Game 2 Report Card - Eastern Washington

Colorado_helmet_medium          VS.       Eastern_washington_medium

So I have slept a little bit after last night's post but the disappointment has not gone away. I have been reading a lot of message boards this morning and there are those fans who are calling for everyone to chill out to those fans that are callling out the offensive line. I call out the coaches. The offensive play calling is not aiding the lineman at all.

Read the report card after the jump...

 

QUARTERBACK
 

C+

Say you were on an airplane and you got off the plane not knowing anything about the game, the score or the conversations currently going on. You would see Cody Hawkins went 28 for 38, 261 yards 3 touchdowns and 1 interception and say not bad. If you were at the game like I was, you would have saw that Hawkins had many poorly thrown balls and missed many open wide receivers. I would have given him a C- in this game but he was under a good amount of pressure. He needs to get control of this offense and be the leader on the field. Most important, he needs to be stable.
RUNNING BACK
 

B

As a group, the running backs rushed for 77 yards on 24 carries good for 3.2 yards per. Scott had 2 rushes that showed his unbelievable talent. We have to find videos of the runs. Stewart looked solid every time he touched the ball but like they did in the CSU game, the coaches failed to use him the second half. He was the most consistent of the running backs because they got him on the perimeter. Scott led the team with 39 yards on 13 carries but he would consistently get the ball while he was standing still and defensive lineman were bearing down on him. The statistics probably warrant a lower grade but the play calling didn't help the running backs. The RB's caught 6 balls out of the backfield for 60 yards with D Scott showing well with 3 for 33 yards. He impressed when he was in the open field and when he could get a full head of steam going. This is something that the Buffs' coaches need to get going on the rushing attack.
WIDE RECEIVER
 

A-

Same as last week. Solid performance all around by the big 3, Josh Smith, Patrick Williams and Scotty McKnight. Each had their moments and no one dropped any passes. McKnight is Mr. Consistent and probably the best offensive player we have right now, Williams had a big catch on the game tying drive and was a reliable target, and Smith caught a touchdown but is very underutilized in the ultra-conservative offense that we are currently running.
TIGHT END
 

INC

Hard to grade a unit when they don't get utilized so I gave the tight ends an incomplete. 3 receptions for 16 yards but the middle of the field was wide open as the safeties played outside the hashmarks. Congrats to true freshman Ryan Deehan for his first touchdown reception. A staple of past Buff offenses has been solid tight end utlization. This offense doesn't seem to want to do that. EWU used TE Overbay well, often dumping him the ball when the Buffs' defense was extended.  I would like to see more emphasis on the tight ends and getting the ball to Josh Smith.
OFFENSIVE LINE
 

D

They got manhandled up front. Cody had pressure all day and the running game never got going. I have been banging on the coaching in my prior two points but there is a point where players got to play and coaches have to coach. The line didn't play yesterday and although I think the coaches could help the line out with more diverse play calling, getting physically manhandled upfront will not cut it. The coaches can't help the line be physical. This unit has 11 days to find their niche or it is going to be a long season.
DEFENSIVE LINE
 

F

See the offensive line explanation. The only pass rush came from LB Brad Jones. I am beginning to wonder why Hawkins called this group the best unit on the team. People will say, "Look at the rushing yardage, give them credit for that." They knew going in that they needed to get to the quarterback and they didn't do it.
LINEBACKER
 

B+

Brad Jones and Shaun Mohler played well. Mohler really was all over the field and Jones is our only source of a pass rush. When Mohler went out Bryan Stengel came in and had a great hit late in the game. Sipili and Burton were not on the field much at all. Unfortunately, I think we may have lost Mohler for an extended amount of time.
DEFENSIVE BACKS
 

B

They settled down after a tough first half that had EWU seeing DB's that were 10 yards off the WR's. QB Nichols nickel and dimed us up the field the first half. In the second half, the DB's started to play tight coverage and were around the ball all the time. Ryan Walters made some big hits and Cha'pelle Brown made plays even before the interception. He got dragged into the endzone on the first touchdown by EWU but responded nicely after that. The Buffs only gave up 3 points in the second half and that could be attributed to this group.
SPECIAL TEAMS
 

C

Josh Smith was electric again with a 51 yard punt return that set up the Buffs second touchdown but he fumbled...again...and it cost the Buffs seven points...again. He needs to protect the ball. Goodman missed a field goal before half that really could have killed the Buffs if the game went to overtime. What was going on with the kick off return team yesterday? EWU smartly opted not to kick to Smith or Scott and pouched the ball to about the 20 yard line each time and each time we didn't field the ball well. Look for teams to stop kicking to Smith all together
COACHING
 

F

People are saying that we are just running a vanilla offense keeping things hidden from WVU. In my opinion, when you are down 21 - 7 to an FCS team, vanilla offense goes out the window. We went for it on fourth and 2 from the 26 yard line with 8 minutes left instead of kicking a field goal to make it a 1 point game. If EWU scores a touchdown, Buffs would have been down 11 and ball game over. We are not utilizing the running backs well. Rodney Stewart played well in the first half getting some good runs but he didn't see the field in the second half. Darrell Scott never got the ball on the outside. Do we have a plan for the running game or are we going to have two plays the entire year? We are so predictable when we run too. If Stewart is in, he lines up in the slot and runs the sweep. When Scott is in, we run up the middle. We don't get Smith the ball enough on offense and the tight end is a ghost on offense. The thing that gets me the most was this team did not come out ready to play from their energy to their scheme. We played very vanilla on defense and didn't attack Nichols with any consistency. I have never been negative on the coaching staff but it warrants it today. EWU was more prepared.
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