Monday, September 30, 2013

Donahue's scheduling logic

Basketball practice officially begins today. This is exciting news for what should be an exciting season. Much of the excitement will come from BC's overly challenging schedule. We've discussed the out of conference slate before, but last week in an ESPN article, Donahue explained why he gave his still young team such a challenge.

Donahue believes some of the beefed-up conferences will be so brutal that a strong nonconference performance might be enough to boost a team with a so-so conference record into the postseason.
"When a 9-7 Boise State from the Mountain West makes the NCAA tournament and an 11-7 Virginia from the ACC doesn't, I think in my position, I gotta wake up," Donahue said. "And that's what we did. We analyzed really our schedule. ... I don't want to be 12-1 [in the nonconference] with an RPI in triple digits and then have to win 13 games in the ACC."
And then there's the entertainment factor, which can't be dismissed.
"The other reason for me is I want to attract as many teams as we can that will excite our fan base," the BC coach said.

I keep saying BC will be a bubble team this year. That is probably not accurate. We will either be in or out based on our record. There won't be any ambiguity because our Strength of Schedule and RPI should be very high.

I don't know if Donahue's gamble will work. I assume it will because if he succeeds, he will have done everything the selection committee asks. And if he fills some more seats at Conte, we are better for it.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Florida State

Addazio has been pretty demonstrative in his unhappiness with the loss. That's good. That's the edge he needs and the team needs. I don't feel the same way and only felt better after watching the game back. We played well against a good team. If we play near that level the rest of the season, we will go bowling.

Offense: C+

Chase Rettig is not having the season I predicted. He's not been great but he hasn't been bad either. Yesterday captured the issues. He looked good within the offense. He passed on the move well. He ran when he had to. He turned a few broken plays into positive yards. Yet his mistakes were on full display too. He is not scanning the field and tends to lock in on one target. His passing was not crisp. The first INT was a total breakdown in throwing. (The second one was desperation and not really on him.) He wasn't the reason we lost yesterday, but we need him to play better in the big games. Also, if he wants to be an NFL QB, he's got to start being more accurate with his passes.

Andre Williams has taken his play to a new level the past two games. He's always been powerful, but now he is finding space and making people miss. He looked really good. Willis obviously looked good doing a bit of everything. I think he showed he can be more than a change of pace guy. He's got good hands and good speed. He can also run in traffic. I didn't realize what an upgrade Sinkovec was until he made the nice little cut and tuck on the TD. He blocked well too.

The offensive line played well. They moved and pulled much better than they did against USC...notably Williams and Patchan. The true pass blocking wasn't as strong. Gallik allowed a bad sack that killed a drive. But as a group it was a big improvement over USC. They are coming together.

Amidon is doing what he can. He's rarely open and not getting great balls. However, we did give him touches in the run game. Parsons was a nice surprise. Crimmins caught a ball and Miller had two. We really need to start getting other guys involved (Harrison was out there and so was Evans) just to see what they can do.

Although it was still conservative the offensive play calling was solid. The unbalanced line caught FSU by surprise (even though we've used it previously) and they never adjusted. So we kept going back to it and Williams had success on the edge and in the middle. We also used the run to effectively set up the pass on the rollouts and play action. All the TDs were great calls. The only frustrating part of the gameplan was that we are not very effective on passing downs or in true passing formations. It is a little bit of everything, guys cannot get open, protection is not great and Rettig's throws are not on target. We need to fix that but overall the offense put up points and dictated play most of the day against a quality opponent.

Defense: C+

Kaleb Ramsey played like a difference maker yesterday. And it wasn't just getting good push or pressure on Winston. He was also following the plays and making tackles after the line of scrimmage when his teammates got beat. If he can finish strong, he may give our defense a spark. As for the young guys Wujciak and Kavalec saw action and held their own. Edebali was more contained than he's been lately. Abdesmad had some good plays stuffing the run.

I thought Daniels played better. He wasn't asked to cover as much so we was able to run support in the middle of the field. KPL made an early play and then seemed a step slow the rest of the way. Perhaps he's not 100% yet. Keyes looked good. I loved sending him and KPL at the QB together on the edge. Divitto was ok and had a few issues tackling.

Asprilla is becoming a bit of a scape goat, but I think he is playing well given the system he was recruited for and what he is being asked to do now. He got beat deep but was with his man -- just a step slower. He also tackled well. Both Joneses made some nice plays. I liked what we saw from Williams. Sylvia wasn't as near the action. Rositano did not have a great day. He was beat on the Hail Mary and missed some tackles.

I know we gave up a ton of points, yardage and big plays, but I was happy with Don Brown's defense. Let me explain. Winston is an accurate passer and Florida State is a rhythm offense. We got to Winston and made multiple big plays on defense. We also showed different looks -- pressure early, backing off, pressure late. At times were were able to get penetration with just three lineman. Many of their biggest plays were either broken (like the Hail Mary) or just good plays from their players outperforming ours. My only complaint is that we didn't bring as much pressure as they were making their comeback in the first half. I don't know if that was by design or an adjustment once we got a big lead. Either way, it didn't work.

Special Teams: B

The Special teams were better than they've been. We had strong kickoffs from Freese. Spiffy made some nice cuts on returns. Willis' big kick return and we made our field goals. The blocking on returns was even better (Willis made a huge block on Spiffy's long return). The only complaint was the punting. Overall they were high enough to be unreturnable but still too short. We didn't change field position enough. Freese has shown he can pin teams down, but I wonder if we need to try something else when we are deep in our own end.

Overall: B-

As I've said, this wasn't a moral victory but it was a decent gameplan and a good effort. We didn't execute well enough, but still had chances to win. The biggest game management issue that opens up second guessing was how Addazio managed the final minutes before the half.

As someone who endlessly bashed Spaz for wasting possessions and taking a knee, I actually think Addazio did the right thing on Saturday. The game was tied and we were set to get the ball at the start of the second half. That gives us the advantage. Pressing for another score makes sense against a Wake Forest or Army, but at the time our offense had stalled against Florida State. So we tried our best play of the game to that point (running off tackle). If Williams burst a big run, I assume we would have hurried up and tried something else. Instead he was tackled for a short gain and forced an FSU timeout. We followed with two other conservative plays and forced more timeouts. We eat up every last bit of clock before calling a timeout and punting. Then we make two defensive stops and the clock is running. Of course the series ends with Winston making one of the all-time "holy shit" plays in Alumni Stadium history. It was a fluke from a great player.

Addazio has now had two ends of half go poorly (Wake and FSU). Both times I agreed with his logic and cringed at the execution. If that becomes a consistent pattern, then we will have issues with him as coach. Now I feel he is doing the right things.

This game didn't come strictly down to coaching. If anything I thought our preparation and motivation were better than Florida State's. But it was still a loss, so the pats on the back only go so far. I feel better about this team than I did after USC and think measuring Addazio will really come down to the how we finish the season.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fighting the good fight

I hate losing, but we didn't lose hope today. The guys played hard until the end and the coaching staff played to win. There were plenty of mistakes and issues, but overall BC played well against a much better roster. I feel a lot better about the team and the season than I did after the USC loss.

