Sunday, September 11, 2016

Second viewing thoughts and grades: UMass

Because of the slow start and allowing an early score, I never felt at ease when the game was live. Watching it back made me appreciate how many things BC actually did well. I feel much better about the team than I did a week ago.

Offense: B-

The more passes I see, the more I realize that Towles is not a great passer. He's not terrible. Both TDs were great throws. He has a live arm. But his placement and accuracy is not great. His high balls are going to get one of our pass catchers really hurt this year. He did make better decisions this week and didn't seem as quick to run.

With every team so focused on stopping BC's running attack, I don't know if we are going to see that many great games from any of the RBs. Hilliman is a power guy who needs holes. He's not someone who is going to make a quick cut in and out of traffic. He was fine in this game. I was glad to see Jones get some touches. Willis had a nice play.

The WRs are playing really well. Smith is a natural and has great hands considering he's only been doing this a few months. Callinan made some really touch catches. As did Walker. Sweeney pulled in one. Collectively their blocking wasn't great (Garrison had one real bad whiff). But they are playing well as a group.

I thought the game plan was decent. The passing attack was effective and we used some more play action. My biggest problem remains the stubbornness of running between the tackles in power set ups. UMass went all out on so many plays to stop the run. Other teams will too. Loeffler has to scheme around it. If he does there will be big plays (I loved the swing to Callinan out of the backfield.)

Defense: A-

We knew the Gutapfel was good. Now we know the other guys have potential to be very good too. Allen, Ray and Landry all dominated at various points. They all got good push and good penetration. Everyone had a turn destroying Comis.

Milano is smart and fast, but I don't think I realized how strong he was until this game. At one point he caught a UMass guy from behind in a near horse collar and basically whipped him to the ground. Strachan was good (but not as dominant as last week). Schwab made plenty of tackles, but also might have been responsible for a coverage breakdown on their one TD.

I've read some criticism of the DBs, but I am not seeing the problems. Big hits again from Harris and Johnson. Good coverage from Moore, Torres and Yiadom. I thought they all played relatively well.

If you had any questions how aggressive BC would be against a conventional Offense, this answered it. Reid brought pressure and even got pressure with just the front four. It did look a lot like Don Brown, with plenty of man coverage. My only gripe was the blown coverage that lead to the TD. The TV guys blamed it on Schwab.

Special Teams: B+

The nice thing about having Willis and Rouse involved in kick and punt returns, respectively, is that they are mature, yet still aggressive. Both make good decisions on when and when not to return. And both helped change field positions.

Our kick coverage was decent. We hit them hard, but still allowed some longish returns. The punt coverage was fine.

I didn't like punting on their side of the field, but that is on Addazio.

We couldn't have a perfect place kicking day, but it was an improvement.

Overall: B-

Just because things worked out, does not mean Addazio is suddenly a genius. He still made questionable decisions throughout the game on 4th down and still burned his timeouts in a relatively close game. However, he showed he can and will go for it on some fourth downs. He also showed a willingness to bounce ideas off of Paul Pasqualoni. That is what Pasqualoni is there for: to be a trusted voice of reason. (Of course Addazio's mentor/buddy is also notoriously conservative.) But enough things improved, including the passing and the Defensive pressure, to give Addazio some credit. I also appreciate that the team put last week behind them and didn't panic when UMass scored.

It was a game BC was supposed to win. They did and now it is on to Blacksburg.


Napolean Bonaparte said...

If we can improve the short passing game - our ground game should open up. Hilliman does best when he is near the goal line. But Willis has better burst and makes better cuts. Would it make sense to put both in and use Hilliman in the fullback spot? Smith's grab on that first TD showed great concentration and athleticism.

mod34b said...

ATL - OL? How did they look on replay.

Obviously, the OL was not opening holes. But was that more to do with defense stuffing the box or weak OL play. I watched pretty closely and did not see any of our BC guys manhandling this sub-MAC program players

This game reminded me of Maine game last year - good win but indicative or trouble ahead with ACC opponents.

Towles against VT is going to have much less time and much tighter Windows to hit. We'll have to see how that goes

Last, so much for Loeffler and a new offense. Really just another Daz runathon (with a non dominant OL to date)

bceagle93 said...

Generous on the special teams grade. Missing extra points is an F -- unless you heavily weight the other parts of the special teams play, a B+ seems a bit high.

Not sure how hard it is to recruit a guy that can consistently put the ball through the uprights, but this has been a priority since the Pinstripe Bowl in 2014 -- Daz not having the ability to able to solve this problem is a huge concern, as our defense will keep games close.

In my opinion, this ineptitude may be one of the single biggest reasons the guy has to go after this season.

Geezer eagle said...

I couldn't agree more. Dazoshit is in his fourth year and still can't recruit a competent fg kicker? Really??

knucklehead said...

Yes, that is why they lost the GT game.

knucklehead said...

The globe quoted knoll alluding to the fact that Lichtenstein was going to come back as the FG kicker. That would be a terrible decision by dazzler.

Geezer eagle said...

