Monday, September 11, 2006

He did it!! Dunbar did it!!

Just now got released from the St. Elizabeth's Cardiac Trauma Center after the most exciting sporting event I've ever attended in person. Simply fucking an incredible game.

THUMBS UP
-Defensive Line
Nick Larkin may not be Kiwi, but who is?? The junior had a spectacular game against the Tigers, including spearheading the team's incredible defensive stand in the first overtime period--first stuffing CJ Spiller (along with Jamie Silva) for a 4-yard loss on first down then sacking Will Proctor on second. While Larkin was the star of the bunch, the entire defensive line turned in a very good performance on Saturday. Austin Giles is an absolute stud in the making and BJ Raji is a potential future first-round draft pick. For a unit that had been expected to be BC's weakest on either side of the ball, the D Line rebounded very well from a poor performance against Central Michigan to lead the Eagles to victory.

-Matt Ryan
Yeah, he was shaky on the first few series of the game--but he settled down and turned in another excellent performance for the Eagles. While his stats were not spectacular (22-38, 212, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD) he displayed once again the intangibles that make him BC's best QB in years. Ryan has established himself as a no-brainer top-3 ACC/top-15 national QB, and in my mind is #1 in the conference and top 10 nationally. Don't look now, but with most of the team returning in 2007, he could be primed for a Heisman run in his senior year. As an aside, how fucking badass was the sight of Ryan walking out alone to the overtime coin flip?? It looked like something from a Wild West movie, and Ryan is BC's gunslinger. Ryan knows how to read a defense, find the open man, and deliver the ball. He is simply a winner--very Tom Brady-esque.

-Offensive Line
The team's RBs combined for 4.1 YPC, and Matt Ryan was not sacked once for the second straight game. That said, the unit looked much better with Josh Beekman spelling Kevin Sheridan at C. James Marten seemed to have adapted to the LT position better than he had in the CMU game. As shaky as the line looked against Central Michigan, it could be business as usual for the Eagles if it continues to gel together.

-Jeff Smith
I couldn't leave him out, could I?? Smith is the fastest player BC has seen in a long time. Not much to say here as his performance spoke for itself--other than to say that he needs to start getting touches on offense (and the 7-yard reception he picked up in the 3rd quarter was hopefully just the first of many). This kid honestly could be BC's answer to Reggie Bush. He is that good.

-Wide Receivers
Is this the best unit BC has ever had?? With lesser-talented receivers such as Grant Adams, Larry Lester, and Joel Hazzard no longer getting reps due to seniority, the team's younger receivers have had a chance to shine, and shine they have. We all knew coming into the year that Tony Gonzalez was a gamer (I've said all along that he's been BC's best wideout for the past 3 years) and he has proven so far that he's more than capable of succeeding as the team's #1 receiver. Kevin Challenger seems to have a great rapport with Ryan, and is emerging as an excellent #2 option. Taylor Sele has been a very nice surprise this year, turning in 2 very nice performances after what many had considered to be a disappointing career to date; Brandon Robinson is one of the most athletic players on the team; and Rich Gunnell is a deep threat to watch. But the guy who really excites me is Clarence Megwa. This guy has a combination of speed, decent size, and playmaking ability that BC has almost never had in a wideout. He likely won't get many catches until next year, but by the time all is said and done he could be the best receiver BC has ever had.

-Linebackers
The early injury to Toal hurt, but the rest of the unit stepped it up. Robert Francois didn't miss a beat, forcing a huge fumble; Tyronne Pruitt was very solid; and what can you say about JoLonn Dunbar?? This position has quietly become arguably BC's deepest and most talented.

-Tom O'Brien
Credit where credit is due, and while I don't think O'Brien called a great game, he didn't call a horrible one either. Many times in the past O'Brien and his staff would've single-handedly lost this game for us. He didn't on Saturday. Hopefully this is indicative of a new era in BC coaching.

-The Golden Eagle
1-0 so far.

