from Colonel Mustard
We are going to break the game into three parts. I felt that overall we played a very ordinary game. No turnovers was a great thing, though.
Special teams: Brown's leg strength has improved and he was a pleasant surprise. Larson was his usual self. Our defensive speed and athletes showed on the punt blocks. Special teams should be a strength all year. Groce made three bad decisions on punt returns. Catching two inside the 10 and not catching the punt right before the half. Surprising for a senior . These guys put the game away when our offense was struggling.
Defense: Improved as the game went along. Ricketts stopped playing loose and was very good in the second half. He needs to stay aggressive, and we have to accept the occasional big play because of it. Williams played as he did in the spring and is too good to split time with Hollowell. Hollowell needs to be on the field with Williams. Ruud was all over the field, especially on a screen pass in the second half. He is fun to watch. Bland was rusty and will get better. Hopkins will start soon; he makes too many plays to sit out. Kabongo, LeKevin Smith and Titus Adams are clearly better than Bingham and Clanton and other than in rotation they need to play. Kelsay was active but didn't finish. We need this guy to be unblockable. Johnson had a play where he got hooked but he is good and in my mind will replace Demoine Adams.
Offense: Talk all you want about the short field, but when we struggle to produce 300 yards and 10 percent of that is on a run at the end of the game. that is not going to cut it. We were inconsistent all night. The line had problems, but they are inexperienced and ASU blitzed. The line will get better. The illegal formation was unstoppable as usual, but Frank doesn't stick to it. Davis was a rocket on the option play. He and Ross need to be on the field more. We need all our weapons. Diedrick shouldn't have complained about carries in public; that is the wrong forum for that. Lord is what we thought , an excellent scrambler, but teams will put a spy on him. His passing is erratic and he has yet to master the ability to survey the field. Pilkington was open all night. Lord's best play is the broken play. He needs to get better at reading the field and then making the throws. He is very good on the option and a fine runner. I am not sold on him yet. In my mind the best QB on the team never got on the field.
The bottom line is that the defense is better and will improve as the best players get more time. The special teams will win and not lose games. The offense needs to improve its output by 40-50 percent or we will leave our D on the field too long. As I say, not good but not bad. Very ordinary.
-- The Colonel