Keeping a tab on all of the good/bad progressions and performances throughout the season.
Well ouch huh? It’s tough to find positive when your team can’t get into the endzone on national television, but let’s try. We take one last look at the BYU performance before we move on to Eastern.
Team Grade: C+
The performance wasn’t as bad as some are making it. WSU matched up physically to one of the most physical teams they’ll see all year. The biggest difference was in experience, not just in age, but also in the system. Also, the score really isn’t indicative of how the game went overall, because 2 Cougar drives were taken away by bogus holding calls. Wilson’s touchdown and big catch inside the 5 could potentially have made it 30-17, which is probably a better indication of where the team is at.
#1 – Coaching. The first note here is we showed up! The defense came out strong and then the offense marched down the field before the ill-advised throw. Leach had them ready to go and they responded out of the gate. The second note I have here is that I absolutely fell in love with Mike Leach as he ripped his offense during a team huddle late in the 3rd qtr. I haven’t seen a head coach talk like that during a game to his team since the days of Mike Price. It’s nice to see a coach that doesn’t give up when his team is getting mauled.
#2 – The play of the freshmen. The guys that jumped out to me were Jake Rodgers (o-line), Taylor Taliulu (safety), Darryl Monroe and Isiah Myers (Receiver). Really competed well in this game. Quite honestly, I thought they outshined the upperclassmen big time.
#3 – The play of the O-line. I did not expect the line to hold up the way they did. I think I saw immediate pressure on only a hand-full of plays, I expected that around 15 to 20 times. Also, 2 of the 4 holding penalties were blown calls, so I am now VERY encouraged by our offensive line going forward.
#1 – The play of the secondary. This was a group I expected more out of. The front 7 did a nice job but the secondary really let us down by dropping 2 interceptions and totally whiffing on a 3rd that ended up as a touchdown. Not to mention there were a lot of open receivers.
#2 – Response to adversity. Same old Cougars here, just failed to respond positively when anything bad happened on the field. Showed no poise.
#3 – Punting game. Boy oh boy… Bowlin was supposed to shore up the punt game, but he really didn’t play well, shanking 3 punts and running around aimlessly before booting another right into a BYU defender.
Low Player Performance Meter: Jeff Tuel/Marquess Wilson – Tuel looked like a guy who hasn’t played football against a decent defense in almost a year. He’s got to get the ball to his guys and let them make the plays instead of holding it and waiting for routes to become super wide open. Wilson on the other hand had a great day for himself, even though the stats won’t say it because his touchdown and 40 some odd yard catch got wiped out by some tough penalties. Yes, he had a great day… that is until he blatantly gave up on his team and literally threw his quarterback under the bus with his body language. I was not a fan of Wilson’s attitude in the 4th quarter.
High Player Performance Meter: Andrew Furney – Our kicker booted 2 pressure field goals through on the road, picking up right where he left off last season. It’s so reassuring to have dependability at that position. If and when we need a clutch field goal, Furney will be there for us.