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Post game thoughts

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uconnbaseball

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Quarterback-I wish we would settle on one guy. I prefer McEntee at this juncture, as he seems to be getting better and better as the year progresses. Regardless who it is, this 3 QB rotation crud isn't cutting it. McCummings showed me nothing running the ball today. He didn't break any tackles and his arm is obviously a liability at this point. Nebrich isn't ready yet - he takes too long to release the ball, and his footwork is erratic. McEntee isn't very good but played acceptably tonight and throws a very catchable ball. We are not dropping nearly as many passes this year...it is much easier to catch spirals than ninja throwing stars (cough Frazer cough). Overall, the passing game has been mediocre to OK the past couple of games, which is a huge step up from where we were at Vanderbilt.

Running back-McCombs didn't show me anything tonight. He ran well at Vanderbilt, showcasing good vision and strong cuts to slash through the running lanes. He did positively nothing tonight. He doesn't break tackles, he doesn't move the pile, he can't pass block, and tonight even his field vision was poor. He isn't a reliable receiver either. Is he wearing down because of all the work our coaches have given him the past 4 games? Probably. I remain unimpressed though. Speaking of which, why were we running him into the line late in the game, with his carry total approaching 30? Foolishness I say.

Shoemate had a nice grab along the sideline to help move the chains. I don't trust Shoemate running the ball, but he could be a good 3rd down back. What happened to JJL, I wonder? At FB, Hinkley had a good TD catch. I am not impressed with his straight ahead blocking, nor am I impressed with Frank. But whattaya gonna do? Sherman is irreplacable.

Wide Receiver/Tight End-Isiah Moore remains a legitimate target, while Williams showcased much needed explosiveness. It was Buffalo, and I doubt a Big East team misses that tackle on his touchdown catch, but I was encouraged with Williams' route running. The Moore's are below average "BCS" receivers, but are passable. Their lack of height is their biggest issue, and obviously they can't control that. I'd like to see more of Geremy Davis (who had a catch called back on an illegal formation penalty) and the tight ends, who are MIA. Griffin got wide open in the 4th quarter, but there was too much pressure for McEntee to throw an accurate ball to him.

Offensive Line-Christ. They looked fine against Vanderbilt, but have since been dominated by a mediocre ISU DL and a terrible Buffalo line. The guard play is brutal...Masters in particular. Even Ryan isn't playing that well. I would say that Petrus is our best lineman right now. The new schemes are a huge part of their struggles, but I am concerned that they cannot move anyone off the ball. The pass protection has been subpar, too...McEntee's lack of mobility puts them in a tough spot though.

Playcalling-Terrible. We run the ball about 95% of the time on first down, and though a play-action pass on 2nd down isn't normally a bad play call, it is when you run it over and over again. We run the Tamecat way too often (for no gain, since the opposing team knows what play call is coming and we don't have the athletes to break tackles and make people pay for stacking the box against the run). The WR's run pretty good routes; I'll give Deleone that. Rarely are our WR's close to each other when running routes. I also like the trick plays. That's about it for the positives, though.

Defensive Line-I wasn't too blown away with them. Jennings and Reyes had sacks, but the others were invisible out there. Run D was averagish, though Anderson's two meaningless scarmbles at the end of both halves make it look worse statistically than it really was. Overall, UB had an average running back and a respectable offensive line-I will take our effort tonight, though we could get better here.

Linebackers-Smallwood had a terrific INT in the endzone. The coverage by all was pretty good - we take deep drops and have the athletic ability to play man to man with tight ends and most running backs. Run defense was OK, but we didn't do a good job of tackling. We didn't wrap up well or force any fumbles. We did fill the holes pretty well though. Decent effort.

Secondary-Very good effort. Wilson absolutely shut down Rivers (a#1 level receiver) while he was healthy. Gratz and Wilburn both scare me, but neither was that bad. Anderson missed some open guys but often he didn't have anywhere to throw. In the 2nd half, we blew a zone coverage and a better QB would have hooked up with a wide open Rivers. Didn't see who blew the coverage though. I didn't notice either safety, which is a good thing. Buffalo's lack of explosiveness killed them today.

