Dan Rubin: It's Wednesday, but before we begin anything, I'm going to do a quick wellness check. AJ—we haven't really talked since Saturday. Please let me know if you're okay or if I need to banter with myself for a while.
AJ Black: That was one of the most disheartening, all around bad games I have ever seen. My blood pressure went through the roof, my voice is gone from screaming, but hey, we have to move on, right Dan?
Addazio said he is going to name a QB this week and he is going to stick with him against Clemson. Any predictions?
Dan Rubin: You know me, I'm not one for predictions, but I know that whoever is chosen requires 100% support, no matter how bad the offense looks. I'll say this: I'm glad to be moving on. Last week, I said the two-QB system needed time, and I often said I wasn't sure if it would be one quarter, one week, two weeks, the entire season, or stretch into the offseason. The coaching staff clearly saw what it needed to see, for better and for worse, out of both Jeff Smith and Troy Flutie.
Honestly, AJ, whoever is chosen is going to have their work cut out for them because their first full-time start is in Death Valley against Clemson. Your thoughts on the QB situation heading into Saturday?
AJ Black: God speed to whoever gets the start against Clemson. Death Valley is going to be loud, they are going to need to use a silent cadence, which worries me because I have to wonder if we will see more offensive line issues with presnap penalties. I just hope whomever Addazio picks is ready because Saturday is going to be a matchup unlike anything they have seen this year.
Dan, Clemson's offense is also going to be one of the best BC has faced. If you were Don Brown how would you attack DeShaun Watson and that Tiger offense?
Dan Rubin: BC's done the same things consistently well all season, so I don't think the mentality changes at all. The Don Brown defense plays exceptionally well when it's able to get penetration at the line of scrimmage and force bad decisions.
They do that through a blitz scheme that is pure chaos. They wreak havoc with the defensive front seven, and they do a good job of masking coverage with their defensive backs. The DBs have good closing speed and above-average hit stick ability, which makes it hard to handle. I think they'll need to take stock of where guys are on the field, but I don't think they necessarily attack Clemson any different than they will anyone else.
For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Don Brown would blitz the priest for the Eucharist at mass if it were socially acceptable.
AJ, what do you see from the Clemson offense that scares you most compared to the other teams BC's faced this season?
AJ Black: I think what really worries me the most is the depth of the offense that Clemson has. First off, DeShaun Watson is probably the best quarterback that the Eagles have faced all season. He is dynamic on his feet, which scares me because if BC doesn't get him on the blitz there could be huge holes in front of him. Secondly, if BC sits back and tries to keep him in the pocket, he has a cannon for an arm and some dynamic wide receivers, again probably the best they have faced all season, led by Artavis Scott. I still love BC's defense, but this is certainly going to be test unlike anything they have seen all year.
Dan, the UConn game seems to have fans split. Some believe that it's a great game against a local team, while others don't care. Where do you sit on this issue?
Dan Rubin: I really like it. There's no reason for BC to schedule at least one non-conference game against local competition. I've long been a proponent of rotating home games between UConn and UMass, and it's good to see it finally come to fruition. It might not be the sexiest opponent for people who want Texas or Alabama, but there's no doubting its appeal. Last year, one of our most trafficked and engaging weeks was the UMass game because of what the matchup brought to the table.
In terms of going on the road, I know people aren't going to like it because it gives up a home game, but bear this in mind: East Hartford is not far from Boston, and it opens up a chance for BC to work with UConn folks to get their New York City area alumni in for a game. Similar to what UMass did, the two schools can collaborate to really maximize revenue streams for the game.
At the same time, you're seeing an increase in college sports where teams no longer just take paychecks to come on the road to get pasted. That will always exist, but you're seeing more G5 schools demand games from P5 schools at their home stadium. That's how Army scheduled both Duke and Wake Forest at home. Duke also went to Tulane, while Miami went to Cincinnati. It's a growing trend because teams want to play at home more than they want to play on the road.
In any event, I like scheduling UConn because it'll be good for New England football. I'm going to offer a much different breakdown of this versus the UMass game at another time since there's so many layers to it.
AJ, the Eagles kicking game still is inconsistent at best, atrocious at worst. What would you do to fix it?
AJ Black: First off, I know this is going to be unpopular but I believe that Mike Knoll needs to get the kicking duty back. Colton Lichtenberg clearly is struggling, and like Knoll at the end of last year he needs to take a break to get his nerves back. Knoll on the other probably has the biggest opportunity to give BC something of a kicking game. Secondly, the long snapping and holding. Not to beat on a kid but Leonard Skubal has been snapping for two years now, both of which have been the years BC has struggled. Maybe try Michael Fischer, or one of the other long snappers. Again, try something different.
No Huddle Offense:
AJ: Earlier I posted that the recruits seemed positive still about BC, even when the offense stalled. What do you think are going through their heads as they watched that?
Dan: It's a juicy opportunity. They're sold on the coaching staff, which means they think they can come in and dominate. Depending on the position, I hope some of them can.
AJ, BC heads to Clemson this week, widely regarded as the best ACC road trip. What stadium or school do you most want to visit?
AJ: I would have to say Clemson first off; I haven't had a chance to get down there yet. But nationwide, I'd love to visit Ole Miss and The Grove.
Finally Dan, I know you're a Busch Light type of guy, but are you pro or anti pumpkin beer?
Dan: Pro, at least for a little while. I once went to a Pats game and pounded some gigantic pumpkin beers with my dad and brothers while watching the Saints-Jets on the Jumbotron well before kickoff. Fantastic day all around.