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    Observations from last night

    I’m a silver-lining kind of guy, and so I’m probably not the most astute observer. But I thought I’d give my opinions as well as to how I thought the team looked yesterday, by unit:

    Offensive Backfield: Meyer looked solid as ever, his running ability is greatly improved, and his decision making was absolutely top notch. Hicks looked as nimble as I’ve ever seen him. I’m very excited for Stevie this year, although I was itching to see Scales or Johnson. I thought we’d see more carries from Kock, but it all worked out in the end.

    Offensive Line: The only sack on Meyer was a blown block by Hicks. They did a good job, and were as effective as I’ve seen them in a while. Schmeling looked good in his first start. Meyer had good time, although there were some times when guys just flowed in pretty quickly.

    Receivers and Tight Ends: Rumor was the Tight Ends were a little banged up, but they didn’t show it. I tend to think that Barkema’s fumble was just a good play by the defense, as opposed to a mistake by Ben. What else can be said about the receivers? They looked great at creating space, and although Blythe’s reception was #1 on the top ten plays of the week, Flynn had an absolutely FANTASTIC snag for a ball that was thrown behind him. They showed a replay where the camera was behind the play, and it was a sure interception if he didn’t get it. Great play by him. Also, Jon Davis looked 100% and I couldn’t tell a difference from last year. Sumerall created great space for himself, because the two throws to him weren’t great throws, but he had so much space between himself and the defender the throws didn’t have to be great.

    Other thoughts: Although we only scored 23 points in regulation, I think we’ll see less scoring because of the rule changes. I don’t know if anybody else in attendance felt this way, but it felt like the game just FLEW by to me. There were some things to clean up, but overall I have no big worries about the offense. It doesn’t look greatly improved over last year, but everything just seems tighter.

    Defensive Line: Only gave up 36 yards rushing to a team that averaged something like 170 a game last year. Really struggled in pass rush, but Parker and Frere came up huge late in the game with great sacks and pressure. The future is extremely bright for those two and we’ll have a great time watching them the rest of the year. Moorehead looked solid as usual, and Curvey was able to still make some noise even though he had guys draped on him all game.

    Linebackers: There is a lot of mixed reviews about these guys. They are very fast to the ball, and they were good hitters and tacklers. I am impressed with them and when you think we’ll have them all back next year it makes you excited for the future. The complaints about them in the passing game are somewhat warranted, but they have a few weeks to sort it out. My main problem was that when there was a slot receiver, Bowen would often split out and cover him, and he didn’t do a great job of it. Most of the long throws were over the middle to a guy that was at least somewhat in his zone. They were very solid against the rush and filled holes well. There is nothing that can’t be helped.

    Defensive backs: You might think I’d just tear into these guys, but they weren’t THAT bad. Most of the mistakes I saw were mental errors, and they all seem to have the physical tools to get the job done. Good tacklers, I didn’t see many sad arm tackles like we’ve seen in the past. Singleton looked like a physical specimen, was very fast, but found himself backing way off of his defender (I can’t imagine it’s that much in the Skladany defense) so he’d get really burned on hitches and out patterns. The opposing receiver had plenty of time to catch the ball, then turn and run. I don’t mind the quick hitting passes if they don’t get many yards after the catch, but that was one of the things that really hurt us. There were a few times when people didn’t get in position before the play and I saw one coach just RIP Caleb Berg. I didn’t see anything mind-blowing from Berg but he was around the ball often and was a sure tackler. They stayed away from DeAndre all night, and I really didn’t notice Jon Banks a whole lot. He could move well, but he just didn’t strike me as a playmaker.

    Other thoughts: Defense is full of fast guys who are good tacklers. I think Carper needs to wrap up on his tackles more, he just likes to run into guys and knock them down. I could see that being a problem later. Obviously there is a load of stuff to work on here, but overall I saw good things. Could be rough here at the beginning, but when we hit the softer part of our schedule later in the year, I think it will be a very solid unit.

    Keep in mind, this is about as amateur of a report as possible. Feel free to retort any of my opinions, because they are probably worth less than the charmin’ extra soft that you wiped your butt with this morning. Also, keep in mind we looked like CRAP against Illinois State last year, and Toledo is a much better program.

    Edit: Crap, this is long.



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    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    Feel free to retort any of my opinions, because they are probably worth less than the charminí extra soft that you wiped your butt with this morning. Also, keep in mind we looked like CRAP against Illinois State last year, and Toledo is a much better program.

    Edit: Crap, this is long.
    I didn't see anything too objectionable in there, but I didn't observe all the same things you did, either. You must have a lot better seats than I.

    The only thing I didn't care for was the Charmin extra soft comment. That stuff is like wiping with a washcloth.


    Yeah well, ya know, that's just, like uh, your opinion, man.

