I know this post is a day late, but better late than never. Hmmm, come to think of it Jeff Mullen should take the "better late than never" motto to heart. If our offense managed to score at least one touchdown in the second half, the mood of our fans would be much different this week.
Granted, many still wouldn't be totally pleased, but there would not be so talk about Mullen's conservative tendencies. I'm ready for him to fired just so we can talk about something new on the site.
If only one more touchdown would have made our fans that much happier, just imagine what one more touchdown would've done for our poll numbers?
Enough jibber-jabber, let's hand out some grades...
1st Half Offense: B+ We threw the ball deep and took a good chance with that trick play. Yet again, Mullen showed that he is capable of calling well timed plays and keeping the defense on its heels. We got bogged down a couple times, but if we played that way for the entire game, everyone would be fairly happy.
2nd Half Offense: D+ This grade would've been at least two letters higher had Tavon Austin and Jock Sanders had ran their routes to the first down marker. We were one yard short of the first down on three occasions in the second half. Pick those up and the drive continues. Mullen got conservative and it cost us at least two TD's in the second half.
Offensive Line: B They gave Geno Smith time to throw on basically every snap. Geno was forced to move around a little, but that was more a product of good coverage in the secondary, than it was poor blocking by our line. This unit gets a B, however, because they were terrible at run blocking. They could not create holes for Noel Devine or get off their first blocks to help Devine in the seond level. Whether it is scheme, technique or lack of talent from these guys, we have to be able to run the ball to win the Big East and a BCS bowl game.
Defense: A+++++++++++ This unit is great and has playmakers all over the field. Robert Sands, J.T. Thomas and Bruce Irvin need to be accounted for by the offense prior to every snap. I don't know what more I can about this unit because it wouldn't live up to their performance on the field. Do work young lads!
Special Teams: B Our kick-off coverage team allowed one dangerously long return. Hopefully, that was not a vision of things to come. Winning the field position battle has helped our defense gamble more with blitzes and allows us to mix coverages. If we start allowing long returns again, our defensive performance will be hindered as it was during the previous two years.
Coaching: C+ Our gameplan on offense and defense was solid at the start. Casteel stuck to his plan of making B.J. Daniels pass the ball by containing him inside the pocket. J.T. Thomas and Najee Goode were instrumental in executing that plan to perfection. As we have discussed, however, either Mullen or HCBS decided to go away from the plan on offense and become conservative.
Fans: C+ When people were in the stadium it got pretty damn loud, but people didn't stay for very long.