Nate Longshore needed a couple plays to settle into the game but it was smooth sailing thereafter as he continued to display a strong, accurate arm and calm demeanor in leading the Bears to an easy victory. Longshores ability to accurately hit the downfield receiver has added a dimension the Bears offense has not seen since the departure of Aaron Rodgers, and even then since early in the 2004 season. His current QB rating of 155.5 is higher than that of Aaron Rodgers in either 2003 or 2004.
With the game out of reach Joe Ayoob started the 2nd half for the Bears throwing only
four passes and fumbling away a low snap. Steve Levy also played and though he completed 7
of 10 passes seemed a bit rusty throwing the ball, likely due to decreased practice reps
since his last game appearance.
RATING: 7 (1-10 scale)
Marshawn Lynch didnt start the game due to a lingering ankle sprain but his entry coincided with the offensive eruption that took Portland St. out of the game. Even with a gimpy ankle he showed incredible balance on a 71-yard TD run in the 1st quarter. Hopefully this moderate effort game will allow him to be 100% to open Pac-10 play this week.
Justin Forsett started the game at running back but was largely ineffective running, averaging only 1 yard per carry on his 11 carries. His contributions came mainly in catching the ball as he took three short passes for 48 yards. Forsett tends to be more effective in open space where his quickness makes him difficult to tackle. Forsett did turn the ball over on a questionable fumble ending a good scoring opportunity.
Marcus OKeith had his most extensive playing time of the early season and displayed his north-south running style for 65 yards on only 8 carries. OKeith hits the hole faster than any other member of the RB group, reminiscent of former Bear J.J. Arrington. He was also a solid contributor on special teams with two kickoff returns and even made a tackle.
Walk-on RB Bryan Schutte looked like a scholarship athlete in limited time, running for
16 yards on two carries and catching three passes for 48 yards. This is no surprise to
anyone having attended a couple team practices and his ability has allowed the luxury of
blueshirting freshman RBs James Montgomery and Tracy Slocum preserving their eligibility
for future seasons.
The receiving group had a solid game, led by DeSean Jacksons 5 catches for 105 yards as the Viking defensive backs often gave him plenty of space fearing the deep pass. Robert Jordan had perhaps the most impressive catch of the game with a nice sideline catch dragging his feet for the first down. Berkeley High School alum Sean Young caught the first pass of his career late in the game and had a great grab just out of bounds on an overthrown pass from Steve Levy.
The tight ends had only a single catch, Cameron Morrah for his first career touchdown,
as Eric Beegun once again started in place of Craig Stevens who is still recovering from
the concussion sustained against Tennessee. Blocking from the position was improved but
had mixed results, something that should be resolved when Stevens can return to full-time
It took some time for the offensive line to establish themselves against a stout Portland State defensive lline but as the game wore on its superior ability opened holes for the running game and provided good time for the quarterbacks to find their receivers. The lone sack of the game came on a blown assignment on an interior blitz by a Portland State linebacker. Mike Tepper started in place of Andrew Cameron who sat out healing his sprained ankle and acquitted himself well. Mike Gibson who has seen increasing time in a backup role at right tackle saw extensive playing time as Scott Smith went down with an apparent MCL injury early in the game. Both may be the starters for ASU game so their solid performances are welcome. Alex Mack continued to show great form from the center position sticking to his blocking assignment like glue.
The d-line performance was improved this week as they recorded 12 tackles which is an improvement over the six they had in the Minnesota game, though only 1 for a loss of yardage (a sack by Brandon Mebane). They held their ground against a large Viking offensive line, limiting Portland State to just 97 yards rushing. The lack of pass pressure from the defensive end position is concerning as the group has not yet recorded a sack this season and starting DE Nuu Tafisi was held without a tackle of any type, though he did knock the starting Portland State quarterback out of the game with a hit after a throw. Promising freshman Tyson Alualu played well recording 2 tackles and adding some pressure on the quarterback..
The linebacker unit had their best performance of the season making plays all over the field (18 tackles including four for a loss). Aggressiveness did hurt with a pair of personal foul penalties on late hits by Desmond Bishop and Worrell Williams enabling Portland State to sustain a long drive in the second half. Mickey Pimentel had an excellent game sharing a sack with Greg Van Hoesen and making some plays in pass coverage as well.
Cornerback Donte Hughes continues to have the most impressive season of any player on his side of the ball with lockdown coverage and great ball instincts. SydQuan Thompson continued his on-the-job training at the other cornerback spot with solid coverage and run support. The safeties were very active in run support with Thomas DeCoud leading the team in tackles with four with Brandon Hampton and Bernard Hicks added three and two resepctively.
Kicker Tom Schneider showed a strong leg on kickoffs though hitting one just out of bounds as the kick to the corner strategy continues. He did not attempt a field goal. Jordan Kay saw his first action of the year in relief of Schneider.
Punter Andrew Larson is a real find as he has needed no adjustment time from junior college to D-1 football, booming a pair of punts (49.5 avg.).
Both of the return units played well as none of PSUs efforts went for significant yardage.
The only return of note a kickoff return was by Marcus OKeith for 41 yards in the
It was a tale of contrasting halves for the offense; the first unit performed at a very high level racking up 42 points on 375 yards in the first half only to give way to the 2nd and 3rd team players who failed to put a single point on the board in the second half. On the defensive side there was great play mixed with mental errors such as repeated personal fouls that need to be eliminated for the team to achieve at an elite level. Also the early mixing in of reserves on the defensive side led to more bending on defense than would likely occur otherwise. The first team performance alone would be worthy of a 8 but the 2nd-line players need to execute better.
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