This will be our final look at the Temple game from last Friday. After today we focus exclusively on previewing Rutgers.
Aside from making some pitches a little bit behind slotbacks and making some poor reads, Kaipo Noa played a very solid game. He is clearly a much better passer than a year ago and shows a lot more poise and ability within the pocket, not to mention more aggressiveness when he decides to keep the ball and run on the option. I expect him to shake off some of the rust of week one and continue to improve as the season rolls on.
Shun White had a huge day (122 yards on eight carries) and Reggie Campbell also ran the ball hard, but like most of the team their is still improvement to be made. There were some missed blocks and blown assignments (Reggie uncharacteristically fanned the guy running the ally on Zerb's fumble) but these are things that happen in the first game. Hopefully the speed of the Temple linebackers will help these guys get ready for Temple.
Adam didn't really have that bad of a day, even with the fumble. Remember, Temple was taking the fullback away, and I don't care how strong you are, if a team is going to take the fullback away they're probably gonna do it. He didn't break many huge runs, but he was able to grind it out for some tough yards. Eric Kettani also looked good on two carries.
Offensive Line: B
Appeared to be much improved in pass protection, but also inconsistent at times in carrying out their blocks. I seriously need to spend more time watching this unit.
Wide Receivers: B-
This is a tough call to make because had a few penalties gone the other way OJ Washington would have had a touchdown catch and Tyree Barnes would have had a brilliant sideline catch. Greg Sudderth did a fine job blocking but overall this unit was up and down throughout the game and needs to show more consistency at sealing off the perimeter. Don't get me wrong, there were some huge lanes throughout the game (Kaipo's touchdown run) but their were also too many corners and safeties coming through unchecked.
Defensive Line: B
All things considered the line played reasonably well. Nate Frazier was able to move some bodies up front and the two ends were fairly active. Tackling and finishing plays was something of an issue however, and they're going to need to find ways to exploit the penetration they do get.
I had high hopes for this unit, but outside of a few big hits and some nice individual plays, the unit struggled to keep tabs on Temple QB Adam DiMichele. To be fair, DiMichele played arguably the game of his life, while Temple's offensive linemen got, shall we say, some jersey throughout the game. I liked the physicality and emotion I saw in Irv Spencer, and I thought Matt Wimsatt played a solid game, but for this unit to be productive Clint Sovie and Matt Humiston are going to need to be more involved. Tackling NEEDS to get better.
As usual, this unit bent a few times but did what it was supposed to do in not giving up the big play. That being said this unit needs to be more physical against the run. Jeff Deliz finished with nine tackles but also took some poor angles, while the rest of the secondary relied more on scheme than ability to get the job done (dropping nine certainly helped with Ketric's interception.) Rashawn King is a guy who can play man coverage do it well, as he showed against Temple.
Special Teams: A-
Matt Harmon did a solid job in the field goal department and also kept Temple in check on kickoffs. The kickoff coverage team did a good job bringing Temple's speedy returners down.
That's all for tonight. BEAT RUTGERS.
(Picture from the Washington Post)