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  1. #1
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    First quarter grades

    After 3 games this is how I would grade each unit.

    Offense: Overall C+

    • QB, D+: Arnaud and Tiller just don't look sharp
    • RB, B+: If not for the fumbles this would be an A
    • WR, C-: QB's are not helping but there are a lot of dropped passes
    • OLine, A-: Opening running lanes and giving QB's time to throw

    Defense: Overall B

    • Dline, B+: Was a weakness last year but I've seen some very good things so far
    • LB, B+: I think they are the most improved unit
    • DB, B-: Take away Sims's play then it would be a C

    Special Teams: Overall B+

    • Punt Cover, A: Solid
    • Punt Return, C-: Unit was average before the fumble Sat
    • Punting, A-: Brandter great as usual


    • Kick Cover, B+: Very few big returns
    • Kick Return, A-: When are teams going to kick to Johnson to keep it out of Sims's hands?
    • Kicking, A-: Mahoney might break every kicking record before he's done

    I think overall these grades reflect how the team has performed. Wins are convincing but improvement is necessary. There is still a lot of football left.


    Last edited by bosco; 09-20-2009 at 01:59 PM.

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    Re: First quarter grades

    I would give LBs a C for their complete lack of pass coverage otherwise I totally agree with everything you said.



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    Re: First quarter grades

    Quote Originally Posted by bosco View Post
    After 3 games this is how I would grade each unit.

    Offense: Overall C+

    • QB, D+: Arnaud and Tiller just don't look sharp
    • RB, B+: If not for the fumbles this would be an A
    • WR, C-: QB's are not helping but there are a lot of dropped passes
    • OLine, A-: Opening running lanes and giving QB's time to throw
    Defense: Overall B

    • Dline, B+: Was a weakness last year but I've seen some very good things so far
    • LB, B+: I think they are the most improved unit
    • DB, B-: Take away Sims's play then it would be a C
    Special Teams: Overall B+

    • Punt Cover, A: Solid
    • Punt Return, C-: Unit was average before the fumble Sat
    • Punting, A-: Brandter great as usual

    • Kick Cover, B+: Very few big returns
    • Kick Return, A-: When are teams going to kick to Johnson to keep it out of Sims's hands?
    • Kicking, A-: Mahoney might break every kicking record before he's done
    I think overall these grades reflect how the team has performed. Wins are convincing but improvement is necessary. There is still a lot of football left.
    Defense has performed better than expected for the most part. QB play is disappointing, but I hope it is a reflection of not yet being comfortable and not a talent issue.

    I think I am mostly disappointed in the WR corps. I thought this would be a strength of the team, but I see little separation created from defenders and too many dropped passes. I guess a little slack is warranted since QB accuracy has been poor.

    ARob is solid. OL is pretty good. That is what sucked about the Iowa game, the OL gave AA plenty of time, he just made terrible decisions and throws.

    Special teams is largely a strength if Lenz settles down. I still think he will have some big (positive) plays this year. Punting and PK are outstanding.



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    Re: First quarter grades

    d+ is harsh. Arnaud has been soild minus iowa.



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    Re: First quarter grades

    Eh...disagree with some of your grades. Maybe its just the letter scale. Try giving them a grade out of 10 or even 100. I think that punt coverage is a direct result of punting. Same with kicking and kick coverage. Up to this past game, Mahoney's kicks havent been incredibly deep but still havent produced many returns past 20-25 yards. Three games in and only 1 missed field goal which was a 56 or 57 yarder and an A-? Before last season, Cyclone fans were willing to take just about anyone who could just put it through the uprights consistently.

    Aside from the special teams, I'm not sure if I could see giving any position on the team more than a B. This team could end up with a much improved record than the past two seasons, but I just don't think that either side of the ball has jelled together. I think it's coming one of these days and we saw a glimpse of it in the first half (if you have mediacom).



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    Re: First quarter grades

    D+ is pretty harsh on the QBs. Against NDSU and Kent they weren't making terrible throws. Iowa was atrocious, obviously, but across the board I give 'em a C. I also think the way AA's been running the ball has to count for something.


