Look Back North Carolina St. - Report Card

The Bearcats returned to their form from the Fresno State game, resulting in a 30-19 loss that was tough to watch. As UC moves on to play Oklahoma, it's time to hand out the grades from game No. 3.

QUARTERBACK

Despite passing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns, Zach Collaros did not have his best game against the Wolfpack. Some was his fault, most of it not as the North Carolina State defense blitzed and ran largely free towards the quarterback to the tune of five sacks.

Seeing that Collaros was not getting time to throw, the coaching staff decided to try and use one of his other tools and have him run the ball a lot more. That didn't work either as he gained only 80 yards on 22 carries, good for 1.5 yards per carry. Towards the end of the game Collaros' frustration was becoming visible. Collaros was simply never able to get things going. Grade: D+

RUNNING BACKS

Isaiah Pead played but did not touch the ball as he was still dealing with the effects of a swollen knee. That gave Darrin Williams his second-straight start in the backfield but did not see the ball much getting only six carries for 24 yards. John Goebel only received three carries as Collaros did most of the rushing for Cincinnati. Also, when they did stay in to help block on passing plays they were largely unsuccessful. Grade: D

WIDE RECEIVERS

D.J. Woods and Armon Binns continue to prove they can be legitimate threats when Collaros can get them the ball. The Bearcats also got some production from Marcus Barnett hauling in five passes for 61 yards and a late touchdown. Grade: C+

TIGHT ENDS

Ben Guidugli left the game with an ankle injury and only had one catch for three yards. Before the season Guidugli looked like the secret weapon in the passing offense but has not seen the ball much. At this point the Bearcats may be better off leaving him in to help pass block more often than not. Grade: D-

OFFENSIVE LINE

The line was looked a lot more that the front five we saw against Fresno State and less like the one against Indiana State, which is not good. They surrendered five sacks making 15 for the season, matching the total from all of last year. The offensive line also didn't get much help from the backs or tight ends picking up the extra runners. This team will have a hard time scoring points all year if the protection issues are not fixed. Grade: F

DEFENSIVE LINE

The front four did an o.k. job as they combined for 17 total tackles, one for a loss, a forced fumble and a sack by Dan Giordano. However, the Wolfpack racked up 158 net yards on the ground and 4.4 yards per carry. So far you could argue that the defensive front seven has been the strength of this team so far. Grade: C

LINEBACKERS

J.K. Schaffer continues to always be around the ball and lead the Bearcats in tackles with 16 on Thursday with one for a loss. It's difficult to criticize his performance so but it would be nice to have a couple more tackles for losses. Maalik Bomar has really stepped up as a starter this season and been good through three games so far. Grade C

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Dominique Battle struggled with some coverage, mainly on the touchdown pass to Jay Smith when he got turned around on the play. But he did record 5 tackles, one for a loss and two passes broken up. Reuben Johnson showed his talent on his pass deflection and did not see many passes thrown his way, and Wesley Richardson looks good in run defense. Grade: D

SPECIAL TEAMS

It's hard to fault a guy for missing a 52-yard field goal, but it was more about how Jake Rogers missed it. The point after attempt after the first touchdown was also a sidewinder that was good, but less than aesthetically pleasing. Patrick O'Donnell has had a solid year punting but had first shank on Thursday and had one punt block. However, he still compiled a 40 yard average with a long of 58 and two inside the 20-yardline. The Bearcats also haven't gotten much production from the return game this season. Grade: D+


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