Addazio May Be Willing to Budge
Addazio took a ton of heat last week for his ultra conservative decision making in the Georgia Tech game. While I don’t think that the BC coach will ever change from being a conservative decision maker I guess that it’s possible that he at least won’t always make the most conservative decision during the game or at the end of first half.
Early in the game, BC actually went for it on a 4th-and-5 from the UMass 27-yard line. However, that was less of an aggressive action and more just a move to not send out a kicker who probably wasn’t capable of hitting a 44-yard field goal at that point in time.
Addazio did legitimately make a call to be aggressive and not conservative near the end of the first half though. Since arriving at BC, Addazio has almost always decided to "take a knee" at the end of the first half, even when the team has had the ball at the 30-yard line or closer to midfield and all of its timeouts.
Against UMass, BC received the ball with 1:54 left in the half at its own 18 yard line. After a Patrick Towles 15 yard run, the Eagles had the ball at the 33. On the next play, Towles dropped back to pass on first down and threw an interception. The turnover didn’t end up costing BC anything because the BC defense forced a turnover a few plays later.
The decision to try and move the ball downfield for a score before the half was the absolute right decision by Addazio, even though it ended in a turnover. In Towles the team has a more than competent QB and the staff shouldn’t be afraid to let him make plays. It was a step in the right direction for Addazio and I hope that the turnover by Towles won’t make him be conservative in these situations in the future.
The D can Dominate a Game
The BC defense played well against Georgia Tech, but the performance was a little overshadowed by the 4th-and-19 conversion near the end of the game. In reality, the Yellow Jackets were held to only 238 yards and a measly 2.7 yards per rushing attempt.
Against UMass, the BC defense was lights out aside from one single blown coverage which led to a 58-yard touchdown pass in the first half. Among the highlights:
-122 total yards allowed
-Negative 0.7 rushing yards allowed
-UMass held to 2-of-16 on 3rd downs
-3 turnovers forced
I think people had some doubts after the first game that the BC defense could be as good as it was last season. The D showed on Saturday that it can still completely dominate a game and make the other offense look like a high school team.
Knoll is Back
Knoll had managed to carve out a role for himself in preseason camp as a punter and has done OK with that job through two games by averaging 40.3 yards per punt.
Knoll took over kicking duties on Saturday and got off to a really shaky start by missing an extra point. I think at the point it was safe to wonder where Knoll’s confidence was at and if he was going to be capable of hitting any more kicks the rest of the day. The kicker rebounded by nailing his next extra point attempt and then completely shocking BC fans in the 2nd half by connecting on a 40 yard field goal. Knoll ended up connecting on a 37 yarder on the next drive as well. To a lot of college teams hitting on 37 and even 40 yard field goals isn’t a big deal, but to BC this is huge considering how bad the kicking game has been lately.
It was a positive sign to see Knoll rebound from a missed extra point and bury two field goals. Coaches always tell you that with kickers it is mostly a mental thing, so maybe Knoll is finally over that mental roadblock which was created in the Pinstripe Bowl two years ago.