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 The straight scoop
 from Colonel Mustard

 

Sept. 10, 2001

Well we had really good news from our defense and special teams. It appears that we may have a championship defense, although we didn't get as much pressure in the second half. Craver, Groce and Ricketts continue to play well. Davie helped by not playing Holiday and thorwing about 10 fades in a row. I can see why we wanted Holiday. He would be great in our system. He is clearly their best QB and I would not want to play them once they figure that out. Davis is a gamebreaker and Craver improved on the punts. Larson and the coverage teams were very solid. It seems as though our special teams problems from last year are gone. That is a credit to our young talent and coaches.

All in all we have fine special teams and a sound and developing defense. The D is young and will get even better as the season progresses. Diedrick carried the load, and that was very good to see. He ran tough on a good D and has good feet and does a good job seeing the holes. He is a huge improvement over the last two years. No. 7 threw the ball very well when he was allowed to. And as my friend Darren always says, Wistrom is always open. The new formation of flexing our receiving tight end Wistrom or Bowling is a good idea. They get into the pattern faster.

I have two great concerns. Our offensive line is a huge problem. When we can't get short yardage with the Maryland I, we have problems. This has got to improve. ND gave us gaps in the interior of the defense and when we ran into the middle we couldn't move them. We have three very experenced players here. This is not a young group. I don't have an aanswer here, but Frank and Milt need to find one.

Old story, new verse. For the second time against a D-1 opponent, we gained approximately a quarter of our total yards in the opening drive. We had 90 after the second TD and got 160 the rest of the way. We always out-gameplan the opponent and fail to adjust to the opponents' adjustment. We didn't move the ball at all in the second half. Maybe Frank put it in the can, but you lose your aggressiveness when you do that.

What we have is two-thirds of a real good team. The defense is better than I thought it would be and is improving. The special teams have turned to a positve. The offensive line needs some fire (I saw Fonoti standing around while the play was happening) and we have to adjust on offense to be a great team. And 7 can't be fumbling twice just as we are putting the game away. The best news on offense is Diedrick taking pressure off 7. Crouch's sharp passing was a relief to see.
 
-- The Colonel