Game 3 Report Card - Colorado Buffaloes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

The Ralphie Report ranks the good and the bad of the Colorado Buffaloes 17 - 14 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

QUARTERBACK
 

B-

Once again, the stats are not bad (22 - 33, 179 yards 2 TDs 1 Int) but Cody still left some things to be desired. He did make two great throws that challenged the defense for the first two scores of the game. After the first quarter, the coaching staff got conservative and didn't let Hawkins go up field. Good defenses are going to start sitting on the 10 and under passes and its going to be even harder to generate the running game, especially if they continue to play Josh Smith sparingly in the second half. Hawkins threw another pick which means he has thrown at least one pick in 13 of his 16 games. He also had a fumble on a blind side hit while the Buffs were driving.
RUNNING BACK
 

A

Yes, Scott did not get a ton of carries but Rodney Stewart broke a CU freshman running back record. He was very consistent and you felt every time he ran around the end that he could go the distance. Stewart and Scott both had big catches out of the backfield. The Stewart/Scott duo is going to be a Buff staple for a long time coming.

WIDE RECEIVER
 

C

This was the first game I wasn't impressed with the receivers. Scotty McKnight had a big drop and never really got open the entire game. Patrick Williams might as well not even shown up. We are starting to see the same trend with Williams like we have the previous two years where he become a shadow. The most confusing part of the game was how Josh Smith didn't play much in the second half. All the guy does is make plays but the Buffs seem more confident in Cody Crawford??? Overall, the wide receivers need to play better and make Cody's life a lot easier.
TIGHT END
 

C+

I didn't see this at the game but multiple people told me Riar Geer missed a lot of blocks including the one that caused the Hawkins' fumble. Devenney had the big touchdown catch but also failed to get up field on a 3rd and 4 for a first down. I would like the see these two players featured more. One day the Buffs are going to realize to middle of the field is wide open.
OFFENSIVE LINE
 

B+

They get a B+ because of the drastic improvement they showed from the first two weeks. The Buffs had over 200 yards rushing and kept Cody relatively clean only giving up two sacks. Blake Behrens and Max Tuioti-Mariner got the start at guards again even with Devin Head back from suspension. This game should be the confidence booster the OLine needed going into the hardest part of the schedule.
DEFENSIVE LINE
 

B

How does a team average six yards a carry and lose? Bad coaching and a defensive line that made big plays when they needed to. The DLine stats weren't spectacular but they held up when the needed to. I would still like to see the ends keep contain as West Va was able to get around the corner a little too much but I can't complain. This unit made more plays than the West Virginia offense did on third and short.
LINEBACKER
 

A-

It is time for the rest of the Big 12 to start recognizing these guys. Last week it was Shaun Mohler, this week it was Jeff Smart who had 12 tackles and 1 for loss. Brad Jones and Shaun Mohler once again had strong performances with 10 and 7 tackles respectively. No one should be satisfied with giving up 6 yards a carry but when the defense consistenly makes big plays against a run oriented offense and wins the game, no complaints here.
DEFENSIVE BACKS
 

B

Cha'pelle Brown did a great job supporting the run with 11 tackles. West Virginia didn't provide much of a threat passing even though it looked as if the Mountaineers had a size and speed advantage at the wide receiver position. I am wondering how WVU even recruits WRs after this last game. No way a 5 star would ever want to play there. S Dan Dykes was sick. Anthony Perkins did a good job filling in.
SPECIAL TEAMS
 

C

There has been a lot of complaining about Josh Smith fielding punts inside the 10 yard line. I was at the game and I didn't really have that same disappointment. I know what he can do if he gets the ball and has a hole. The Buffs punt coverage team gave up over 20 yards a return which definitely needs to be addressed. Good teams will capitalize on that. Great job by PK Aric Goodman making the field goal when it counted and out-shining a potential NFL kicker in Pat McAfee.
COACHING
 

B-

C- for the offense, A- for the defense giving the coaches a net grade of B-. The offensive game plan was genius at first, attacking the Mountaineers but then the Buffs got conservative. No Josh Smith in the second half and rarely challenging the inexperienced defensive backfield for the Mountaineers was confusing. The offensive play calling and consistency still has a long way to go. On the defensive side, Brian Cabral has this team playing confident and making big plays. I really like the way this group is coming together. We will see a much more balanced team next week in Florida State. That will be the test to really see how good this defense can be.
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