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  1. #1
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    Grades for Week 1

    Offense: First half A-. They stopped themselves on at least two drives in the first half. NIU did not stop us, we stopped ourselves through stupid penalties.
    Offense: Second half C+. I thought halftime was short, evidently the offense did too as they did not show up till the fourth quarter.
    Defense: All around a B. Played within their schemes without the "captain" for week 1. Sims makes a world of difference, no one can deny that. There is a sharp drop between Sims and Sandvig. Knott and Klien, what can you say besides wow 3 years of these two, wow.
    Special team: D+. The one punt went for 18 yards, didnt Arnaud pooch something longer than that last season? Grant misses one field goal and everyone is downing him, it was the first of the year, he got the jitters out.

    What do you guys give for grades?



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    I think the D+ for special teams is a little harsh, considering the punter only got to punt once and it was his first collegiate punt ever. And Mahoney was money after that miss on FGs and PATs, and was consistently putting kickoffs into the end zone. I don't think I'd go lower than a C on special teams.


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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    I think the D+ for special teams is a little harsh, considering the punter only got to punt once and it was his first collegiate punt ever. And Mahoney was money after that miss on FGs and PATs, and was consistently putting kickoffs into the end zone. I don't think I'd go lower than a C on special teams.
    I would give them a C+ for last night. The kickoff coverage needs to improve on kickoffs that are not touchbacks.


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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Special teams were NOT D+. The first kick of the season was a mishandled shank. That happens in early games, and didn't happen again (i.e. He would have missed the PAT of the first touchdown just as badly had it been snapped like that.) That wasn't even a kicking error.

    Kickoffs were fine and the punt was okay, not a disaster. Room for improvement, but, holy cow, not nearly flunking!



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    18 yard punt is unacceptable for scholarship punters. That must improve, Mahoney has been and will be fine. Missed FG wasn't on him and the rest of the game his leg looked pretty good. We just need to avoid those middle of game slumps. We are very focused and execute well at the beginning and end of games (which is honestly better) but we're still not playing a complete game to potential, and that's scary to think about if you're an opponent



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik4Cy View Post
    18 yard punt is unacceptable for scholarship punters. That must improve, Mahoney has been and will be fine. Missed FG wasn't on him and the rest of the game his leg looked pretty good. We just need to avoid those middle of game slumps. We are very focused and execute well at the beginning and end of games (which is honestly better) but we're still not playing a complete game to potential, and that's scary to think about if you're an opponent
    I agree. A lot or the teams errors last night were mental errors and execution. NOT a lack of talent.

    The only area I can see where I had hoped talent would have improved was putting pressure on the QB. The QB seemed pretty quick and baught time in the pocket so I hope that was a big factor. Apparently we only blitzed once and got pressure that down so that is a good sign. Other than that, I think the O can execute better every game and really put points on the board.



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    I thought the kicking looked dicey all night last night. The extra points weren't exactly right down the middle. Whoever's fault it was on the kicking, the only kick that looked really good was the long FG.

    18 yard punt is not good.

    I would say a C- or D+ is about right



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Maybe not a D+, but ST was not good. Missed FG which was a wicked momentum killer early (yes, not Mahoney's fault, but still ST fault), terrible shank punt in key moment of the game, and why can every other team kickoff to the endzone, but we cannot? Are we purposely going for higher, shorter kick to get better coverage? There is NO better coverage than blasting it to the endzone and having the other team start at the 20. We have 2 scholly kickers and no one can do this?

    Other than that, I give the offense (less turnovers) a solid A. With the turnovers, B+.

    Defense a solid B. Could have easily been an A with some better tackling.

    Great game. As the post game show announcer said, "perfect game for Coach Rhoads. ISU gets a win, but coach still can point to numerous areas of improvement."

    We certainly won't be cocky heading into next week. My only real concerns are: (1) punting, and (2) DL pressure. Both need significant improvement.



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneWarning View Post
    Are we purposely going for higher, shorter kick to get better coverage? There is NO better coverage than blasting it to the endzone and having the other team start at the 20.
    If we are, then it was failed miserably(except for the one that was muffed and the one tochback). They were at the 30-35 for most of the kickoff returns for the whole game. To make things worse, the tackling was as bad or even worse on kickoffs than in the rest of the game.

    Also, was anyone else surprised with the wrestling match that took place in the second quarter on the 40(?) with two refs standing 5 feet away with no flag for either team?



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    defense played damn well for how many short fields NIU had. They gave up 93 yards passing!

    and they stopped NIU to 0 points when they had it 1st and goal at the 1!



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    It would seem that now ST has become the big concern, particularly punt and kickoff. I think mahoney will be just fine, but punt blocking needs to improve ASAP. Almost getting the one punt blocked by NIU will almost certainly mean 1 or more blocks by UI.



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneWarning View Post
    why can every other team kickoff to the endzone, but we cannot? Are we purposely going for higher, shorter kick to get better coverage? There is NO better coverage than blasting it to the endzone and having the other team start at the 20. We have 2 scholly kickers and no one can do this?
    Mahoney's kicks were as follows:

    68 (2 yard line)
    69 (1 yard line)
    64 (6 yard line)
    64 (6 yard line)
    70 (Touchback)
    70 (Goal line)

    Average kick - 67.5
    Average yard line kicked to - 2.5

    The 3 kicks by NIU were as follows:

    70 (Touchback)
    70 (Touchback) This one drove me nuts because we caught it one deep and took a knee.
    50 (20 yardline)

    Average kick - 63.3
    Average yard line kicked to - 7.7

    We were the better kicking team last night. Wish I had the hangtime. Mahoney's were all 4+ I believe. Our coverage was not as good as it should have been. Given the gusty, windy conditions last night, both teams were able to take advantage of the conditions.



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    What are the complaints about the kickoffs? I thought the kickoffs and the coverage were good to great.

    As the previous post showed, the kick was to an average of the 2.5 yard line, which is much better than last year. The average return was 21.2 yards, so they averaged starting at the 23.7 yard line, which is good, not great, but definitely good. But certainly nothing to complain about.



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    ON special teams: Punting, yikes, that was scary. Not only the kick but the blocking to protect the punter looked pretty shaky to me. CPR will have to figure something out here, Iowa is going to force more than one punt next week.

    On FGs: on the one Grant missed something went wrong with the snap count, you could see he started his approach, then stopped and then restarted. It looked like his timing was all messed up, so I am not going to worry yet.

    On kickoffs and coverage: both could be a little better. None of the kicks wowed me, and the coverage was a little slow and had some gaps that could have led to huge returns. NIU got out to the 30 a couple times, which is not horrible, but a little disappointing.

    Give credit to Lenz for getting to short punts and catching them. How many times have we seen guys let these crappy punts bounce and turn into a 50 yard punt?

    On the offense: AA really had me, then lost me. He had a couple, what are you doing? plays again last night. Over all he was much better, but the TOs have got to get better.

    On defense, I did not like the fact that the NIU receivers got behind the DBs a couple times, and there were a couple other times when someone was running free in the secondary and their QB did not see them. LBers and safeties both could have made some tackles in the backfield on running plays, but the tackling is still light years ahead of 2 years ago.



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    Re: Grades for Week 1

    Quote Originally Posted by IowaSTATCyclone View Post
    Special teams were NOT D+.
    They have room to grow. Maybe he gave them the Drake logo. D+


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