Get Insight: Boston College

Get Insight: Boston College

LuCane
Using last year's Boston College game to provide a peek into this year's season and game.

Here we go:

BCinsight1.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0LfOqBjCGw8#t=25s

Flashback: First play of the game, we came out in 3WR and ran streaks across the field. BC came out in a soft Cover 2, with 2 Safeties lacking elite athleticism. Like a flatfooted prize fighter, they took a monster shot to open the game. At the bottom of the screen, to the the wide side of the field, it was basically 3 Eagles vs 2 Hurricanes. The 2 Cane WRs pressed down the field, the Safety over the top was late, and the result was a 60 yard bomb.

What it means for this year: I like Fisch's inclination to be aggressive. I think he's one of those coaches who comes into the game with a marked advantage. I'm not sure that we have the outside WR (like Streeter and Benjamin) to put the necessary pressure on opposing defenses. The natural response will be "Phillip Dorsett." I think his best position is to be moving around the formations and put pressure on the defense vertically from the slot. I think that's a significant distinction.

What it means for this game: I don't think you're going to see anything exotic from BC. It's possible they throw in a wrinkle or two, but I think what you'll see this year will match what they showed last year: they'll allow us to implode.

BCinsight3.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0LfOqBjCGw8#t=425s

Flashback: Here was the homerun play by Lamar Miller. Straightforward play where Miller exploded for a long TD because the right side of the line did their job well and allowed Harlan Gunn to pull around and get all the way to the second level.

What it means for this year: With Feliciano and Linder (especially), I think we're going to see a significant amount of counters. Anyone remember Sherko's final year here? They ran counter after counter. Of course, we don't have the same kind of elite RB as a starter, but I think it will put Mike James in solid position to use his cutback ability.

What it means for this game: While most are going to consider this Stephen Morris' "coming out" party, and therefore we'll start out conservative by running the ball, I think we'll see a more balanced approach (if not tipping the other way). Specifically as it relates to this play above, my hope is we'll see Mike James hit the holes consistently harder and without hesitation, ala this play above.

BCinsight5.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0LfOqBjCGw8#t=1136s

Flashback: Something I've harped on for years. Harris' inability to properly use the middle of the field truly limited our offense. We primarily played on one half of the field and typically on its edges. In the play above, there was a relatively weak pass (that may still should have been caught) that allowed a 2 high Safety look to converge on a simple seam route.

What it means for this year: Here's where I think we have a chance to make the biggest leap as an offense. Not only does Stephen Morris have the arm to hit the seam effectively, but he's shown the willingness to squeeze the ball into tight windows. Of course, the concern is going to be if he'll therefore take too many chances and throw more INTs, but I think the risk is worth the reward of playing with an entire field.

What it means for this game: My hope is that one of two things happen: (1) Boston College comes out in 2 deep Safeties and we're able to dictate the tone of the game early by hitting seam routes or (2) Boston College more likely comes out with a Safety being dropped down against our anticipated 2 TE looks, etc., and Stephen Morris' ability to hit tight windows with a strong arm on Slants, quick ins and comeback routes quickly pushes BC back to their Cover 2 look. Then we rely on smashing them in the mouth.

BCinsight6.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0LfOqBjCGw8#t=1150s

Flashback: In relative control of the game, this is the Jedd Fisch side that scares me. A decoy-type formation above, Fisch decided to "get cute." This is what you do when you're up 21-0 in a video game or playing in a 7 on 7 flag football league. Instead, this was a game that we should have won and ended up in the "L" column. The ball was swung out (without much zip, as should have been expected) to Benjamin for a loss.

What it means for this year: I expect Fisch to be a lot more focused and consistent this year. Certainly, I'm a huge proponent for keeping the opponent off-balance, but all under a single vision - both for the season and single game. In this game, we should have simply beat them with our athletes and our superior players. When we had an opportunity to close the door in the first half, Fisch flashed a bit of Whipple.

What it means for this game: Completely expect us to focus on 3 particular aspects: (1) taking advantage of Morris' arm with comeback routes, seams and curl windows, (2) focusing on the flats with our TEs and RBs, and (3) running the ball with a purpose and not just as a "sprinkle."

