During his show last night, TOB talked a little bit more about their strategy. He admitted that the coaches didn't think they would be able to do much damage between the tackles, so they didn't even bother trying. By TOB standards, that's a pretty candid admission. Of course, it's easier to say that after a rousing success.
Watching the highlights last night, there were a lot more lateral throws than I remembered--the ol' pass-as-handoff play that we haven't seen much since Amato left. Wilson also checked it down to his backs quite a bit as BC's zone defense did a good job keeping things in front of them down field but left the usual cushions closer to the line of scrimmage. And with the exception of the INT that resulted from an overthrow, Russell didn't force the ball down field. Patience was critical on Saturday, and fortunately we have just the guy for that situation.
This is a side note but something I found interesting: we've had 80+ snaps from scrimmage in each of the last three games. Number of times we had 80+ snaps over the previous three seasons: four. Per game, we're averaging 17.5 more plays than our opponents. Helps to have a good offense to go with a defense that's getting off the field far more often.
State limited BC to 5 third down conversions in 17 tries (29.4%). State's opponents have converted just 27.2% of their third downs this season, the sixth-lowest conversion percentage in the country. Last year, State's defense ranked 92nd in this category (42.5%). Going from 42.5% to 27.2% means we've gone from allowing 5.7 third down conversions per game to 3.7. On a down-to-down basis, the defense hasn't improved as much as you would think, but their ability to get off the field far more often this season has made a huge difference. Also the turnovers. (One more takeaway and we match last season's total.)
Boston College managed just two drives longer than 50 yards (one came in garbage time) and went three-and-out six times.
Josh Czajkowski the placekicker was perfect, though he did bank one field goal off a post just for the hell of it. Czajkowski the kickoff guy didn't bring the distance, and that gave BC good field position on a few occasions even though the kickoff coverage was fine. (The Eagles averaged less than 20 yards per return.) Nitpicking? Yeah, nitpicking.
Grade: A. Blocked punts are fun.