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

In-game comments post: Florida State

Florida State is on a roll. We are coming off a humbling loss. Let's hope we make it interesting. Leave your thoughts and comments below. 

You can also follow me on Twitter. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Student tickets and BC

Since tickets were on my mind earlier in the week, I thought I would link to two interesting articles that show BC is not the only school with ticket issues and how Brad Bates is trying new things with regards to student basketball tickets.

This article from the Wall Street Journal made its way around the blogosphere (including our comments) and is well worth your time. If the huge SEC and Big Ten schools are shrinking their student section, perhaps BC should consider something similar. I also think improved wireless and creating more in-game entertainment wouldn't hurt.

In basketball, Bates and the Athletic Department have created a section for students that runs parallel to the court (instead of just being on either end). I think this should help overall demand. Students want to be close and want to be seen. But also, I think creating a sense of demand for these seats will help overall interest. The old way clearly wasn't working so something new may.

Game Watches: Florida State

A Saturday game against a ranked opponent with a 3:30 start. What better time for a Game Watch? Join your fellow fans at the respective game watches below. If your watch is not listed, post it in the comments section.

Atlanta Game Watch
Taco Mac Lindbergh
573 Main St NE

Chicago Game Watch
Nic and Dino's Tripoli Tap
1147 W Armitage (Armitage Brown/Purple Line L)

Dallas Game Watch
Christie's Sports Bar
2811 McKinney Ave Suite 22
Dallas, Texas

Houston Game Watch
J. Blacks Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge
110 S. Heights Blvd.

Las Vegas Game Watch
Firkin on Paradise
4503 Paradise Road
Las Vegas

Los Angeles Game Watch
SmithHouse Tap and Grill
10351 Santa Monica Blvd.
Century City

New York Game Watch
Joshua Tree
513 3rd Avenue (between 34th and 35th Street)
New York, N.Y.

Philadelphia Game Watch
Fox and Hound - Center City
1501 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, Penn.

Phoenix Game Watch
Gallagher’s Sports Grill
7575 N. 16th Street
Phoenix, Ariz.

San Diego Game Watch
The Beer Co.
602 Broadway
San Diego, Calif.

San Francisco Game Watch
Shanghai Kelly’s
2064 Polk St (between Pacific Ave & Broadway St)
San Francisco, Calif.

Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Irish Whiskey Public House
1207 19th Street Northwest
Washington, D.C.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BC-Florida State preview

We all knew this part of the schedule would be rough. But reading about it in March is one thing. Sitting through it in September is another. I guess I would feel better if we had kept the USC game closer. As is, this should be a severe test for Addazio. I hope he gets creative and plays to win instead of just keeping it close.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
On a day with a lot of exciting games, it is encouraging that we still got a national slot at 3:30. We are coming off a 2-10 season and are heavy underdogs, yet ESPN felt this was still one of their better matchups for the afternoon. I think it shows the resiliency of our TV product (partially based on market size). If or when the football factories split from the NCAA, I think BC can still have a seat at the table.

Three Simple Keys
1. Break tendency on offense.  Opponents don't have much tape on BC's new system yet, but I think everyone knows we want to run. This has enabled some surprise plays and deep balls, but I don't think it is a good idea to be that predictable early. I would love to see BC start the game passing. It might keep the 'Noles off balance for a bit. And it might keep our Offensive line from getting blown up.
2. Don't be afraid to blitz Winston. He's going to run but we may get a big play or some stops if we pressure him early.
3. Give Rettig some short passes. Against USC he was rushed constantly. A series of short passes and three-step drops might help the offense move and keep him upright.

Gambling Notes
-- Florida State has covered their last two double-digits spreads against BC
-- Addazio has yet to face a Top 10 team at Temple or BC
-- Fisher is 11-6 on the road
The current line is BC+21.5

BC has a winning record in Tallahassee but a losing record to Florida State in Chestnut Hill.

Scoreboard Watching
Saturday is filled with interesting matchups. Wake Forest at Clemson is something to keep an eye. I expect Clemson to blow them out, but a close game will be an indicator if we can hang with the Tigers. I am also interested to see how Army does against Louisiana Tech. Everyone (including me) assumes we will beat Army, but last year was a bit of a wake up call.

I hope to see...
Better Offensive Line play. As I said at the time, USC wasn't mistake filled. Our guys were just pushed around and too slow. I didn't expect miracles overnight, but Offensive Line is one of the areas where good position coaching can cover a lot of flaws. If we are every going to be great again, it will come from better line play and that comes from coaching. Last week the OL didn't look good. Last year against FSU, the line looked bad. Let's hope we start to see real improvement. It will bode well for the future.

BC is in trouble if...
We cannot get the ball to Amidon. Even in tight coverage, we need to find ways to get him the ball. If he is not getting the ball, it probably means we are struggling on offense.

Bottom Line
I made a habit of picking BC to win every game in these previews until things got really dark under Spaz. As I explained when I started picking against BC, I honestly couldn't talk myself into a win. I feel the same way this week. I am not off of the Addazio bandwagon at all. It is more a case of BC not having the pieces to win this type of game and FSU finally getting to the stage where they don't beat themselves. I think BC will try to establish the run early and when it doesn't work try to play catch up. I won't be discouraged as it is all part of the recovery process.
Final Score: Florida State 31, BC 10

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Guest Blogger: LilburnNole

We know Florida State is good and heavily favored, but how good are they? Are they finally back or is this another papertiger that BC can upset? To get a better feel for the team, I asked LilburnNole from the Territory for his thoughts on the team and the game. My questions and his answers are below.

1. Florida State is in the middle of a pretty impressive run. It is not FSU during Bowden's best years, but it is certainly as good as they've been in a long time. Do you think this is the year where the Seminoles finally return to the elite?

LilburnNole: Well, first off it depends on what the definition of elite is. If elite is being a Top 10 team that is at least in the discussion for the National Championship later in the season, than I would answer yes. If elite is finishing Top 5 and being one of just 3-4 teams competing for the two spots in the final BCS National Championship team, I would answer no. I would feel much more confident about answering yes if the Clemson game was at home this season, but as much as it pains me to point it out, Florida State hasn't won at Death Valley since 2001. The Noles must avoid those head scratching let down losses that have occurred the last couple of seasons, too. A lot of FSU fans are in show me mode, but I truly believe that we won't see that from Florida State this season.

I will note that there has been a different aura about Jimbo Fisher this season. He seems more relaxed, with a quiet confidence about this team. That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but I think he feels better about this team than he has about previous talented teams that have fallen a little short. There are certainly some things that need to improve from early on in the season for a special season to come to fruition, but I'm confident we'll see those improvements as the season wears on.

2. The offense doesn't seem to have slowed in going from Manuel to Winston. Yet Winston is still a freshman. If BC is going to do anything to disrupt him, what should they do?

