Finally, a victory!!!!!
It wasn't without it's issues for the Buffs, but a win is a win is a win, and we desperately needed one today. First and foremost, penalties and our long-snapping. For me, those were the two biggest issues for us. We are committing a ridiculous number of penalties, and we're not improving in this area. We need to, and it's not okay that we haven't yet.
And holy moley are those snaps getting to Darragh O'Neill slowly! This has been an issue since Ryan Iverson took over the LS duties last season. He gets almost no velocity on his snaps. It's impressive that O'Neill has only had two of his punts blocked so far, and we got lucky that we were able to recover the one in this game.
But enough of the complaints, I've got some good things to say as well!
Follow the jump to hear David sing one of his favorite songs!
We really need David Bakhtiari back. Alex Lewis got some time at left tackle today along with Ryan Dannewitz, and both are okay, but not great. We were able to cover for one sub-par tackle, but we can't do it with Sione Tau playing on the other side. He directly gave up one of the sacks today, and just doesn't have the footspeed or balance while inline blocking to make an impact in the run-game. It means we are often trying to open holes for our running backs with only 4 offensive linemen, and sometimes only 3. This is a problem. Hopefully Bakhtiari can come back soon, which will allow us to play Dannewitz on the right side.
Rodney Stewart had a pretty darn good day. He hit 200 yards of total offense between his rushing, receiving and returning totals. I'm still not 100% comfortable with him as our punt returner, but I guess we don't have any other options.
I'm unhappy with how Paul Richardson was utilized in this game. I guess it was important to establish Toney Clemons as a receiving threat for defenses to pay attention to, but we should have targeted Richardson more. Clemons and Hansen don't seem to be on the same page very often. Many of the passes thrown his way were uncatchable. Either he was in the wrong place or the throw was off.
The Rams may have figured out the best way to counter our defense. They went to max-protect a number of times, and that eliminated much of our pass rush. We made plays when we needed to, and they only scored on a trick play and a QB scramble, but it's still not good enough. Hopefully our defense continues to improve next week.
Greg Henderson really is aggressive! Man did he lay a big hit on the QB. But mostly, who puts their quarterback in that position? To be reaching up to catch a pass without any blockers protecting him? That was an absolutely terrible playcall by the Rams.
Tony Jones finally got some carries! He looked solid out there, and it's nice to know that the coaches trust him a little bit. That's a good thing, especially considering how banged up Stewart got out there today.
Overall, I'm happy we won, but I still wish I'd seen more from us. It was nice to see Tyler Hansen willing us to victory, with his two rushing TDs and the first downs he got, but it shouldn't have been that close. Penalties and mental errors are absolutely killing us. We're not going to have a chance in any of our games if we don't continue to improve.