Keeping a tab on all of the good/bad progressions and performances throughout the season.
A win, is a win, is a win! After the late game breakdowns of the previous 2 weeks, all I can say is “thank God we’re 2-1″!
Team Grade: B-
I think everybody realizes 2 things: That our offense is on its way to what we thought (although it’s been slower than we anticipated) and that our defense has to get better NOW if we want a bowl game! We won the game on the road, so that has to count for a good grade. However we had chances to blow the game wide open and failed to capitalize, therefore the grade drops a little from me.
#1 – Connor Halliday: The sophomore had a few really, really bad throws. However he more than made up for it with his 4 touchdowns passes in the first half and by leading the charge to our first 2nd half td of the season. He made the plays he needed to.
#2 -Isiah Meyers/Gabe Marks: It is really hard to think that these guys aren’t right around the corner from exploding right now. They are consistently running good routes and making tough catches. Their play is vital and if they can get open in conference play you know Marquess is going to get some 1 on 1’s. Advantage, Cougs.
#3 – Special Teams: Our punt and kickoff coverage has been tremendous and Teondray Caldwell has been very consistent returning kickoffs, always a breath away from a big return. I can see him taking one back in the near future. It’s something we’ve been horrific at over the past several season’s, but this year it is a strength.
#1 – Play Calling In This Game: I know Coach talked about “just get first downs”, but the last minute and a half was all on the play calling. One more run would have iced the game with us on O. Instead, we have to survive another Hail Mary.
#2 – Where Was Furney?: Another coaching move that almost cost us. Look, I’m not into second guessing the coaching staff, but we have an all Pac-12 kicker. Use him and get points instead of risking the loss of the football without them. (I thought the final 4th down conversion was a fine call, but earlier in the game I would’ve liked to see us get 3 instead of nothing on 2 drives).
#3 – Playing With A Lead: The defense has to know when it’s appropriate to take unnecessary chances. Here’s a hint – Not when you’re up by 2 scores or more!
Low Player Performance Meter: Demante Horton – Coverage Fail, then Tackle Fail, then Effort Fail: If you didn’t see it, you missed Horton falling being Marcus Sullivan and then using his terrific ball skills to get back in the play and almost knock the ball away. However after Sullivan secured it, Horton then had a chance to make a touchdown saving tackle at around the 30, and got stiff armed for almost 10 yards before giving up as Sullivan cruised in.
High Player Performance Meter: Casey Locker and Cyrus Coen- The Senior Safety stepped in and did an admirable job, especially in run support, while playing for suspended Deone Bucannon. Coen was all over the field again on Friday, making plays that reminded me of Alex Hoffman Ellis last season. Coen’s potential is through the roof in my opinion and he will be one of the best LB’s this school has ever seen when his time comes to an end.