LilburnNole: The offense definitely hasn't slowed, and I would argue that it may have gotten better. Through 3 games this season the offense is averaging 8.8 yards per play and 547.3 total yards that have broken down to excellent balance of 266.3 yards rushing and 281.0 yards passing while putting up 52.3 points per game. Those numbers are just about the same as the first 3 games last year, but against tougher (relatively speaking) opponents. Plus, there just seems something different about the offense this year.

Jameis Winston has shown a poise and maturity beyond his years thus far. While he hasn't been perfect, he's done a remarkable job getting us into the correct play by seeing what the defense is trying to do. Being physical with the FSU wide receivers is something I haven't really seen so far and is something that could disrupt the timing. I have never seen so many wide open receivers as I have in the first 3 games and, though Winston has shown he can get the ball into tight windows, he hasn't had to do on a consistent basis. It is a risky proposition, however, that could lead to big plays if the FSU receivers can shake the defenders.

3. How has the defense changed going from Mark Stoops to Pruitt?

LilburnNole: The depth chart that was released before the first game caught most fans and even the beat writers that follow the team closest by surprise. Projected DTs were at DE and a projected DE was at the SAM linebacker position. That was the first definite sign of some changes to come. Early on the defense has gone to a more 3-4 or 5-2 look with mixed results. All throughout the offseason, Nole fans heard about a much more multiple defense Jeremy Pruitt was installing that was going to be far more attacking that Mark Stoops. Stoops defense was excellent at keeping things in front and making offenses drive the field. It didn't force the action, though, and struggled forcing turnovers the last couple of years.

I'm still not convinced that we've really seen much of the Florida State defense yet. There has been glimpses of the increased blitzing from linebackers and defensive backs, but I feel that there have been a lot of experimentation with personnel and formations. I foresee a defense that will start to settle a little with the schedule beginning to get tougher as we enter conference play.

4. What is your prediction for the game?

LilburnNole: I think this game may be close early on, but Florida State has too many weapons on offense and their defense has the ability to make Boston College one dimensional. While I don't like using the transitive property in football, what USC was able to do against BC was eyeopening. Florida State is a better team than the Trojans and should have similar success agains the Eagles in this one.

Florida State 45 - Boston College 13

Sign of the times: BC cannot sell out Parents Weekend

There was a time when BC always scheduled our least desirable home game Parents' Weekend. The demand was such that we would sell out the game regardless of the opponent and it was always good to send the parents home with a win. This year BC will host Florida State for Parents' Weekend and unfortunately there are still seats available. (See this ad from BC's Tuesday email.)

Just like there were and are multiple factors in BC's recent decline, I also think there are multiple reasons why Parents' Weekend is no longer an automatic sellout. Some of the factors are probable social. I think there is a growing group of BC parents and students who just don't care about college sports. I also assume that as the student population spreads farther from the Northeast, it becomes harder for some BC parents to make the trip (or make it every year). But the ultimate factor is that the football team has not been fun to watch and the gameday experience has not been special. We all know that BC is working to improve both. When we do, I think parents will come back.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A compromise for PeTA

PeTA won't let up on their protest of our live mascot and the media attention is growing. Nevermind that this is not actually BC's animal nor that the bird is cared for by trained professionals at a zoo, this protest will continue. PeTA is getting the attention they want and will probably not stop until BC backs down. I have no idea what BC will do, but I have two suggestions. And both might help in-game attendance.

1. Allow PeTA to do one of their famous nude protests right after the Eagle Walk. Ideally they would set up near one of the Stadium gates. This would certainly attract a bunch of gawkers, who once they see the fuss, might actually head to their seats.

2. Instead of the police clearing Shea before kickoff, have PeTA go around with cans of maroon paint to dump on fans. This is inspired by protesters who dump red paint on fur wearers, but I think it can work for BC. Most people wouldn't want to get splashed so they would head into the game. Those who ignore the warning would suddenly be covered in a school-spirit appropriate maroon. Wouldn't our fans look diehard if a few hundred were covered in paint? My only request is that PeTA test and make sure the paint is really maroon. We wouldn't want it to be red.

As someone who has spent years getting worked up about stuff other people find trivial or even pointless, I get PeTA's passion. If they don't like these ideas, maybe they will like my suggestion to allow the new live eagle to hunt rodents on the field as a halftime show! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Why does AggieVision have more flexibility than ESPN3?

BC's game against Army will be a 1 P.M. kickoff and broadcasted on ESPN3. While I appreciate that ESPN3 has provided more access to more games than ever before, I still have a gripe. ESPN-produced ESPN3 games rarely get picked up on a television-first sport network. (Think NESN or SNY or some of the regional Fox Networks.). So if you want to watch these games on a big screen you have to have some sort of streaming device or hook up your PC to a screen. I understand that it is a nit picky thing to whine about, but that doesn't mean it is not a hassle. ESPN3 wouldn't seem so limiting if BC fans didn't have a relevant comparison point on our schedule.

Our game against New Mexico State will be broadcast on "AggieVision." AggieVision is New Mexico State's streaming solution while they wait to rejoin a conference with its own TV deal. I doubt the production value is as good as ESPN3, but AggieVision -- while primarily a internet network -- syndicates their games on regional sports networks. Some of New Mexico State's home games will be on Fox Sports Arizona or Altitude. That means that most BC fans with a sports package will be able to see BC-New Mexico State on one of their TV channels.

ESPN could easily release these type of games. They don't because most of these other channels are competition. But in the long run they could be making their service that much more relevant and beneficial to partners like the ACC if they followed AggieVision's lead.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Soccer ties Notre Dame and other links

The Men's Soccer team tied Notre Dame Saturday. The Irish were No. 2 prior to the game. The Women's team lost to Virginia Tech.

Field Hockey picked up another win

Volleyball lost to Harvard.

Why did Rettig wear an "NP" on his helmet? UPDATE

FYI: After I posted, A.J. alerted me that the sticker was in honor of his former teammate Nick Pasquale.

Last week against USC, Chase Rettig wore a circle sticker on the back of his helmet with the letters "NP" (see picture below). I took note of it at the time, but did not read an explanation after the game. 

Then Saturday a series of players in other games wore circular stickers with the letters "APU." Their stickers were a protest about college athletes getting paid. Obviously the letters are different, so Rettig's sticker is likely unrelated, but I still don't know why he wore it. If anyone has any answers, email me or post it in the comments.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mike Mayock's rise and other links

I don't think your average football fan associates Mike Mayock with BC, but with his work with NBC and NFL Network, he might be the most watched of all our current TV alums.

Future Eagle Connor Strachan is the key to St. Sebastain's season.

Patrick Eaves will miss the start of the NHL season due to an ankle injury.

BC is showing interest in 2015 prospect Nate Grimes.

Field Hockey pulled off a huge win on Friday by beating Syracuse 6-3.

Volleyball lost to Northeastern. They face Harvard on Sunday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Spots still open for Eidt Memorial Golf Tournament

One again the Eidt family is opening up their annual golf tournament to BC fans and members of the BC community. This is the 15th annual Kevin Eidt Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament and the money raised go to fund a scholarship in the Carroll School.