Lichtenstein needs to go back to Lichtenstein and play soccer. Maybe he can hit that goal.

Knucklehead said...

Yeah, "bent and deflected" kicks are more effective in that sport anyway.

Anyone see the mens soccer team is ranked 25th and beat Duke over the weekend. We have an under appreciated mens soccer program. Charlie Davies was supposed to be a great striker before his car wreck and Mendoza holds stuff down on the mens national team.

Erik said...

It seems like the many Hilliman runs that go nowhere are not just great defensive push, but also the amount of time it take to develop. So much time to get the ball handed off and he's not getting up to full speed before being hit.

I'd like to see them work on an initial burst after the snap as his knee recovery progresses.

ObserverCollege said...

Coach Addazio taught the players that nobody is going to save them when they mess up, so they better not make mistakes.

First last Saturday he hammered the players postgame and then in the follow-up interviews and press conference. That showed the players that they can't hide. They don't get to tell a story; Coach Addazio explains his decisions are right and that the players need to execute.

Those efforts worked wonders Saturday, both on the field and in the announcer's booth. First, Coach Addazio made very clear to the players that Lichtenberg is at fault for the blown FG, demonstratively showing disgust with him and then yanking him from the game for everyone to see. Meanwhile, the well-prepped announcers pinned the blame on Schwab, and blamed Schwab for giving up the TD.

That's what shuts down player failures. Nothing motivates a player like knowing the bus is going to run him over, back up over him, and then run him over again and again. You might not like it and the players might complain, but that's what works.

The alternative is that Coach Addazio takes the blame and undermines his strength as a leader, and no real coach is stupid enough to do that. Not Belichick, not Brad Stevens...NOBODY.

mod34b said...

Good points OC. There is a reason GT can't recruit and are weak. Nobody will ever respect Johnson like they do Boston College HEAD Coach Steve Addazio

Even though GT beatBC, the GT Coach Paul Johnson admitted the win was due to luck and incompetence:

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said they were fortunate to defeat Boston College 17-14 on Saturday in Dublin, Ireland.

“We clearly weren’t ready to play and that comes back on me,” he said. “I did a terrible job. I’m responsible for it. We didn’t play like we played in camp. The way we played the first couple of weeks in camp I was excited to watch us play. We reverted right back to a year ago.” Johnson not only pointed a finger at himself, but he included the coaching staff.


mod34b said...

ATL thought Mark Whipple was going to be BC's Coach. They picked Steve Addazio.

But Whipple would have been a fine BC coach too as he too understands the value of trashing young players in the media.

After the game, the UMass coach Whipple critiqued his young passer.

"I'll give you the old adage, 'I'll look at the tape,' but yeah, he lost the game," Whipple said of Comis. "As a quarterback, you don't want to lose. He's only got two touchdowns in two games. A lot has to do with the people we're playing. Their numbers speak for themselves."

"Certainly the one before the half," Whipple said. "If we get field goal there, we're going into the half with a little momentum. Then loses his mind on the interception (in the third quarter). If we lose the turnover game by two, we don't have shot to win against teams that are Power Five."

@MrNASAgang said...

As a former BC player. I always get a kick out of reading the comments and post. Please keep them coming.

Knucklehead said...

Does Dazzler recruit players(have players now) whose feelings get hurt when he calls them out or would your feelings get hurt, as a player, if he called you out?

Why do you think Belichick always says "we need to play better and coach better?" I think it is to placate players who do not react well to public call-out and placate players who do.

CT said...

The 11:48 post wins the Condescending Post of the Year award. I love it.

MrNASA, the four or five regulars on here will entertain you for free and you'll still feel overcharged.

I do agree with the idea that Daz's post-loss quotes about his team offer more than a whiff of player disappointment. He doesn't strike me as all that motivating, at least publicly. But I could be wrong. Maybe guys want to run through a wall for him. But, man, some of his answers...

NEDofSavinHill said...

Daz deserves credit when he wins and blame when he loses. So far he has lost more than won. All the criticism of last year was justified. He promised a more pro style offense this year. So far not so much. Less than 20 passes a game. Maybe you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Hines Ward was an announcer at the ND game last year. He was asked at halftime how does BC get back in the game. He said they can't keep on running into the line on every first and second down. What has changed? Maybe they are saving it for later. Lets hope so. 2. All football fans witnessed an historic event last weekend. The Worst Defensive showing in the 63 year history of the ACC. Syracuse gave up almost 900 yards to the Cards in a home game. But for a couple of dropped passes it could have been a thousand yards. Bernie Fine the former Orange b-ball coach must be turning over in his grave. 3. BC may have the best front seven in the land. VT will be a good test. They are very talented but were erratic against Tenn. If the Hokies play a clean game they will be tough to beat. 4. Three Big 10 and ACC teams in the top 10 and only one SEC? More evidence of dominance.

Geezer eagle said...

Lichtenstein needs to go back to Lichtenstein and play soccer. Maybe he can hit that goal.

Bravesbill said...

Boy how I missed OC's comedic satire. It's been far too long.