Calling this a loss doesn't do it justice. It was devastating. The Rams improved as the game went on, made adjustments, and generally took care of business. The Buffaloes? Not so much. What ensued was a painful three quarters of football (1, 3 & 4), and one quarter of somewhat competent football. Not a winning combination.
CSU 22 - CU 17. Yech.
- Protection was very bad in the second half and mostly bad in the first half. Handler wasn't sliding protection to the correct side enough and our guys had trouble sustaining their blocks. And the gap in between Handler and Munyer? It was open all. day. long.
- Nick Kasa looked solid early, but then made some HUGE mistakes. Of course, you don't want a guy who has played TE for less than a year left alone to block the opponent's best pass rusher, but bad protection calls will lead to that. I fault him on that play, but he wasn't terrible for most of the game.
- Sensing a theme here? offensive line couldn't run block. They didn't get much push, and on the plays that they actually did, they couldn't sustain blocks at all. A really poor performance from the unit we were told was solid all summer.
- If the offensive line was so bad at run blocking, why didn't we try more tosses? Just a thought. If Tony Jones is so fast, that should be a part of our offensive arsenal.
- The offensive line got Jordan Webb killed. He wasn't the same after that big hit and our passing game was way less effective after that. His throws were much weaker and less accurate after his leg injury. Before the injury, he was moving the offense and hitting open receivers. They weren't always catching them, but he was finding them, and led the Buffs to two nice second quarter TDs.
- The offensive line also allowed a lot of guys to hit Tony Jones, who looked a bit gimpy as the game wore on. We saw a lot less of him later, with D.D. Goodson and Malcolm Creer getting a number of snaps.
- Tony Jones was dancing too much. He left yards out there today. Not many, but with the poor blocking he's receiving, he can't afford to leave anything out there.
- I'll have to look when I watch this again, but it looked like Christian Powell was pretty solid, despite the trouble we had running the ball, and had a solid carry to convert on a short yardage play and a nice catch on a tough ball.
- Gerald Thomas, when he can catch the ball, can do some things for this offense. He was caught looking upfield before he had the ball a couple of times and got lucky on one bobble that he ended up holding onto, but he could be something for us.
- All the wideouts started slowly, but got better as the game went on. But they had key drops late and that stalled some important drives. Way too many drops overall. They were getting open, but they looked like they had lead hands early and late
- Vincent Hobbs got a number of snaps and looked solid. He nearly made a tough catch on a low ball from Webb (after the injury).
- Playcalling was less than stellar. I absolutely like the call to go for the TD on 4th down when we were on the ½ yardline, but I do not like a bootleg for a gimpy QB. You run up the middle or you throw a quick fade to your 6'5" WR, McCulloch. And to end the game, you don't throw that swing pass. They had been sniffing it most of the game.
- Jordan Webb held onto the ball too long at times, but it wasn't a problem every time he got hit. Still, if he survives as our starting QB much longer, he's going to have to fix that.
- Polk's injury hurt us. There was a major miscommunication on CSU's TD after the muffed punt. It might not've been better with Polk back there, but he's the leader of that unit. I'm anxious to hear his prognosis
- Orms took his spot at safety, leaving Mosley as our #1 nickelback. And he was solid in that role. Orms was okay. While I'm not excited to watch this game again, I am interested to see how these guys did on each play.
- Greg Henderson was abused on CSU's sustained TD drive the play where Orms was penalized for targeting, Henderson was out of position in his underneath coverage. Before that, the Rams easily ran him off the LOS with the quick WR screens to his side. He didn't see the field after that drive, leaving us with two true freshmen CBs, Wright and Crawley in. And you want to know the scary part? Our defensive backfield looked a little better with Wright starting. So if you're keeping track at home, that's three true freshmen at out there in the defensive backfield when we go Nickel.
- Doug Rippy did not look very good in limited snaps out there.
- Brady Daigh, on the other hand, made some solid plays, forcing a fumble and a nice TFL.
- Derrick Webb made some very nice plays out there today. But he and the LBs also left some holes open which allowed the Rams to have a solid day on the ground.
- Kyle Washington missed some tackles, but also made some plays out there. Whatever happens, this season, I like the talent we have waiting in the wings on defense.
- The defensive line overall was not good and got pushed around by CSU about 80% of the time. There were occasional nice plays, but overall they were weak.
- Nate Bonsu looked better than he has in a while. At least the coaches weren't lying about that. But he looked tired in the 3rd quarter.
- Josh Tupou needs some seasoning, but he's going to be a player for us. As his recognition improves, he could be exciting to watch (for those of us who like good line play, that is).
- Will Pericak made some nice plays early, including a blocked PAT
- Chidera Uzo-Diribe lined up at LB a few times. I thought that was interesting. It worked out once, as he got a nice TFL. And he made a couple of nice moves and had some nice plays, including that pass breakup and sack. He wasn't great against the run overall, though.
- Muffed punts are bad. Someone should tell the CU returners this. Crawley seemed to redeem himelf with a 24 yard punt return later, and his was recovered by the Buffs, but D.D. Goodson's muff was easily recovered by the Rams and led to a one play TD drive.
- Will Oliver had solid height on his kicks. That's good.
- Our punt coverage team was good, only allowing 2 of 6 punts to be returned, and only 6 total return yards. They can still improve (a whiff by Paul Vigo), but that's something.
- Will Pericak, as I mentioned earlier, blocked a PAT.
- Jury is still out on Mosley as kick returner and our blocking on that unit.
- Darragh O'Neill wasn't getting great hangtime, but it was good enough. He only had one bad kick, but it still wasn't as bad as some of the ones he had last season.
And that's about all I care to discuss at this moment.