Coach V’s Grades – Rice

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We showed up ready to play. The game is fun when your guys work their way into displaying their talents on center stage. We have our share of good players. Many were back home—hometown heroes from back in the day. Rice fought gamely but this was a mismatch. Here are the grades:





























Sam (11) was on target as usual but it certainly was fun to see him deliver the deep ball with the proper amount of touch.

Burt (1) had a nice comeback catch to bail his QB out of a jam—blocked well also.

Johnson (2) had three huge blocks plus several quality runs. His block on a DD screen was the kind that make coaches smile. This guy is a straight running footballer.

Duvernay (6) is one physical player. Catches well in traffic—in fact, catches everything. Money in the bank.

Eagles (13) belongs with the first group—blocks well enough to be classified as a complete player.

Smith (16) has proven he is as good as advertised. Gatorade POY—easy to see why.

Wiley (18) had a decent night blocking—super drive block on TD run by Ingram.

Ingram (26) caught everything tonight. He ran tough also. Nagging knee looks just bad enough to slow his pace a twitch.

Young (32) ran tough in his return to action. No lingering effects—ready to be physical.

Cosmi (52) had another AA night.

Shack (56) was super until dammit. Hope he heels quick. Underrated star on this team.

Kerstetter (68) had a great game at both RT and OC.

Braun (73) has adapted extremely well to our system. He gets better every week.

Angilau (75) might have graded higher than the other four—and that’s saying something.

I think this bunch (OL) has had more improvement than any other unit on the team. Every single one of this starting five is athletic as hell and all are extremely talented at pulling and hitting targets while on the run. Their collective pass blocking (and switching assignments) has really been a pleasant surprise. This week the sixth wheel (Okafor-78) was pressed into action and there was no noticeable drop-off in production. It would still be nice if we could go with our regular crew against the Cowboys this week with the Oak ready if needed.

Imade (67), Jones (70), Urquidez (71), Ghirmai (74), and Okafor (78) all put a hat on a hat without any evidence of any missed assignments in the fourth quarter. It’s nice to see our backup bunch not looking confused and issuing a ton of “lookout” blocks on our backup QB.

Brewer (80) had a average game blocking.

Leitao (81) had the best night blocking among the TE’s.

Epps (85) was good at catching the ball but not worth near as much blocking. Blocking either improves or our younger guys will take his snaps. We depend on the WR’s to actually block—no block, no play.

Pouncey (86) had a nice catch. He is also a willing blocker.

The future for our offensive football team is getting brighter by the week.

It was definitely a different looking defense this week with a slew of LB’s reducing the number of DB’s and less evidence of the free wheeling carnival on display. We still missed tackles. We still lost coverage. We still didn’t make near enough plays on the thrown balls. We still ran our blitzes into each other at times. We just might have found some beauty in this mismatch once the correct people grade the game film. There is some gold in between the hashes if we study long enough. Here are the grades:





























Jamison (5) made a big time return for six on a kickoff.

Mitchell (6) is a real off the ball LB. It might not have been the competition we will see but this guy did many really great reactions against the Owls. He is the closest nose for the ball LB we have played yet. He needs to play many more snaps—he might bust an assignment or two but he will find the ball and he can really run.

Jones (19) is a strong nickel. He may have made us much better because it gets Brown (15) on the field. Sterns (7) still belongs as the reactionary safety playing the ball. Adimora (11) belongs—we stole a good one with this guy. Green (3) had a nice rebounding effort. Owens (44) is definitely willing but good angles is a foreign language for him yet.

McCulloch (23) is getting better but it still appears he is not a natural as an off the ball LB. Ossai (46) is the most productive LB but he is money in the bank as a OLB around the LOS. Jaquess (57) only got one play (at LB) and he is a shuffle and plug the way the technique is taught. I would like to see more of him against strong ground game offenses.

Jones (36) had some lost moments. Adeoye (40) played hard but had trouble getting off blocks. Vaughns (50) had a tough time keeping his feet and getting off blocks. Tillman (13) didn’t read very well. He didn’t react well, either.

Roach (32) is our rock. Coburn (99) is our foundation. They both had sacks.

Graham (49) played better this week but still has problems getting off blocks and keeping his feet. Ojomo (98) is a future star. He is the quickest of our quicks.

Bimage (42) quietly does his job and is seldom out of position. Sweat (93) is brutal. Color Sweat and Ojomo the next wave of outstanding talents decorating our huddle.

Chisholm (91) had two nice plays. Wilbon (94) still hasn’t played.

Boyce (38), Jamison (5), Thompson (29), and Cook (4) all had good plays. Cook didn’t have a really bad play but the other three had at least one they would like back. I was surprised we didn’t see Watson (2) but we did see Duvernay (27) make one good play after a few tough ones.

OKst has one fine offense. We will be taxed to hold them under 28 next week if we continue making the same critical mistakes. Missed tackles, bad angles, and blown coverage must be eliminated if we are to become a championship outfit against the next stretch of conference foes. If each individual improves at least one mistake each half that should pay large dividends in the final result. It’s not too much to ask. Same goes for the coaching staff.