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Post Game Numbers and Thoughts

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Offense

Outside of Terry Grant's first TD run, last night didn't really give us the glimpse of the "explosive" offense we've all been hoping for. The playcalling last night leaned more towards the efficient and methodical than anything else. I'm sure this had a lot to do with the opponent and circumstances, and we'll see more variety next week against Vandy, but overall I was pleased with the way we were able to move the ball and retain possessionlast night.

Rushing ATT Gain Loss Net TD Long Avg
Terry Grant 18 136 2 134 3 47 7.4
Glen Coffee 9 76 0 76 1 20 8.4
Roy Upchurch 6 58 3 55 1 25 9.2
Jimmy Johns 8 31 0 31 1 12 3.9
John Parker Wilson 3 19 2 17 0 15 5.7
Total 44 320 7 313 6 47 7.1

Terry Grant was the star we all thought he would be, racking up big yardage play after play when he could get out into space, but I was surprised at how often he ran between the tackles. The first toss play went for huge yardage and a TD, but, if memory serves, only once did he get to the next level when running up the gut. Johns shined in this area as the power back, though, and I was pleased to see him getting the ball on screens and swing passes out in the flat. By the time Coffee and Upchurch got looks the WCU defense was probably so drained they couldn't keep them in check, but nevertheless Coffee especially looked good getting to the next level and making things happen in the open field. Grade: A

Passing Comp ATT YDS TD INT Long Sack
John Parker Wilson 17 25 189 0 0 20 1
Greg McElroy 8 9 73 1 0 32 0
Total 25 34 262 1 0 32 1

Again, there wasn't a lot of explosiveness to the offense and I only remember one attempt to go deep by JPW that sailed out of the end zone. The QBs were both efficient, finding open men and, in Wilson's case, scrambling when necessary. One nitpicky note, though: On McElroy's TD pass, he threw into double coverage in the back of the end zone to hit Walker when Huber was wide open on the goal line. I don't think Wilson would have made that mistake, but I guess that's why he's the starter. Grade: A

Receiving No. YDS TD Long
Nick Walker 5 40 1 14
DJ Hall 4 52 0 19
Earl Alexander 4 40 0 13
Jimmy Johns 2 28 0 20
Mike McCoy 2 25 0 13
Terry Grant 2 13 0 9
Glen Coffee 1 32 0 32
Nikita Stover 1 10 0 10
Travis McCall 1 8 0 8
Darius Hanks 1 6 0 6
Baron Huber 1 4 0 4
Roy Upchurch 1 4 0 4
Totals 25 262 1 32

Looks like we're gonna see that play action boot to the TE a lot this season, but it worked pretty well for us last night, so why not? The TEs were definetely more involved in the passing game, and Walker came away with the only TD catch of the night. There weren't a lot of deep balls thrown last night, so we'll have to wait until next week to find out if we'll be getting any big yardage passing plays in the future. I said yesterday that I was really looking to see how well the receivers blocked downfield and got seperation, and I was especially pleased with their blocking. Grant's two biggest runs (as well as Coffee's) were sprung by superb blocking from the WRs. Without the benefit of a replay, I remember seeing Caddell and Hall throwing nice blocks (Hall especially on the one long Wilson scramble), and it looked like that was something that was emphsized during the spring and fall. As for getting seperation, again, without the benefit of a replay (I have got to get a DVR) it seemed like there were plenty of open receivers for the QBs, while I also recall Alexander breaking off his route and coming back for Wilson to get a first down. Grade: A

Defense

Coach Saban wasn't pleased with the defensive effort last night:

"I don't think we were physical enough up front," Saban said. "I think we've got to play more physical and more aggressive. "I think we're soft at the point [of attack] sometimes."

I'm going to have to agree with him on that one since, too many times, they were able to bounce the ball outside due to a lack of penetration by our front seven, and next week against Vandy that could really hurt us. Here are the numbers:

  Solo Ast Total TFL/Yds FF FR/Yds INT/Yds PBU Blocked Sack/Yds QBH
Johnson 4 4 8 1.0/2 1 - - - - - -
Mustin 3 4 7 0.5/1 - - - - - - -
McClain - 7 7 1.0/5 - - - 1 - - -
Castille 3 2 5 1.5/7 - - - 1 - - -
Fanney 1 4 5 - - - - - - - -
Saunders 1 4 5 - - - - - - - -
Rogers 3 1 4 - - - - - - - -
Knight 2 2 4 1.0/16 1 - - - - 1.0/16 -
Washington 1 3 4 1.5/7 - - - - - 1.0/6 -
Waldrop 3 - 3 - 1 - - - - - -
Sharrief 2 1 3 - - - - - - - -
Davis 1 2 3 1.0/5 - - - - - - -
Mitchell 1 2 3 - - - - - - - -
Carter 1 2 3 - - - - - - - 1
Reamer 2 - 2 - - - - - - - -
Greenwood 1 1 2 1.5/3 - - - - - - -
Jackson 1 1 2 - - - - - - - -
Gilberry 1 1 2 1.0/1 - - - - - - 1
Arenas 1 1 2 - - - - - - - -
Higgenbotham 1 - 1 - - - - - - - -
Anders 1 - 1 - - - - - - - -
Johns - 1 1 - - - - - - - -
Deaderick - 1 1 - - - - - - - -
King - 1 1 - - - - - - - -
McCullough - 1 1 - - 1/0 - - - - -
Talbert - - - - - 1/0 - - - - -

The Front Seven

Well, we held them to less than 2 ypc, but it still seemed like they were running all over us. There were a lot more 4-3 looks than I expected, but with both Saunders and Knight seeing a good bit of time as down linemen, there wasn't a lot of penetration into the backfield until late in the game. This is something we were all worried about, but now that we've seen it, it gets even more bothersome. Hopefully some adjustments can be made during the week before we travel to Nashville. Grade: C

The Secondary

There weren't a lot of pass attempts thrown at us, so there won't be a lot to judge here until next week. I do recall giving up several big plays to the TE, though, and both times it looked like busted coverage, so that's something that needs to be rectified and quickly. Grade: B

Special Teams

Let's see, Tiffin missed two of three FGs (and the game wasn't even on the line, so, you know, no pressure), and that's bad. He did make all of his PATs, though, so he's got that going for him, which is nice. I guess we'll just have to score nothing but TDs from here on out. Grade: D

As for the return game, both Arenas and Lowe looked good returning the ball so I think we're set there. Our kickoff coverage was much better than in past years, too, and with the new kickoff rules that's a comfort to see. It looked like our strategy was to kick the ball up and get a good hang time while our coverage got to the return man instead of trying to do line drives like everyone else was doing all day. It seemed to work pretty well for us, but since this was a 1AA team we'll have to wait until next week to see how well it works against an SEC opponent. Grade: B