FOOTBALL: Defense Focused On Execution Against Maine
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Quarterback Chase Rettig thought the offense could have put up 18 more points than the 32 it actually scored on Saturday to secure an Eagle victory against Miami, but, surprisingly, it isn’t the offense that needs a tune up heading into this week’s game against Maine. The Boston College defense had trouble tackling, defending the pass, and containing big plays against the Hurricanes, and Maine presents the perfect opportunity to correct those mistakes before the Eagles take the road against a very good Northwestern offense.
“Some things [head coach Frank Spaziani] always harps on for defense is stop the run, contain the pass, and eliminate big plays,” senior middle linebacker Nick Clancy said. “So I think the fact that we did give up big plays, that was something that really hit home for him as something we need to eliminate in the future.”
Al Golden and the Hurricanes looked at the tape and saw BC’s weakness against no-huddle offenses that hurt them last year, using that same method to methodically drive down the field and score on the Eagles. It’s something BC prepared for, but still needs to work on, especially with a brand new MIKE linebacker in Clancy leading the defensive play calls.
“Not that we knew they were going to [go no huddle], but it’s definitely an adjustment we made in practice. During game week, we had the scout team come out and hurry up and we practiced about a 10 to 12-play set where nobody was hurrying up and we were getting the signals,” Clancy said. “So yeah, we were prepared for it, but obviously Miami is very talented with a lot of speedy guys so they run their offense very well when it came to no-huddle.”
If Maine sees the Hurricanes’ success and tries to replicate it, then BC will have a welcomed second chance to work against the no-huddle and improve. The defense also needs to get more pressure on the quarterback, as junior defensive end Kasim Edebali pointed out.
“We had a game plan before we came into the game, and it was definitely coming after [the quarterback] and trying to get good pressure,” Edebali said. “I think we’ve got a good crew on the D-line where we are able to do that, but at the end of the day they executed their offense a little better than our defense.”
Junior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis found success on his blitzes, and senior defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey forced Miami quarterback Stephen Morris into a sack with his pressure through the middle of the offensive line, but the Eagles will be looking for more consistent pressure against Maine. The defense is also looking to minimize the big plays that broke up the game on Saturday.
“On defense, I think we just gave up too many big plays,” Clancy said. “I thought we controlled the run game pretty much the whole game until Duke Johnson broke out for those two big runs, so I think that in the future, if we can just eliminate those mistakes and just kind of hone in on our game plan from the get-go and just play disciplined football on defense, I think we’ll be fine.”
The defense doesn’t only need to eliminate big plays, but also create some of its own. Spenser Rositano came up with an interception on the Hurricanes’ second drive, but that was off a drop and after that the Eagles missed out on a few opportunities to scoop up Miami fumbles.
“We understand what we have to improve on,” Edebali said. “We have to out-execute the offense, be more physical, play even faster, and just execute defense. That’s the main focus. Have no mental errors and be able to make big plays on defense.”
Overall, the defense sees this as an opportunity to improve, but more importantly to grab the team’s first win in 2012.
“We’re just excited for another opportunity to get that W,” Edebali said. “We’re going to give everything we’ve got to get that win.”