With an extended time period between the last game and MMQB a lot of the Good, Bad and Ugly has already been discussed… But here goes anyway with one additional category.
GREAT!! (Old Gold font)
Fran’s work each and every week to make sure the POVers attending the home games can have the best time possible. I really regret missing the “BigB Memorial Tailgate” (even though he isn’t dead yet) on Thursday afternoon and evening before this game. Fran started setting everything up soon after 2:00pm and from all reports the festivities were fantastic.
For those who missed the tailgate and didn’t yet see photos please jump over to this article and check them out.
We have to start with RB Darrin Hall’s excellent day. To keep his 100+ yards per game streak alive is a real accomplishment but to do it while scoring 28 points is superb. That was, save a FG by Kesserman, all the scoring we did on Thursday evening.
His stat line for the NC game was this: 23 for 121 at a 5.3 ypc rate and 4 TDs. Excellent again but I think one of the more important facts from his work is that he did this with a longest rush of only 17 yards.
It is one thing to pile up 252 yards in a game when you have a 92 yard run and a 79 yard run – hell, that alone is 171 yards but in his last two games he’s broken 100 yards with longs of only 14 and now 17 yards.
In his last three games he’s carried the ball 72 times for 486 yards (6.75 ypc!!) and 8 TDs which is a career year for most D1 RBs.
Quadree Ollison and the TEs blocking for Hall... including #45 Devon Edwards on one of them.
In the video above you’ll see that Hall didn’t get those TDs all on his own. Since Shawn Watson opened his emails and read the one from Ike suggesting that he move Ollison into the H-Back position to lead block for Hall we’ve been getting great yardage on the ground. Kidding about the email thing – but let’s do give Watson some kudos for making that move as it has turned out extremely well.
BTW – as you are watching said video remember that first passing play on it – more on that later.
I’m not going to label our QB Ben DiNucci’s work on Thursday ugly because when a QB throws zero INTs that is a real plus… but I have no qualms about calling it “BAD”.
Overall DiNucci completed 11 of 16 pass attempts for 142 yards and no TDs or INTs. That was his passing but here is something else to note; that first play on the video above was a 30 yarder to a wide open Hall on a swing pattern out of the backfield which only succeeded because it was on broken coverage by the NC DBs.
While Pitt fans will take 30 yards through the air anytime with this QB… if you take that lucky play away DiNucci was 10/16 for 122 yards.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here but DiNucci is just so very ineffective that it drives me crazy. However his passing isn’t what lands him in the “BAD” column this week – it is his overall decision-making and simplistic approach to playing the position.
It is like he’s in binary mode out there. Primary receiver open/closed? No progression, no looking off defenders and really, no run/don’t run? choices either. Once he leaves the pocket it is like his brain blinks off…. on/off?
Maybe we should get him a shock-collar like the ones your dog wears to keep him in your yard. Make him wear it in practice and that way he’ll learn to trust his offensive lineman and stay entrenched in the pocket.
I think the setting #4 would do in his case: