Forgive me if I'm not on the bandwagon of okay, we've turned the corner, we're in the clear. Nobody can stop us now! What I saw Saturday was NOT the dominant performance that everybody else seemed to be watching based on their reaction. Was it a win? Absolutely. Was it a quality win? Yeah, I'd be willing to say that. But just because we didn't allow any points doesn't mean it was DOMINANT!
Anyone who was watching the game knows that BC left a minimum of 13 points up on the board, and most likely 17. Here's a recap. BC's second possession where they drove down to the 10 and threw an interception to Hosley in the endzone is a minimum of 3 points left on the board. But based on how that drive was going, and based on how Montell Harris was working, I'd say the more likely outcome would have been 7...if not for that terribly late pass by everyone's favorite 26-year old quarterback (which is funny, because the commentators kept calling him young. Nice research guys!) in which he had a guy open and waited forever to throw. Next there was the missed field goal from a very makeable range. Lastly, there was the pisspore clock management by that same old geezer of a QB that led to the Eagles not getting a single point despite being inside the 1 (based on the spot). So by my estimation, that's 13-17 points we could (should, would...you pick) have given up, making this much more of a contest and not a DOMINANT win. And by my estimation (especially based on how the season has gone so far, in particular JMU) when we get in a close game where our offense isn't moving the ball, either the players, or the coaches, or both go into panic mode, which makes our offense even more anemic. Bottom line, Boston College wasn't doing anything to help themselves offensively (except for Harris), so the shutout is a little less impressive.
The people who are clamoring about the return of our defense were apparently oblivious to the fact that the Eagles marched it down our throat in the first half without much resistance on our part, especially on the last drive before half. I know that it was kept alive by penalties (which are another uh-oh about our performance), but Shinskie was picking apart our secondary with ease on that drive. I seriously think Jeron Gouveia-Winslow bit on EVERY play-fake on that drive. Don't believe me? Go back and watch the tape, it don't lie! He certainly did poorly enough to draw the ire of Bud, who was screaming at him, irate with his play when he came to the sideline after another reception he had given up!
- Why is Jeron Gouveia-Winslow on the field? Why is he even playing college football for that matter? Although I did write this down in the first half, I stand by it. I can't understand why people think he turned a corner and lit the world on fire just because he made an interception. In reality, he made it in self defense. I could have made that play. He did his job, didn't know the ball was in the air (oh that's refreshing!), got in front of the receiver and then let the ball hit him in the chest and fell out of bounds. This does not excuse a 4-game stretch of intolerably bad play. I wish Beamer would put him on a bus today headed back to Nova. Seriously, we could be putting this scholarship to better use. For the record, when he was recruited, I was not high on him at all! Score one for the Hacthmeister!
- We are still missing an incredibly high amount of tackles (the guy above at the top of that list). What's the problem guys? WRAP UP!
- I know we play "Beamerball," and I know that we block kicks...but by my count, we have at least 3 roughing the kicker penalties (maybe more, I didn't see the first half against ECU. Anybody?) in 4 games. That is TERRIBLE! Call off the dogs some Beamer! I know we want to block kicks, but seriously, that's outrageous! I wouldn't be as opposed to this if they had come in better parts of the game, but Beamer seems to make head-case decisions about when to put on the heat as well! Up 7-0 with the opportunity to score before half and to get a good punt returner who has only 3 returns on the season a chance to get some work outweighs the risk/reward of blocking the kick versus allowing them to go on the drive they did and almost tie it going into half. In fact, all of the roughing the kicker penalties have been BIG penalties in regards to where they came in the game and their impact on it.
- We continue to leave points on the board, especially late in drives. But apparently Beamer is just peachy with that, according to an article by the Roanoke Times. In case you missed it during the week, after Darren Evans spouted off by saying, "It's hard to run the ball [In the redzone], especially if they're expecting it," Beamer snapped back when asked about our redzone ineptitude (to the tune of 9 TD's in 18 attempts) and the predictability of our running in the redzone (we have attempted 2 passes in 74 plays in the redzone dating back to the beginning of last year, and are 91st in the nation this year in yards per carry in the redzone at a paltry 1.97 avg. YIKES!), "Well, did you count the number of wins we had? Did you throw that stat in there?" Classic Beamer coachspeek. To him it's what I/we have done, not what are we doing now/what are the problems we have now? He followed that up by saying "That's the second best thing that can happen. You could fumble the ball away or give the ball away, or you could miss the field goal. I'm the kind of guy who looks at the positive. We didn't get the seven points, but we did get three points...and I think that's a positive. It's not the most positive, but it's the second-most positive." While I agree that is true, the sheer amount of having to get three points instead of seven drives that we have is making me crazy. Here's the link to the article.
- Brian Stinespring's O had 343 yards against the Eagles. FCS Weber State had 381 yards against the Eagles D earlier in the year. Ouch.
- This was such a boring game to watch that I was about to fall asleep. No, really. Fall asleep, during a Hokie game!
- We did pass the ball more on Saturday, and had a couple of big-gainers through the air to Danny Coale.
- We got Andre Smith involved in the passing game. He's really an unsung hero of our offense and is akin to last year's Greg Boone. He needs more touches, but we can't give them to him because of our receiving core. He is an NFL quality backup in my mind. He just screams SAFETY VALVE.
- Ummm...we didn't get shutout! YAY!
- In ordinary years, 343 yards from a Stiney offense is a godsend. Not so this year. With all the talent we have, blah, blah, blah...what the hell am I talking about? We lost to JMU. This isn't the year we thought it would be.
- Suspect play calling...who knew?
- I know I said that I liked that Roberts in the flat quick screen...but Stiney has a serious infatuation with that play. Eventually that play will stop working, and it's only working for short-gainers as it is.
- Bad play-calling in the redzone, as mentioned above.
- We did hold BC scoreless and to only 250 yards...that's gotta count for something no matter how hard I try to bring it down. First shutout since 2006! Wooo!
- We looked VASTLY improved in the second half. I hope that's not the only half of football we play this season though, because eventually it will catch up with us!
- We had 6, count them, 6 sacks! Now that's a lot better!
- We were able to get some younger guys some time on the field...but not nearly as much as we should have been able to (I'm casting my death-stare at you Stiney!).
- Pretty much the entire first half left something to be desired on defense. The Eagles had three long drives against us and came away with no points. That won't happen every time.
- Seriously? Are we on some kind of gameshow that I don't know about called "Which defense can miss the most tackles this season!?" I don't know for sure, but even if we win, we lose. Cancel the show and start tackling!
- Loading the box and biting on play-action play after play isn't helping.
- He and Foster combined to make some needed corrections at half (though I don't know how much of this belongs to him and how much to Foster).
- He got the win.
- The first step in fixing a problem is first admitting that you have a problem...hmmm...where have we heard that before? I wonder if it applies here...?
- He really is starting to look less and less energetic or even involved on the sidelines. He seems to be so removed from the game and the players that he might as well join JoePa in the box.
- Again, bad playcalling/timing on the punt block unit...which led to...
- TOO MANY COSTLY PENALTIES! PLEASE GET THAT FIXED!