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 The straight scoop
 from Colonel Mustard

 

Sept. 3, 2002

Sorry this is late. We had transmission problems.

This was a game where I felt differently about each facet of our team. The special teams obviously were terrific and I thought that the defense played OK. But, man. we have got to find a way to move the ball.

Special teams: Groce made nice runs but he had terrific blocking . Brown is automatic and kicking almost every kickoff into the end zone. No punt goes unchallenged, and Davis and Larson are as fine a player as there is at their positions. Our special teams are championship caliber. We will need them to win a game or two this year.

Defense: I was not as down on the D as some were. They had some yards, but a lot of those came at garbage time. Nine for 26 passing is a good performance. They broke some long gains because our tackling needs to improve. Sievers was everything that he seemed in the spring . He acted like he had been playing for us for years. It is too bad he is behind Ruud, because he is a player. I like the three-man line, and Adams gets some inside push on the pass rush. Kelsay is a lot more active. He has the talent to take over a game. This defense has a lot of talent and will get better as the year progresses. We are faster and more athletic than last year.

Offense: We have to find a consistent way to move the ball. It doesn't seem like this group has any energy. I feel like they need some sort of spark. Maybe Shatel is right and we need to give the young I-backs a chance; they are definitely quicker. Our line will improve as the season goes on , but Troy had all 11 within 5 yards of the line for much of the night, begging us to pass. We will see this all year if we can't find a way to beat it. If we can hardly get 300 yards on these teams, what are we going to do against clubs with more talent? The illegal formation would help against this defense because it allows receivers to release quickly. Herian was brought out of redshirt to provide speed at TE to beat this kind of defense. We did hit one long pass but missed on a couple of others.

Lord is a very fine runner and does a solid job with the option. However, he is an inconsistent thrower and locks on to the No. 1 receiver and doesn't look over the field. That is disappointing for a fourth-year player. We need to find something that will work consistently. And in two games, I haven't seen it. We talk about a 91-yard drive, but that included a roughing-the-kicker penalty. If lord is our guy and it appears that he is, then we need to get our young I-backs in the game. Frank has got to get this figured out because it is the key to the season. Our special teams are there and I believe our defense will be tough by midseason. He has got to find some answers on offense.

By the way, for those of you at the games, watch Pilkington, he is always open.
 
-- The Colonel