#1 MOST IMPORTANTLY... a win is a win. I'd rather win 2 ugly games than be 1-1 under ANY circumstances. 2-0 always trumps 1-1. Always.
#2 As a new wrinkle, I will give out grades.
QBs: Nassib... B+. 300+ Passing yards. Nuff said.
RBs: OL play was terrible, but the RBs were consistently (i.e. other than two Bailey runs of 10 yards or so) avoiding contact. We should have had about 15 more yards rushing alone. Way too much east-west, rather than north south. It's like they ignored what Brinkley and Carter showed were successful. I give them a C-.
WRs/TEs: Fine job overall. Provo continues to disappoint, but Stevens stepped up. Lemon, Chew, and Graham were fine. A-.
OL: D+. You can't pass for 300 yards without some decent pass protection. Still, 30 yards rushing speaks for itself. And some of those passing yards were with Nassib running for his life.
DL: A lot of holds against us, but we still didn't contain the ends nearly enough. If you are getting held, you need to fight through it. At the very least, make the guy REALLY hold you so that the ref has to call it. Their OL controlled us. I give it a C.
LB: Toughest group to grade. The LBs made a lot of plays. Davis looked good before his injury. Spruill turned it on late. Still.. they are responsible for preventing the QB from running for 3rd and longs. I'll give them a C+
DB: Shamarko: B+. The only guy who tackles well. And he tackles REAL well. The rest of the DBs... C-. Too many arm tackles. Need to hit guys, need to cover better.
Special teams: B. Nothing great, nothing bad.
#3 Offensive coaching. Not good. R.I. was daring us to pass. Why we didn't pass for 450 yards is beyond me. Pass the ball until they stop keying on the run. We don't need to run for the heck of it. They have 8 guys in the box--make them pay with quick slants and bubble screens. I really liked the 3-WR set. Saw it once. Meh. C-.
#4 Defensive coaching. Not good. Too many penalties. Too little pressure. Tackling was poor. Contain was bad. DBs were off the line 10 yards too far on 3rd and short... and nowhere near being able to make the tackle on 3rd and long. 14 points allowed was reasonable, so I say C- also.
#5. Fans... those who showed up... B. Congrats to having the stones to attend a game and support the local team. Also, thanks for staying the whole game. Fans... those who watched on TV, even though they have the money and health to go.... F. Don't even call yourself a fan if you have the money and the ability and did not see either of the first two games live. Just don't. Check in your fan badge and go follow.... (wait... let's check the standings)... Oklahoma. There ya go. Maybe even pick an SEC team just to be safe. Don't want to get caught following a loser.
#6 USC is going to kill us. Except maybe they will not. For whatever reason, we play better on the road. Maybe teams like playing in the cozy, flat, non-windy, quiet Dome. Or maybe our defense rises to the occasion on the road (see all last year except Washington). And who can blame USC for not taking us seriously? But somehow, this team that barely beat Maine and Colgate last year, won 4 road conference games. It's not a loss until the scoreboard says so.
#7 Did you see Toledo? Picture Rhode Island's offense, only with an even better QB duo, a bigger/faster RB, and a WR would be start for most Big East teams (and certainly us). Geez. We can't even schedule Mac teams right.
#8. Great work by Chew and Lemon. We were 6-2 last year with those guys healthy. Once they got dinged up, the wheels fell off our season. Sales stepped up in the 2 other wins. Those guys just keep making plays. And I liked what I saw out of Graham and Stevens. If we can just teach Provo how to catch...
#9 See #1. Better to be 2-0 than 1-1. Screw everything else.