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Clemson 19 Boston College 13: Observations on the Offense

A look at the offense in Saturday's loss to Clemson

On Saturday night, Boston College dropped a heart breaker to Clemson 19-13. Let's take a look at some of the take aways from the offense. 

* First off, let's address the biggest story coming out of this game. The play of quarterback Dennis Grosel. He threw for 311 yards, two interceptions, zero touchdowns and had the game ending fumble to end it. There is no other way to sugar coat, he had a bad game overall. For me the issue for Grosel was his decision making. The first half he tried to do too much, heaving long shots that he clearly doesn't have the accuracy to hit. Then it was the mental lapses. He admitted after the game that he took his eye off the ball and looked at the game clock on the final fumble. 

That being said he most likely needs to stay the starting quarterback. As consistent and frustrating he looked at times, at this point he probably gives BC the best chance to win football games. Daelen Menard and Matt Rueve have never taken a snap in college football.  Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti and Jeff Hafley have to work on calming down Grosel, and try to continue to drill taking what is given to him, instead of forcing it in. 

* Overall the game plan was solid. Thought Frank Cignetti Jr. did a good job of mixing up run and pass plays, and a lot of the offensive pass plays sprung open receivers. That is on Grosel to find them (which to his credit he did more so as the game went on). The one wrinkle they need to work on, brought up by staff writer Mitch Wolfe, is that they need to figure out how to make this playbook Dennis Grosel's, not Phil Jurkovec's. 

* Mistakes clobbered this team. Clearly there were the turnovers, but the careless penalties reared their ugly head again. The Eagles got hit with 10 penalties for 60 yards, killing multiple drives.

* Tyler Vrabel left the game due to a knee injury and was replaced by Jack Conley. The staff has been really high on Conley all year, we will have to see if he is going to be the starter moving forward.

* Another good game by the offensive line, though they were guiltiest on the penalty front. Even with injuries, Clemson still has one of the best defensive lines the Eagles will have to face all season. Myles Murphy is a potential ACC defensive player of the year, and for the most part BC's was able to run the ball and prevent pressure on Grosel (some of the sacks were on him, he needs to do a better job getting rid of the football). 

* This was the type of game Trae Barry needed to have to showcase his talents to NFL scouts. He looked every bit of an NFL tight end, and if Cignetti continues to work on his timing with Grosel, could be a huge threat moving forward. Solid game by Joey Luchetti too. 


* Getting the ball to Zay Flowers obviously needs to be a focus moving forward. Don't think it was a coincidence that once he started getting the ball, BC seemed to effortlessly move down the field. BC really shouldn't be going entire halves without Flowers getting a touch. 

* One play that I wish the ACC network reshowed was the catch by Jaden Williams that was reversed. The one angle that they showed made it look clearly like a catch, but that was the only angle they showed (a gripe of mine throughout the game). If he catches that, it would have been huge for BC. 

* Big fan of the rotation of running backs. While some may prefer to have a feature back that they lean heavily on, BC's habit of rotating through the three (Pat Garwo, Travis Levy and Alec Sinkfield) kept fresh legs on the field, and combined with the play of the offensive line, paid dividends as the game progressed. Defenders tired quicker, while BC's running backs didn't seem to miss a beat. 

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Photos courtesy of All Clemson