The event is Sunday September 29 at Wayland Country Club (Wayland, MA). There is golf and an auction which will include a BC/VT middle campus parking pass available. For more information go to:

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Elon game and other links

According to a North Carolina report, BC will play Elon in 2015. As BCI noted, that leaves BC with one too many games for that season. My hunch is that we will push back New Mexico State's return visit or drop that game all together.

Clemson is just the latest team to offer a scholarship to BC target and Cincinnati St. X LB Justin Hilliard.

The ACC named runner Liv Westphal its Performer of the Week.

The Heights caught up with former Eagle Matt Humphrey.

Copying from the best

Bruce Feldman spent a week with Texas A&M and wrote about it for CBS. Any college football fan should read the article just to get a feel for how a program operates. What I found interesting though was how the offensive staff watched the Philadelphia Eagles' opener and copied a play...a play that BC also copied and used early in the USC game.

On the TV is Chip Kelly's NFL debut against the Washington Redskins. The former Oregon coach is having quite a night as the Philadelphia Eagles' new head coach. The Eagles had a staggering 21 first downs in the first half alone while ripping off 53 plays. Kelly's success has caught Sumlin's eye. The Aggies head coach practically bounds into the room and goes right to the grease board on Spavital's wall. He grabs a blue Sharpie and diagrams up a wrinkle that Kelly has been carving up the Redskins with all night. It is a zone-read play with an option of throwing to the tight end with a bubble to the field. Usually a QB has three options on that play but the tight end free-releasing down the field creates a whole other set of problems for defenses.

We didn't target the Tight Ends in the first two games, so it was no surprise that we eventually used them in the passing game. What I appreciate is that instead of using them on a late release in goalline or a play fake off of a power play, we did it from spread, read-option. It shows that at least we are watching others and looking for new ideas. It won't always work, but it is encouraging that our staff thinks this way.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Time is now for Hanlan...and BC

The Draft Express crew think Olivier Hanlan is the 6th best NBA prospect in the ACC. While their scouting doesn't guarantee anything, Hanlan has to be thinking about the NBA. If he improves off of last season, he's a first-round draft pick. I hope the lure of the NBA provides the proper motivation and makes him work harder and play better. A great season for Hanlan should mean a great season for BC.

The only downside to a big year for Hanlan is what it means to sustaining a consistent program. If he leaves he takes a big chunk of scoring and productivity. He would also put Donahue in an awkward position. Had things progressed on a normal pace, Hanlan's Senior season would be the chance for Donahue to backfill the Anderson/Clifford class without a total drop off. If Olivier leaves before those guys, BC has another massive rebuilding job.

It also becomes about windows. If Hanlan turns out to be only a two-year player, it is critical that Donahue gets the team into the NCAA Tournament this year. First to show that he can win with talent and secondly to buy himself some time for another rebuild.

Let's hope Hanlan has a huge year. Those types of seasons from special players are fun to watch. And who knows when we will see one again.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Power Ranking the Power Rankers

I hate that there is so much subjectivity in college football. Instead of W-L records, everyone's got an opinion. Fortunately outside of the Coaches' poll, none of these opinions really matter. They are all just filler content to get people talking. The worst are the various Power Rankings. Someone's subjective list of who is the best team at the moment. Yet for all my eye-rolling at the Power Rankings, I cannot help but get sucked in...every week! I tweet about them, link them and demand respect for "BC" each time. What can I say? I am an idiot. But I am also an idiot with an opinion. So here is my Power Rankings of ACC Power Rankers:

1. Fox Sports South
No one is reading this ranking or talking about it, but that doesn't mean I cannot rate them No. 1 in my rankings. Their top is just like everyone else's but at least they do some things different like ties and punishing BC for our blowout loss to USC. If you are going to use regional bias in your rankings, do it proudly! That's how you shoot up the Rankings.

2. ESPN 
The Granddaddy of all the ACC Power Rankings. The the list is co-authored by ESPN's ACC bloggers Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson. No explanation is given for how they compile their individual lists into one poll. My main gripe with the ESPN list is that they don't move things around that much -- even after really bad performances. What's the point of a subjective ranking if your just going to be predictable about it?

3. ACC Sports
Jim Young does a good job keeping tabs on the ever expansive ACC and his ranking has a little more weekly movement than ESPN's but their lists are still very similar. How can one Power Ranker standout if he is a mirror of another, bigger site? Florida State is scoring like nobodies business. Put them at No. 1. I would! 

4. Shakin the Southland
Many SBNation blogs put up Power Rankings. I am not opposed to it, but wonder if there is much debate when you run a team-specific site? Shouldn't these guys put Clemson on top every week?

5. Testudo Times
Shouldn't they be doing a Big Ten Power Ranking?

Monday, September 16, 2013

FSU kickoff time and other links

BC-Florida State will kickoff at 3:30. Given the key afternoon slot means that it will be on ABC in most markets and "reversed" on ESPN2 or ESPNU in other markets. While it is not a great weekend for ACC games, it is still encouraging to see BC get one of the more desirable slots. It will also be good for attendance. BC has two weeks to get this game filled and rocking at kickoff.

The Jets have signed Ryan Quigley

Good news for the future as many committed Eagles are having strong high school seasons.

The Women's Soccer team lost to Clemson on Sunday. The Men's team beat Pitt on Saturday.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: UCS

Due to Pac 12 Network restrictions, I did not get to DVR the game nor access it online. So the following is based purely on what I saw live. Watching the game might have calmed me down a bit (it usually does). Overall I thought the talent gap was alarming, but the team still didn't play to their potential. If you're going to pull an upset, you need to play your best and hope the other team collapses. We didn't get that.

Offense: D+

If we planned on winning it would have taken a great effort from Rettig. It was just ok. He was really conservative in his deep throws early and didn't challenge much in the middle of the field. It was almost as he was avoiding risk too. His protection was terrible but he needed to settle down a bit when he was still in the pocket. The best part of the day was his long run. We can use that play again.

Like Rettig, Williams didn't get much help from his OL. But he didn't do anything special either. Rouse looked good but he was also going up against the backups. I liked Willis' burst. I liked throwing it to Dudeck. He didn't break anything but he's got good hands.

We finally passed to the Tight Ends. Naples, Parsons and Miller all had catches. That will be key going forward. Amidon wasn't thrown to much. Because I didn't get a chance to watch it back, I don't know if he was having issues getting open. Crimmins had a brutal drop.

The Oline didn't look lost. That was an issue under old regimes. But they did look slow. Over and over we kept getting beat on stunts and twists. We also couldn't pull and trap fast enough. Much of that pressure came up the middle. (I would have more specifics comments, but couldn't get all the line play breakdowns live.)

We had a gameplan that wasn't working and didn't really have great adjustments or counters. USC was too fast and too strong upfront and kept blowing up our runs. But he didn't make them pay with a Rettig run or misdirection until we were down by 28. We need to run counters early to keep them honest. I also think he needed to try passing a bit more.

