10 Positives/10 Negatives

Miami-Ohio Redskin/Redhawk win


September 1, 2001

10 positives:

1-Only 2 penalties: 1 pass interference and 1 face-mask, no offsides, no illegal procedures, no holding, no clipping, etc. (shows good discipline)

2-Navarre looks like he can lead us offensively with 19 for 32 for 205 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions. 22 first downs and 400 yards in total offense! He must win big games, though! Our toughest games will be Washington, Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. In the 3rd quarter, we had two 3 & outs to begin the second half though, and this kept Miami-OH in the game especially with poor punts and field position. 4th quarter was much better so offensive consistency and working on the "killer instinct" to put opponents away (like we didn't do last year against UCLA, Purdue or Northwestern). Our time of possession was nearly 33 minutes and 3rd down efficiency was 7 for 17 (4th down was 1 for 2). Red Zone efficiency ended up o.k., but we need to get much better especially in rushing, short-yardage situations.

3-Askew looks like a great tailback and one-back that can replace Anthony Thomas, and Askew-Perry-Cross-Underwood look like a great tandem of backs running the ball, 159 yards from all 4 tailbacks. They are all big backs and fast. We have a real threat on the screen pass with each of these, but especially Askew.

4-We have several freshmen and redshirt freshmen playing and contributing including Jackson (starter),Underwood, Markus Curry, Edwards, Massaquoi, Combs, etc.

5-Our defensive backfield is much improved with the additions of Jackson, June and Markus Curry, and the development of Drake, Shaw and LeSueur. We had 3 picks yesterday and will probably have many more. We have some real tough players back there who are good on cover and punishing hitters, but they can't always compensate for a poor pass rush.

6-Calvin Bell is fast, has good hands and he gets open. He may be our new "go to" guy. He had 5 catches and 2 runs for 62 yards and 1 TD. Our other receivers look good: Bellamy, Walker, Edwards, etc. Edwards looks like he'll get more playing time, and that he'll be counted on more and more. Even though Massaquoi didn't catch a pass, I think he'll contribute more as well. Combs, Butler played, but don't look like they'll contribute as much.

7-A lot of players got a chance to play yesterday which must be good for team morale. It gives most players and the team a lot of optimism because they'll play even if they don't start.

8-It as good to see injured players return like Cato June and Jake Frysinger return, play and look like they'll be big contributors.

9-Epstein hit all extra-points and his one field goal attempt giving him confidence for the season. Last year, he got off to a poor start and came on at the end.

10-Coaches now have seen this team play against competition, and will make necessary adjustments. Players won't always listen until they've seen their mistakes against opponents. Now, it the ultimate "teacheable moment." Each player knows that Rose Bowl Champ, Washington, will be a real challenge. Coaches now have the opportunity to really coach, and luckily we have a super coaching staff. We need to trust our coaches to bring out the best in these players and the team. Carr, Herrmann, Jackson & company will do what is necessary to have our team ready for the Huskies.

10 negatives:

1-Poor punting-Epstein-6 punts for 35 yard average-pathetic especially for a senior who is supposed to be an all-american candidate

2-Poor long snapping on punting-2 snaps on the ground from Jeremy Miller-we will have several punt blocks if this continues

3-Poor pass rush-yes, we had 4 sacks, but overall against mediocre competition, we are not even close to average. It looks like the blitz package may help, and injuries to Brackins and Foote will hurt in these situations. Kashama, Hobson, June and Casseus must blitz effectively because our push from our down lineman probably won't be enough against the good teams.

4-Our offensive line is not even close to last year's team that sent Hutchinson, Backus, Williams and Brandt to the NFL. It may take considerable time, and we have tough games with Washington and Illinois this month. We may not be able to wait until November or else we'll be playing in the Citrus, Outback or Alamo Bowls with a 7-4 or 8-3 record. We didn't even have 200 yards rushing against Miami-OH, we might not have had 150 were it not for the reverses. 47 rushes-189 yards-The pass blocking wasn't very good; Navarre was rushed a lot and had at least a hand in his face often. The fumble was the offensive line's fault and could've been costly against a good team late in the game.

5-No leadership on defense by linebackers. Granted, Foote and Brackins were injured, but Kauffman, Hobson, Casseus, Jordan and Diggs only accounted for 12 tackles between them. We must have our linebackers "flying around" more, and tackling better.

6-Our defensive line was also guilty of poor rushing defense. Our two tackles, Lazarus and Heuer only had 1 tackle between them and were non-factors (i.e. blocked all day). Rumishek, Frysinger, Stevens and Orr had one tackle each so this is 5 tackles for 6 down linemen. Pretty poor start especially against a MAC school who isn't even favored to win the MAC.

7-We don't really have any threat on special teams to "go all the way." Howard and Drake are fast, but not threats on kickoff returns; neither is Julius Curry on punt returns. Too bad Baraka couldn't play! I'd like to see Calvin Bell on punts and/or kickoffs along with possibly Braylon Edwards. Bellamy and Drake would also be good on punt returns. It seems because we lack a deep threat in passing situations and returns, that teams will let us "nickel and dime" them down the field and challenge our red zone efficiency.

8-Michigan does not look like a "top ten" team. They look like they have the potential to be a good team, but it looks like a lot of nail-biters are looming in the future. How we will respond in close-games will determine our success.

9-We've got great depth on defense, but little depth on offense. Our offensive line has Mast, Denay and possibly Morgan who can help, but is very thin. Our tight end and wide receiver depth is good, but neither position offers much of a deep threat like a lot of good teams. Even Miami-OH had that 6'6" tight end who could run deep; we need this type of athlete. Maybe, Kyle Ealey after he redshirts.

10-We really need help in recruiting for 2002. We are in need of offensive lineman, at least 2 new ones to replace Goodwin and Mast (Kolodiej, Rhodes, Blalock, etc.). We are still in need of defensive linemen, at least one or two solid ones (Gabe, are you listening?; Pickryl, Leitko, etc.). We must get a top-rated quarterback! (Martinez, Banks, Olson, Edwards, Gutierrez, Bright, etc.) Perhaps, we should be looking at athletes rather than drop-backs like other teams. We can always use another great running back (Riggs, Wynn, Horne, etc.) We really could use 2 more good wide receivers (Tabb, Trannon, Avant, Jenkins, Cornelius, Cook, Coats, Stovall, Platt, Kyle Brown, Rankin, Ismail, etc.). We could use a dominating inside linebacker like Andrea (Carpenter, Sarantos, etc.). We really should also be looking at a good placekicker to replace Epstein. Other than that, any athletes we can find (Barringer, Shaw, Jenkins, Miller, etc.)