Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grading the 'Dogs (7-5, 4-4) at No. 9 Boise State (12-0, 8-0)

Quarterbacks: D
Credit Brandstater for being a tough son-of-a-gun, but he's just an average QB at best right now. He doesn't do anything to win ballgames, including when he spiked the ball with 1 second remaining in the first half.

Running Backs: D
2.4 yards per carry will never, ever cut it at Fresno State. Harding stopped moving his feet too often in the backfield. Hard to believe not having Mathews makes that much of a difference with this offense.

Receivers: D+
What a terrible time to start dropping passes. Bear Pascoe and Ajirotutu had costly drops on a key drive that led to a punt, then West drops one (that was thrown behind him) and it gets picked off.

Offensive Line: D
See above 2.4 yards per carry is absurd. The 'Dogs never seem to be able to run on Boise State, and until that is fixed they will struggle against the Broncos.

Defensive Line: C
Applied some of their best pressure of the year in the first half, but Broncos QB Kellen Moore didn't panic and got rid of the ball every time. He made plays when necessary.

Linebackers: D
Reverted to more poor tackling and struggled to get off blocks in the second half.

Defensive Backs: C
Great pick-6 by Owens in the first quarter, but 'Dogs confusion in the third quarter more than negated it.

Special Teams: F
Here we go again. Two blocked kicks for the 'Dogs and then what do they do? Allow a 90-yard punt return for a TD (yes, Malone was held by a Bronco, but the team shouldn't have had to rely on its punter anyway). For a special teams guru such as coach Baxter, he sure doesn't seem to be doing much coachinig this year. Where are the adjustments in personnel? The 'Dogs don't have enough speed on the coverage unit, especially with Wylie out. Dunn defended the punt return horribly and it cost them.

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