Defense: C-

Above I referenced the issues on the Oline. The defensive line wasn't much better. We got pushed around and didn't make many big plays. Where was Edebali? Or why didn't Abdesmad look as good? Is Ramsey ever going to be a game changer? Those were all noticeable on Saturday. Mihalik forced a fumble and looked okay at times. Wujciak played a lot and hustled but couldn't get much penetration or disruption. 

Early in the game KPL looked great. He covered a lot of ground and was covering up others' mistakes. Later in the game he wasn't as near the action. Since I didn't get to watch the game back, I don't know why he wasn't as active. The announce team praised Daniels. I thought he was uneven. He looked good a few times and recognized some plays early. But he also seemed slow and out of place at other times. Divitto looked slow too. Keyes played a bit and was okay. Later in the game, I thought the backups -- including Strizak -- showed some promise.

Asprilla got targeted repeatedly. Under normal circumstances I would welcome that. Saturday wasn't normal. Asprilla played too far off and missed a key tackle on Lee's 80 yard TD. Jones didn't get targeted as often and played less. ALJ was back and seemed capable of running with USC's talent. I thought Sylvia played well and tackled well. Rositano wasn't as active. 

It seemed like we were conservative on defense early. I don't want to say "bend but don't break" but we played way off and gave the Trojans plenty of cushion. It was only later that we started to get a little more aggressive and finally get some pressure on USC. I can sort of justify the safe approach when you prepare for a talented team, but think an aggressive approach from the first snap would've been better for us.

Special Teams: B+

Freese's punts were the best part of our day. He pinned them back and gave us a chance with each possession. Our return game could use some spark. Maybe we will get it because Willis had a nice run on the late Kick return. 

Overall: C

We have talent issues. We've known it a few years and Addazio all but admitted it during all his preseason interviews. We needed a miracle and some lucky breaks to win and didn't get them. I don't really blame Addazio for the loss. But I do have concerns about the Offensive Line play and our slowness to adjust the gameplan once we were down 21. 

Great coaches are not perfect every week but do make their team better than it should be. BC is not at the place yet. Addazio has a few more rough games coming up. I hope he uses this game as a learning opportunity so that the next time we face an elite team, we win. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trojans too much

We knew a lot would have to break our way to win. Not much did. I thought the gameplan was a little too conservative especially when we got behind. Despite getting blown out, I still feel better about this team than I would've last season.

I don't have access to the Pac 12 online so I don't think I will be able to watch the game again.  I will still have my thoughts and grades up Sunday night.

In-game comments post: USC

I know that fans are still scrambling to find a way to watch the game. If you have resigned yourself to listening online don't be shy about reading the comments or asking questions of those who can see the game. Of course everyone is welcome to leave their thoughts below.

You can also follow me on twitter.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Game Watches: USC UPDATE

This week is a little complicated for Game Watches because of the Pac 12 Network. In fact our Atlanta Game Watch is still in search of a bar that has the channel. (Follow the ATL club's Facebook page for updates.) As always if your club is not listed, please post it below. Also share any work arounds you might have for Pac 12 Network access.


**Please note there is no San Diego Game Watch this week. In fact the BC crowd there chartered two buses for the game. All other Eagle fans in Southern California are encouraged to attend the game. There should be plenty of USC fans dumping tickets.

Austin Game Watch
3rd Base Sports Bar
6th street

Boston Game Watch
Joshua Tree 1316 Commonwealth Avenue
Allston, Mass.

Chicago Game Watch
Nic and Dino's Tripoli Tap
1147 W Armitage (Armitage Brown/Purple Line L)
Chicago, Ill.
Gamekeepers Tavern & Grill
345 W. Armitage

Dallas Game Watch
Christie's Sports Bar
2811 McKinney Ave Suite 22
Dallas, Texas

Hartford/Western Mass Game Watch
Buffalo Wild Wings
703 Poquonock Avenue
Windsor, Conn.

New York Game Watch
Joshua Tree 513 3rd Avenue (between 34th and 35th Street)
New York, N.Y.

Philadelphia Game Watch
Fox and Hound - Center City 1501 Spruce Street

Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Irish Whiskey Public House
1207 19th Street Northwest
Washington, D.C.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, September 12, 2013

BC-USC preview

Last week's game was critical. This week we are playing with house money. USC's chaos is the story. We are merely the latest antagonist in their story. If we win, great. If we lose...well they were favored and "finally got their house in order." I like that the pressure is off. Maybe it will lead to us playing loose and getting a big win on the road.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
Gene DeFilippo left a lot of problems and messes behind, but he deserves credit for scheduling the Trojans. USC may not be the USC we planned on facing when we agreed to the game, but putting them on the schedule when we did was critical. At the time the Notre Dame series was in doubt and it looked like we might have trouble getting home and homes with elite programs. Signing these two games was and is a big deal. I have been critical of Gene often and think many of his later decisions hurt BC rather than helped, but to ignore all the good that he did wouldn't be fair.

Three Simple Keys
1. Get plenty of pressure on Kessler. Just because Kiffin picked a starter doesn't mean this guy is ready or impressive. Kessler supposedly has a better feel for the offense and is more accurate. But let's make him inaccurate. Let's give him lots of looks and have someone in his face every play.
2. Win all the battles on the offensive line. As I mentioned in my review, the Oline was good run blocking but not great pass blocking. That won't get it done this week. We need to be better than them every down.
3. Bounce back from the big play. USC will score and will make some big plays. Our response will be telling. Too often under old regimes, if we got down early to a favorite, we would roll over. We cannot do that this week.

Gambling Notes
-- Addazio is 5-5 on the road as a head coach
-- Kiffin is 6-5 against BCS non-conference opponents
-- BC last won as a double-digit underdog in 2011 
The current line is BC+14

BC hasn't played a regular season football game in California since 2001 and this is only our sixth game in California overall (second fact courtesy of BC's game notes). How have we not played here more? We've played in Hawaii three times and yet a state that has a huge Alumni population gets third tier bowls and the once a decade regular season game. I know we cannot play USC and Stanford every year, but there are other opponents in the Golden State that we can and should work into our rotation.

Scoreboard Watching
I will keep Maryland-UConn on my radar. Obviously the Terps are a future opponent, but I am also curious to see how the season plays out for UConn. A bad season could lead to a coaching change and I think you would see plenty of BC associated names as candidates.

I hope to see...
BC not look so one dimensional on offense. The first week we looked better passing and were inconsistent running the ball. Last week was the opposite. Addazio preaches balance. It would be nice to see it against one of the top defenses in the country.

BC is in trouble if...
USC gets non-offensive touchdowns. Lee is still a dangerous punt returner and their type of defense can certainly create pick 6s. If we give up a non-offensive touchdown, we are not winning this game.

Bottom Line
When I thought about this game in the summer, I pictured us being the plucky underdog that tries its best but sees the big power pull away in the second half. Now I don't see USC operating that way. Instead I think we'll see a slugfest for most of the day. I think we follow the Washington State blueprint and take the lead in the second half off of a USC mistake or turnover. A tie game comes down to a late field goal and we pull off a huge win.
Final Score: BC 20, USC 17

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vote for Iggy

There is an online poll to name our new live mascot. All of the names have their merits but I think we should go with Ignatius (Iggy for short). It is easy to explain. It nods to our history but also is catchy and marketable.

