The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Oct. 3, 2007
The best thing you can say about Saturday's game is that it was a win. We are 4-1 and that is where most everyone assumed that we would be at this point. It was a sloppily played game between two mistake-prone teams. We were able to create and take advantage of ISU's mistakes and win. Grixby played an outstanding game. It was of the best individual games I have seen in a long time. It seems as if he was simply going to do whatever it took to win the game. His second-quarter kick return changed the game. But that game was certainly not an artistic success. This was the final game of the season in which we clearly had the better team. The remaining seven are with teams that have relatively equal or in some cases superior talent. Even though there was improvement in some areas Saturday, the way we played will not be sufficient in the remaining games.
On offense, once we got past the turnovers we moved the ball consistently. Sam had a solid game but his pick that was thrown into multiple coverage was unfortunate. Once again the two-minute drill was effective aside from Sam's last-second gaffe. Our running game remains inconsistent. We really need Glenn to get healthy; I feel he is our best every-down back. The running game will need to improve as we head into these important road games. As you recall, Bill used the running game heavily on the road last year. The dropped passes reappeared this week. With the defense playing the way it is and the running game displaying inconsistency, we don't have a margin for error. Pass protection was very good for the second week in a row. The line is much better in pass pro than run blocking.
On defense, Ruud was in the right place at the right time again. This happens too often for it to be lucky. The defense did a good job of creating turnovers this week. However ISU is a very mistake-prone team. The same problems of missed tackles and players being out of position continued. We struggle against any kind of misdirection play. Octavien and Grixby have been the most consistent defenders all year. It is striking to me how seldom our tacklers deliver the hit on the runner. They always seem to be catching and receiving the hit and not generating the hit. It will be very interesting to see if Cosgrove employs a gadget defense this week. His gadget was a disaster two years ago and a success last year. I was very glad to see Culbert move back to defense. He is too good a player to sit on the bench.
The special teams were a mixed bag. Grixby's fine returns and Adi strong kickoffs were very much a positive. The penalties that kept drives alive very much the negative. But overall, other than punt returns, the special teams have shown great improvement over last year.
Now we embark on the critical stretch of the season. With the North looking better after last week, it appears that every game could go either way from here on out. The way we played Saturday will not win many if any of these games. We must hope that the defense can slow people down somehow. Sam has got to stay hot because it is going to take a lot points to win these games.
Keep the Faith. GBR.