1. The biggest thing, the offensive line. After watching the Michigan State film a few times, Bobby had less than 3 seconds on most of his drop backs. The result of that were rare opportunities down the field for bigger plays with not enough time for some routes to be completed. You throw in play action, there were no opportunities. Out of 61 offensive plays, our average gain per play was 2.5 yards. We gave up 3 sacks, but it could have been a lot more. Yes, I know it was against a stellar defense on the road, but it goes back to Week 1 also. The pass protection must improve, 11 quarterback hurries in Week 2 was too many.
2. Quarterback Play. The offensive line wasn't great in no means, but you have to get more at the quarterback position. Coach Taggart still has his trust installed into Eveld, who will get the nod in Week 3 against Florida Atlantic. Against the Spartans, Eveld went 6-25 for 66 yards and an interception. Penn State transfer, Steven Bench, only received a handful of snaps in his debut in East Lansing, but I fully expect Bench to have a bigger role against the Owls this weekend.
3. Defensive pressure up front and causing turnovers. Through the first two games, the Bulls have recorded only one interception and two sacks, with the lone interceptions coming from freshman, Johnny Ward. Aaron Lynch was expected to be a force the second he stepped on the field in Tampa Bay, but has fell short of his expectations thus far, recording five tackles through the first two contests.
4. DeDe Lattimore has been nothing short of fantastic in his first two games. The hard hitting linebacker from Athens, GA is second in the AAC in tackles and 10th in Division One. But He's going to be even more impressive in Week 3, due to Reshard Cliett being doubtful against FAU due to injury. Against Michigan State last week, DeDe had a career afternoon, recording 15 total tackles and a deflection. At his side, DeDe will have to mentor a young freshman in his first career start, Nigel Harris.
5. At last, it's the running back play. Marcus Shaw has been a pleasant surprise so far his senior year, racking up 286 all-purpose yards and showing big play ability whenever he slips away from a defender in the open field. Junior College transfer, Mike Pierre, recorded a handful of snaps and showed some promise as well. The offensive line has been inconsistent so far, but Shaw has been efficient with those struggles. If the pass protection gets resolved and chemistry up front improves, you might have a 1000 yard rusher for the Bulls in 2013.