Sentiment might drive the vote towards Welles in honor of Welles Crowther, but I don't love the idea. I also have no idea how the Crowther family would feel about it. My apprehension about naming a bird after Crowther is that I am not sure the association is worthy of our 9/11 hero. Does it trivialize what he did to have a bird on our sideline using his name? I know the same argument could be made about Ignatius, but his death is not as raw or close to home as Crowther's. I also hope that someone from BC has reached out to the family to get their blessing regardless of how the vote goes.

In the end an "a rose eagle by any other name" will still be all of ours. It doesn't matter, but it is best to make it something inoffensive and befitting of BC.

ATLeagle Google+ Hangout with ESPN's Drew Gallagher

I've known Drew Gallagher since our days at WZBC in the 1990s. After graduation, Drew joined ESPN and rose through the ranks to become a producer. In 2011, he produced a feature on his friend and fellow BC classmate Welles Crowther. If you are reading this blog you probably know Welles' story and have seen Drew's piece. In this Hangout, we discuss Drew's history with the piece and working on emotional subjects. 

[ATTN: This Hangout seems a little more glitchy than the first one. I apologize and hopefully it is not too distracting.]

Once again, here is Drew's Emmy-winning feature on Welles Crowther.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Guest Blogger: USCFootballNews returns

USCFootballNews is back to answer my questions about the troubled Trojans. In this exchange, he answers questions about the offense, their new look on D and why it seems like things are falling apart. My questions and his answers follow.

1. Everyone knew that USC would face a downturn during Kiffin's tenure because of the sanctions. Is that what we are seeing now or is there more to it? The team seemed to quit during last year's Sun Bowl. Was the Wazzou game more of the same?

USCFootballNews: Sanctions certainly have had an effect on this team. The roster is talented, but not deep. Between injuries and NCAA reductions, USC had less than 60 scholarship players available against Hawaii. In that game, both starting corners got hurt, and the defensive backs were stretched too thin. At one point during Fall camp, USC was down to two healthy scholarship receivers, so walk-ons were getting reps with the first team. Furthermore, to reduce injuries, the Trojans have reduced the amount of contact in practices, and that leaves the team less prepared for full speed Saturday action. But there's more to it. I don't think it's players quitting on the team. I think it's a combination of weak quarterback play and the lack of an offensive identity and game plan that is keeping the passing game anemic. Without any mid-to-long range passing game to worry about, defenses can load the box and protect against the run or the bubble screen and dare USC to throw deep. The Trojans have been unwilling or unable to meet that challenge offensively.

2. Lee was contained throughout the Saturday's game. I imagine BC will do something similar. How do you think the Trojans will respond?

USCFootballNews: I'm not so sure Lee was so much contained as he was under-utilized. People used to joke that the only person who could hold Michael Jordan under 20 points was Dean Smith. In 2013, it's been like that with Lee and Lane Kiffin. With Cody Kessler and Max Wittek at quarterback, Lane Kiffin has called very few downfield throws. It seems like every other time Marqise Lee touches the ball, he's starting behind the line of scrimmage, and defenses are ready for it. I'm not sure if the play-calling is just that bad, or if Kiffin simply knows that his quarterbacks cannot complete passes more than 10 yards downfield in the face of a pass rush. My fear is that USC will respond to last week's lackluster performance with even more draws and bubble screens, but my hope is that they will give newly-named starting quarterback Cody Kessler some chances to throw deep to USC's talented receiving corps of Lee, Nelson Agholor and Darreus Rogers. You might even see more designed bootlegs and rollouts with passes to the fullback or tight end.

3. What is your opinion on the transition from Monte Kiffin to Pendergast and his 5-2 schemes?

USCFootballNews: That has been the biggest positive development for the Trojans this year. The new defensive scheme seems to be working. It's faster. It has simpler reads and is easier to coach, allowing the staff to focus more on technique and execution, rather than inundating players with a complex system to learn. It takes advantage of the tremendous athleticism of USC's defenders, particularly players like Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin, who are physically suited to play both linebacker and defensive end. Expect to see USC in the 5-2 about two-thirds of the time, and in the nickel most of the rest of the time.

4. What is your prediction for the game?

USCFootballNews: For the past 15 years, we've come to expect the Trojans to bounce back from upsets with big confidence-restoring wins. I do believe USC will win, but I am not expecting that kind of confidence-restoring performance against Boston College. I think USC's passing game is going to continue to struggle. Still, the offense is long overdue for some sustained scoring drives and with USC's defense, a couple should be enough. I would pick USC to win a relatively low scoring game, with a score of something like 20-14, with some of Boston College's points coming off turnovers.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Williams, Jones honored and other links

After his big game Friday, Andre Williams earned Offensive Back of the Week honors. Bryce Jones also earned individual accolades for his performance against Wake.

BC inched a bit higher in ESPN's ACC Power Rankings.

It has only been two games, but Don Brown's defense is showing year over year improvement.

Our smallest recruit had a great weekend.

Field Hockey lost to UMass.

Volleyball won BC's own Invitational.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Wake Forest

The second viewing is always critical for understanding what happened in the trenches. This game was no different. It showed how well the defensive line played and how inconsistent the offensive line was. But there was plenty to like, especially how far the team has come in one week.

Offense: B

Rettig's night was a bit uneven. Some of his throws were nice. The first TD to Amidon was a good read and a good throw. Wolford's drop could've been a TD too. However, he didn't see the safety and underthrew the flea flicker. Some of passes weren't sharp. I also think he's got to get a better feel for the pressure. Most of the sacks were not his fault, but he is still holding it too long too often.

Andre Williams carried this offense. Obviously this was his best game, but it wasn't him breaking a few big plays or even running over guys. He was making good cuts and reads. He got through traffic and tight holes better than he ever has. Wolford blocked well but missed his chance at a TD when he let the ball slip through his hands.

Amidon played really well. He's now getting even better about winning 50/50 balls and getting extra yards after the catch. Crimmins blocked well on the bubbles. Spiffy dd too. Once again we played a ton of TEs but didn't target any of them on pass plays. When we do, someone is going to be wide open.

The offensive line looked like two different groups. On run plays they were solid. They controlled the line of scrimmage and got good push. They also pulled and trapped well. On the play action Rettig had time. It seemed like on the true pass blocking plays we struggled...especially in the interior. White got blown up once. Gallik did too. Good news though was Betancourt looked solid when he filled in for Patchan.

While we remain really conservative, I thought the play calling was good. We were able to run and did it with a variety of looks. We gave Rettig options to pass out of the run. We were aggressive going downfield. I would like to see more effectiveness in true passing, but when the run is working, there is no reason to stop it.

Defense: A-

Abdesmad might have saved this game. His tackles and play on the goallines were great. The entire defensive line looked much better. Edebali looks really good, especially when he's allowed to stunt. He's now able to use speed as opposed to trying to just power his way into the backfield. Mihalik made some plays. Wujciak was solid. Ramsey's been quiet. I don't know if it is the new position or he's not 100% but he hasn't looked like his old self yet.

