October 1, 2008

10 Thoughts

Where does the 2008 BC football program stand? At 3-1 you would think in the driver's seat but with one third of the season gone I sit here scratching my head. I think we know a few things about the defense, it is solid but has it really been tested? The big play continues to be a concern, especially with dual-threat quarterbacks. BC's running game has improved and our offensive line is meshing but can we complete a pass downfield? The good news is that there is lots of football yet to be played and this week's matchup with NC State will go a long way in determining the direction the team may take going into the ACC schedule.

1. Nine pass attempts! I know the running game was working and I know the weather was rainy but nine pass attempts? Either the coaches scrapped the pass strategically not to showcase anything for NC State or we can't throw and catch. The University of Rhode Island has no juggernaut defense so the idea that their defense was shutting down the aerial attack is comical. We had a few drops and a few balls thrown without touch and accuracy to wide-open receivers. No matter who the quarterback is I am worried about a balanced attack come Saturday. Does Coach Jagodzinski scratch the passing game? Do we become a run-first team with an occasional pass off play action? Personally I don't care, I just want to win and I know Coach Jags thinks the same way. It doesn't matter how we get our yards or points, just get them.

2. Congratulations freshman running back Montel Harris, ACC Rookie of the Week. With the emergence of Harris we are very fortunate to have two young horses in the backfield. Freshman Josh Haden and Harris will determine where this team goes, the future looks bright for the BC running game.

3. Can we give credit due where it is deserved? This defense has been very good so far. Despite giving up one big play a game the defense has created turnovers and kept two of its first four opponents scoreless. It will be challenged the rest of the way but the defense must carry this team this year.

4. What a weekend for upsets or are they upsets? What are we as fans to think? Is their parody? Is there just a lack of good coaching? I think a little of both. No doubt the rules with roster size and scholarships has limited elite teams from hoarding players but I think a few coaches got out-coached this weekend. Staying with in the ACC, Tommy Bowden from Clemson was out-coached by Ralph Friedgen whose team lost to Middle Tennessee State a few weeks ago. Year in and year out he continues to make bonehead moves. He is a great recruiter who amasses talent but cannot direct the team. Word out of Maryland at halftime was to show some guts and Clemson would fold. They did just that. Clemson abandoned the run in a game where they ran wild with James Davis and C.J. Spiller. Clemson has the talent to win anywhere on any Saturday but has folded down the stretch at home much like the perennial collapse of the N.Y. Mets. There are lots of similarities. Lots of talent, teams would rather not play them but simply put -- no fortitude. As for USC, I think they read the press clippings too much and I don't know why Pete Carroll refused to drop eight men in the box to stop the run. As for Georgia, Nick Saban of Alabama simply put a beat down on the Dawgs of Georgia. Saban out motivated Mark Richt and got his less talented team to play more physical.

5. With the rash of upsets this past week it is just more evidence that there should be a playoff. Polls in my mind should not determine who plays for championships. Letting the kids play it out on the field will be the only way to crown a true champion in today's world of college football. Schedules are rewarding teams to schedule down. Something that had been looked down upon years ago. In a perfect world there should be a conference schedule and that is all that matters. Out of conference games should be played and let the powerhouses play each other but the games technically would count on the record but not for placement into a playoff. You don't win your conference you don't get to play in the playoff.

6. Looking ahead to this weekend. BC pays a visit to play (should I mention his name...oh well) Tom O'Briens' North Carolina State team. BC has not won a game in the state of North Carolina since the Mienke Car Care Bowl a few years ago. BC has not won a regular season game in North Carolina since becoming a member of the ACC. BC lost to NC State and Wake Forest in 2006 and lost to UNC in 2005. All three games were close contests but turnovers were key in all. I expect BC to take care of the ball this weekend and while this may be a defensive struggle early expect BC to use the ground game to wear down the NC State defense. Familiarity of the NC State coaching staff will be discussed adnaseum. To me last year was the real deal but this year I can proudly state I have moved on and don't need to rehash the past. Go Eagles!

7. With Chris Crane named the starting quaterback, how long will it before Dominique Davis will be inserted? For some reason I feel Crane will have a quality game on Saturday. Davis will get his two series and will continue his effective play but I have a good feeling that Crane will be able to find receivers on Saturday when needed to create the balance that will be needed to score some points. What gives me this feeling? Nothing other than my gut, and having a decent sized gut I tend to trust it sometimes.

8. Staying with quarterback play...what has happened to Sean Glennon, Cullen Harper, Riley Skinner and Drew Weatherford? While BC has its own challenges at the position, the entire league has struggled at the position this season. It is surprising as it seems that upperclassman have regressed this season.

9. BC has a 20 game non-conference winning streak. What does this mean? To me this is a solid stat. We win the games we should win and also win a toss up game every year. You can't take that away form the team. Don't want to look to far ahead but next month I know I would like to get that to 21 straight.

10. Coach Jags has mentioned that they are recruiting fewer players this season but the players that are being recruited are really quality kids. It is nice to see that we have our first 2010 commit in linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, and while there is no new news with the 2009 class, comments and interest seem high on a number of outstanding prospects. I will heed Coach Jags words and be patient.

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