Sunday, September 16, 2007

Week Three Position Grades

Quarterback: A-

Yes, Kaipo did take a costly sack and Jarod fumbled in overtime, but outside of these two plays both of the quarterbacks played well. Kaipo-Noa rushed for 117 yards and two scores during the first half, while Jarod Bryant did an admirable job coming in and not missing a step for the injured Kaheaku-Enhada during the second half. The Hoover High product ran for 77 yards while directing the offense, and looked poised and in control for the entire second half. Kaipo is still the clear starter, but give Jarod credit. If he can correct his fumbling "issues" he's probably just as good as an option quarterback as Kaipo-Noa.

Fullbacks: A

You couldn’t have asked for a better performance by Navy’s fullbacks, as Adam Ballard and Eric Kettani combined for 201 yards rushing. Ballard started off strong and was off to a fine day until Kettani came in and exploded in the second half, using his excellent speed en route to a 126 yard, two touchdown day. I’m a huge fan of both of these guys and their running styles, but it’s apparent that Kettani’s speed and athleticism give Navy a chance to score on plays Adam might not be able to break. I look for Coach Johnson to continue to go back to both of these guys (but especially Eric) next week.

Slotbacks: B

The slotbacks had a good day running the football, as Reggie, Shun, and Zerb combined for 135 yards on an 8.4 yard per carry average. Shun also had two catches on the day, while Zerb had a late grab on the final drive before overtime. Shun’s third quarter fumble was HUGE and is the only thing that detracts from a solid outing on Saturday night.

Wide Receivers: B

OJ, Greg, Tyree, and Curtis did what they were asked to do going into the game, and that was block the heck of Ball State. No catches, but you can’ really blame them considering how many yards Navy ran for.

Offensive Line: B+

Probably lost in the shuffle of the entire game, Navy’s offensive line played its best game of the season and outside of a single holding penalty (albeit a crucial one) the unit kept it together. Antron and the guards did a great job opening up lanes in the middle, while the line showed the ability to get guys to seal off the linebackers on the second level and allow for some big gains outside. They will be challenged by a much more imposing Duke defensive line next week, but it’s good to see progress here.

Defensive Line: D-

I think we might have been better just lining up three cones and throwing them at the offensive line. Seriously, we’ve got nothing going up front, and this unit was just getting pushed all over the place. Let’s try to think past the “we need more pressure” argument that so many fans throw out and just concentrate on filling the gaps, something we NEED our D-linemen to do. Yet Nate Frazier and the DE’s were almost unheard of for the entire game, getting pushed off the point of attack on a down by down basis, and failing to generate any penetration against the run or the pass. I've gotten used to see us give up 250+ passing yards, but I thought our rush defense was better than that.

Linebackers: C-

Navy’s linebackers did not have a good day, duh. I’ve been really disappointed with the performance of Matt Humiston and Matt Wimsatt to date, each of whom looked out of position and slow against the Ball State running game. Both of these guys need to show a better job reacting and coming off of blocks if they’re going to hold off the likes of Craig Schaefer and Matt Nechak. It’s tough to be critical up the middle, because after Irv went down we were left with sophomores Pospisil and Haberer, each of whom have very little experience. I know this unit didn’t get much help from the defensive line, but they have got to do a better job tackling and playing in space.

Secondary: B-

Despite giving up 277 yards, this was not a complete disaster of a day for Navy’s secondary, which benefited from career days from Ketric Buffin and Darius Terry. Darius was a guy I was high on coming into the year and with the limbo-like situation of Greg thrasher did an fine job playing the cornerback position Saturday night. He’s and instinctive player and a courageous tackler who probably saved a couple of long gains with his ability to knife past blockers and pursue the ballcarrier. He also played decently in coverage despite being a “mismatch guy” at 5’7. And of course there was Ketric, who made a nice interception in the endzone and batted down a crucial third down pass in the fourth quarter.

