Grading The Cowboys

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Grading this game is a chore. The results were so mixed in every phase. One quarter you wanted to give out a passing grade, and then in the fourth because of K-State's passing you are looking at failure. That sentence applied to defense, but the results were the same on offense and special teams. They were mixed and extreme. You can't win consistently playing at extremes.

The overriding criteria on the grades for the Kansas State game had to be the final score, the opportunities missed and plays that didn't get made. The plays made and the opportunities taken simply softened the outcome.

Quarterback: B-
Bobby Reid played solid and continues to improve, but he missed some first half reads and overthrew a couple of balls with receivers open enough to have a chance. Few complaints on Reid, he has played well enough overall the past two games for the Cowboys to have won them both.

Running Backs: C+
Very mixed. Mike Hamilton had one big run, but struggled otherwise/ Dantrell Savage never got untracked but didn't get much opportunity. Julius Crosslin couldn't budge the K-State wall on the goal line. Keith Toston was excellent. He ran tough and made some of his own holes. John Johnson caught a touchdown pass.

Wide Receivers: C
There were some drops and for the most part they didn't impact the game the way they need to. D'Juan Woods had a catchable ball early in the third quarter that had he hung onto it would have helped a bunch.

Tight Ends: B
Brandon Pettigrew was outstanding. His receptions were the best threat in the passing game throughout the game.

Offensive Line: C-
They did block better in the second half, but they must be tougher. Better defensive lines are coming up on the schedule and they must allow OSU to run and must keep Reid from being sacked. For Reid to be sacked there has to be multiple defenders loose back there because Reid can escape one lone pass rusher.

Special Teams: D
Jason Ricks was fine, going two-for-two on field goals and three-for-three on extra points. Punter Matt Fodge wasn't as good as he has been, but the blocked punt may have unnerved him a little. The kickoff coverage was way below par. Giving up two touchdowns in special teams more than cancels out the big returns by Perrish Cox and Grant Jones and the good of Ricks and Fodge.

Defensive Line: C-
Defensive end Victor DeGrate was strong as was Marque Fountain, but the rest of the defensive line, especially the tackles, were way too quiet.

Linebackers: D
Chris Collins got off to a roaring start and finished with seven tackles, but the others need to show up more. K-State got way too many yards in the ground game. Missed tackles are still too often a problem.

Secondary: D-
There is no nice way of saying this -- the safeties were roasted and toasted. After resting his arm most of the game, when K-State freshman quarterback Josh Freeman had to pass he was able to find open receivers, usually over the middle and some deep behind the safeties. This has to improve because other teams are going to see it on film and attack it.

GoPokes Top Stories