Sunday, September 26, 2010

Now That the Anxiety is Abated: Watching Back on the DVR

Really encouraged by Thomas' continued development. He stands in there. He's taken some incredible shots, this week from a very hard-hitting defense, and he has a lot of composure. His pocket sense will improve and he'll learn to step up or flush free once in a while, but even now he's not rattled by the score or a mistake, and he's made a lot of big plays. Twice this season they've fallen behind on the road by ten in front of a revved-up crowd, and both times he led two quick scores to turn the game around. The long passes to Paulson and Huff were beauties. He just missed on a couple to Maehl. Jeff had a frustrating night.

I'm really pleased with Scott Frost's wide receivers, on the whole. For one, they make a lot of blocks downfield, for each other and for James and Barner. I love how Tuinei has become more reliable, running tough, catching in a crowd. He caught one ball around his knees, which is harder for a taller receiver to do. Huff made a nice little adjustment on the 54-yard td and kept his feet. Sometimes an all-alone wide open receiver is the toughest play to execute. Both the passer and receiver have to just stay in rhythm and not get ahead of themselves. Huff has five catches for 103 yards as a freshman and a couple of nice runs, emerging as another weapon. Nice to see. His upside is tremendous.

David Paulson played the whole game after an injury scare during the week, and what a weapon he is becoming. He's averaging 22.4 yards per catch, with a couple of medium-range touchdowns, 8 balls for 179 yards. Now if Nike can develop some suction-magnet shoe technology, he could be All Pac-10 as a junior.

The defense has had their struggles, but they've produced 3 tds, 18 turnovers, and 4 wins. John Boyette had another monster game in Tempe, 11 tackles, 3 pass breakups and a pick six. The defensive line got tremendous pressure with sacks, hits, and hurries. Terrelle Turner had six tackles, 1.5 sacks, and Dion Jordan got his first sack. Zac Clark had five tackles, forced a fumble and made a huge tackle for loss on 4th and 1 at the six, and that's like another turnover. On Boyett's interception Kenny Rowe got a hurry, impeding Threet's arm on the throw. Pressure from the front four will be huge against Andrew Luck.


  1. Our WR's sure can block! But, maybe it's time to teach them to catch the ball. Had they caught 4 or 5 of the easy passes last Saturday the Sun Devils would have had to back the linebackers up and James would have found those cut back lanes. That HAVE to learn to catch the ball.

  2. BP--

    Maehl in particular had a tough day catching the ball, but he has made a lot of great plays for the Oregon offense. I think this group is coming along. They'll be challenged this week to have a productive game against the Cardinal, and I'm confident they'll respond.

    Good observation about how the downfield pass benefits James.