Ooof. Not the way we wanted to start the year, but we're here and hopefully the team is ready to put it behind them and prepare for Cal. We, on the other hand, will be talking about this one for a while. It's not exactly what we pictured from the offense (but kudos for the 2 TDs to Richardson), and the defense made some big mistakes that led to 'Mighty Mo' rushing for a career high 100+ yards. I just rewatched the game (painful...why do I do this to myself?) and here's what I saw the second time around.
Doug Rippy is going to be very good for us soon. He made some big plays and yes, made a few mistakes, but not as many as I thought he did.
Ryan Miller was getting knocked around in pass protection. He's better than that. Or at least he should be.
It's like we were pleading with Moniz to make some big runs. On the first one, we blitzed, but didn't send anybody up the middle while leaving an ENORMOUS hole in them middle of the field. On the second one we broke contain on one side of the defensive Lline (just a few plays after the first run), with Tony Poremba being the main culprit there. Also, watching the personal foul on Ray Polk for a late hit on Moniz again, it really didn't look like a penalty the second time around. On the third one there was one obvious culprit. Derrick Webb made a mistake and tackled the running back, but it was a pretty good fake handoff. Josh Hartigan was the one who broke contain and forgot the cardinal rule of forcing a guy outside where you've got the sideline to work against and where he has a much less direct route to the endzone. He really screwed the pooch on the long TD by Moniz. Nobody else had a chance by the time the QB got into the open field. On his fourth run (the option run for a TD), Anthony Perkins made the mistake of not going for the guy with the ball. Possibly because he knew he was the last line of defense on that side, but he still broke the rule and Moniz scored a TD. On another Moniz run, Jon Major left his feet to try to deflect a pass (read as: ball fake) and left a lane open for the QB. His LB coach needs to have a chat with him about that. It isn't the first time he's left his feet unnecessarily. On Moniz's third TD run...really? Nobody wants to account for the QB? We broke contain, yet again, in a big way, allowing him to walk into the endzone.
Rodney Stewart almost looked too patient on inside runs at times. He slipped early on a run because he waited to make his cut, and he was waiting so long to hit the hole that it was closing up on him.
Some of the offensive line's problems were protection calls by the center. It's due to inexperience, so hopefully this game becomes a big teaching tool and some of those issues are shored up by next week. Those are fixable problems, but that wouldn't have solved everything.
I know that Bieniemy was trying to spread out the defense, but a WR screen in the first quarter? We hadn't moved the ball in the middle of the field, so there was no reason for them to leave that option open for us.
I guess we see why Toney Clemons was only a co-starter to begin the season. He disappeared (much like he did for stretches last year) and the few times he was targeted, he seemed to be in the wrong place.
Yes, we recorded 5 sacks, but we should have had more. Moniz definitely escaped from a few. That's great, but what happens when we're facing bigger, stronger and more athletic QBs? Remember, we've got Andrew Luck on the schedule...
Our tight ends had some issues blocking. That definitely needs to stop.
We got an illegal shift penalty? Really? I guess it takes time to be healed of the penalty bug.
That left side of our offensive line definitely needs to play better. There was no room running that way, and they let quite a few pass-rushers by.
For all the talk about how mature Hansen was, he lost confidence in his offensive line early. In the second quarter he was already tucking the ball and running instead of finding the soft spots in the pocket. He was feeling pressure where there wasn't necessarily anyone coming (though in fairness, there were plenty of plays where Warriors were coming), and it really threw our offense off.
Henderson's biggest mistake was a rookie one. On a long pass to Stutzman, Henderson took a funky angle on him and missed the tackle. It was a split second mistake, but it cost us a bunch of yards. I don't blame him (true freshman in his first ever college game), and he played a pretty good game otherwise, but it was a big play.
Hawaii had a good day of defensive playcalling. Considering the fact that nobody had ever seen the Colorado offense in a game under Bieniemy, the Warriors did a surprisingly good job of calling the right plays. That was supposed to be one of our only advantages this year...
Jack Harris had an up and down game, but he definitely showed signs of having some talent. I think in another couple of games he will be pretty good for us.
Ray Polk is still having some tackling issues, but he does look like he knows where he is supposed to be out there. That's a good sign.
I'm actually excited to see this defense play against a more conventional offense. I think Doug Rippy and Jon Major will shine in games like that, and I think our defensive tackles will look better against a pro-style or downhill running offense. Unfortunately, we play a number of spread/air-raid/high-octane passing offenses this year...
In the fourth quarter, while we were still within a TD, Travis Sandersfeld very nearly tied the game. He got his hands on a pass. He couldn't reel it in, but if he had been able to, this game may very well have ended differently. He had a clear shot at the endzone. Instead, Moniz made that shovel pass to the running back for a TD a few plays later with about six minutes left to put them up 14 points. After that, it was over.
On the bright side, this Hawaii team has a good chance at winning their conference, and next week we'll know just how bad this loss was when they play at Washington. We held Moniz to only 178 yards passing (he only threw for fewer than 300 yards three times last year) and The Warriors are one of the few college teams with a true homefield advantage (look at their home record throughout the years). Some of the issues along the offensive line can be attributed to having an inexperienced center, so they will hopefully improve over the next few games. But there are some things to worry about, and we'll discuss them in detail before the Cal game, don't worry.