Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NC State Wrap-up

A win against Tom O'Brien is always a good feeling.  Since leaving in 2006, Tom O'Brien is 1-4 against BC and now 1-2 against his old defensive coordinator.  This is a big win for Spaz.  Some think it may have saved his job, but is still no surprise that, according to reports, Spaz has had this game circled on his calendar since the beginning of the season.  His emotions following the win are also testament to that fact.  The win shows that the players have not given up either, especially with a late game push by NC State.  With the way things have gone and after last week, it would be just as easy to roll over.  But the team is still playing hard and still fighting.  Hopefully we can carry some momentum into South Bend.

I was not able to see the game, but by all accounts it was similar to the Maryland game.  Messy, not particularly good football, but BC just managed to outlast and out play the other team.  It seems that somewhat of a quarterback controversy is brewing.  Rettig is still the starter, and solidly so, but the first touchdown of the game was scored on an option read by Bordner.  The second, however, was a perfect pass by Rettig to Larmond.  It should also be noted that Bordner's running score was set up by a 41 yard pass by Rettig to Amidon.  On the outside, it looks as though Rettig and Bordner will be sharing the responsbilities a la Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson: Rettig taking the majority of the snaps and responsibility, but Bordner coming in in the right situations.

Defensively, BC took advantage of an offensive line as weak as our own.  NC State has made a season out of short yardage passing plays and BC was able to disrupt that.  As always, Luke was dominant and many pundits have highlighted a 13- minute period in the fourth quarter where he registered 9 of his 18 total tackles.

An important stat that I think is being overlooked in the wake of our victory is our total offense in the second half.  That would be -2 yards.  Yes, you read that correctly, the winning team in this game produced negative yardage in the second half.  After an aggressive first half, BC turtled up in the second half.  With a 14-3 lead at the half, BC went into the prevent offense, the signature Spaziani move when up in the game.  We managed to out last the Wolfpack, but this game could have just as easily been 24-14 as it was 14-10.  Don't forget, we intercepted NC State in the end zone and won the game on a tipped ball with 1:10 left to go.  Either of those plays goes a different way and BC loses this game... because we were not aggressive to end the game.

BC has been in this same position a few times, where the opposing team, down, has the ball and a chance to win.  Duke and Virginia last year come to mind.  The problem is the coaching staff goes conservative as soon as BC gets the lead and instead of driving the nails into the coffin, BC merely hangs on.  Teams can survive this way, but not all the time.  Negative yardage in the second half, whether we still managed to win or not, is unacceptable.  Winning teams do not turtle up in the second half and just try to wait out the clock.  They continue to go for the throat and don't give their opponents a chance to come back into it.  Constantly, our coaching staff does the opposite and just hopes that we can hold on.  

Twice this season BC has been tied or up going into the half.  We lost each of those games.  The coaching staff just tries to outlast our opponents or the clock instead of trying to win.  This has been their strategy for the last three years, but this year it has caught up to them.  Winning this game was merely the gilded exterior of the same old BC performance.  Negative two yards is the real story.  I am glad that we won and I am glad that the team fought hard to win and they deserved this victory.  But the fundamental problems still exist and are not going away.  14-10 is what most people will see in this game.  -2 is what is between the lines.

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