Report Card-Game Three Vs. Toledo

This is the report card you feed to the dog; or lose on the way home; or sign your parents name to and return, hoping no one will see it. The Herd had too many mistakes, too many rushing yards not picked up and given up to get the good grades for the Toledo game. but just like school, there is another chance soon and the Herd will have to bow its neck for a battle in the little apple of Manhattan, Kansas, with the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday at 12:30 p.m. eastern time.

Quarterback A Anyone who thought this loss should be pinned on Graham Gochneaur in his first start in just dead wrong. He put up tremedous numbers, checking off against a Toledo defense determined to let MU have the short passes, but not give up any deep routes, especially Darius Watts on the "skinny post," the play that won the 2002 MAC championship. The coaches wanted Graham not to have to win the game and 39-31-2, 288 and one touchdown is good enough if everyone else had stepped up, and one interception was end of game, "Hail Mary," and the other was tipped.

Running Backs D Three fumbles and stopped three times on fourth and one. MU was averaging 175 yards per game, held to 139 verses Toledo.

Offensive Line C Some of the blame for short yardage also falls on line, although the stops were largely by linebackers after H-back was taken out by Toledo. Only one sack allowed against UT, who did not blitz as much as expected.

Receivers B Darius Watts sensational again with 10/105 and one score. Josh Davis less effective with three for 23. Gochneaur checked to underneath routes as Rockets laid back, with Charles catching seven for 55 (offsetting only 22 on ground) and second-team receivers Jason Schroeder and Jeff Mullins catching eight from their usual second-team quarterback.

Defensive Line C Toledo only rushed for 145 per game against Liberty and UNLV. Torched Herd for 269 yards. Defense was on field too much in fourth quarter, however, as offense had only one drive of final six over one minute, 28 seconds. Four tackles-for-loss and two sacks highlight early efforts, tired in fourth and depth hurt when Marcus Hairston lost in second quarter.

Linebackers D Again, too many yards give up, inside and outside to UT. Kevin Atkins had four solos, eight assists inside, alongside of Dionte' Wilson with 5.5 total. Covering fullbacks or tight ends continues to be problematic for Herd, as TE Andrew Clarke has three catches for 35 yards, including a wide-open 17 yard touchdown.

Secondary DBurned early for a 39 yard touchdown, secondary only broke up three passes ub 20 attempts, no interceptions and still need more support in stopping running game from safety (only two solo tackles from Anderson, none from McCown).

Special Teams B Ben Lewis, who hit a 38-yard field goal to give MU lead, and Klint Rose, who rebounded from tough day at Tennessee to punt twice for 49.0 average, had good days. Kick coverage again a problem, with two punt returns for 50 yards and two kickoffs returned for 55 yards. Earl Charles had two 27-yard kickoff returns, while Tremel Guillory returned four punts of 37 yards (9.25 per return), with a long of 16 yards.

Overall C- Herd suffers "Tennessee Hangover," from short week and physical Vols, while Toledo played Liberty. MU needed two days off to get ready for Kansas State and will try to redeem itself with an upset of the #6 Wildcats, who go without their starting QB. MU offense will be fine after week of working on short yardage, no matter whether Hill or Gochneaur pulls trigger. Defense will continue to work on stopping run, as Darren Sproles of K-State may be as good of a back as Herd has ever faced. New quarterback Jeff Schwinn is still question mark, with only two games verses I-AA McNeese State and UMass as his first action in five years since high school.


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