The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Sept. 10, 2008
Saturday was a tale of two games. The first was a sloppy, mistake-filled first half on defense and the better part of three quarters on offense. The second game that followed Paul's punt return was crisply played on offense. The defense gave up only one big play and came up with the key turnover. This game reminds us that our team is a work in progress. There will continue to be inconsistent performance as the team adapts to the new staff.
On offense, Swift appears to be the go-to receiver that we need. The offense just seemed out of sync for the first three quarters searching for something that would work consistently. The running game struggled again until Helu gave it a spark in the second half. I believe that the running game will improve as the line trained to pass block becomes more accustomed to the run blocking. From a fan's point of view, Helu is clearly the best running back. He finds the hole quickly, runs with power and makes the first guy miss. Ganz seemed less comfortable than he has in the past and made one very ill-advised throw in the second quarter. He is a fun player to watch and his struggles were just reflective of the entire offense.
The defense displayed very poor tackling and assignment busts in the first half. They adjusted at the half and did a good job in with the exception of one big play. I thought the defensive line did a solid job all day, producing two INTs and a big tackling day from Allen. The secondary was spotty with tackling and coverage problems. I hope we can develop depth at linebacker, and hopefully the New Mexico State game will provide that opportunity.
Paul is the answer on kickoff and punt returns, and I would like to see him involved in the offense. He was decisive on the TD return, but he received outstanding blocking on the play. The kicking game had another excellent week and is perhaps the most consistent part of our team so far. Titchener was inconsistent again this week. Our team does not have much margin for error, so I hope that he gets back to his old self soon.
Overall, despite the poor first half, the defense hung in in a game where they were put in poor field position a great deal of the game. They will get better as they learn Bo's system more completely. On offense, we must find a way to run the ball as we get into the tougher part of the schedule. The bottom line is our team is a work in progress and this season will be filled with ups and downs.
Keep the faith. GBR.