Sometimes writing a post after a bad loss is tough. Today is one of those days. Saturday was a failure of epic proportions for the Boston College Eagles as the team looked completely out-coached and out-prepared by a clearly fired up Army squad. Finding positives in a game like this will be difficult, but I will try my best. And for the first time ever, I am going to combine "the bad and ugly" into one section, because it was difficult to differentiate the two this week. Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.
Andre William's First Half -- The first half of Saturday's game is exactly what we had hoped for out of Andre Williams. He looked like the explosive playmaker we saw two years ago against Syracuse, and his 99 yard touchdown run out of the end zone was probably one of the best plays BC has made all year. He finished the first half of the game with 160 yards on 12 rushes. However his second half was abysmal, and the final three plays where he couldn't manage a first down, was tough to watch.
Ian White -- The offensive line as a whole was a giant trainwreck, but White played a great first half, and it was his key block that sprung Williams on that 99 yard scamper. With the struggles of Gallik up the middle, White's name has been thrown about as a possibility to move to center. And with the way he played it might not be a bad idea.
Army Black Knights -- I don't normally like to compliment the other team, but it's hard to hate on Army. These players are not like other players who have been catered to their entire lives. They are servicemen willing to give their lives to this great country, and losing to them, and watching their fans celebrate honestly wasn't that bad. They kind of deserved it right?
The Bad &The Ugly
The Offensive Line -- At the beginning of the game, CBS SN flashed a stat that BC had an average size of 301 pounds on the offensive and Army had a line of 230. BC should have been able to establish the line and move the ball at will against Army, however that is clearly was not what happened. Army sacked Chase Rettig 5 times, and had pressure in his face for most of the game. How does this happen? Jim Bollman that is on you. Last year we complained about the offensive line being inadequate, but I am going to argue that this year is much much worse. Look at BC's opponents so far, they have yet to face an elite defense, and in every game the run game has been weak, and Chase Rettig has nearly gotten hurt weekly.
Frank Spaziani -- Army had not won a game since mid way through last season, and yet they looked like barn burners against an overwhelmed BC squad. BC did not have the slightest clue on how to stop the triple option, and that preparation is on Frank Spaziani. He exuded a loser mentality this week, making calls that just screamed "play not to lose" He punted the ball on the Army 40, and apparently he told Gerald Levano to punt the ball out of bounds on the final drive of the game. And of course he goes on the offensive after the game, blaming players, and taking no responsibility for the loss. This embarrassment lays solely at his feet.
The Defensive Front Seven -- Different opponent, same results. No pressure on the quarterback, absolutely atrocious tackling, and out of place time and time again. Army was able to amass over 600 yards of offense on this defense, just one week after they were held to 3 points by Stony Brook. Unacceptable.
Time of Possession -- Army had the ball fifteen more minutes than BC. How does the coaching staff allow that to happen? Army systemically destroyed BC with 7 yard runs, and BC stunk at getting the Black Knights off the field. Army went 8 for 16 on 3rd downs and 2 for 3 on 4th.
Game Preparation -- Let me rant here for a minute. Anyone who follows college football knows Army runs the triple option. They have done it for years. How is it that BC went into this game so completely unprepared. As Brian mentioned earlier, BC just needed to make assignments, stick to them and they should have been able to slow down the option. However, that didn't happen, instead they spent the entire game chasing the ball, which is exactly not what you want to do. Also, if a team can not throw the ball, why were the safeties lined up 10 yards back? Cheat them up, line up 9 or even 10 guys in the box and dare them to throw the ball! I would have rather have seen Army try to throw it and beat BC then get burned by Trent Steelman up the middle for four quarters.
Mid-game Adjustments -- It's easy to list this here, because well, frankly there were none. Frank Spaziani has continued to show time and time again that he is incapable of making adjustments at halftime. Is it stubbornness? Or is it that he doesn't know what to fix? Not sure, but even after getting slashed for 193 yards in the first half, the defense continued to do the same things after the half. No run support in the box, no changes on the offensive line. Nothing. Good job, good effort Spaz.
Have anything else that I didn't include that should be on this list? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!