Second viewing thougths and grade report: North Carolina
I thought UNC was going to be a tough matchup but didn't see the game playing out this way. Unfortunately we wasted a good defensive effort and another solid game form Harris.
It is now safe to say Shinskie is regressing. The lone sign of improvement was his ability to checkdown to Harris and Pantale. But can you applaud the few instances of checkdowns when he keeps chucking it up into traffic? In addition to his bad decisions, were a couple of really off target throws. The first INT was too high. He threw some deep balls that couldn’t be caught inbounds. He overthrew a few other guys over the middle. UNC has a good pass rush, but Shinskie also held the ball too long in the pocket. Marscovetra didn’t get much time to prove himself, but his INT was also bad.
Harris did everything we could ask. He had tough runs. He made something out of nothing on the numerous runs. He got to the outside and made good reads and cuts throughout. It was a shame to waste such a good effort in a loss. McCluskey didn’t get to do much.
Despite our lousy passing stats, the WRs played well. Gunnell did a good job of finding soft spots and making the catch. Jarvis made a nice catch. Larmond didn’t get much thrown his way.
Pantale looked very good again. All the TEs blocked well and helped Harris break his big runs. Anderson had a pass that he should have caught.
When you see Harris put up good rushing numbers, does that mean the offensive line played well? I say no. I think this was their worst performance since Virginia Tech. Costanzo struggled at various times with their speed and looked like he blew an assignment in one of our red zone runs. Richman looked okay. Claiborne got overpowered a few times before he went down. Lapham got beat on the fumble that was returned. The guys did have their moments when things got better. They were good on many run plays, but there were plenty of miscues that caused Shinskie to force things up.
Let me clarify this since the offensive coordinators are often the whipping boys for message boarders and bloggers. Tranq is a better play caller than Bible. I don’t think he is as good as Logan. Yesterday, I felt he called some good plays (I loved the counters to take advantage of UNC’s aggressiveness.) I also like that he likes to throw the ball downfield. But his goalline plays were too conservative and he didn’t help Shinskie out with once it became clear that Shinskie was having a bad day. Where were the short passes or some of the quick outs? Why keep putting it up into traffic against a team of ball hawks? I but most of the blame for the offense on the Shinskie, but Tranq didn’t do him any favors.
You saw how much a difference maker a healthy Scafe can be. He was making good plays throughout and showed good speed too. Giles made one of the best plays of his career with the INT. Newman was okay. Rossi had a decent game. Ramella was ok.
Kuechly had another game where he was all over the field. McLaughlin's final game at Alumni was solid and better than his past few weeks. Morrissey and LeGrande both played very well. Together the LBs were better in coverage than they've been the past few weeks and also filled the holes quickly when stopping the run.
The DBs played really well. Rollins saved two different TDs and made some nice tackles. Davis played really well, as did Bowman. It was probably the best they've played in tandem all season. Gause made a few mistakes, but was okay. Fletcher was good.
It was a shame wasting such a solid defensive effort. We rarely blitzed but I think the game plan was solid. It kept Yates off balance. We slowed their run game and forced turnovers.
Special Teams: B
Quigley punted well.
LeGrande didn't break anything, but ran hard.
Gunnell had one return.
Steve made his chip shots.
Shinskie's mistakes were clearly the big issue. I did like that Spaz's guys fought back and made it interesting. What caused me to nudge Spaz down though was kicking field goals down 21. Hindsight showed that it wasn't the difference, but once again I think it reflects attitude. You are down big and have a chance to turn the game. Why kick field goals? Giving up on bigger scoring opportunities just puts that much more pressure on your defense. I also didn't like that Spaz didn't challenge the fumble that McLaughlin recovered while he did challenge the spot on the 3rd down. The spots are rarely overturned on review. When your QB is melting down it is tough to win, but I felt like Spaz didn't necessarily push the right buttons. Now we are playing for pride. Let's see how they respond.