Coach V’s Grades: Tulsa

Tre Watson (Will Gallagher/IT)
Tre Watson (Will Gallagher/IT)

This offense is at best a work in progress. We had some individual star quality plays but overall we lack polish and coordination. The effort is much better than the results indicate in too many instances. It’s hard to figure out why we get in a bigger hurry to fail to execute certain plays. Is there any real rhyme or reason to the thought process of calling plays amongst our faculty of number callers?

It’s easy to find the difference makers on this offense. If you want a genuine treat watch 52 (Cosmi) the entire game. Cosmi’s block on Ingram’s td run is remindful of the Mike Williams and Justin Blalock days—you know when we had a RT that dominated the LOS. Cosmi is a work of art on the bounce block and switch block (pass pro). In short, he’s fun to watch.

Ingram is different. Splitting the defenders on his td run was a thing of beauty. You often find the RB choosing one defender over the other (bounce out or cutback) but to divide the pair is something you are born with, not taught. Watch 26’s blocks on the LJH sweeps if you want to see a complete football player. He’s special because he plays the game natural.

Speaking of LJH he’s in the hunt for being a difference maker. He did drop a pass—that only made him human. He gets the job done period. Humphrey’s blocking improved big time. That was his biggest weakness. LJH is a player.

Anderson (66) was solid but doesn’t have the drive (power) punch that Cosmi (52) exhibits. Vahe (77) was up to the challenge for the most part—his two weak areas remain pass blocking and finding contact in space. Rodriguez (72) had typical problems at center including three high snaps. The main area of concern for Rod was the amount of times he completely whiffed their nose on a swim stunt. Kerstetter (68) had an aces and spaces game. He looked great on some efforts but he might not have enough lead in his pencil to stay at OG.

Beck (47) is the strangest player on this offense. When his assignment is to block down (angle block usually attached on the LOS) he is a huge plus to our offense. However, when pulling, leading, or isolating (from the backfield) he too often can’t find his assignment for some strange reason. Beats my two pair.

Brewer (80) had several nice blocks but made two very costly holding penalties to cancel his atta-a-boys. Eagles (82) had a nice catch/run and one good block. He also had two poor blocks. DuVernay (6) had a very uneventful game. His two targets were basically uncatchable—his blocking definitely improved though. Moore (14) had two good catches—he hasn’t figured out that blocking thing yet.

Johnson (9) is still a threat to break a tackle I’m told but seeing is believing in his case. Watson (5) is a tremendous pickup—he’s a gamer as a runner and pass receiver—he will block also. I strongly believe Danny Young (32) made the most of his chances yesterday. It’s extremely difficult to go from starter (RB) in game one to not getting a carry until late in the 4th quarter (game two) without any apparent negative play on his part.

Rotation, for this entire staff (more later), is very limited and in some areas that is not a good thing.

Here are the grades:









84—Humphrey— (P)—A-








This defense is not last year’s defense. It’s not even close in too many areas. Many want to believe we have a shutdown group—I’m not among those faithful. I see glaring areas that are going to cost us until we fix the recognitions and techniques associated with those responsibilities. Many may argue that argument but sometimes the truth hurts.

We gave Tulsa too many opportunities to continue drives with poor declarations and consequently bad alignments while the ball was being snapped. Some may blame inexperience but the truth of the matter (Hendley) was the culprits were two and three year lettermen.

You can’t attempt to change the declare because the ball will be snapped while you are changing sides of the formation. Most coaches instruct players to play the play on a miscall and try to get it right on the next snap. At least you will be sound (balanced) if you stay with the initial declare. We gave up three big gaining sweeps and a crucial first down on a zone with poor decisions to change sides of the formation.

We can’t understand the art of scraping at any level (except Sterns). If we are asking a DE to play a 4i with B gap responsibility then we must get a scraping LB into the alley immediately on any chance of flow. We flat-ass stink at this accepted technique from both of our LB’s (that play every down until they are rendered hopeless wounded soldiers). McCulloch (23) should have played sooner and more often after his performance last week—rotation problems we shouldn’t have. Sad.

Malcolm Roach (Will Gallagher/IT)
Malcolm Roach (Will Gallagher/IT)

Malcolm Roach was very good this week. Sterns and Foster made terrific interceptions—both of these guys aren’t typical freshmen. Boyd was very good. Locke had a momentum big hit tackle. Thompson looked the part of a nickel but also had problems with deep coverage. Graham and Bimage had very productive stints in reserve roles. Boyce struggled when left on an island. Johnson and Wheeler have trouble getting off big boy blocks. Hager and Omenihu are stacking furniture and little else. Nelson and Wilbon aren’t getting the penetration that Poona provided every week. That pretty much tells this week’s story.

Here are the grades:

















Beat USC.