KPL is another guy who is a new man in this scheme. He's covering a lot of ground and covering a lot of mistakes. Divitto looked better. I think MLB is his better position. Daniels didn't look as confused and contributed and tackled more. Both looked better is pass coverage. We are not rotating the LBs very often. I would like to see more snaps for Duggan and Keyes.

Wake targeted Jones and he answered. He also tackled well. The Safeties both looked better. Last week they were out of position. This week they were disruptive. Both Rositano and Sylvia played Wake's option perfectly. Syvlia is also one of our best tacklers. Asprilla wasn't targeted much.

Pick a measurement for defensive performance. Turnovers? We got plenty of those. Big plays? The defense made them all over the field and especially in the redzone. Containing big plays? Did that too. It was really fun to watch. Brown had a good gameplan and called a good game. The best part was how well the guys handled the option. Everyone seemed to know their assignment. We also mixed up the looks. We had 4-3, 3-4 and even some 3-3-5. Other than the first half of the Villanova game, this defense has been very very good.

Special Teams: C

Freese's kicks and punts were fine. Our coverage was decent. The big problem on Special Teams was allowing the punt block. With the ease in which Wake rushed in, it seemed like they saw something in film and knew to exploit it.

Dudeck and Evans were fine on their returns. Spiffy did a better job on actually catching Fair Catches.

Overall: B+

I don't care that Wake's stubborn love of the option gave this game away. It was an important game and we came out focused and played well most of the time. I also appreciate the improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. We almost screwed things up before half but Addazio made the right call about the "two minute drill." Taking the knee would've been Spaz-like. And I think everyone took notice of him telling the sideline reporter "that's on me." It is a candor and accountability that has been missing too long.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Two in a row! We are on a win streak!

It wasn't always pretty and BC could've and should've scored more, but it was a nice win. The defense looked much more comfortable and made some huge plays and huge stops deep in our own end. Hats off to Andre Williams. He carried the offense and got the explosive runs I felt we needed.

2-0 feels nice, but more importantly it gives hope that we can go bowling.

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

In-game comments post: Wake Forest

Wake games are never dull. This matchup means a lot to both teams, so I expect this game to be crazy too. Leave your thoughts and comments below.

You can also follow me on twitter.

Game Watches: Wake Forest

It seems like a lot of Chapters are using a Friday night to have a Game Watch. You too can end your week with fellow fans. If your meeting is not listed, be sure to list it in the comments section.

Chicago Game Watch
Nic and Dino's Tripoli Tap
1147 W Armitage (Armitage Brown/Purple Line L)

Dallas Game Watch
Christie's Sports Bar
2811 McKinney Ave Suite 22

Houston Game Watch
J. Blacks Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge
110 S. Heights Blvd.
Houston, Texas
Jersey Shore Game Watch
Molly Maguire’s
132 E River Road
Rumson, N.J.
Las Vegas Game Watch
Steiner’s Nevada Style Pub
8410 W Cheyenne Avenue
Las Vegas

Los Angeles Game Watch
SmithHouse Tap and Grill
10351 Santa Monica Blvd.
Century City, Calif.
Miami Game Watch
The Village Grille/the Village Pump
4404 El Mar Drive
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Miami, Florida

New York Game Watch
The Royal 127 4th Avenue (between 12th & 13th Streets, near Union Square)
Philadelphia Game Watch
Fox and Hound - Center City
1501 Spruce Street

Phoenix Game Watch
Gallagher’s Sports Grill
7575 N. 16th Street
San Diego Game Watch
The Beer Co. 602 Broadway
San Diego
San Francisco Game Watch
Shanghai Kelly’s 2064 Polk St (between Pacific Ave & Broadway St)
Washington, D.C. Game Watch
Irish Whiskey Public House
1207 19th Street
Northwest Washington, D.C.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, September 05, 2013

PETA doesn't like our new mascot

Not everyone shared our excitement about the new live eagle mascot. PETA told Boston Magazine that they don't believe any live animal should ever be used for sporting events. The organization has reached out to BC but have not planned any sort of protest yet.

I hope BC holds firm with this new tradition. Protests are predictable, but as long as a respected organization like Zoo New England handles the bird, I don't think any harm will come to any person or animal.

BC-Wake Forest preview

You will never find a more critical second game for two BCS conference bottom dwellers. Like BC, Wake enters the season with modest expectations. They think they can get back to a bowl, but are realistic about beating the conference heavyweights. This is one of their toss ups. It is one of ours too. If BC wants to get to six wins, this game is critical. We've already established that Addazio has confidence entering every game. That's good. But if he wants the players and fans believing, he needs to win this one.

What's on my mind (not totally related to this game)
I know this is not a popular opinion but I love the Friday night timeslot. I recognize that I would feel differently if I attended games in person. I am sure that if I were younger and had a true social life, Friday night games would cause conflicts. But as a married dad with young children, Friday night games are fantastic. The kids will be in bed for most of the game so there is little noise and fewer distractions. It also frees up my Saturday so I don't have to worry about finding time to watch a BC game around soccer, swimming and Scouts. There's no guilt about checking the scores on my phone during Saturday evening Mass. Selfishly it cannot get better. If BC could play all our home games on Friday night for the next five years, I would be very appreciative! Season ticket holders and people without young kids be damned!

Three Simple Keys
1. Stop the run. Wake is a bit of a mirror to our team. This year they have a renewed emphasis on running the ball despite a patchwork offensive line. There will still be plenty of misdirection but we need to win the battles up front. We also need to crash down on any option exchange.
2. Get big plays out of the running game. No one would have any problems with us running the ball so much if it wasn't such drudgery. Williams had one long run on the TD. You cannot build an offense around the occasional explosive play. We need to get big gainers consistently.
3. Don't waste yards on Special Teams. We cannot handicap ourselves by letting punts roll all the time. Returns are optimal. Fair catches should be the worst case.

Gambling Notes
-- Grobe is 28-38 in road game while coaching Wake
-- Wake has lost four straight road openers
-- Addazio was 7-8 in conference games at Temple
The current line is BC-3

Wake Forest was also Spaz and Jags' first ACC home game.

Scoreboard Watching
None of our future ACC opponents have true bellweather games this week. However, Miami is playing Florida. We don't play the 'Canes this year, but the game could be another huge boost for the conference. Like last week's Clemson game, Miami can make a statement about the quality of play and the true strength of our conference.

I hope to see...
Rettig spread the ball around more. I touched on it in the WR post on Wednesday, but great offenses and great QBs get everyone involved. We are lucky to have Amidon, but we won't be a great or even above average offense until we establish a second, third and fourth threat. Plus when you get everyone involved things get easier for our more talented guys like Amidon.

BC is in trouble if...
their backs and wide receivers are wide open again in crossing patterns. I attribute last week's few big plays to BC adjusting to a new system. If we haven't fixed those breakdowns, then I will begin to worry about beating Wake and anyone else on our schedule. Let's hope these were mental mistakes. If they were physical than we really do have talent issues.

