Sorry the grades are late. It's been a busy week here in St. Petersburg.
QUARTERBACK (A): Matt Grothe had a near perfect day, completing 19-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns, he also rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown. There were few, if any, noticable flaws to Grothe's game and the second half he was pretty much perfect. Not his defining moment as a USF quarterback or anything but it was a damn good day.
RUNNING BACKS (B): Eh? They were fine as a unit and did everything that was asked. In the end the group gained 158 yards on 35 carries for an average of over four yards per carry. Again I'd like to see Taylor with closer to 10 carries and Ford with around 15 carries but it is what it is. I don't blame the running backs for it. They are a selfless, talented group. Ben Williams continues to get it done in the receiving game.
WIDE RECEIVERS (B+): The downfield blocking was excellent, as good as its been all season. Taurus Johnson is starting to get his game back and its coming during a stretch of games where someone might need to step up and break away from this pack of talented players. Carlton Mitchell might also be that guy to step up.
OFFENSIVE LINE (B+): First half they had some rough patches, second half they were as good as they've been all season. The good thing about this unit is that they are solid on both ends of the spectrum. The run blocking is good on the drive or in situations where the linemen have to pull or clear out space in the open. The pass blocking has always been pretty good when they are healthy.
DEFENSIVE LINE (B-): This is tough because they were so good in the second half but the first half they got absolutely gashed by Syracuse and Curtis Brinkley for over 100 yards in the first half. Adjustments were made and the defensive line was awesome in the second half as George Selvie might have had his best game of the season.
LINEBACKERS (B-): Pretty much echoing everything I said about the defensive line although this grade is a little more generous. This unit played very passive in the first half. I even saw a play where Tyrone McKenzie showed indecision towards tackling the ball carrier. I've never seen that before. They started at flat but closed strong. Good to see Brouce Mompremier back on the field.
SECONDARY (B): A little better because Syracuse didn't bust too much deep on this unit. Tyller Roberts bounced back nicely and he needs to keep up this sort of play for the rest of the season. Murphy was solid and even my man Quenton Washington got some more quality PT during this game.
SPECIAL TEAMS (B): Kickoff out of bounds is an automatic grade drop. Maikon Bonani made his short field goal and Alvardo was excellent with his punting, pushing both inside the 20. If Teachey kickoffs straight it's an easy 'A'.
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