Ryan Tannehill had a very solid outing completing 68% of his passes for 329 yards with a very good 12.2 yards per completion. But what earned him an A were three clutch third down completions to seal the victory on the last drive.
Ben Malena is limited physically, but he runs hard and he did score twice.
I'm probably happier over Uzoma Nwachukwu's performance as I was Jeff Fuller's. Nwachukwu played with a lot of energy and he showed very steady hands on several critical catches downfield. He also gives some optimism for next season. Not only did Fuller make the big 26-yard TD grab, but he had the game saving grab late in the game on a big third down. Ryan Swope had several nice catches and was spectacular on that catch and run down the sideline to the 2-yard line.
The tight ends were quiet. Hutson Prioleau caught one pass for a couple of yards and that was it.
The line did a solid job protecting Tannehill in the pocket, but the run blocking was a big disappointment. A&M averaged just 3.0 yards per carry and 80 yards total.
Total Offense B
I thought the defensive line did a good job putting pressure on the Wildcat quarterbacks all day. Tony Jerod-Eddie had a monster game to end his career with 8 tackles and a big sack.
The linebackers as a whole made their share of plays, but I thought the inside linebackers were not as aggressive in run support as I would have liked.
IN the first half when the secondary was playing a lot of man coverage, they were very effective in slowing down the Wildcat passing game. The corners had a total of five pass break-ups and they limited downfield pass completions. Terrence Frederick and Trent Hunter had a big impact in run support and blitzing, combining for three sacks and another tackle for loss.
Total Defense B+
Special Teams A-
Overall special teams was bidding for a rare A+ grade until the punt team gave up a 51 yard punt return that set-up one of Northwestern's fourth quarter touchdowns. Otherwise, Randy Bullock was a perfect 4-for-4, Epperson averaged 45 yards per punt and a kill inside the 5-yard line, and Dustin Harris had a couple of very nice returns.
Hop's Texas Bowl Grades
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