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7 Offline
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Boston College Game Thoughts
My goodness, is it just me or is this place worse than normal after a loss?

That game was unbelievably disappointing, but for no other reason than it was a game NIU should have won. Short of a 10 or so minute stretch late in the 2nd and early in the 3rd, NIU was the better team the majority of the night. As much as I don't think Boston College is good, they are still an ACC team and they still won a bowl game last year.

Some (a lot) of perspective against Power 5 opponents.

2011
The team that eventually broke NIU's MAC Championship curse went to Kansas AND....lost to literally one of the worst team's in college football and gave up 45 points in the process. The date of that game was September 10th, 2011. Kansas didn't beat another FBS opponent until September 21st, 2013 over two calendar years later!!

2012
Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. But THAT game was played on the road. NIU opened the 2012 season (remember, they went to the Orange Bowl that year), with an Iowa team that was not good. NIU failed to gain 200 yards and threw for a whopping -1 yards in the second half. Iowa would go on to beat 2 more FBS teams the rest of the season and finish 4-8.

Okay, okay, but that game was really a road game because it was 80% iowa fans. Kansas, who again, is literally one of the worst teams in college football came to DeKalb on a beautiful Saturday. Looking a 10 point, 4th quarter deficit square in the face, Jordan Lynch rattles off 17 4th quarter points to lead NIU to a 30-23 win.

2015
A week after nearly upsetting #1 Ohio State, NIU rolls into Chestnut Hill to face Boston College. NIU gains 153 total yards and Drew Hare goes 11/25 for 81 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT and only runs for 15 yards (remember those stats) as NIU falls to BC 17-14. It was Boston College's only victory against an FBS opponent on the season.

My point? Beating Power 5 teams for NIU is HARD. Even during peak NIU years, some of the best NIU teams either struggled to beat or lost to some BAD Power 5 teams.

I don't understand the reaction that NIU just lost to some FCS school. It's frustrating because it's a game they could/should have won, but I came out of that game no less optimistic than I was before the game.

I mentioned NIU's stats vs. BC two years ago above. To repeat, NIU gained an entire 153 total yards against a BC team that won 1 game vs. an FBS team that year. Two nights ago NIU gained 367 yards (and out gained BC for that matter). I am the last person who is going to defend Ryan Graham, but again two years ago Hare had 81 passing yards, 96 total yards, and threw 0 TDs and 1 pick against BC. Graham, on the other hand, threw for 190 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (admittedly, that completion percentage was terrible) and ran for 99 more.

So what am I missing here that the sky is falling?

Yes, absolutely, if NIU had a better QB that's a game they win. Graham threw some two hoppers to WRs and throws a punt of a deep ball. But this isn't something we didn't already know heading into the game. NIU is going to have to overcome their QB play to win games this year. It's reality.

However, just about everything else on the team? It's hard to find many negatives. The defense got hung out to dry a bit towards the end of the second quarter and it showed. BC had something like 47 plays in the first half and you can really tell how worn out the defense was. Once Graham and company went on the 13 play drive, the defense seemed to find their legs again and settled in.

How awesome were Kyle Pugh and Sutton Smith? Pugh's had a lot of hype, and he lived up to it and then some. He looks like more athletic Boomer Mays which is scary to think about. Sutton Smith, going up against an ACC offensive line, was consistently in their backfield. FIVE (5!!) TFL and a sack, can't say enough good things about Smith.

I thought Bobby Jones had a real nice game as well.

Lurry has officially entered TLL territory in the sense as great of a player as he is, you can't rely on him to be on the field anymore which is a shame because I think Smalls and Lurry would be as good of a duo as NIU has ever had. I thought Embry had some issues filling in for hi.

On the offensive side of the ball, I want to see how Graham does against EIU before I call for his head. Boston College always has a really good defense, and he did do some decent things. However, he needs to be way more accurate than he was. There were back to back series to start the second half where he had 4 straight open WRs and missed all 4 of them. Now, Wesley could have caught one of them, but the throw was behind him.

With that being said, it wasn't a total loss for Graham. I would have never guessed he would take one 60 yards against an ACC team and he had a few other key runs on 3rd downs. The throw to Brown for the TD was nice, and the most overlooked play of the game is going to be his throw to Wimann on 4th down on the last drive. BC's DE got a great jump off the snap and was on Graham immediately and Graham still found Wimann.

Besides Hagan's missed FG (i'm still trying to figure out if that was tipped), the biggest sequence of the game was after NIU tied it at 20 and was driving. Graham had Blake open for a TD and threw an arm punted and overthrew him and then on 4th and 1 Coach U called for a jet sweep to Beebe (wut) and got stuffed. NIU's offense did nothing after that drive until the final drive of the game.

