Monday Morning Quarterback

In football, the team that makes the fewest unforced errors usually wins. That was never more clear that in the win over Wake Forest. BC made plenty of mistakes, but Wake made one more and that was the difference in the game. That leaves plenty for the Monday Morning Quarterback to chew on this w

Given the circumstances, this was a huge win for Boston College. It was also a tough loss for Wake Forest. Both teams needed this one. Yet, both teams tried hard to give it away. More interesting is the uncharacteristic errors we saw from both teams, including the coaching staffs.

The first one that stands out was the decision by BC to throw in some trick plays, on their first drive, when they entered the red-zone. Shinskie had engineered a nice drive to get BC into scoring position. He completed a nice pass to Pantale on third-and-seven to get a first down at the Wake 20 yard line.

Here we have a nice drive with a good mix of run and pass and BC calls for the wild cat on first down. That was OK, but not necessary. Then they send in Tuggle to run what looked like an option play. The result of the trickery is BC looking at third down and seven. It was not the end of the world as they got a field goal, but the "trickery" killed the drive.

Another curious call came in the second quarter when BC had Wake pinned inside their ten. It was third-and-fourteen and Wake is at their five. For some reason, BC had single coverage with Fletcher out on an island with a Wake receiver. Maybe the safety blew it or there was some confusion, but it sure looked like that was the defensive call.

Look, Fletcher will be a great corner before he is done at BC, but he is still young. He should never be out their without safety help over the top. In that situation, the right call was to keep the secondary lined up at the twenty and keep Wake from converting. Get the ball back and start over with the offense. Instead, Skinner saw it and converted a 58-yard completion.

Now, Wake helped out with some of their own odd calls. On their second drive, Wake moved the ball down to the BC 33-yard line and was in a good rhythm. The BC defense stiffened and Wake was stuck in no man's land. It was third-and-25 at the BC 33. The book says get five yards and kick a field goal.

Instead, the try to get it all and Skinner throws an incompletion. Strangely, Grobe decided to go for it instead of the 50-yard field goal. Maybe his kicker does not have the leg, but there is little chance of converting on fourth down. The smart move was a safe draw or a pooch punt. Instead, BC got the ball with excellent field position.

What's even kookier is Wake was in the same spot on their next series and decided to try the field goal from the 54-yard line. In that case, they were third-and-seven and elected to throw it down the middle. OK, makes sense. Then Grobe sends out his kicker who misses by a mile. This was another case of bad field management that probably took points off the board.

Luckily for Coach Grobe, BC had some curious decisions left in their bag of tricks that would allow them to get back into the game. The most obvious was the prevent defense on Wake's second to final drive. Everyone in the stadium knew Wake had to score quickly. That meant sideline patterns so they could kill the clock.

For some reason, the BC defense brought no pressure and left the sideline wide open for the Wake receivers. Skinner is too good to give him that much time and space to drive the field. The result was Skinner drove the offense down for a score and took just 66 seconds off the clock. That left them timeouts and almost four minutes to get a top and another score.

The curious thing in the final five minutes is BC did not use any of their timeouts. The defense was obviously confused and just running around with no particular purpose. Wake was killing the clock on every play. That would have been a good time for BC to use a time out and get their defense a breather and refocused. Instead, BC ended the game with all three of their timeouts and the score tied.

The good news is Skinner fumbled and BC pulled out the win. That's all anyone will remember in a week. But, we did see that it is not just the players that need to work on things this week to get better. The coaches have to get better at managing the game, particularly the clock. Game awareness is just as important for the coaches as it is the players. The Wake game shows us the staff has work to do too.


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