Listen, it’s not easy trying to come up with a list of positives after losing to Rutgers in such a painful way in the first week. But we will do our best.
Looking at the good and bad from the challenging opening match at Alumni Stadium…
1 – flower costume.
Zee was an electrician on Saturday, showing off a game-breaking ability and getting to the point where we were screaming for BC to get the ball into his hands any way we could.
Ten grabs for 117 yards and two landings just scratched the surface of the screen he set.
The first landing catch was simply an awesome capture ability, wrapping this up in a tricky way:
The second landing catch showed his speed and athleticism with this gentle run after catching up. He also had a vision here to see that with the afterburner he had a way to the end zone:
Flowers has a game-breaking ability, which we haven’t seen from a WR site in BC in a long time.
But there’s definitely more to an outfit we can point to as positive than this, right? …
2 – Pick up the pass defense where it left off.
A slight asterisk here only given that Rutgers were alternating between the second and third choices of QBs, but it was a particularly great game defensively against the pass, as BC kept the Rutgers to 13 of 22 for just 110 yards, no touchdown and pick. They also hit QB for three bags.
All in all, it was a great day to defend to a disastrous finish (other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…).
Rutgers’ first two touchdowns came by way of a big first-score play, then out of Yorkovitch’s confusion inside the PC’s own 10-yard line that essentially awarded Rutgers the score.
Other than that, the defense looked really good…for 52 minutes.
Well, what else do we get for the pros?
3 – The sun did not swallow the earth.
Just because we know it will eventually happen doesn’t mean we can’t be happy because it didn’t actually happen.
To the negatives…
1 – defeat in the trenches.
The most obvious concern here, which has been well discussed in all of these posts/comments since the match, is to play the offensive line. The hope was that they would look fine and could get better from there; After the first week, hopefully we’ll see them head towards ‘okay’… and that Jurkovec doesn’t take so many big early hits that there are health risks.
Jurkovec was sacked four times, pressured a few more times, and the run was simply largely ineffective other than a few times when they got the ball into Zay Flowers’ hands to speed up play. Garwo, a huge positive from 2021, was neutralized (48 yards).
On the other side of the ball, when the game was on the line, Rutgers was able to maneuver BC into the trenches on a long, time-consuming journey to win the game – the kind of very disturbing thing to happen. BC teams are generally built out of the trenches – there is a lot of work to be done to take this year’s team to that level.
2 – The short pass game was not an effective substitute for running.
BC might have been able to get away with not being able to make the race if he had been better able to take advantage of some of the short passes that were available, and he could have controlled the clock a little and reliably. Move the ball.
Unfortunately, that seemed to be Jurkovec’s weak point – I’m not sure if it was Rust or if this was just a weakness in his game, but he did have some inaccurate throws on short passes and missed a number of opportunities to hit open receivers a couple yards down field for nice small gains and YAC opportunities.
Pat Garwo had a nice 22-yard runner after a short reception in the first quarter on a pass with a nice touch on it, and he had a lot of open fields around him; The play was around almost all day because Rutgers knew they didn’t have to defend it much.
If the Eagles are going to win a road match on Saturday, they will need either a running game or short passes to be an important factor; Last Saturday, they couldn’t do either, and that played a significant role in BC’s inability to see which game they led most of the way.
3 – Whatever those last minutes are, including more hourly worries.
This is a bit of a redundancy, because the big problems in the last minutes were: 1) Rutgers did a masterful job of grinding the clock to the point where BC didn’t have long to respond with a final drive, and; 2) Lights up the offensive line of consecutive sacks in an absolute rough time as the clock ticks, effectively ending the game.
Then there was of course the issue of running the (most likely academic) clock for matches that essentially ended the game, which The scholarship is covered in detail on Saturday. The game is probably already lost at that point so it’s not a huge deal, but you don’t really want to see these clock issues pop up…especially after BC already burned out a timeout earlier in half. These things usually come back to haunt you and this has happened a lot.
I understand the argument that BC’s best chance at that point was a Rutgers spin or penalty kick, but I’m not sure I’d agree that playing for that had a better chance of, say, trying to find Zay ten yards off the field. And hope can mess with five others.
But these were in the end small fries compared to the bigger problems. Lots of things about soccer are complicated, but this piece is simple: If you can’t run, and you can’t stop running, you’re not going to do a race.
We will need to see progress in the trenches on at least one side of the ball this Saturday to feel better about the upcoming ACC season.