1-Navarre looked very good finishing
with 16 of 28 for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns-no picks-only 1 sack.
He even took one up the middle when he saw an opening. He looks
much better, and much more in command of the team.
2-Receivers look good! Marquis Walker
and Calvin Bell look great! Askew is extremely dangerous on the
screen pass. Seymour is becoming very dependable at tight end.
Our backups are also good! Braylon Edwards looks to be a game
breaker in the future; he is very long, fast with great hands
and toughness. It will be nice is Thompson can heal up and become
a factor; I don't think Joppru or Rosel are anywhere near as dependable
as Seymour or Thompson.
3-Our punting was improved with
Finley getting 3 punts and a 44 yard average, but he did get one
blocked. Our punt returns still look very dangerous with Julius
Curry. Our kickoffs are now with Phil Brabbs which leaves Epstein
in the role of field goal/extra point kicker only. Our kickoff
returns are pathetic with Drake and Howard; Marlin Jackson looks
good on kickoff returns though.
4-Our defensive backfield is very
weak. Howard and LeSueur were constantly burned by various Bronco
receivers. Our free safety position is extremely weak. I expected
the competition between Cato June and Charles Drake to result
in better overall position play; unfortunately, both are weak
in pass coverage. Both are strong in run support, but weak in
pass coverage. Julius Curry was very silent today on defense.
On the bright side, Marlin Jackson looks to be our Charles Woodson
of the future. This will be his learning season to gain confidence,
but he really looks like an All-American candidate (and soon).
Shaw got a chance to play quite a bit, and his play appears to
be why we are redshirting Shazor. Markus Curry didn't play much,
and Brandon Williams apparently doesn't have a broken ankle or
foot as reported earlier in the week. Williams got burned again
and took a pass interference penalty that ultimately led to their
last touchdown. The Broncos did have a lot of drops so it could've
5-We did have a lot of sacks on
defense, but we don't really have a great pass rush. Foote has
really improved his speed, and is relentless on blitzes. Our defensive
linemen are good in stopping the run, but not very strong in rushing
the quarterback. Brackins started his first game and played a
lot so we can't be too critical; he will improve. Hobson played
another solid game; so did Frysinger. I'm so glad his foot is
o.k. Diggs, Spytek and Kaufman continue to see a lot of action
which is great for our depth. There is a big drop-off in ability
when our second string defensive line in on the field: Pearson,
Kashama, Stevens and Bowman. Wood and Rose played late in the
game. Drake was our leading tackler with 7 tackles. Again, like
previous games, our linebackers are not our leading tacklers which
is partly a function of teams like Western Michigan throwing the
ball 58 times, but also partly because of weak linebacking and
6-Askew looks so solid as a running
back, receiver and blocker. He is a real team leader on offense.
He rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries, 5 catches and 3 TDs. Too
bad Perry got hurt, but luckily it isn't serious. He'll be back
for Illinois with only a bruised knee. Underwood is continuing
to impress and get valuable game experience. We are solid at tailback.
Phil Brackins continues to block pretty well at fullback.
7-Penalties again continue to cost
us. We took 13 penalties for 109 yards. We lost the battle of
time of possession by 3 minutes and they had 14 more offensive
plays as a result. Luckily, we had no turnovers, no fumbles, no
interceptions while they had two picked off. We held them to 13
net yards rushing with 9 sacks and 80 yards subtracting from their
total rushing yards.
8-Our offensive line is coming along.
They look much better. I hope Tony Pape's injury in the 4th quarter
is minor; we need him badly. Unfortunately, we still didn't net
200 rushing yards. We have not netted 200 yards in any of our
3 games. We've still got a long way to go. We only allowed one
sack today, and had no turnovers so except for the penalties,
we didn't do too bad overall offensively.
9-Our defense allowed nine (9) 3rd
down conversions and one 4th down plus 3 touchdowns. We did get
a pick when they were ready to score another time and they missed
a field goal. But give them 10 more points and we have a 38-31
game, and a really suspect defense. Remember, they did have a
lot of drops. They did only have 5 first downs while rushing the
ball, but 24 first downs overall compared to our 23. They had
392 net yards compared to our 475 with 379 through the air (36
of 58). They did have some good receivers and Walsh was a good
quarterback. Still, Virginia Tech shut them out.
10-I think we are ready for the
Big Ten season! We look like a solid Top 20 team, and capable
of representing the Big Ten in several bowl games. I hope we can
beat Illinois and start out the Big Ten season right. They will
be tough and it will definitely be a 4th quarter game. They are
undefeated and look solid offensively. It will be a real test
for our defense, and our offense may need to prove it came come
from behind. We would have to show considerable improvement to
be considered a Top Ten team and/or be considered for a BCS bowl