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    Did you see that Bowen had 20 tackles? I know he blew some coverages, but he was everywhere out there. The coaches were definitely on about his speed.



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    All three linebackers were all over the place. Speed!

    Good stuff as always Bryce. I like the realism yet optomistic outlook.

    ISU didn't do anything spectacular last night yet they didn't play like a bunch of slugs either.



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    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    Other thoughts: Although we only scored 23 points in regulation, I think weíll see less scoring because of the rule changes. I donít know if anybody else in attendance felt this way, but it felt like the game just FLEW by to me.
    That's exaclty what I thought at the end of the first quarter. Someone behind me was heckling the offense for only scoring a TD in the first 15 minutes, so I had to set them straight by explaining the new NCAA rules. I think a lot of teams are going to struggle with this early on in the season, and we'll see a lot more low scoring games.


    Go Sssssssssyclones!

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    I agree, and I didn't mean to make it seem like I'm not high on Bowen. Bowen is going to be an absolute beast for us, and was probably the guy I was most impressed with tackling-wise on a solid tackling performance by the team.

    I'm not doubting anything about tackling ability or pursuit ability which will make our run defense very solid again this year, but the pass defense was pitiful. Let's be realistic about that. I think that when he learns to use his speed in the passing game, he'll be a very very good complete player.



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    Quote Originally Posted by AirWalke View Post
    That's exaclty what I thought at the end of the first quarter. Someone behind me was heckling the offense for only scoring a TD in the first 15 minutes, so I had to set them straight by explaining the new NCAA rules. I think a lot of teams are going to struggle with this early on in the season, and we'll see a lot more low scoring games.
    No kidding! After 3 OT's the game still took what, 3 hours and 20 minutes?


    Yeah well, ya know, that's just, like uh, your opinion, man.

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    I would have to agree with most of what you said based on what I heard on the radio. I think the biggest thing I'm taking away from the game is that we held it together and pulled out the win. When the wheels started to fall off, we stuck together and gutted out the win. You could see the game beginning to unravel in the second half, and I could just see the complete meltdown happening in OT, but I was really impressed with our ability to find a way to win in the end. I have to admit, I didn't think we would pull off the W, but we did. Don't forget what our opener looked like last year. I think we have some good things to build on for the season.



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    The area that was not delved into was special teams. A first class restauranteur type offense, a working class defense, and a third world country special teams. Lots of work to do in short time for special teams, Worried about our punter and kickoffs....or is that just me?

    Liked your Charming Charmin comment. I only buy Charmin. It goes down better.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    I agree, and I didn't mean to make it seem like I'm not high on Bowen. Bowen is going to be an absolute beast for us, and was probably the guy I was most impressed with tackling-wise on a solid tackling performance by the team.

    I'm not doubting anything about tackling ability or pursuit ability which will make our run defense very solid again this year, but the pass defense was pitiful. Let's be realistic about that. I think that when he learns to use his speed in the passing game, he'll be a very very good complete player.
    I agree 100% on his pass coverage. The one play that stick out in my mind is the pass in the second half where Bowen was turned up field and just running to catch up the the running back and ended up hitting him at the 2 yard line right after the back caught the ball. He blew the coverage and trying to recover.



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    Quote Originally Posted by justincl View Post
    I agree 100% on his pass coverage. The one play that stick out in my mind is the pass in the second half where Bowen was turned up field and just running to catch up the the running back and ended up hitting him at the 2 yard line right after the back caught the ball. He blew the coverage and trying to recover.
    This is EXACTLY one of the plays I was referring to.



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    I am a Mac Supporter so don't get me wrong when I offer this up. The only two criticisms I had of the coaching staff last night were two different scenarios that one cost us and one could have but didn't. First when at the end of the game Toledo was punting to us with 30 seconds left and we know we are not going to drive it down field, why do we even put someone back to take the punt? That is a special teams blunder away from costing us the game and it has happened in the past. So why not just let them boot it and down it and we can take a knee with no risk. Secondly when we came up with a huge sack on 3rd down and our players are all over celebrating we didn't even get all of our DB's back on the field. I believe it was Banks was running on to the field late and was lost and that is where they attacked and they easily had a deep pass to the 3 yard line with no coverage.


    ďAlso, I met a lot of Iowa State fans and I donít want to leave any of that behind.Ē - DARIUS DARKS on Staying a CLONE!!!


    Matt (00 Alumn)
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    Since I had bad feelings about this game, even predicting a loss, winning in OT is a good omen. This is the kind of game we have lost the last few years.



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    I haven't seen anything mentioned about McKenzie. That pick he made was huge at the end of the first half with Toledo driving. He also helped force a fumble (with Berg) and seemed to be right there on a lot of big plays.



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    Seems like we went totally away from the tight ends after the first plays except as an ultimate last resort.



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