The second viewing is always critical for understanding what happened in the trenches. This game was no different. It showed how well the defensive line played and how inconsistent the offensive line was. But there was plenty to like, especially how far the team has come in one week.
Rettig's night was a bit uneven. Some of his throws were nice. The first TD to Amidon was a good read and a good throw. Wolford's drop could've been a TD too. However, he didn't see the safety and underthrew the flea flicker. Some of passes weren't sharp. I also think he's got to get a better feel for the pressure. Most of the sacks were not his fault, but he is still holding it too long too often.
Andre Williams carried this offense. Obviously this was his best game, but it wasn't him breaking a few big plays or even running over guys. He was making good cuts and reads. He got through traffic and tight holes better than he ever has. Wolford blocked well but missed his chance at a TD when he let the ball slip through his hands.
Amidon played really well. He's now getting even better about winning 50/50 balls and getting extra yards after the catch. Crimmins blocked well on the bubbles. Spiffy dd too. Once again we played a ton of TEs but didn't target any of them on pass plays. When we do, someone is going to be wide open.
The offensive line looked like two different groups. On run plays they were solid. They controlled the line of scrimmage and got good push. They also pulled and trapped well. On the play action Rettig had time. It seemed like on the true pass blocking plays we struggled...especially in the interior. White got blown up once. Gallik did too. Good news though was Betancourt looked solid when he filled in for Patchan.
While we remain really conservative, I thought the play calling was good. We were able to run and did it with a variety of looks. We gave Rettig options to pass out of the run. We were aggressive going downfield. I would like to see more effectiveness in true passing, but when the run is working, there is no reason to stop it.
Abdesmad might have saved this game. His tackles and play on the goallines were great. The entire defensive line looked much better. Edebali looks really good, especially when he's allowed to stunt. He's now able to use speed as opposed to trying to just power his way into the backfield. Mihalik made some plays. Wujciak was solid. Ramsey's been quiet. I don't know if it is the new position or he's not 100% but he hasn't looked like his old self yet.
KPL is another guy who is a new man in this scheme. He's covering a lot of ground and covering a lot of mistakes. Divitto looked better. I think MLB is his better position. Daniels didn't look as confused and contributed and tackled more. Both looked better is pass coverage. We are not rotating the LBs very often. I would like to see more snaps for Duggan and Keyes.
Wake targeted Jones and he answered. He also tackled well. The Safeties both looked better. Last week they were out of position. This week they were disruptive. Both Rositano and Sylvia played Wake's option perfectly. Syvlia is also one of our best tacklers. Asprilla wasn't targeted much.
Pick a measurement for defensive performance. Turnovers? We got plenty of those. Big plays? The defense made them all over the field and especially in the redzone. Containing big plays? Did that too. It was really fun to watch. Brown had a good gameplan and called a good game. The best part was how well the guys handled the option. Everyone seemed to know their assignment. We also mixed up the looks. We had 4-3, 3-4 and even some 3-3-5. Other than the first half of the Villanova game, this defense has been very very good.
Special Teams: C
Freese's kicks and punts were fine. Our coverage was decent. The big problem on Special Teams was allowing the punt block. With the ease in which Wake rushed in, it seemed like they saw something in film and knew to exploit it.
Dudeck and Evans were fine on their returns. Spiffy did a better job on actually catching Fair Catches.
I don't care that Wake's stubborn love of the option gave this game away. It was an important game and we came out focused and played well most of the time. I also appreciate the improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. We almost screwed things up before half but Addazio made the right call about the "two minute drill." Taking the knee would've been Spaz-like. And I think everyone took notice of him telling the sideline reporter "that's on me." It is a candor and accountability that has been missing too long.