BCinsight7.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HKZHrMfDA28#t=145s

Flashback: This was an incomplete pass to Streeter and nothing that should necessarily standout, but it did to me. It was Miami trying to take advantage of the wide side of the defense. The play was relatively open. It was decently covered, but I see a difference in these plays/windows with Morris' arm.

What it means for this year: Here's one area I expect to be more successful. Hitting slant and "in" windows. The difference in velocity of throws is a gamechanger. My concern is whether Morris will give these plays away with his facemask/eyes.

What it means for this game: If we're able to push them back into 2 Safeties or significant zone, which killed Jacory's confidence and comfort, these will be the 3rd and 4-7 plays that change the entire game.

BCinsight10.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HKZHrMfDA28#t=319s

Flashback: Here was the first INT of that game. It was an awful, lazy play. It was an adjustment by the BC defense to drop their players deeper and close up the windows of their zone. Jacory didn't adjust and Fisch didn't adjust. As mentioned above, the lack of zip on a pass like this made a difference, but this was just a poor read. Jacory never looked or held the Safety, who simply drifted over to Streeter's route (coming out of the slot) for an easy INT.

What it means for this year: Again, getting proper pre-snap reads is crucial for Morris, but being able to comfortably adjust in the pocket and to underneath routes will ultimately determine the results. We've discussed how we played with about half of a field last year, which was a good reason Jacory could limit his INTs. We also predetermined a lot of throws. Will Morris' supposed mentality of being a "student of the game" changes things? I have to see it to believe it.

What it means for this game: As mentioned, BC will let us kill ourselves. But, their approach will also leave zone windows open.

BCinsight11.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HKZHrMfDA28#t=591s

Flashback: Simple clear out play where both WRs up top push their defenders' depth, and the slot on the opposite side comes underneath for an easy catch and a big first down.

What it means for this year: Here's where I got a little excited about our long-term prospects with Fisch. This was the adjustment he should have made at the beginning of the half, but at least he made it at all. I expect A LOT of these types of

What it means for this game: I suspect this is the type of "first look" we'll get. It allows Morris to be comfortable. It allows us to dare BC to inch closer and jump routes. It best suits the WRs I believe we currently have on this squad.

BCinsight12.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HKZHrMfDA28#t=630s

Flashback: I cringed. A predetermined read into a basic coverage. Their "superstar" LB didn't really have to do much, as Jacory dropped back and basically led him to the spot with his eyes. This was a pick-6.

What it means for this year: I can't say Morris will not do this because I haven't seen him move defenders around with his eyes. Until we see that and his comfort in the pocket, he will not reach the levels some have claimed he will reach.

What it means for this game: Personally, these plays scare the hell out of me. I rather see our players moving across the zone defense than running at it and stopping. When the defense settles into what you're doing, as BC did last year, their coverage depth becomes an issue. Hence, 4 INTs in the second half.



Flashback: Toward the end of a game that wasn't really going to mean much because we weren't going to a bowl or anything, a bunch of guys were pushing Streeter (who had caught a ball 2 yards short of the first down marker) toward a first down. Looks kinda pointless, right? I'll choose to see the bright side.

What it means for this year: Just one year before in a similar type of "lost" game (also "senior day"), I saw a team basically quit against USF. This team, whether it was for their coach or for themselves, was still fighting and leaving it out on the field.

What it means for this game: I don't know if the above image is enough to qualify as a datapoint of a culture change. I'd lean toward no. But, I suspect this team will do the "little things" better and better. The Training Camp video that showed Golden scream at young guys in the shade coincides with this and what we all hope is the general direction. Against a team like BC, and probably throughout what will be a very trying year, I want to see the "little things" from the entire team and the talent flashed from the young guys.

There will be good and bad this year. Let's move forward.
 

Comments (36)

Beautiful write-up. I agree with all points. All I can hope for is a team that never gives up. Since this is the beginning of the season and the first game of a season where a lot kids are out to prove themselves, I'm going to give the edge to Miami. Lots of hungry guys are going to be coming out to play smash-mouth football. I honestly wish this game was later in the year after the opening jitters have passed. Then we could easily compare last year to this year.
 
Amazing analysis and writeup. Thank you. I hope we use more motion out PA to allow Morris to lead his receivers and force the cover to commit early. I also hope we come out firing over the middle to our TEs, and make a statement early that we're going to use the entire field of play.
 
