September 11, 2011
Game analysis - UCA; position by position grades
Louisiana Tech survived a scare from University of Central Arkansas Saturday night inside Joe Aillet Stadium. A key injury in the first quarter contributed mightily to the defensive struggle.
Offensively, Tech really looked much better than it did in the monsoon at Southern Miss as it compiled 542 of total offense. It did so by being balanced. On the ground, Tech amassed 221 yards on the ground. Through the air Tech was able to put up 321 yards. The Bulldogs scored twice through the air and four times on the ground.
The Tech defense was good against the run but terrible against the pass. When Ryan Williams went down in the first quarter with an apparent torn ACL the Tech secondary really seemed to take a hit in the gut. Walk-on Craig Johnson filled in for Williams and was out of position often.
We will now grade each position group on their performance.
Isham played pretty well. Once he tried to make an adjustment and a defender read the adjustment and intercepted the pass. He completed 59% of his passes and threw two long touchdown passes to Quinton Patton. Isham over threw some receivers that were open a couple of times and needs to get that resolved.
Grade - B
The Tech running backs were able to find lots of running room against UCA while running for 221 yards. Lennon Creer had a key fumble that was returned by UCA for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to take the lead. Creer was able to total 177 yards rushing on 32 carries for an average of 5.5 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Ray Holley ran hard for 49 yards on 9 carries. It would be nice to see Holley get more opportunities to run the ball. Too often, Tech tried to run around the edge. Tech has had its most success running between the tackles in the first two games this season.
Grade - B
Tech receivers made up for their bad game against USM as they racked up 321 yards through the air. Quinton Patton once again was the leader of the group with 8 catches for 211 yard and 2 touchdowns. Early in the game Patton was able to get behind the coverage at will. Patton also made a key catch on Tech's game tying drive with less than 2 minutes to play. Patton now ranks ninth nationally for receiving yards per game with 153 yards per game. Taulib Ikharo made up for his poor showing against USM with 6 catches for 67 yards.
Grade - A
The offensive line played decently against the bears but need to clean up the holding penalties. They protected Isham pretty well but gave up two sacks. They did a good job run blocking however with exception to a couple of holding penalties.
IK Enemkpali entered the rotation again and will be even better once his hand is heeled. Matt Broha seemed to be making plays all over the field and the defensive tackles made it very difficult for the Bears to run.
Grade - A
At times this group seems to sell out against the run and as a result leaves the middle of the field wide open. With the loss of Williams at safety for what seems to be for an extended period of time, this group needs to play more disciplined. Against the run they are fantastic.
Grade - C
Dave Clark seems to be injured as he did not play very well and was called for pass interference several times. The corners and safeties were burned often while appearing much like the pass defense of a year ago. The loss of Williams is a big one and the Tech coaching staff needs to find a way to fill this hole quickly. They rank 107 in the country right now in pass defense. If this isn't resolved Houston could pass for 800 against the Bulldogs Saturday night.
Grade - F
Once again, the special teams blocked another field goal making it two in as many games. Matt Nelson missed a very makable field goal that may have won the game for the Bulldogs in regulation. Andrew Guillot had a long punt return to give the Bulldogs good field position.
Grade - B
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