NU won. They’re 2-0. But it was one of the most disheartening wins I’ve ever witnessed.
I don’t understand what’s happened to NU’s defensive line. I think John Gill is being missed more than anyone ever anticipated. Gill didn’t put up monster stats, but he was a constant focus of opposing offenses, allowing other Wildcats to make plays.
Something is wrong with Corey Wootton. He should have manhandled EMU today…he made two good plays. He appears very tenative..which I guess is understandable coming off a major injury, but that needs to end…now.
Vince Browne was effective last year because he was used primarily on passing downs. Now he’s expected to also stop the run…he’s not doing it. In fact, he’s borderline awful at stopping the run.
Justan Vaughn is terrible. I hope McManis is back next week or for the Minnesota game at the latest.
We better hope none of our safeties get hurt. Brian Peters got benched for a period of time in the 2nd half for unknown reasons (he still played on special teams), and Jared Carpenter provided absolutely no help.
On the offensive side of the ball, NU got off to a fast start thanks to Stephen Simmons, but stalled for most of the 2nd half thanks to some EXTREMELY VANILLA play calling. The coaching staff (and the players…and me) underestimated EMU and thought they could get away with boring runs up the middle.
Arby Fields is not the savior, and probably won’t be the starter after his terrible afternoon.
Jeremy Ebert got almost no playing time. He’s recovering from an injury too, and so far has been practically invisible during the first two games. The ‘Cats need him to be 100 percent…and soon.
Andrew Brewer didn’t make his presence felt until the final drive. He appears to only be good in season openers (a good one last year against ‘Cuse and of course this year vs. Towson.)
The ‘Cats committed a lot more penalties in this game than usual, including a bunch that nearly killed the final drive. But I think that’s an anomoly. NU is normally pretty diciplined…I’m not too concerned there.
Special teams (with the notable exception of Demos’ CLUTCH kick) are anything BUT special. NU just can’t get this area of the game right. Andrew Brewer and Brendan Smith looked like two of the three stooges on that pathetic attempt of a punt return.
I want to emphasize that I think this nervewracking win can be good for the ‘Cats in the longterm. If this isn’t a wake up call to certain players who thought they were good, I don’t know what is. They have to work harder than ever before, and they know it now.
Syracuse scares the crap out of me now.