this team is sort of starting to look like the team I expected to see this season, excluding the obscene amount of penalties and absolutely horrible special teams, anyway, and that is a young team that's making lots of mistakes due to inexperience and/or completely new schemes on both sides of the ball, and a general lack of overall talent and absolutely horrible depth at several positions across the roster.
they actually played halfway decent against Wisky, imo.
I think we all expected Wisky to simply run the ball all night long and wait for NU to make mistakes and beat themselves, and that's pretty much exactly what we saw, although I think that NU did make them a bit uncomfortable with how they were able to move the ball at times against them
I liked the gameplan. I'm sure there's plenty of fans that were wondering why NU wasn't handing the ball off to Oz all the time after his performance against Purdue last week, but Wisky is usually pretty stout against the run and they play good fundamental football, and their secondary is a weakness.
offensively, I thought overall it was a decent game. frustrating to see the penalties, but it is what it is. not only do they seem to kill some promising drives, but it's also getting big chunk plays called back that could have made big differences
AM played pretty good, he continues to grow as a college QB. soon hopefully he'll learn to use the checkdown rather than always looking downfield and either taking a sack or throwing it away. he of course made his share of frosh mistakes, including two fumbles, one of which he lost which was costly, and he could have had a couple more interceptions as well. the more he plays the better he gets, imo.
Oz played ok, I think he was in there primarily for pass pro with the gameplan. that one whiffed block sucked tho. Mo Washington was electric. he's going to get lit up doing that spin move one of these days but the kid has wheels and wiggle, once he has a year in the program he's going to be even better. he's the type of player that this offense needs to succeed, someone who can hit the homerun lined up in the backfield or out wide
WRs played well, still need someone other than Stan/JD to step up, but it at least looks like Woodyard/M Williams/Warner are progressing. TEs are still a work in progress
OL didn't play well. again. they did appear to be slightly less shitty than last week, though, against what should have been a better front 7, so not sure what to think here. AM had time to throw on plenty of occasions but we also saw plenty of busts. too bad the OL talent/depth is such that there really aren't many options to replace the guys, although it will be interesting to see how things work out next year once Foster/Farmer/Conrad graduate. announcers mentioned they were told that the staff plans to move Cam Jurgens to OC which is interesting, but makes sense and I'll touch on that in another thread
defensively, this is a bad defense. game pretty much went how many of us expected, and NU front 7 simply got worn down by a huge and experienced Wisky OL, and it was only a matter of time before a busted assignment by someone on defense was going to result in Taylor busting off a long run. overall I thought they actually did a halfway decent job most of the night, but as in every game, at some point a busted assignment gives the opponent a first down or a huge play and the defense is toast once again.
the DL had a tough task against this Wisky OL, and for the most part I thought they at least sort of held their own, I didn't really see them getting shoved back off of the ball all night although it did happen on occasion. they didn't really seem to be disruptive, though
the LBs again had a poor performance. Gifford got a sack, which was nice, but it was more a gift as Horni stepped up right into him but hey I'll take it. Barry is out of position at times but at least busts his ass on every play. other LBs seem lost out there. Young doesn't seem to know what he's doing but then when you consider that this is probably his fourth different defensive scheme in his 5 years you sort of feel sorry for him. but then he misses another assignment and you don't anymore. outside NU just doesn't have an athlete to do what needs to be done. maybe its frosh Tannor or redshirt frosh Guy Thomas but they aren't ready yet. our LBs cant cover TEs, and cant fight off blocks.
the secondary looked worse this week to me. I kept wondering why I saw lamar Jackson out there? he must come in for the nickel package now? but I thought I saw him in on regular snaps. he still seems poor in coverage. our safeties looked out of position most of the night. staff should move Reed to OLB and give juco D Williams more snaps at S. If the defense is going to be gashed for big plays every game might as well put more speed/athleticism on the field to try to get an occasional big play for NU
special teams continue to remain special. a huge return wiped away by a penalty, horrible coverage on punt and kick units, and we saw our 2 year starting punter get benched after another poor outing.
overall, still too many penalties, busted assignments, and what appeared to be stupidity and occasional lack of effort, but I saw progress, and if the coaches find a couple more reserves to step up and make less mistakes, along with the playmakers on both sides of the ball getting a little more comfortable, this team could actually win a game or two.