Second viewing thoughts and grade report: UNC
This wasn't a game we gave away with bad clock management or a missed kick. It obviously didn't come down to one play. But it was frustrating watching it back, because UNC did not play that well. Not as well as the score indicates. Instead BC kept shooting itself in the foot. This echos what Addazio said after the game, but when he watches it back, I imagine he will have steam coming out of his ears. There were that many plays -- fumbles, bad sacks, defensive players falling down, bad punt returns, etc. -- that added up to a big loss.
We have plenty of issues on offense but Rettig is getting most of the blame. In this case it was justified. He is now holding the ball way too long. There were some positives in relation to his pocket awareness. He was willing to tuck and run more than he has all year. And most of the runs were net positives. But too many throws were late or not thrown at all. Talk of making a QB change is very premature. If we are going to make a bowl, it will be with Rettig's arm.
I was wrong about Rettig prior to the season. I was really wrong about Andre Williams. He's gotten so much better as the season goes on. The touchdown was nice, but he had a huge hole. However, he had a series of runs between the tackles where he ran hard and moved through traffic. For many years Williams was bad between the tackles. If he didn't have space, he wasn't able to adjust. Now he can weave a bit and is still very hard to take down. The only real issue with Williams was the early fumbled exchange. Rouse got a few snaps in garbage time. Willis was on the field more, but didn't get involved in the offense.
The offensive line was good. They got good push on running plays and at different points everyone was asked to pull or run. The pass blocking was also good for the most part. They gave Rettig time on most throws. Patchan allowed a sack, but was good for the most part (despite his penalties). Gallik also let in some rushers. Williams and White both played well.
Amidon had a few nice catches but could do much after the catch. He also dropped a catchable third down. But we need to get him more touches. What happened to using him on end arounds? Naples had a nice catch early. Jackson and Evans both had chances to catch balls but the throws weren't great. I blame it a little on them and on Rettig. A better QB-WR connection would have them coming back to the ball. Dudeck missed his one chance at a catchable ball.
I don't know what to make of Day's gameplan against UNC. We ran the ball well enough, but couldn't build on the passing game. A big problem in my opinion was passing on passing downs. If we run, run and leave us in a passing 3rd down, the defense knows what's coming. We are at our best when we can pass off of play action or rollouts on first and second down. It worked somewhat early. Why move away from it? Why not use some of the shotgun with short crosses that Rettig and Amidon like early in a possession? Get them in rhythm. Teams are flatout challenging BC now. It is going to be on Day to salvage our passing attack. It wasn't effective this week.
The defensive line was probably the best part of the D. Ramsey played well and brought pressure. Appiah made plays for the first time in a long time. Mihalik made some good plays early. Edebali did well closing.
Steven Daniels is so much better than he was at the start of the year. We knew he was a big hitter, but he's doing a better job covering a lot of space. Divitto had a better game. He's not getting tackles for a loss, but is tackling well. KPL made some plays early but wasn't as active late. Little had a huge play in his debut.
Sylvia was the first BC player to get tossed for targeting and I am okay with that. The replay looked like he was slowing down a bit, but he still led with his head/shoulders without using his arms. If you are really going to break up a touchdown, you need to wrap up or reach in. A knock out hit might get the WR to drop the ball, but that is no longer legal. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts from here. The rest of the DBs had a similar situation from other weeks. They were decent tackling but not great in coverage. Asprilla got burned early turning the wrong way. Williams fell down on a touchdown.
The defense wasn't the real problem but the results weren't great. It didn't feel like a Don Brown day. BC certainly brought pressure and generated some huge drive-killing sacks, but most of the time their QBs were given way too much time. Our multiple looks and guys faking the blitz didn't seem to bother either of their QBs. Like I said with Day, teams now know a bit more what to expect. Brown needs to keep mixing things up or just blitz even more. The blitzes were what worked best.
Special Teams: C
Freese's punts were fine and our punt coverage was fine. Freese also had a solid kick off and made his FG.
Willis handled all the KRs and was fine. He didn't get a big break on any but made good decisions and ran hard.
Spiffy had some issues on the punts. He let one sail way over his head and then had some questionable decisions on returns. Dudeck was fine on his one punt return.
The offense couldn't score. The defense allowed long, multi-play drives and the special teams didn't do anything special. Our gameplan was to get control early and grind it out. That was the problem. We didn't have a Plan B. Or at least a Plan B we could execute. We adjusted a little on D by bringing more pressure. On offense we couldn't come up with anything.
I appreciate Addazio's candor. UNC probably has more talent, but they didn't overwhelm us like USC did. BC made too many mistakes to win. That happens to all coaching staffs. The key is how Addazio regroups and gets the team to play better.
I know there is a lot of focus on Rettig. I've been blogging enough to see plenty of QBs struggle. This is not a Porter-Ryan or even a Shinskie-Rettig. I think this is more like Crane-Davis, where your backups are not the answer. So now the offensive staff needs to find something that works. It is triage time. If they don't, we will have many more games like this.