Before I start this week’s “Cheers and Jeers” let me just say that this post is going to leave out head coach Steve Addazio. I made it abundantly clear yesterday of what I thought of his coaching performance, and don’t feel like beating a dead horse. This post is about the players. Who looked good, who didn’t, just want to make this clear, I’m leaving Addazio out of it on purpose. If you want to unload on him again, and by all means I don’t blame you, go to my Addazio post from yesterday
Jonathan Hilliman: One of the positives that has kept me from falling over the ledge was the reemergence of running back Jon Hilliman. He only really had one long run, but boy was that a game changer. He showed excellent field vision, juked a defender and hit the hole like he did pre-surgery. It’s been a while to see a playmaker who can take one to the house on any given down, even when the defense was stacking the box. Very happy to see that again.
Truman Gutapfel: Dear lord is he going to be a force this year. One of the biggest questions going into the game was whether or not he would be effective without Connor Wujciak lining up next to him. Dare I say he looked even better? War Daddy was disruptive, and had a nice fumble recovery. He’s going to be a real joy to watch this year.
Connor Strachan: It seemed like every time BC blew up an option play it was Strachan making the play. Instinctive, physical, sure tackler, reminded me a lot of Luke Kuechly out there.
Tyler Rouse: Hurray we have a punt returner!!! Rouse has found his role, just seemed to have a knack for moving upfield when he caught, knowing when to fair catch vs. when to let it roll. All things we didn’t see last year with Sherman Alston. That alone should put BC’s offense in better field position.
Second half Patrick Towles: It seemed like a completely different quarterback that came out of the tunnel after half time right? Towles had very nice touch on that pass to Michael Walker, he knew when to scramble when his wide outs were covered, and he seemed like a leader. Let’s just hope the coaching staff saw the same thing and will allow him a little more leeway in the future.
Michael Walker/Charlie Callinan/Jeff Smith: I think we have actually may have a legitimate receiving corp. Now to be fair, it seemed at points like they struggled to get open, but I feel that may improve with time. Walker and Smith are dangerous in open space, and both of them may break a long one at some point this year, while Callinan looks to have found his role as well.
The Offensive Line: Were they perfect? No. But were they markedly improved from last year? Absolutely. This looks like an ACC worthy offensive line. The Jonathan Hilliman run was a thing of beauty that they deserve credit for, and for the most part when Towles went back he had a relatively clean pocket. Great work up front, and have to imagine that if they stay healthy they will only get better.
Colton Lichtenberg....or the entire kicking unit: No more field goals, unless it’s a chip shot. That we are now on season three without a unit that hike the ball, block the defenders and get a kick through the upright with any consistency is mind numbing. Come on.
The Secondary: John Johnson made a few big plays in the second half including a massive pop on Justin Thomas that prevented a first down, but for the most part this group just was not clicking yesterday. That 4th and 19 on the final drive was brutal (yes it was mostly on the coaching but still), and there seemed to be confusion on coverage on at least a handful of plays. The defense clearly was focusing on preventing the option, but to get torched through the air by Georgia Tech? That is concerning.
The Final Drive: I don’t have the play by play in front of me, but BC had the ball with around 40 seconds left, one time out, and needing to drive the ball for a field goal attempt that they most likely would have missed. They had Towles with an arm that should have at least made it a possibility, but instead it was just a comedy of errors with one penalty after another. Just horrible to watch.
Steve Addazio: Again, not getting into it, wrote up my thoughts on his decisions in a longer format here. But I’ll leave this quote: "We wanted our defense to have the game in their hand at the end. Period. And that's what we did". What?!
Agree? Disagree. Leave your thoughts in the comments!