Peeps, a Win is a Win. Yeah, it was "ugly," if a win can be called ugly. But it says something about a team's toughness to have to scratch, claw, and find a way to win a tight one. On to the observations:
1. I thought the defense was shaky, but then I look at the stats and see we held a prolific Bowling Green offense to under 400 yards. That's more than 100 yards less than they were averaging coming into the game. Still overall disappointed with how they played in the middle of the game. Just thought this unit seemed flat most of the night. I'm not happy about it, but this happens once or twice a season to pretty much everyone.
2. Very disappointed in our front 7. They didn't get nearly the push or pressure they have in the previous games. Not having Preston Smith hurt, but he doesn't make that much difference all alone.
3. BG picked on Justin Cox all night, but he held up pretty well for the most part. He's still learning how to be a CB, but you can see the improvement week-to-week.
4. Welcome, Will Redmond. He looked surprisingly solid for a guy who hasn't played in a year and a half. (Thanks, Bracky!) Now could we PLEASE not screw up the spelling of his name on his jersey? Someone should be embarrassed about that, maybe even fired. No excuse for it.
5. Don't know why he was everyone's favorite whipping boy last season, but Jamerson Love is a big piece of our secondary. We missed him last night.
6. I know we were trying to play a lot of guys last night and stay pretty base, especially in the 3rd Quarter. But only getting one 3-and-out all night, and that in the first quarter, is not good.
7. Our tackling is awful. For the second week in a row, we missed a lot of tackles. That's a big concern moving forward that has to be cleaned up for us to make a bowl.
8. Nickoe Whitley has no impact on the game anymore. He's a step or two slow, has poor football instincts, and doesn't even deliver the big hits anymore.
9. No turnovers created last night. Where's the Mayhem?
10. It was nice to see the young guys step up and get a couple huge stops in the 4th Quarter when they needed to. That says a lot for them.
11. Kendrick Market was everywhere. He's vastly underrated.
1. Jameon Lewis had one nice return, but that's about it.
2. Insert Weekly Devon Bell is Hot Garbage Rant. Is Sobiesk REALLY worse? Because you can't convince me he is.
1. Tyler Russell looked very good running the scripted opening drive. He was sharp all night and made some nice throws. But he took a bad sack from holding the ball too long at one point. He can help up down the stretch.
2. Dak was pretty much unstoppable. When we had to move the chains, try to score, and keep BG's offense off the field, Dak was the QB we chose to ride. I think it's pretty clear who "The Guy" will be when the game is on the line. His first pass was an absolutely terrible decision, but he didn't get rattled. Bounced back and was one of the biggest reasons we escaped with a W.
3. Special shoutout for Ashton Shumpert. Only saw him in the game for one play, but it was on Dak's 75-yard TD run. And he made a NICE block that sprung Dak on the play.
4. What has WMD been saying for weeks? Put Nick Griffin at FB. We did in the first half, and we ran the ball down their throats. Didn't see much of Griffin in the second half, and we struggled running the ball. Not a coincidence, in my mind.
5. I agreed with going for the 4th-and-3 in the 4th. There's no way I'd have let Devon Bell kick again. I'd much rather trust my D at this point. And an absolutely awful spot is the only reason we didn't get it.
6. We missed Clausell at LT. Justin Senior is going to be good, but he's not ready yet. BG got in his head with their blitz looks.
7. You all know how I feel about pre-snap penalties by now. The false starts are inexcusable and total drive killers. Two were by Justin Senior, a guy getting his first significant amount of action. But Joe Morrow's false start had me ready to explode. A WR should NEVER be listening to the snap count. He should be watching the ball.
8. Speaking of Morrow, credit where it's due: Other than the false start, I thought he actually looked like a football player for the first time last night. Made a couple nice grabs, used his height better, and was much more physical. Hopefully he's starting to figure it out. I'd love to be wrong about him, because he has the raw potential to be a big factor at WR.
10. Tubby Lewis is our best playmaker. Just electric with the ball in his hands. He made a cut early in the game that made the BG defense look absolutely silly. Also had several plays where he created an extra 4-5 yards out of pretty much nothing.
11. Robert Johnson had a nice night on limited touches. We've got to him more involved in the offense.
12. Where's Malcolm Johnson? He might be one of our biggest mismatches on the field on a weekly basis, but we don't ever seem to find ways to get him the ball.
13. Very nice game by Perk. He ran hard all night, broke some tackles, and looked explosive again. His over-the-top TD was sick.
14. Josh Robinson looked good as well. He continues to show a nice burst and excellent vision. Has some real power and runs through tackles and almost always falls forward for extra yards. He also showed very good hands and ability in open space on the wheel route. Please get this man more touches.
15. Another night where we only went with 2 back plus Dak & Jameon as our runners. Hopefully that continues. RBs get better when they can get into a rhythm.
16. A nice night overall from our OL. They opened holes for the RBs and gave the QBs plenty of time in the pass game. Also nice to see them really open some holes on our last possession to essentially close out the game.
1. I thought the crowd was good early. But the "abandon ship" move after halftime was embarrassing. C'mon, man!
2. I have some serious questions about some of our personnel groupings last night. I know Preston Smith was out, but Kaleb Eulls at DE? That experiment has already failed miserably. Ryan Brown and AJ Jefferson deserved the PT. It would've also been a good opportunity to get Chris Jones extra games reps at DE. Where is Quay Evans? I think I've seen him once since the OK State game. He's got to be in trouble, because there's no way Nelson Adams should be playing ahead of Quay. Although Adams has played pretty well so far.
3. The Bye Week hits us at the perfect time. We need to get some guys healthy for the stretch run. It also gives us a chance to refocus and spend more time honing the 2-QB system.
4. The Johnthan Banks "Take This One to the House" video was good, but you can't improve on Jonathan "Kenny Powers" Holder. Once again: C'mon, man!
5. We've got MAJOR second half issues this season. We've been outscored by a wide margin in the 4th quarter on the season. Now some of that has to do with the way the games and schedule have played out so far. But it is a concern. Of course, it wouldn't be quite as bad if Devon Bell wasn't awful, but that's a different rant. Fact is, we've got to get better at finishing. But that's also part of the growing pains of a young team. But a game like last night where you find a way to win late can help kick start that for young teams.
That's how WMD saw it, anyway. Feel free to share your own opinions.
In Mullen We Trust,