This is the kind of game that makes me wish it was basketball season already.
Anyhow, here are the grades...
Quarterback -- This was another game where
Chris Jacquemain's stats don't come close to telling the story. On paper, he had a decent game (19-of-34, two touchdowns, one interception). In reality, that one interception was a crippling error inside Akron's redzone. Many incompletions came late in the game, when Akron really needed to move the ball. It was yet another middling effort that wasn't good enough for praise, nor bad enough for demotion.
Running back --
Dennis Kennedy ran for a career-high 184 yards. Despite the great stat line, don't you feel more comfortable with
Joe Tuzze when Akron must have four yards? Kennedy still dances too much. Someone needs to tell him this isn't flag football. It's OK to initiate contact at the line. The hole won't always be crystal clear. It's those plays that separate Kennedy from
Andrew Johnson, who blasts through the pile.
Wide receiver -- Where was
Andre Jones? I kept expecting to see a deep out-route ball find his hands. Never happened.
Deryn Bowser also had one of his quieter games.
Offensive line -- I think the line played fantastic. Opening up 222 yards of rushing. Bowling Green sacked Jacquemain only once. They did not have a single penalty. If Akron won, this unit would get the game ball.
Defensive line -- The defense was sorely lacking a fourth lineman on Saturday. A powerful
Anthony Turner found the seams in the line easily. Once the Zips' linebackers patched it up, it was six yards from the line of scrimmage. The Zips have three pretty good linemen. In this system, they only compiled nine tackles. That's a gross abuse of talent. The upside is that
Shawn Lemon continued to be a beast.
Linebacker -- No one impressed me. That 32 yard dash by Turner was a game-changer. No respectable linebacking corps allows that garbage to happen. I would like to see more
Ray Siler. He is a consistent playmaker.
Doug Williams made a play (finally), but only after a tipped ball found his breadbasket.
Wayne Cobham led the team in tackles. Whoo-hoo. He also facilitated a BG drive by himself with two pass-interference flags. The secondary gave huge cushions to Falcons' receivers. Why don't they force
Tyler Sheehan to prove first that he can throw downfield, rather than respecting him like he's
Peyton Manning. By my count, each secondary member had a bone-headed play. I'm not sure about
Bryan Williams, but he only made two tackles.
Special teams -- Williams seemed to defer to
Dashan Miller on kickoffs, when either player could have taken it. That should not happen. Williams did return one for 50 yards, however. Akron's own kick coverage team was a little shaky for the first time this season.
Branko Rogovic showed why he is kicking off. He booted one through the endzone and put a good boot on his other kicks, too.
John Stec punted three times for a solid 42-yard average. He also pinned BG at the 2.
Coaching -- I don't like to second-guess decisions like the call to go for two. The game can take any number of twists that might make a decision like that look stupid or brilliant. You can only decide based on the information you have in front of you. However, I still have a problem with personnel decisions. Cobham is too inexperienced to play rover -- a featured position in the 3-3-5 defense. Jacquemain needs to raise his game to a higher level. Luckily for him, there is a lot of talent around him, so his bad games look decent on paper.
J.D. Brookhart should raise the stakes by showing he's not afraid to use
Matt Rodgers on a series here or there. Oh yeah, and Saturday was another game that proved the 3-3-5's ineffectiveness. Despite all that, the team played hard and with discipline.