (Virginia, the Carolinas, etc.) you are fine. If you are in any market that might prefer Syracuse, you are watching online.

Here is the list of affiliates for the game. All of you in the Midwest, New York, New Jersey, and even the West Coast who watched BC locally last week are now stuck watching the stream. The good news is that the stream can come via ESPN3 or I've never streamed using the ACC's feed, but I have heard it is better.

Now let's just hope the game is worth watching.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Addazio sticking with Fadule

John Fadule's story is not over. The walk-on who played most of the game Saturday will be getting the primary practices snaps this week and will play against NC State. This is some of what Addazio said:
"I think we'll keep developing all of our quarterbacks. But as we go into the week, John Fadule will be getting his share of the reps with the ones. That's going to happen. I'm not into just straight anointing people given how quickly this has come about. But certainly his performance is one that we're excited about. Exactly how we'll divvy up [the quarterback reps]? I can't tell you that yet. But we're excited about his performance and looking for him to build on that. What I think he brought into that game was real toughness, real energy and he moved the team. That's really important. There's some stuff that needs to be cleaned up but nothing that you wouldn't expect from someone who hasn't taken too many reps in running the offense."

At this point Addazio has watched back the game film and talked to his coaches. They clearly like what they saw. Addazio spent most of his Monday press conference praising Fadule. While I see the issues going all in on Fadule, I think Addazio is making the right call. We need to win and Fadule provides a more aggressive and crisp option than Flutie. While I still think Smith has more game breaking potential, as long as he is not at 100% and as long as the Offensive Line remains so inconsistent, Fadule seems like the best option.

The issue long-term is what do you do with Fadule and the other QBs. Right now all are young and all are dealing with a limited sample size. Who is going to be the best and how do you tell? In my mind, this comes back to philosophy and what Addazio truly wants to run. Was the Tyler Murphy power game his preference? If so Smith would seem like the guy to get reps. Does he want some sort of prep-school Tebow deal? Then Fadule. If he wants a better passer like Rettig, then you would think Wade would be the guy once he's healthy.

Addazio can buy a little time with Fadule but eventually he will have to pick a direction. Or maybe Fadule will play so well that Addazio lucks into a consistent, effective QB.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Second viewing thoughts and grades: Virginia Tech

After the game, I was all about Fadule. Maybe it was the excitement of seeing BC move the ball. Maybe it was seeing a QB play with some level of confidence. I don't know. Watching it back dulled the euphoria a bit. All things considered, he played well. But I don't know if he is a season changer. This is also the worst part of the season to endure losing. It is one thing to lose to FSU or Clemson. But this is not a strong Virginia Tech team. If BC was just a little better on Offense, this would have been an easy win.

Offense: C-

Flutie started but there was nothing to make of his performance. It was too quick series and he wasn't asked to do much. The move to Fadule provided a spark. He's more decisive in all his movements (play fakes, scrambles, QB keepers) so the line did not look as bad with him back there. His running was a surprise. His passing was just okay. His timing is a little off on a few and he floated some passes that needed more zip.

The running backs didn't do much but they didn't have great blocking. Willis was good in the middle, but could not break anything on the edge. Rouse had a nice catch.

I was glad to see Sweeney finally catch a pass. Now if he could just improve his blocking. Louie had another bad day blocking too. As bad as the line seems, you'll notice that many of our plays are blown up by the Tight Ends' assignment. Callinan had some nice catches. Robinson looked good. Alston looked okay on the sweeps. If Fadule keeps playing all the guys running over the middle need to be ready, Fadule is not afraid to make those throws.

The Offensive Line had moments where things clicked. Just not enough of them. The pass blocking on true pass plays is terrible. It is reason enough not to pocket pass. Both tackles (primarily Monteiro and Bowen) had trouble with VTs speed. Baker was the best of the group again. Lindstrom looked better. Williams still struggled.

It frustrated me that it took Fitch so long to spread out the offense. Virginia Tech was crowding the line and we don't block well to begin with. Spreading them out gave Fadule a little more time and made some of our runs mover effective. But this whole season has been about making offensive decisions too late and not making the most of your roster. New players can be found and current ones will mature, but Addazio will need to decide if Fitch is his OC. How much was Fitch and how much was it the Perfect Storm of Offensive issues?

Defense: B

Gutapfel looked good again. Some of his plays were when he was unblocked, but he still needed to move quickly and make the play. Landry had a good game. Wujciak and Kavalec both played well. Allen got more snaps than usual and looked good.

The LBs carried the Defense Saturday and made multiple plays. Strachan was robbed of a TD, but looked good in all aspects. His pass coverage has gotten better. Milano played very well. So did Daniels.

Another Choate kid -- William Harris -- played well in the second half. He got more time as the secondary shifted around a bit. Torres seemed a bit overwhelmed in one on one at first, but adjusted. Johnson made a huge play. McClary was pretty good. Before he got hurt Yiadom allowed a TD, but it was more about VT making a perfect throw into the corner.

Aside from the DB injuries, I feel like the same issue we had against Clemson is the same issue Brown needs to address now. That is that when BC doesn't get pressure from the base front-four, our DBs get challenged repeatedly and are bound to let up a big play or penalty. As we get to our second teamers, I think Brown has to add a few more wrinkles.

Special Teams: B-

Walker keeps getting better at kick returns. At times it feels like we are wasting the opportunity by not putting other playmakers in the spot, but who would be outperforming his current production?

Alston didn't do much. Lichtenberg was fine on the kickoffs. Howell played well. Knoll missed, but it felt like we could count on him for future field goals.

There were a few too many Special Teams' mistakes this week though. The touch by Torres that cost BC the ball and a block in the back on a return.

Overall: C-

Addazio spends a lot of time selling the future to announcers. I assume he's selling it to recruits and his current players too. That's fine. He needs to remain positive and he needs to keep hope through all the losing. But I feel like we are losing without purpose. What is being built? What are we going to look like coming out of all this? Do you play Fadule to maximize your thin chances of winning? I would. Player development can come at other times. But then even with Fadule we are a random assortment of offenses, formations and even a supporting cast. We used some four-wide. We used some jumbo. We ran zone read. Who is this helping? We know we are not winning games. Guys are getting rotated at all different positions. There is no continuity and not much development. We are failing on both ends.

I think if Addazio committed to a style of Offense, then it would be much easier to decide who needs to be QB now and in the future. A primary style would also help the offensive line prep and figuring out what to do with the other skill players.

Fadule seems like the right move, but we still didn't win. Even if we keep fighting, Addazio needs to start getting results.