Coach V’s Grades: SJSU

Zach Shackelford (Will Gallagher/IT)

Zach Shackelford (Will Gallagher/IT)

It’s fun to play against inferior competition. Most teams have a tendency to play down to their comp but Herman’s bunch played well to the home crowd. We threw a couple of clankers that never should have been tossed. We dropped a couple of easy layups that we must have taken for granted. We missed a few blocks. We still have very questionable pass blocking schemes that put too much emphasis on the TE/RB single blocking the DE whistling off the edge. We are a different confidence with our QB providing a must stay at home running threat. We scored 56 points and Holton Hill only provided one td this week.

USC ain’t SJSU unfortunately.

I saw a first timer thing yesterday that made me smile. Anybody paying attention to the Warren 40 yard td run out of the RB wildcat surely caught the last block thrown on the trailer sneaking up on Chris at the 5 yard line. The clearing block was thrown by our off-side SE hustling to the pylon. You might know him better as the gunslinging Sam Ehlinger. Bet a cold pop he would make more kickoff tackles than anybody currently on that unit if we gave him a lane to cover on that bunch. We have too many that aren’t carrying their weight with that group.

Biggest gripe on offensive game plan (other than pass block schemes) was giving the “rookie” QB too damn many check-offs. Once we saw the SJSU defense adjusting to our audibles we should have minimized Sam’s attempt to make more than one check-off per play. Let the kid play the game. Listening to the PC afterwards it sounded (coach-speak) like TH has made up his mind on the QB situation. He strongly favors (without coming right out) having a credible running threat at QB in order for “his” offense to function to his satisfaction. Just a strong hunch on my part but Sam might be the guy going forward.

Really happy to get the backups a full drive and defensive series. I saw some scholarship players stuck on the sideline while “walk-ons” got the snaps that normally go to the ship backups. TH isn’t pulling any punches in this regard. The message has been sent to the last of the hanger-on’s.

11—Ehlinger—B+

21—Porter—B+

25—Warren—A-

32—Young—B+

30—Carter—B+

3—Foreman—B

6—Duvernay—B

8—Leonard—B

9—Johnson—B+

13—Heard—A-

14—Joe—B+

17—Hemphill-Mapps—B+

84—Humphrey—B+

87—Gray—B-

80—Brewer—B

88—Moore—B+

55—Williams—A-

77—Vahe—A-

56—Shackelford—A-

64—McMillon—B+

75—Nickelson—B+

78—Okafor—B+

73—Hudson—B+

Gary Johnson (Will Gallagher/IT)

Gary Johnson (Will Gallagher/IT)

I hope before anybody gets warm fuzzies over our defensive effort they watch a second/third time to give reality a chance. We were informed the TO/TH way of life on defense was to have all-out effort snap thru whistle. Well, that dog ain’t hunting yet. I still see confusion at certain positions and flat-out jogging by certain individuals too damn often.

It’s a hard sell when your big boys (NG, 4i, and 4i) take the best angles on the team. The safeties lead the team in poor angles, missed tackles, and busted assignments. Improvement wasn’t exactly visible this week in the safety play this week. It’s not a good sign when your unit is being out-played by a very under-performing LB group. The LB group had a major transfusion with Johnson getting regular snaps and MJ doing a 180 in one week.

The CB’s and safeties still turned receivers loose—confusion doesn’t appear to be the culprit.

Every edge stunt (LB or Safety) turns into a circle chase along the keystone cops version. Poor angles and unsure assignments render the edge stunt a waste. We bite on the fake, turn up to the QB late, and chase the QB from behind. Who the hell teaches this technique? Better yet, who is going to correct and exactly how long will this take. I know it took exactly one 5 minute drill for me at the high school level but then we made it important and absolute.

One of the starting LB’s made a positive move but the other two disappeared and wandered around until the action found them. They each made two good plays. Not exactly productive for the position they occupy.

The DL played well period. They were constantly either slanting or swim-move gapping into penetration and athletic reaction and change of direction afforded them ample opportunities to make plays.

Both backup corners made football plays in limited duty.

We have one week to get five under-performing DB’s into a last line of defense we can be proud to represent us. Somebody needs to remind them that USC ain’t SJSU.

Somebody needs to remind the whole bunch that USC is taking the precaution of bringing a real football offense to the Saturday night fight. We aren’t getting many opportunities on the big stage this year. We better make the best of it if we want to earn the respect needed back into this program.

32—Roach—B+

90—Omenihu—B+

97—Nelson—B+

95—Ford—A-

91—Chisholm—B+

40—Hughes—B-

44—Hager—B

45—Wheeler—B-

46—Jefferson—A-

23—McCulloch—B

33—Johnson—A-

35—Freeman—B+

42—Bimage—B

2—Boyd—B

4—Elliott—B-

5—Hill—B+

11—Locke—B-

18—Davis—B+

19—Jones—C+

24—Bonney—B-

7—Davis—B

29—Thompson—B+

31—Hall—B+