Game Takeaways


Where do we go from here? A season that projected a possible 4-0 start is now at 0-1 and seemingly no hope for a postseason. What can we take from the PSU game?

1) The defense couldn’t stop a thing. Sure it was a shutout at halftime. But Portland State had nothing that would suggest the scheme should not be ready for it. The 2,000 fans in attendace provided enough crowd noise to inspire a few defensive stops. Once the second half started I’m not sure Portland threw the ball. If Paris Penn is in the shotgun, BLITZ HIM! He is clearly going to run.

2) Was special teams improved? There were highs and lows. Well, they were mostly lows. All things considered, this special teams unit gave us just as many question marks as last year. A blocked kick, missed PAT, terrible long snaps, and a fumbled punt return. Sound Familiar? Sure, Tavares Martin Jr. nearly broke our first kick return in a decade. But a facemask penalty held him from doing so.

3) Drops. WSU compiled 307 yards in the air but drops continuously hurt drives. Fourth down conversions (7-8) cannot always be counted on and 4-16 on 3rd down is dreadful. Leach will focus more on dropped passes this week than anything else.

4) Run game. The Cougs ran the ball 3o times (including sacks) for 104 yards to the tune of 3.5 ypc. While some may celebrate a Leach offense finally rushing for 100 yards, I wonder where that ground attack was in the 4th quarter? The run game slashed the defense in the 1st half but was largely neglected after halftime. When Bender entered the game following Falk’s injury in the 4th quarter the defense was rushing 3 with 5 defenders 15+ yards off the line of scrimmage.

5) Who is the QB? With less than a minute to go a leaping effort from Luke Falk resulted in a right shoulder injury. While many will speculate the nature and severity of the injury, Leach will never say. Assuming Falk cannot go against Rutgers next Saturday, is Bender ready to lead this offense? If he squanders the opportunity in the 1st quarter does Tyler Hilinksi have his redshirt burned?

The result of the game answered where we stand in the record column, but the performance left many questions unanswered. Where do we go from here?