Beebe is going to have a huge year if he stays healthy. He needs to stay healthy though because I'm not sure i have faith in any of the WRs behind him, although i did think DJ Brown played well.

Wimann was a mixed bag. Caught a TD and had the HUGE 4th down catch, but also dropped a wheel route and took a holding penalty to negate a huge run by Brown.

Gotta give the offensive line a lot of credit. 164 rushing yards and 4.6 YPC against BC is solid and Graham didn't get sacked all night. If that's any indication of how good the line is, they're going to hide a lot of NIU's QB issues. They shut down the best DE they'll play all year, and BC was bringing the house on the final drive and the line still held up.

Overall, I thought heading into the game NIU is a 6 win team minimum game and an 8 win team maximum. I still feel the same way now.

I really do think next week is a huge week for Graham though. He can't afford to lay an egg against direction FCS Illinois like he did last year. I think you'll see the run game get going and he'll play better.

R-E-L-A-X
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2017 08:26 PM by 7.)
09-03-2017 08:04 PM
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NIU32 Offline
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Boston College Game Thoughts
Well put 7, I was pretty pissed off after the game as well, but have cooled off since. I personally felt the players played well enough to win that game and that Carey lost it due to clock mgmt at the end of both halves and that 4th down call. Sucks when you have a boneyard win in your hands and blow it. The points you make about Kansas and Iowa are right on though.

However, a lot of optimistic about. We played several true freshman as well that held their own vs a P5 opponent. I was shocked they had Issac Hawn out there against Harold Landry but he was solid from what I saw. Kramer looked pretty solid as well at DL and so did Lorbeck. Ference was a stud punting all day too.

A lot of younger guys stepped up which is positive to see for the future. If we blow EIU out next week as we should that should put us back on track. Nebraska didn't look too hot their first game. I think we have a shot if Graham and Carey don't hold us down.

And for god's sake, I hope our trainers get their act together and get the team hydrated so we don't have players dropping like flies with cramps every play. We could also try taping ankles too so guys are losing shoes several times as well. I've never seen anything like that before. Bizarre


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(This post was last modified: 09-03-2017 08:22 PM by NIU32.)
09-03-2017 08:21 PM
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7 Offline
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RE: Boston College Game Thoughts
The clock management thing for me is tough because while the end of the first half was super conservative, Carey knows he has Ryan Graham playing QB. Do you really want to be overly aggressive against a good defense with a bad QB? If he has Graham out there chucking it and he throws a pick, everybody is also ripping him. Graham was something like 5/14 passing at that point too. As I said, there's no doubt the defense got hung out to dry, but I'm not sure there was a good answer at the end of the first half except recruiting better QBs...lol.

As for the end of the game, they took a shot to the end zone the play before the FG so I'm not sure how anyone calls that conservative. The big play on that possession was the tackle by the BC DB on Beebe on 2nd down. If Beebe gets past him he may have scored.
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2017 08:25 PM by 7.)
09-03-2017 08:24 PM
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Post: #4
RE: Boston College Game Thoughts
Normally 7 does a good job analyzing games, but to not mention Carey at all in a game summary, which was the main reason NIU lost, is laughable. I am convinced 7 is a grandchild of Carey. Please somebody quote this.
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2017 08:29 PM by MaddDawgz02.)
09-03-2017 08:28 PM
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NIU84 Offline
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RE: Boston College Game Thoughts
A Grandchild of Carey? Hmmm...

Let's work the math, with the skills bestowed by my NIU math degree (I think it was math, I can't remember, I mean, all those numbers and symbols are confusing...).
- Rod marries at 16 yrs old, and has a daughter when he's 17.
- She grows to 17 herself, and has a child, named "7". Rod is now a 33 yr old grandfather.
- With Rod now 46 yrs old, this means the poster named 7 is 13 years of age.

While the grandchild label is, in theory, possible, it seems unlikely.