-"Won't Get Fooled Again"
Love to see that they brought it back. But I still have a bone to pick--why bring it back, only to cut it off 15 seconds before the team runs out onto the field?? Return to the traditional entrance of a few years ago--blast the song through the PA system, let the anticipation build up as the team is showed lining up in the tunnel on the Jumbotron, then the players run out onto the field as Pete Townshend lets out his trademark "YEEEEEEEOWWWWWWWW". This is what we did before, and if we establish the tradition and let the crowd get into it it will be every bit as exciting as Virginia Tech's famed "Enter Sandman" entrance--so why the unneccesary changes??

-Freshman Girls
I think BC's incoming class gets more and more "talented" every year. But special mention goes to the 3 or 4 girls who were sitting more or less dead center in Section J with tiny jean skirts and "creatively" cut Superfan shirts. If any of you BC students out there reading this knows these girls, tell them they need to get their asses down in the front row for the next televised game and give BC an answer to FSU's cowgirls. Be sure to instruct them to drop me a line if they have any questions.

-Student Fans
The student sections of Alumni were loud, rocking, and into the game. The clueless group of freshmen sitting in front of me aside, BC's student fans seem to get better every year just as the freshman girls get hotter. Hopefully as these loud and rabid student fans graduate, the older fans will follow suit. Until then, though, my friends and I will probably continue to re-live our youth as we did Saturday and sit in the student section. Also, major props (this goes to a large number of non-student fans as well) for the fact that pretty much everyone stayed at their seats for the Alma Mater, rather than hightailing for the exits.

-Clemson Fans
Wow. I've never seen more orange in one place. I knew as soon as I walked down to the T platform at Logan to find two groups of Clemson fans that they would have a good showing, but I didn't expect this. About 6-7,000 Clemson fans were expected in Boston, but it was more like 10,000. Granted, this is about the same number that BC brought to Maryland last year, but Boston-to-DC is a much easier trip than Bumblefuck, SC-to-Boston. In addition to being numerous, the Tiger fans were friendly, knowledgeable, and extremely supportive almost to a man (the jackass who hilariously called my buddy a "fuckin' woman" walking out of the stadium notwithstanding). Someday BC will have this kind of fan base, and it will be a great day.

-Tailgating
The situation still isn't ideal, but the extra hour really makes a difference.

-Jamar Jackson
The 4-star DE out of Richmond was at the game last night and, according to Rivals (registration required), was absolutely thrilled with his visit (how could you not be??).



THUMBS DOWN
-Secondary
The safeties were solid--Paul Anderson is very promising but isn't Ryan Glasper yet, Jamie Silva was caught out of position a few times but generally had a solid game (including assisting Nick Larkin in the game-saving first-down tackle in OT), if not his best at BC. The corners, on the other hand, were awful. Larry Anam simply does not have what it takes to be a starting ACC defensive back. He's got the physical tools, he just doesn't have the "right stuff". He probably should've been utilized as a WR from day one. He might be OK as a nickel or dime back, but he should not be starting. Problem is, Taji Morris isn't much better--so the obvious solution, and it's incredibly frustrating to me, is to move Kevin Akins back to the secondary. Getting a kid with his size and speed back to CB, where he performed well this year, instantly transforms our secondary from the team's biggest liability into a passable, at least, unit. True freshman Wes Davis did look promising spelling Silva at FS during large parts of the 4th quarter when "The Rocketeer" was sidelined with what appeared to be bad cramps.

-Injuries to Toal and Brace
The LB (shoulder) and DT (head) are both questionable for BYU. The good news is that Toal's injured shoulder is not the same one he hurt last year. Nonetheless, we need both of these guys back by, at the very least, the Virginia Tech game.

-Frank Spaziani
You know, just for once it'd be nice if we tried to jam opposing WRs on the line rather than simply yielding the first 10 yards. It'd be nice if we didn't play prevent defense on 2nd-and-26 in OT (if we weren't going to make any attempt to keep them from getting back into FG range anyway, why not just decline the penalty??). It'd be nice if we didn't play Kevin Akins woefully out of position at LB. It'd be nice if any bum in the stands couldn't tell before lining up exactly what we were going to do on defense. Apparently I'm asking too much.