Playcalling-

Instead of blitzing like crazy like we did versus Vandy and Iowa State, we consistently rushed only 3 or 4 guys, hoping that our superior talent would beat their talent man to man. It worked-apart from Rivers, Buffalo didn't have any dangerous players (their #2 WR and RB were OK). The red zone stops were critical. It was old school, Edsall ball. Buffalo had around 325 yards tonight (40 of those on meaningless scarmbles to end both halves)...while that's not impressive, Buffalo won't surpass that mark very often this year IMO. It doesn't matter-we played the field position game against them and made them go on prolonged drives. They collected some first downs, but couldn't ever finish the deal. Our superior personnel won out. Edsall-style defense if you ask me. I tip my hat to Don Brown for making sure we win the game instead of trying to do too much.

Special Teams-Kickoff and punt coverage were both good, but the punt return game is a disaster. We don't block well at all and Williams needs to stop catching with the ball with his pads (cradling it). I guarantee you he will lose a fumble this year if he keeps doing that. Kickoff return game isn't good either. Teggart has a leg but can't hit every single Fg from 45+ yards out. Finally, Wagner was excellent, especially in the second half.

Overall-I am very concerned. UB's lines played ours fairly evenly (for the most part) for the first time in ages. Our passing attack was acceptable, but the running game was awful. WMU isn't great, but will be a much better opponent than UB was. We will need more than 17 points to beat them.
 
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I think you are right on the money with that assesment...especially about McCoombs.
 
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UConn's defense could be substituted for many Top 25 teams and those programs would still be good. UConn's offense could be substituted for most BCS programs and they would become worse.
 
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Best post of the evening. Agree with just about everything, especially McCombs.
And this was a valid point : "Finally, Wagner was excellent, especially in the second half."
 
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I have said before, Shoemate can be a contributor on that O in other areas. McCoombs is a turnstile when asked to pass block, an area where Shoemate is solid. And he can help as an outlet receiver as well. Using him as the single back in the 3 wide on passing downs would be really good. He can stay in and block or release outside.
 

IMind

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I think Buffalo's offense is a bit better than you're giving them credit for. They put up 353 against Ball State and 403 against Pittsburgh... I thought it was a better all around game. The special teams seemed better... still not great. The defense was very very solid again. I think that Buffalo's DL is a bit better than you give them credit for... but agree that the OL needs to get better especially in pass protection. I actually think it's was a bit of a weakness last year as well. I especially agree with you on the Wildcat... everyone knows what's coming.

Here's the thing no interceptions, no fumbles. A win is better than a loss... it's something they can build on.
 
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Offensive Line-Christ. They looked fine against Vanderbilt, but have since been dominated by a mediocre ISU DL and a terrible Buffalo line. The guard play is brutal...Masters in particular. Even Ryan isn't playing that well. I would say that Petrus is our best lineman right now. The new schemes are a huge part of their struggles, but I am concerned that they cannot move anyone off the ball. The pass protection has been subpar, too...McEntee's lack of mobility puts them in a tough spot though.

The line is not the same one that started against Vandy. Ryan was moved from left to right, to make room for Bennett, who has shown why he wasn't playing before this. Beaten a few times by speed and inexperience. If these are the 5 best, we're in trouble for the rest of the year. I hope Foley works his magic and kicks some butt.
 

uconnbaseball

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Buffalo had some good players on offense (Oliver, Rivers, that other WR) but I was underwhelmed by them overall. Pitt and Ball State are not exactly stalwart defenses. We definitely have better personnel than both of those teams on the defensive side of the ball.
 

FfldCntyFan

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I'm not sure that ISu's defensive line is mediocre but I was stunned tonight with our offensive line's performance. We've taken a few steps backwards from the Vandy game (not that we were that sharp in that one) and if things don't improve quickly, we are looking at a season similar to what Rutgers and Cincy experienced last year. Our offense is truly inept.

I couldn't believe the cushions our defensive backs were giving their receivers (and felt for a while that RE was again running the show). The interference call on Gratz was BS but all in all we weren't good in many aspects of our defense. Once an opponent moves to a no huddle we're lost.

Looking at the game tonight, our only strength was our slot receiver. i don't get what happened. Buffalo (considering their record with their competition taken into account) cannot be better at the line of scrimmage than Vandy but the results would indicate they are.

I don't know what to make of the conference season.
 
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The running back situation puzzles me, also. The coaches are willing to play 3 QBs, but RB is McCombs and no one else? I can understand being hesitant to go back to Shoemate, but Jean-Louis and Foxx don't even get a look?
 
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