No need to thank me for clearing this up.
09-03-2017 08:51 PM
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NIU84 Offline
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RE: Boston College Game Thoughts
and regarding football, I do think we might steal the SDSU game...for some of the reasons 7 mentions. I'm over the thud of losing to BC and starting to regain some sense of optimism. Please don't ruin that for me, I'm fragile this early on in the year.
09-03-2017 08:54 PM
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RE: Boston College Game Thoughts
I'm still not over it but I agree we have to take care of business this weekend. I'm not sure what Marcus jones showed to make him the #1 back. Mister became a blocking back and I would liked to see him get some chances. The three runs up the middle at the end of the first half were bad. Instead of using the jet sweep on 4th down, one of those plays might have been a better time for that. You have every right to blame Carey since it's his team but we should have been up 27-20 late if that ball wasn't overthrown to a wide open receiver. There wasn't even any pressure then so I'm not sure why Graham hurried. That's frustrating but it is over and we have another one in just 6 days. Problem is the rest of the MAC west looked real good except Cmu so we won't have any bye weeks (maybe Kent state here).
09-03-2017 09:07 PM
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NIU32 Offline
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Boston College Game Thoughts
(09-03-2017 08:24 PM)7 Wrote:  The clock management thing for me is tough because while the end of the first half was super conservative, Carey knows he has Ryan Graham playing QB. Do you really want to be overly aggressive against a good defense with a bad QB? If he has Graham out there chucking it and he throws a pick, everybody is also ripping him. Graham was something like 5/14 passing at that point too. As I said, there's no doubt the defense got hung out to dry, but I'm not sure there was a good answer at the end of the first half except recruiting better QBs...lol.

As for the end of the game, they took a shot to the end zone the play before the FG so I'm not sure how anyone calls that conservative. The big play on that possession was the tackle by the BC DB on Beebe on 2nd down. If Beebe gets past him he may have scored.


At the end of the first half, Carey ran it 3 times up in the middle in a row. It was clear BC was shutting that down and going to take a time out quick after each play to get the ball back. Not saying he needs to take risks with Graham, but I feel like there definitely could have been a little more creativity than what he did. That showers absolutely zero faith in his offense and just completely killed all of the momentum and lost us the lead going into halftime.

At the end of the game, the clock mgmt was just as bad. Houston Nutt said the same thing on the postgame show. Carey was playing for the tie the whole way. Let tons of time run off after each play and only through it to the end zone once. We got that big pass interference penalty and the first play he runs after is the QB draw that never works!? That made it clear immediately that he wasn't going for the TD. Those were the types of things that were frustrating. The 4th and 1 jet sweep was insane, just a lot of head scratchers.

Bottom line, we had every opportunity to win that game and Carey played it too conservative and very little confidence in his squad. You can't tell me Jerry Kill doesn't call that game way more aggressively and that we don't come away with the win. That's how you beat P5 teams, you stay aggressive and go for the win. Carey needs some balls

Him not having balls is why he started Graham in the first place. Went with the conservative option, low risk, low reward


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09-03-2017 09:24 PM
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7 Offline
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RE: Boston College Game Thoughts
(09-03-2017 09:24 PM)NIU32 Wrote:  
(09-03-2017 08:24 PM)7 Wrote:  The clock management thing for me is tough because while the end of the first half was super conservative, Carey knows he has Ryan Graham playing QB. Do you really want to be overly aggressive against a good defense with a bad QB? If he has Graham out there chucking it and he throws a pick, everybody is also ripping him. Graham was something like 5/14 passing at that point too. As I said, there's no doubt the defense got hung out to dry, but I'm not sure there was a good answer at the end of the first half except recruiting better QBs...lol.

As for the end of the game, they took a shot to the end zone the play before the FG so I'm not sure how anyone calls that conservative. The big play on that possession was the tackle by the BC DB on Beebe on 2nd down. If Beebe gets past him he may have scored.


At the end of the first half, Carey ran it 3 times up in the middle in a row. It was clear BC was shutting that down and going to take a time out quick after each play to get the ball back. Not saying he needs to take risks with Graham, but I feel like there definitely could have been a little more creativity than what he did. That showers absolutely zero faith in his offense and just completely killed all of the momentum and lost us the lead going into halftime.

At the end of the game, the clock mgmt was just as bad. Houston Nutt said the same thing on the postgame show. Carey was playing for the tie the whole way. Let tons of time run off after each play and only through it to the end zone once. We got that big pass interference penalty and the first play he runs after is the QB draw that never works!? That made it clear immediately that he wasn't going for the TD. Those were the types of things that were frustrating. The 4th and 1 jet sweep was insane, just a lot of head scratchers.

Bottom line, we had every opportunity to win that game and Carey played it too conservative and very little confidence in his squad. You can't tell me Jerry Kill doesn't call that game way more aggressively and that we don't come away with the win. That's how you beat P5 teams, you stay aggressive and go for the win. Carey needs some balls

Him not having balls is why he started Graham in the first place. Went with the conservative option, low risk, low reward


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Come on man, we're going to act like Jerry Kill was a notoriously aggressive coach now? People HAAAAATED Limegrover's offense, and rightfully so.

