September 10, 2012

He Said. She Said. An Excellent Start

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.She said::...



Considering where the Beavers ended last year, the performance against a solid Wisconsin team was unbelievably good, especially given that this was the Beavers first game of the year.  The big take away message that I found was that this offense was nowhere near where it is capable of being. Everyone still needs to get on the same page.

The biggest question mark heading into the game was the offensive line.  They were better than I expected.

Sure, I knew that the starting five were going to be fine, but going up against a BIG Wisconsin front, the time that they gave Sean Mannion was impressive.  In fact, there were plays that Mannion had so much time, he got some 'happy feet'.  Great pass protection by the big fellas.

The run game is still working out their kinks, but I honestly think Riley could build an offense out of lining up both Storm Woods and Malcolm Agnew at the same time.  We saw some I-formation on Saturday, but by throwing both Agnew and Woods in the mix defenses would be left guessing.

While both are very capable runners, in my opinion Storm is a great pass catching threat while Malcolm hits the hole and is more bruising.  By rotating them, defenses could know what to expect.

Not to overstate the obvious, but the Beavers need to nail down their red zone offense. That game could have easily been 40-0 if they could have capitalized on opportunities beyond the 30 yard line.  This was an issue last season, but with a year experience and a game under their belt, I expect it to get a lot better.

SHE SAYS-GRADE: B (only knock was the lack of scoring)


HE SAYS::...

With the offensive line being a HUGE question mark coming into the season, along with their missed chance at a "tune up" game last week, I thought this first game effort against a very solid Wisconsin defense was notable.

The offense moved up and down the field most of the day.  Yes, they bogged down in the 4th quarter, and had difficulty once they got close to the redzone, but overall I thought it showed improvement.   And more importantly…potential.

Mannion had a solid performance, working within what he was given and not making any critical errors.  No lost fumbles and no interceptions.   Typically, good things happen when those two stats are zeroed out for a quarterback.

Woods, getting his first ever live game action, showed up to play.  He averaged four yards per carry and flashed some good receiving skills on four catches.  And he didn't fumble.

Both Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks showed that (in case there was any question) they will be Mannion's top two targets this year as they combined for nearly half the total receptions and over 60% of the total receiving yards.

Yes, it wasn't the most efficient performance from a points scoring standpoint, but they scored enough to get the win.  Heck, they didn't even score a point last year on this team, so 10 points is a huge improvement. 




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