Defensively, I couldn't ask for anything more. They only rushed for 7 yards on 25 carries. That from a team that came in averaging over 4ypc. We kept them to under 250 yards total offense. They only had one drive of any substance, scoring a TD. We had two sacks, both from Floyd coming off the edge.
So that leaves special teams.
- Snapping has been an issue. I didn't notice it, but Nathan Theus got fired and walk-on Trent Frix (sounds familiar) came in. Hopefully, that'll help.
- Our kickoffs should never, ever, ever be anything but 8+ yards deep in the end zone. I can think of no reason to ever kick a ball short of the goal line. Those five yards you probably gain by sending the team down to make a tackle just isn't worth giving up a free touchdown every third game.
- The offensive line did ok with their pass blocking. Aaron didn't seem like he got into too many pressure situations, and when he did he was able to run for positive yardage. He looked tentative to start the second half, but quickly caught up.
- Someone is going to have to explain the timeout thing at the end of the first half. While trying to give Marshall a kick makes sense, what doesn't is calling the timeout on 4th, then punting it if you wanted to get Marshall the kick.
- Wilson looked much better in pass protect. We still have a way to go with pass protection, but I saw far fewer issues with handoff between the LBs and the DBs. It is clear Matthews is still growing into the pass coverage part of his job, his INT was a great example of anticipation an following the play. North Texas' QB mad a bad pass, but Matthews was already moving to position to make a play on the ball before it was even thrown.
I get the urge to panic because it was tied in the 3rd Q, but this was a tail whipping. The tied thing is an interesting talking point, but it is irrelevant. And yes, I know you can't just wish away the special teams things, but we just absolutely owned them defensively and with the exception of a terrible decision by Murray and a couple of weird running plays that made no sense to me, the offense was strong. Friday I was thinking a 21 or so point one win and this game is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that, although I thought we'd see more separation early.
That is probably the bigger issue from the game being tied in the 3rd: the coaches didn't get as many reps in for young guys as I thought (or they probably hoped).