Mid-season Grade

(Cary) #1

Halfway through the year, I have

QB - A (King has done very well)
WRs - B- (drops and big plays)
RBs - B+ (the rotation has been solid)
O-Line - A- (most improved unit)
Offense overall - B to B+ (explosive, scores 40 points-plus without blinking, has stalled out a couple of times recently)

Linebackers - B (need to be better in gap protection, but better than I thought they would be)
Safeties - C (decent in run protection, bad in coverage, mistime their blitzes)
DBs - D- (not getting their heads around, reacting to the throws slowly, missing tackles)
D-line - A- (what we expected)
Coaching - C (Tech was awful, Tulsa and ECU much improved, development of secondary has been lacking)
Overall defense - C+ (our one loss is because of them, but they are improving in scheme. They won us the ECU game and kept us in the Tulsa game)

Puntah - B- (inconsistent, high punts, short distance)
Returners - B+ (bad Rice game, better since)
FGs/kickoffs - B (jobs got sorted)
Overall STs - B

Overall grade - B

We have done what we needed to, but have not put a complete game together. The Tech loss was rough, although not totally unforeseen. After the improvement in the defensive scheme, my grade is trending upwards. By the end of the year, I hope I am giving them an A.


In all of my years of watching Cougar football, I can’t remember a 5-1 team that I thought hasn’t really played very well. But that is how I feel, i see huge room for improvement. If they improve they are every bit a top 15 team that can win the AAC.



All the potential to be an A-, yet aspiring to be a D.

The term I’ve used repeatedly is (sorry to wear it out) “dysfunctional”, and it’s the mental discipline, or in this case the lack thereof, part of athletics that is contributing to the dysfunction. And for me it starts at the top. Don’t need to be psycho ballistic like the ECU coach, but then don’t need the corpse like enthusiasm of CMA when camera shots show him “involved”/watching? the game in progress. A little more fire, please.


QB- A our qb has the most TDs per game in the nation and mixed with only 3 turnovers in 6 games…it doesn’t get better than that

Oline- B good pass protection, not great run lanes, a lot of false starts

WR- B- (potentially C) super fast and explosive …being honest I think our offense(briles) is boosting them…in any other offensive system the amount of drops theyve had would have been crippling… if we had last year’s offense we’d be talking about how horrible our WR are

RB- B- they’ve been serviceable but not game changing. I think any above par RB would be giving us at minimum the same production under briles…I wish we’d give Chandler Smith some reps with the ones, his speed intrigues me

DLine -A they’ve been good all season

LB- B great almost elite at run support, not great in coverage, not great blitzers.

safeties- B for all the take about bad coverage few on it actually falls on the safeties, all good tacklers

CB- (upgraded to a D+, working towards a C-) they are getting better as the season comes along. their 1 horrible game might have been from a elite passing threat … I once believe anyone would shred us, now I think just elite passing teams will shred us

Returners- ? rarely ever return punts or KR
Kicker- A- amazing since Dalton took over
Punter- C


What I have never understood about Dane is that his kicks are high and rarely returnable but not that long. I thought we got him because he kicked a ball in competition 80 yards. He never does one of the running kicks for long yards like other Aussie kickers I have seen playing on college teams.

(Cougarpad) #6

He averaged 40 yards again last night. This has been mentioned before and I think it is true. He is being coached to punt high kicks like this instead of the booming ones like he can do. I think Applewhite prefers the high kick for no return over the booming kick with a long return. He did back ECU inside the 15 twice last night.

(CoogNation_14) #7

Same, but I guess that is good. Don’t we want our team to work like they still have something to prove all year and peak toward the end?

(WRB) #8

We do! That is the whole premise of 1-0. Take it one opponent at a time. Get better each play. Worry about stats, rankings and headlines after our NY6 win!


I think we have put complete games together. You have to factor out what happens when we go deep into the roster to get guys games reps. Based on the performance of our starting offensive and defensive rotations I would say we have had complete games against Arizona, TSU, and ECU. None of those teams did anything offensively until we pulled our starting rotation.

(David) #10

Seems like the WRs are getting dinged more from their drops than King for his misses. I think both have been good. Maybe I am not keeping as close a watch on the WRs

(Kendall Barrett) #11

I agree with Coog51…we have the talent to be a NY6 team. Our secondary continues to improve, and the O hasn’t yet (it will) hit on all cylinders. I hope we peak at the right time, put it all together, and really push through our season. I truly think we will get there.
Go Coogs !!!

(Trent) #12

I’m still not convinced that the Tech game was all on the defense. Yes they got ripped up, but there are some games, especially with air raid teams, where it just turns into a track meet. You have to outscore them because all they’re trying to do is outscore you. In that game, we had a lead and the ball in the second quarter, so we had the opportunity to really stretch out the lead. Their freshman quarterback would have started to play desperate and force throws if he were really playing catchup, but our offense wasted that opportunity, either dropping easy passes or trying to go to a ground game that we couldn’t get going. Tech was able to get back in and eventually start running away.

An overwhelming defensive performance would have done the trick, but we don’t have an overwhelming defense to bring. We brought a gun to a gun fight, (not a fort,) and then we spent a lot of time fiddling with it rather than pointing it downfield and firing away.

Point is an equally valid method of winning that game would have been to score at will like we did in the first quarter instead of giving away possessions, so I would have graded offensive strategy C- for that game and execution a B. Since then we’ve played teams that are much more manageable for our defense, but I"m still concerned that we waste offensive possessions.

(Cary) #13

This could very well come into play if and when we play UCF. It is my reference to putting together a complete game. To beat UCF, defense will have to get stops, offense can’t stall, and special teams has to flip the field.