-Non-student fans
Two things: First, make some fucking noise. If it hadn't been for the student sections, Clemson's fan contingent would've been louder than ours. No-one's expecting you to stand up for the entire game and go nuts like the students do, but at least join in on the "Let's Go Eagles" and "We Are BC" chants, and at least make some noise on kickoffs and key defensive plays. It's not that much to ask. Second, WEAR MAROON AND GOLD. The parts of the stadium that weren't occupied by Clemson fans or BC students looked like a Penn State game--everyone was in white. If you can't provide any audible support to your team, at least provide some visual support. I mean, honestly what is the point of even going to the game if you aren't going to do something to help your team win?? I mean, I'd rather sit in the comfort of my own home and watch on TV rather than paying good money to see the game from a worse angle and not help my team win.

-"Don't Stop Believing"
Don't get me wrong, I love this song. It's even an inside joke among my friends and I after I blasted it about 714 times on the car stereo on the road trip to Milwaukee for the Frozen Four. I'm PUMPED that BC's band has started playing it. But did they really need to play it during EVERY stoppage of play during the 2nd half and OT?? It loses some luster after awhile. While I'm at it, I'd like to see "Sweet Caroline" moved back to its traditional spot of around 10 minutes remaining in the game, rather than between the 3rd and 4th quarters, which is when it was played on Saturday. That song always gets the crowd pumped up, and it is less effective during the intermission when people are getting up out of their seats to walk to the concourse, and BC's team is on the sideline getting instructions from the coaches rather than feeding on the crowd.

-NC State
Fucking Akron?? Seriously?? Assholes.



That's pretty much it...there's really not a lot to complain about here. Absolutely spectacular game, and can't wait for BYU (preview of that game to come tomorrow).

Pravda/AP Report
Globe Report
Herald Report
Herald article on Smith
Herald article on Smith #2

Globe article on Smith
Herald article on Ryan's recovery

Globe: Eagles to renew Orange ties (old news, but also contains some other tidbits, including a rumor of a home-and-home with Northwestern--although that may not be as appealing after their loss to D1AA UNH on Saturday)

Finally, Sunday's Herald was a gold mine for BC fans--in addition to great (compared to the Globe) coverage of the classic football victory, the issue also featured articles on Chris Collins' and Brian Boyle's adventures (in Boyle's case, future adventures), in the NHL.

4 Comments:

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between EI and EI and your blog, this might be the 10th time in the last couple weeks you've mentioned BC's travel to Maryland.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CNNSI compared Smith to Bush as well, so don't feel like you are out on a limb.

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Mo said...

Alex -- you gave your preseason thoughts are couple of weeks ago.

I'd like to give some re-updated predictions.

BYU -- Somewhat landmine game (a.k.a. a TOB special or WTF game). BC will win, something like 30-17.

NC State -- Extreme landmine game with ginormous potential for a TOB special (and WTF game). Tough to say...could be just like the Wake game in 2004. Scares me a lot, even though NC State just lost to Akron. BC 14, NC State 10.

Maine -- BC kills Maine.

Va Tech -- Tough Thursday night game but it's at Alumni...Eagles have a chance and come up short...27-21.

Florida State -- Eagles' toughest game yet. BC falls 31-21.

Buffalo -- BC kills Buffalo.

Wake Forest -- Potential for a landmine game, TOB special, etc. BC wins 21-10.

Duke -- Barely anyone shows up in the Alumni Stadium seats and no one notices BC win 35-3.

Maryland -- Huge senior day for the Eagles...as BC romps 45-21. Ryan has a career day, throwing for more than 400 yards.

Miami -- Ultimate TOB collapse. BC plays horribly down there, and it shows. BC fans barf during Thanksgiving dinner as the Eagles lose 37-22.

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Jared D. said...

http://www.realfootball365.com/college/articles/2006/09/paul-peterson-byu140906.html

Goods stuff on Paul Peterson.

 

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