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    Re: First quarter grades

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybyassociation View Post
    Mahoney's kicks havent been incredibly deep but still havent produced many returns past 20-25 yards.
    Which is the same reason that there haven't been any big punt returns by ISU. Opponent's punts are averaging 39 yards through three games. Short, high punts give the coverage team time to get down the field.



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    Re: First quarter grades

    Our defense has been better than expected, but our passing game much worse than expected. Running game is right on track - I expected ARob and the line to play at a high level.

    edit: special teams have been very solid, better than expected to be sure



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    Re: First quarter grades

    There's a lot of room for improvement at nearly every position. The bright spots have been A-Rob, the offensive line, special teams and David Sims.

    The LBs have been mediocre, which is a significant upgrade from last season. The DL is getting better, especially Lyle, but it's still a very poor unit comparitavely when looking around the B12. The DBs have been okay, but other than Sims & LJ, I have some concerns about the rest of the group. I do think the defense has definitely improved, but we're still missing the athletes and size to really be an effective unit.

    The offense has been disappointing, except for A-Rob and the OL of course. Arnaud has ball security issues and is still making some poor throws. He settled in last night after the fumble and looked a little better, but he needs to get right and he needs to do it fast.

    The WRs have been hit and miss. Hamilton, Money and Jake Williams have all looked good, but each has had a costly drop or two as well. Darks clearly is not 100%, so I'll give him a pass for now, but Sedrick Johnson has been a head scratcher. For as much talent as he has, either he's not fitting in with this offense or Herman isn't using him right. We have to figure out a way to get him the ball more. Also, the TEs have been okay, but I really think Catlett & Franklin are being under-utilized. There is no reason why Arnaud shouldn't have an open guy on any given play. There are a lot of pass catchers that are playmakers and we should be able to spread the ball around nicely. I watched Taylor Potts last night in that TTU game and he did a phenomenal job of spreading the ball around to multiple receivers. Arnaud should be able to do the same.

    Overall, we have to quit turning the ball over. Our defense is improved, but they're not nearly good enough to be able to operate on a short field multiple times every game. I think everyone is getting more comfortable with the offense, but we're far from being a well-oiled unit. A-Rob is our cash cow and we have to continue feeding him the ball. Defensively, we just need to limit the big plays and keep after it. Coming up with turnovers is always a plus, but I enjoy seeing three and outs and stalled drives out of this group, because that means we're actually doing something right.

    I probably give the team a "C", but the most important thing is that we're 2-1 right now, just broke a terrible road losing streak, and we have a great opportunity to get a win this coming week against Army.


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  10. #10
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    Re: First quarter grades

    D+ for the QB's is harsh but this is an overall grade for three games. The Iowa game was bad, take that game out and grade them on the two wins then it would be a B to B-. My expectations for the Arnaud were pretty high so maybe that's why I graded harder on that position.



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    Re: First quarter grades

    I agree that the QB assessment is overly harsh.

    The interesting thing that I think we're seeing is that things are almost backwards from our expectations.
    Many of us felt that defensive improvement was much needed (it was obvious last year), and we're seeing a good amount of that.
    We had a lot of concern with OL play, but they have so far played very well.
    The DL has played better than expected to date.
    Special teams have played well.

    Basically, our skill guys look like they're still adjusting to the system, which seems pretty reasonable to expect. They'll come around with experience and repetition in the system.

    This seems like a team that is much-better coached, and a team that is learning and growing as they go along through the system. I really think we're seeing a coaching staff that is going to put together a nice program right now.



  12. #12
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    Re: First quarter grades

    Truth be told, I'd rather wait for "one-third/nonconference" grades.

    Also, adding to the rest of the above comments, I can't give the O-Line that high of a grade with all of the three-and-outs in the second half yesterday...




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    Re: First quarter grades

    AA was 10 of 22 vs Iowa and 13-21 against Kent State. He did show last week that he can make some better decisions, but by all means didn't do a ton to erase the Iowa game. Tiller has looked lost out there too (which I would expect for a Freshman).



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    Re: First quarter grades

    Quote Originally Posted by ajk4st8 View Post
    Tiller has looked lost out there too (which I would expect for a Freshman).
    And is the whole reason that he's out there.




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    Re: First quarter grades

    Quote Originally Posted by Aclone View Post
    And is the whole reason that he's out there.

    And exactly why they earned a D+



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