Year in Review: Top Surprises
This is Part II of my Year in Review series. For this, I try to highlight guys or groups that I didn't expect much from and in turn exceeded my expectations.
1. Alex Amidon and Bobby Swigert
Their Bowl game was bad and they were maligned throughout the season by the talking heads, but these two guys really stepped. Swigert had more of an impact and became one of the few consistent aspects of our passing game. Amidon did not have the same sort of impact but towards the end of the season was making some tough catches in traffic. We have a lot of problems on offense, but don't let people fool you on these two. They can play.
2. The Defensive Backs coaching and system.
People hate our reliance on zone defense and the corners playing well off the line. You will also hear plenty of complaints about Mike Siravo as recruiting coordinator. But those gripes aside, it is hard to deny how well prepared the DBs were this season. Davis goes down. Other guys step up. Gause goes down. Fox looks good. Fox gets dinged and Ryan Lindsey plays corner. But roster shuffling isn't what it is all about. Fox, Noel and Okoroha all had breakout seasons. Their position coach deserves credit for having them ready.
3. Andre Williams
His real impact was only felt late in the season, but what an impact it was. Williams provided a combination of power and explosiveness we haven't had at the position in a long time. Nevada adjusted to his style and he still has many areas for improvement, but I don't think anyone would have guessed that he had this much potential heading into the season.