This thread is limiting how many pictures Lu can upload.....? I think this should be fixed don't deprive us of any more information Lu is willing to dish out to us hungry beasts.
 
This thread is limiting how many pictures Lu can upload.....? I think this should be fixed don't deprive us of any more information Lu is willing to dish out to us hungry beasts.
Fixed it. It was an issue with the file uploader.

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I intend for these to get better. This one felt a bit rough. I really didn't want to re-watch that game.
 
This thread is limiting how many pictures Lu can upload.....? I think this should be fixed don't deprive us of any more information Lu is willing to dish out to us hungry beasts.
Fixed it. It was an issue with the file uploader.

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I intend for these to get better. This one felt a bit rough. I really didn't want to re-watch that game.
No thank you I am foaming at the mouth of the idea of having to read these masterpieces multiple times during the year.....


:stormwarning:
 
This what I was looking for with the Boston College thread. Good ****, papo.
 
This is great stuff. Thanks Lu.

Not trying to be THAT guy, but it would be pretty cool if you could just make video clips of the specific plays you're talking about.

You could have the screen shot of the play and the video following it just so you can show how it developed.
 
This is great stuff. Thanks Lu.

Not trying to be THAT guy, but it would be pretty cool if you could just make video clips of the specific plays you're talking about.

You could have the screen shot of the play and the video following it just so you can show how it developed.
Lu I am sure you can get some one from here that can make gifs and then just tell them the times and plays you want to be made into gifs.... and also have the pictures so you can still use the arrows and circles.
 
Just an awesome assessment. Great job Lu. What I really agree with you about is the progression and field vision. In my eyes, 7td to 11 picks is a bad ratio regardless of class. Too many times have I seen Morris stare down his receiver and throw picks. Granted, kid has a great arm and can make the first read throw, but his play so far has shown me that's it's a bad play more often than not. I'm not down on Morris, but I'm not yet high on him either.

I'm so excited to watch it play out. First year in a while I don't have too high expectations.
 
This is great stuff. Thanks Lu.

Not trying to be THAT guy, but it would be pretty cool if you could just make video clips of the specific plays you're talking about.

You could have the screen shot of the play and the video following it just so you can show how it developed.
Lu I am sure you can get some one from here that can make gifs and then just tell them the times and plays you want to be made into gifs.... and also have the pictures so you can still use the arrows and circles.
Good suggestions.

It's from Stat1124's youtube account. Should be easy to find because each photo has an ESPN timestamp at the bottom. Anyone have a suggestion of what program to use to make the GIFs?
 
Good suggestions.

It's from Stat1124's youtube account. Should be easy to find because each photo has an ESPN timestamp at the bottom. Anyone have a suggestion of what program to use to make the GIFs?
Gifsoup
 
Lu,

I know it was a completely different coaching staff for BC in 2001.... but Dorsey struggled big time with the soft zone looks Obrien threw at him in that game.
When a team is outmatched athletically, they take a page out of the Joe Pa playbook and drop 7-8 into zone coverage all game (I was lol'ing at Nebraska for man'ing up our 2001 WRs in Rose Bowl)

So with that said... from a running game perspective... why not throw a lot of draws at them from under center (ala USC). Slip in some middle screens to Duke or Eduardo.
Combine that with the deep comeback routes and seam/fly routes and you've got BC's LBs (strength of their team) on their heels.

I can't recall how BC's DEs played us last year (I'm assuming they pushed the pocket, plugged the gaps, and forced Jacory to move outside and throw on run)
I doubt they wanna do that with Morris. I think we'll see their ends shadowing Morris and looking to keep him in the pocket.

And THIS will be where the game is decided imo. Can Morris sit in the pocket and avoid getting happy feet?
We'll assuredly have some designed rollout/sprint outs... but 3rd and 7+ will be 7-8 dropped into zone coverage all game long.


Side note: We truly could win this game on special teams.
 
Last edited:
Nice writeup. I would say from how the team looked last season compared to the season before that Golden definitely has succeeded in beginning to change the culture of the program. The fact that we never quit in a game and the impressive 2nd half comeback against V-Tech on the road were enough to convince me that Golden was doing something right. Those two things simply were not happening ever with Shannon.
 
Feel so embarrassed about my football knowledge whenever Lu gets all X's & O's on us. Always fascinating stuff.
 
Strong work as usual man. You're the best at this stuff. Thx.
 

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