Saturday, September 3, 2011

Game Recap (Defense)

It was not a good day for the BC defense.  The offense could have scored 20+ points today against a Big Ten opponent had Freese nailed two missed field goals, but it wouldn't have made a difference.  The defense was not good today, and I don't see any easy solution to the most pressing problems.  This could be the year that the BC defense finally falls flat.

  • There was a complete inability to contain the quarterback today.  We gave up 24 points to a below-average Big Ten team with a backup quarterback.  The 3rd and longs which were converted due to BC's inability to track down a running QB were killer.
  • This might be the worst BC D-Line I've ever seen, and I don't say that lightly.  There were times today when I had zero hope that BC could stop Northwestern.  The D-Line got stood up time and time again when they tried to rush the passer, and the guys seemed to stop rushing once they met initial resistance at the point of attack.  
  • Runners consistently got to the second level, and the LBs were forced to make most of the tackles on defense.  There was no demonstrated ability for the D-Line to close lanes or to hit the runner prior to the line of scrimmage.
  • The conditioning on the D-Line was pathetic.  Northwestern's offense, which to be fair is a no huddle offense, had our D-Line gassed by the second quarter.  Let me repeat that.  Our defensive line was gassed by the second quarter, not even half-way through the game.  Conditioning becomes a major issue when you have two of the four defensive linemen begging to come out of the game and tapping their helmets repeatedly, only for the coaches to yell that there isn't any time for replacements because NU is ready to hike the ball.  Just an utterly pathetic performance.
  • Luke played outstanding today.  19 tackles and a one-handed pick.  Outstanding job.  It's really unfortunate that we've come to expect this type of performance from him because it really is incredible.
  • There were multiple communication errors between the safeties and the CBs.  I guess that's to be expected with the turnover in personnel but it's disappointing nonetheless.  NU was able to throw the ball with ease in the coverage gaps all day and the safeties never stepped up to stop them. 
  • Steele Divitto is the most improved player on defense.  He hit the weight room hard in the off season and it certainly shows.  I went into the season thinking that if he could give us just average performance we would be okay, but Divitto really created some nice opportunities on defense for plays resulting in a loss of yards.  I was really excited about his performance and Eagles fans should be excited about the next three years of this kid.  This might be one of the best LB corps I've ever seen, although the '07 bunch would be really hard to beat (Toal, Herzlich, McLaughlin).
  • KPL is yet another amazing LB who generally goes unnoticed.  I don't know how BC does it.  Another good game from the sophomore. 
  • Decent performance by Albert Louis Jean.  The true freshman showed why he's such a highly touted recruit, but also seemed like a hesitant tackler on a few plays and had some communication mix-ups.  In my opinion those will almost certainly get worked out as he becomes more comfortable with the system and the personnel. 
Overall, the major concern here is the defensive line.  If they don't get their act together this defense will never be good.  Conditioning should not be an issue at this point in the season, so I have to wonder what the coaches were doing this summer.  This is flat-out not acceptable, and if things don't turn around this week we will be 0-2 and an embarrassment to the ACC.  The most depressing part is that I don't see how we can physically turn this around by next week.

1 comment:

  1. Great recap, Mike. I think there's room for improvement in the secondary, especially with ALJ gaining more experience and Donnie Fletcher (eventually) coming back. But if the defensive line doesn't get its game together, then the secondary will continue to be hammered. LBs were outstanding.


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