Monday, November 24, 2008

Grading the 'Dogs (7-4, 4-3) at San Jose St. (6-6, 4-4)

Quarterbacks: F
Brandstater's worst showing in since the '06 season finale at San Jose State (if not worst ever) amounts to 5 of 18 for 71 yards, an pick and a fumbled snap. Made bad decisions and consistently missed open receivers.

Running Backs: B
Would be a D if not for an eye-popping fourth quarter capped by a 22-yard Harding dip and dodge TD run and Rashad's breakout game of 41 yards (8.2 per carry). Harding led with 99 yards and Miller added 62.

Receivers: D+
Five guys had one catch each -- two receivers, a tight end, an H-back and a running back. Ajirotutu went without a reception for the first time all year and Moore was a non-factor in his first game back from injury. Bear Pascoe was robbed of a beautiful diving catch by a poor call by an official. Blame can't lay solely with Brandstater, but he missed several big plays while failing to make his reads.

Offensive Line: A-
Fourth quarter was so physically overpowering that any shortcomings from the first half take the back seat. Robbins proved why he should have been starting over Cunningham and Pacheco all year long when Popovich went down with injury. And Lepori and Bernardi possess unparalleled Bulldog Spirit. Solid game by Avon as well.

Defensive Line: A-
Banks had perhaps his finest game stuffing the middle and being imposing while doing it. Ike continues his late-season blossom, and Carter has taken over as by far the team's most dangerous D-linemen and should permanently move from linebacker. Team held Spartans to minus-5 yards rushing -- the second straight game holding a team to negative yards.

Linebackers: B+
Poor first quarter tackling, but credit the defense for staying strong despite being on the field the whole half as the offense struggled. Herron showed improvement in sticking to his assignment as he forced San Jose State QB Sean Flynn to fumble on an option pitch. Knox continues to impress.

Defensive Backs: B
San Jose State went deep many times and didn't complete anything besides the first quarter halfback pass for a TD. That said, Owens has been getting beat constantly, and Dunn did against the Spartans. Makes one wonder why the team's best cover corner, Jefferson, has been MIA at corner for weeks? Great, aggressive effort by Davis didn't go unnoticed.

Special Teams: B+
A strong effort besides West's botch fielding the opening kickoff, but he made up for it returning a punt for the 'Dogs first TD in the third quarter. Malone might end up one of best in school history averaging 43 yards per punt, including booming a 74-yarder out of the end zone in a critical field possession battle. Goessling nailed his only field goal attempt, and Spartans missed 2 of 3 field goals.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.