May I direct you to the final drive of the 2008 Independence Bowl.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/pla...=283632348

1st and 10 at NIU 23
(0:31 - 4th) Northn Illinois penalty 5 yard False Start accepted.
1st and 15 at NIU 18
(0:15 - 4th) Chandler Harnish rush for 10 yards to the NoIll 28.

2nd and 5 at NIU 28
(0:05 - 4th) Chandler Harnish pass incomplete to Landon Cox.
3rd and 5 at NIU 28
(0:00 - 4th) Chandler Harnish pass complete to Landon Cox for 4 yards, fumbled, recovered by NoIll Eddie Adamski at the NoIll 28.

In case you forgot, NIU got the ball back with 31 seconds left and they ran a legit, designed QB draw.



And to say the QB draw "never" works is laughable. It's been arguably their most effective play the last 5-10 years and the QB run was easily their best play on Friday night.

But don't let facts get in the way of being irrationally angry.
09-03-2017 09:44 PM
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NIU32 Offline
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Boston College Game Thoughts
(09-03-2017 09:44 PM)7 Wrote:  
(09-03-2017 09:24 PM)NIU32 Wrote:  
(09-03-2017 08:24 PM)7 Wrote:  The clock management thing for me is tough because while the end of the first half was super conservative, Carey knows he has Ryan Graham playing QB. Do you really want to be overly aggressive against a good defense with a bad QB? If he has Graham out there chucking it and he throws a pick, everybody is also ripping him. Graham was something like 5/14 passing at that point too. As I said, there's no doubt the defense got hung out to dry, but I'm not sure there was a good answer at the end of the first half except recruiting better QBs...lol.

As for the end of the game, they took a shot to the end zone the play before the FG so I'm not sure how anyone calls that conservative. The big play on that possession was the tackle by the BC DB on Beebe on 2nd down. If Beebe gets past him he may have scored.


At the end of the first half, Carey ran it 3 times up in the middle in a row. It was clear BC was shutting that down and going to take a time out quick after each play to get the ball back. Not saying he needs to take risks with Graham, but I feel like there definitely could have been a little more creativity than what he did. That showers absolutely zero faith in his offense and just completely killed all of the momentum and lost us the lead going into halftime.

At the end of the game, the clock mgmt was just as bad. Houston Nutt said the same thing on the postgame show. Carey was playing for the tie the whole way. Let tons of time run off after each play and only through it to the end zone once. We got that big pass interference penalty and the first play he runs after is the QB draw that never works!? That made it clear immediately that he wasn't going for the TD. Those were the types of things that were frustrating. The 4th and 1 jet sweep was insane, just a lot of head scratchers.

Bottom line, we had every opportunity to win that game and Carey played it too conservative and very little confidence in his squad. You can't tell me Jerry Kill doesn't call that game way more aggressively and that we don't come away with the win. That's how you beat P5 teams, you stay aggressive and go for the win. Carey needs some balls

Him not having balls is why he started Graham in the first place. Went with the conservative option, low risk, low reward


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Come on man, we're going to act like Jerry Kill was a notoriously aggressive coach now? People HAAAAATED Limegrover's offense, and rightfully so.

May I direct you to the final drive of the 2008 Independence Bowl.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/pla...=283632348

1st and 10 at NIU 23
(0:31 - 4th) Northn Illinois penalty 5 yard False Start accepted.
1st and 15 at NIU 18
(0:15 - 4th) Chandler Harnish rush for 10 yards to the NoIll 28.

2nd and 5 at NIU 28
(0:05 - 4th) Chandler Harnish pass incomplete to Landon Cox.
3rd and 5 at NIU 28
(0:00 - 4th) Chandler Harnish pass complete to Landon Cox for 4 yards, fumbled, recovered by NoIll Eddie Adamski at the NoIll 28.

In case you forgot, NIU got the ball back with 31 seconds left and they ran a legit, designed QB draw.



And to say the QB draw "never" works is laughable. It's been arguably their most effective play the last 5-10 years and the QB run was easily their best play on Friday night.

But don't let facts get in the way of being irrationally angry.


Fair enough on Kill, I was just having flashbacks to when he was at SIU and was aggressive at the end of the game and beat us up in Dekalb. So point taken there.

However, when it comes to the QB draw, yes Harnish and Lynch ran it extremely effectively. Even Maddie and Hare were decent. But you honestly think Graham does and it has been run effectively with him over the past few years?


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09-03-2017 09:49 PM
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