Fans: D

We collectively suck. I really don’t think I need to say anymore.


football dad dan said...

"F" for fan support??? ----> Most of my '77 classmates (me included) cheered our butts off for the Big Blue from our endzone seats ... plus it seemed to me that held true for the vast majority of those in the house. Did you video tape a different game this week? )o:
Maybe a little better effort (defensively) on the field might have earned a few les negative comments.

Gary said...

I agree with most everything and also understand that our backers and secondary are looking bad because the line does nothing too.
I heard all this great stuff about Frazier and PJ always said- lets see when he gets popped in the mouth before we annoint him".
Well guess he is right on that but is he also getting double teamed?
It seems for the first time in awhile that our DE are really too light and weak and the speed is not there.
You know how I have wanted to see JB in there and feel that Duke is a good chance for a change.
I think he deserves to be seen in full game-start to finish to see what he can do.
He just has a "persona" about him like he is a more forceful leader and is not afraid like Kaipo to move through a tackle instead of a timid turtle ( at crucial times).
Lets face it the 3 picks for any other QB would have doomed them to sit for a game at least.
But enough on that.

Why do we suck?
Thats one I am curious to hear about- is it that we are too gloom and doom now?
Or is it that we get attacked if we dont wave pom poms even when we do suck?
Was it something you noticed at the Ball State game?
The one thing I see is general apathy about anything other than Army and AFA and that has always irked me.
My bottom line is and always will be - we should be expecting to win and when I said 9 games this year- they were there for us (but now seeing what we look like- 6 may be the max).
Like Clint Sovie said " we should strive for Top 25" and yet that never seems to be in the mind of most Navy fans- no matter how unrealistic some may see it- it is and has been attainable and it is a true measure of your program.
Not staying in the lower mid tier of the Top 60 and saying oh well we beat Army and AFA and got our Poinsettia.
My worry is that this bad D can only get worse through injuries and being worn down that by the time we play ND- they will look like a Top 10 team against us.
Oh well -it really is bad and we have to be honest and let things out and if I agree we suck-that does not make me anti Navy/Patriotic etc.... it just means I am able to look and see reality.
Reality was and almost all agreed that we could win 9 games this year- at least 8.
Then I get told by someone to get real expectations and all I can still say is WE LOST TO BALL STATE (I dont care how good they are - in their conference)You dont lose to Ball State- nor Duke.
Now even Duke should be a worry.
Of course I hope we turn it around but right now your analysis is pretty right on.

Adam said...

From my vantage point (section 30) the crowd was dead, more so in the first half but still not as loud and supportive as we should be. The visiting sailors and Chief’s seemed louder than half the stadium. Maybe it was just me, but sitting in the stands it definitely did not feel like the home opener.

Eric said...

Navy's defense has been playing awfully. I think they have plenty of time to turn it around, but they better do it pretty quickly. This is one of the tougher schedules that Johnson has made over the last few seasons.

Gary said...

It could also be that the opponent was Ball State(no matter how good they really may be-Its BALL STATE).
So not sure how much they inspire any crowds other than their MAC teams.
But I have been to GA Tech/Rutgers/Northwestern and have to agree as even for those games-its a more laid back crowd.
They are not even as loud as I have heard at Michie and thats an insult.

Justin said...

I'll say it again. Don't push the panic button. PJ has been doing this for too long. That is one of the best staffs in the nation. (don't crap what anyone says) It could be worse. We could be Michigan. We have said 11 billion times. Navy is not an early season team. If you play 'em you play 'em early. We are OK everyone needs to chill out. These guys are playing their asses off. They are not trying to make mistakes. (I am talking about the defense.) Most of these guys have been running down on punts and kick offs for most of their careers. We are fine. I would not want any other coach in the nation right now. BE PATIENT!!!!!!!!

Gary said...

As far as fan support @ NMC, other than probably the AF games- which game there has ever had a real "buzz" to it where the crowd (not just the Brigade) was truely a factor?