Bottom Line
Wake's defense looked good last week, but I don't know how much weight you can put on their win over Presbyterian. Even at an FCS level, they are not nearly as good as Villanova. I think we will move the ball like last week (run early to open up the pass). I also think our defense should be capable of slowing Wake down. Unlike last week -- where we were playing catchup -- I think we go ahead early in this game and control throughout.
Final Score: BC 27, Wake Forest 17

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Where are our other WR options?

Addazio is thinking of using David Dudeck at Wide Receiver in an effort to establish a viable No. 2 at the position. I don't love the idea of moving our only healthy running back, but Dudeck has proven very adaptable throughout his short career. The bigger question is why aren't any of the other guys ready to step up?

The void is caused in part by Bobby Swigert's medical redshirt. We also lost Johnethan Coleman to graduation. But there are still other guys on the roster who should be ready now. Addazio also referenced Crimmins when talking about the need. He dropped a catchable ball Saturday but other wise looked ok. Rettig needs to target him a bit more. Spiffy Evans has good open field skills (as he's shown on returns) but needs to work on his hands. Harrison Jackson supposedly has great hands but wasn't on the field as much last week. Barksdale is a probable redshirt. Zougrana? Grant? Who knows why they are not getting on the field.

A Tight End could also be a viable second option. There were plenty on the field on Saturday. Yet none were targeted.

Part of this is on Rettig. He needs to give other guys a chance. Part of it is on the coaching too. They've had months to develop a reliable No. 2. Design plays for other guys. Use the Tight End by design. The plays to Wolford worked well. He was a nice surprise, but you cannot tell me that there aren't other players who could also excel if given the chance.

We are lacking depth. That's clear. But Addazio and his staff need to do their best to make something out of nothing. Dudeck might be the answer. I just hope someone else steps up. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

No respect for the win and other links

I think most of us were fair in our assessment of BC's win. It wasn't pretty but it was a "W." ESPN didn't see it the same way. Despite winning and many ACC teams losing their respective openers, BC remains at the bottom of the Power Ranking. Unfortunately perception still matters in college football. I guess we will just have to win this week.

Here is the depth chart for the Wake Forest game. I would hope to see more 2nd team defensive guys used this week. Wake Forest's Michael Campanaro will play.

The ACC named Chris Ager the ACC Soccer Player of the Week.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Addazio pregame and other links

Here is Addazio's pregame speech on Saturday. Do things feel a little different to you?

Addazio was happy with Wolford's performance.

If you missed it last week, BC will play Notre Dame in a Frozen Fenway game.

Future Eagle Darius Wade is ready for a big Senior Season.

NFL stuff: the Eagles cut Momah and Cleary will probably go on IR for the Colts.

Men's Soccer tied Quinnipiac. Women's Soccer beat Hofstra in OT.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Villanova

Watching the game live was more tense than I would like to admit. After they scored on the fake punt, I started to worry. Perhaps that left my live assessment a little too critical. When I watched the game back, the team did not look as bad as my initial impression. Things were still a little sloppy but there were some encouraging signs for the season ahead.

Offense: B-

Rettig played very well. His decision making was pretty good. He moved well on the rollouts and bootlegs. He stepped up in the pocket. A few of the passes were forced but nothing was picked. The only thing we didn't see was a true run. If we keep using the option, he will have to tuck and run eventually. He also seemed to have a good feel for the offense.

Andre Williams ran hard and he ran through people. It wasn't the prettiest showing but he did result in one explosive play -- the TD. I still think he's got to get a better feel for the holes and when to cut. As the announcers pointed out, he would run laterally for to long...essentially allowing the defenders to cut him off. It is clear he is going to get a lot of carries and it is clear that he is tough. Now we just need him to make a few more explosive plays and avoid traffic. Wolford was the real surprise of the day. Lots of guys can catch open passes, but he also was able to run after the pass. Dudeck was fine. Rouse had limited carries, but seemed to have a good feel for the spacing.

Amidon did a great job getting open and with his run after the catches. He also did a good job catching anything thrown towards him. The only real blemish was the fumble. Spiffy had drop and a catch. Crimmins was fine. The Tight Ends were asked to do a lot of blocking but it was tough for me to judge how effective they were on the rewatch (via ESPN3 on my laptop).

As a unit the Offensive Line played well. They provided enough protection when Rettig needed it. They didn't dominate like you might expect, but that was in part because of how Villanova loaded the box. There was a lot of pulling and movement and the timing was much better than it was last year. There was also a good deal of downfield blocking. Williams had a great one on the Amidon TD that was called back. Patchan was solid -- although he allowed a sack. Vardaro had two stupid penalties. As I mentioned earlier, Williams was good. White was good. Gallik was fine.

As I said in my first recap, I didn't love the offensive play calling. It was so run heavy even when we weren't getting big plays on the ground. It felt like we were forcing something that wasn't there. Nova was also prepared for it. The good news was that we adjusted. Later in the game we used play action to set up effective passing -- both short and downfield.

Defense: B

Edebali was the best of the front four. He looked fast and was able to cover a lot of ground on stunts. I liked what I saw from Mihalik and Wujciak. I had hoped to see more activity from the other DLs but Appaih, Ramsey, Rudolph and Abdesmad were relatively quiet.

KPL looked really good. He was active and made big plays. Keyes also looked good (in limited snaps). Daniels and Divitto had more issues. Daniels got swallowed up too often on blocks, and had real problems in coverage. Divitto also had issues in coverage. I don't know how much was due to communication breakdowns or confusion, but we need to fix it soon.

Asprilla was great. He made good tackles -- like the old days. He also did well in coverage. Sylvia played well too. Rositano was good near the line but allowed big plays at other times. I don't know if we got caught gambling or if he was just slow to recover.

What I liked about the defense: good tackling (better than the final Spaz years). We also got to the QB for the first time in years. We attacked from various points. And the guys forced turnovers. All were great signs for the future. My concerns were about positioning, big plays and assignments. I don't know yet if these were player mistakes or Villanova exploiting issues. I did like the strategy of crashing the QB exchange in the second half. It really disrupted their offense.

Special Teams: C

Starting the season by allowing a TD off of a fake punt is not a good omen. Give Villanova credit. The design was beautiful and left us totally flustered. My hope is that we are ready -- and scout -- any other fakes this year.

Spiffy wasn't particularly aggressive on the punt returns. In fact, we allowed a few potential returns to roll too far and cost us field position. Dudeck joined Spiffy on kick returns and looked fine.

Freese's kickoffs were nice. The punting was ok. We didn't shank any but were unable to pin them in the redzone.

Overall: B-

Addazio said we would play to our strengths, but it didn't feel that way in our first game. He wants to run the ball, so we ran the ball. Even after it was clear that Villanova was prepared for that. If we remain that stubborn, I think our offense will have some of the same scoring issues we had under Spaz.

Overall though it was a win. We didn't always seem prepared and we didn't look pretty, but we stayed composed and made adjustments. It wasn't a clinic, but was a nice building block.