Good Lord, what a game.
Colorado is not good and, unfortunately, we're only a Noel Devine better than them. I'll have to admit, for as dumb as Jeff Mullen is, at least he learns (slowly) from his mistakes. After he blew the Auburn game by keeping the ball in the hands of a... (cough)... uhh.... "below-average" quarterback, he decided to win this game by just giving the rock to Noel Devine on every single play in the clutch. I advise everyone to look at the play-by-play from the time Brown went "Incomplete-12yd Sack-13yd Sack" in the 3rd Quarter. After that atrocious drive, which ended with the offense being booed off the field, the offense ran 21 plays, 20 of them rushing plays. We piled up 14 points and ate a huge amount of time off of the clock. Three cheers for Jeff-boy, he can learn.
Of course, he's still stupid enough to keep the ball in the air early in the game. Our passing figures look average (12/19 for 148 and 2 TDs) until you include the 7 scrambles for -15 and a fumble. Once you put those numbers in, it's 26 pass plays for 133yd, 2 TD and a turnover. That ain't pretty. That also changes the rushing stats to 35 for 272 and 3TD. For everyone keeping score at home, the ground game has given away the ball 0 times in the past 8 quarters. The passing attack has turned the ball over 9 times. At any rate, hopefully the brain trust on the offensive side of the ball figures out that we're fucking Nebraska and we roll the rest of the season. I doubt it.
Defensively, we played another good game. The boys on D kept us close enough to let Noel Devine win it. Usually these short passing attack teams are big trouble for us and this was no different at first. Hawkins was completing 5yrd outs on us at will. Casteel called a good adjustment where the outside linebacker flared out under the route and almost picked on off (I think it was about 9min to go in the 1st quarter. After that Hawkins was a little more unsure of himself and starting making big mistakes. Really, when a QB puts the ball up 52 times and we pick off 3 and hold him under 300yd, that's a win for the defense. They got their running game going against us a bit, but aside from the 36yd run, it was held in check. Anyways, grades...
QB - D- I don't know what to say. He shouldn't be starting if there's any possible backup who can run with the ball tucked and complete bubble screens. His protection of the ball is just atrocious, I've never seen anything like it on a Mountaineer team. It has already cost us the Auburn game and will probably cost us more. He takes some of the most hideous coverage sacks I've ever seen and those single plays end drives. I don't know how he can't understand, "Protect the ball, always gain some yardage, the big plays will come. And protect the ball" We would have lost this game if we hadn't have abandoned Jarrett Brown in the 3rd quarter. He's now cost us one game and nearly cost us a second.
RB - A+ Noel Devine is really good and this Clarke kid can flat out run the ball. We're still Nebraska East, it's just a question of if the dumbass OC is willing to admit it yet.
WR - D+ Hey guys, hold on to the fucking ball. I don't know if Brown is contagious or if Mullens really just doesn't care about turnovers, but for fuck's sake put some glue on those hands and squeeze the ball.
OL - A- I'm a little peeved that Stewart said he got frustrated with pass protection. The OL played the best game I've seen in a long, long time. It was Brown's fault for dropping back, locking on to one guy (covered) then start running out of the pocket and taking the sack.
DL - C+ While I'd love to see the DL create pass pressure, I'm happy when they can just do a good job slowing the running game.
LB - B I thought they played well. We need more speed at this position, but that's what all these can't-miss recruits are bringing, right?
DB - B Sands played a good game keeping almost everything in front of him. Very active player. This game on the defensive side of the ball was really all about coverage. I thought our LBs and DBs did a good job tackling and taking a few shots at picks.
Special Teams - C+ (or A++ on the "Mountaineer Scale") Nothing exploded and no one died.
Defensive Coordinator - B- Good adjustments, wish he would have sent some of the LBs from time to time. Typical Casteel night.
Offensive Coordinator - C- Run the ball, you simpleton.
Head Coach - C Force the OC to run the ball, you simpleton. Nice sweater-vest. Win the Big East.
Anyways, a win is a win, no matter how disturbing. Bring on 'Cuse.