Graham Harrell rebounded nicely after last week's TCU debacle. Sure, he played against a DI-AA opponent at home, but it was hard to find mistakes in his performance. Graham once again ran the offense the way that we are accustomed to seeing, used more of the field, and ran the no-huddle especially well. I would like to see more of the no-huddle from Harrell in the future, so we can keep defense on their toes. It appears that Graham had the type of game that he needed to get ready for Texas A&M.
Shannon Woods and Baron Batch dominated with their performance this weekend. Shannon is still averaging around seven yards per carry, and Batch is proving to be an excellent complement to Woods. Baron got his first touchdown on a nice run, and Shannon had two TDs of his own. You don't hear much these days about how much we miss Taurean Henderson, and these players are the reason why. Don't get me wrong, I love Hendo as much as anyone, but not everyone thought we would reload as well as we have.
The receiving corps doesn't entirely get out of the doghouse with me yet because of the TCU game. I was impressed with the way the backup receivers played, and was pleased with the way the upperclassmen performed as well. Jarrett Hicks' return was very welcome. Eric Morris and Grant Walker also had a very good day. Joel Filani returned to top form as well. It was a good outing, but I want to see that kind of dominance against the A&M secondary before I start singing their praises again.
The snapping has got to improve, and that is the main reason why their grade suffers today. The snaps are too slow getting to Harrell, and the timing seems to not be there. Graham's frustration with this is obvious, and it seems to be hurting the team. Still, other than that, it was a fairly good performance by the offensive line. The left side of the line did a good job of stepping up during Glenn January's injury. Thankfully, January was okay, and returned to the game later.
The stories here were the return of Seth Nitschmann and the emergence of a star in Brandon Williams. Nitschmann had a sack, and it is great to see him healthy once again. Williams had a huge day, leading the team in both tackles and sacks. Dek Bake and Keyunta Dawson each had a sack of their own as well. Furthermore, they shut down SE Louisiana's weapon of a running back. Keep up the great play, defensive line; you guys are doing a heck of a job.
Paul Williams was the player of the day here. Fletcher Session was out with an injury, and Williams filled in for him nicely at outside linebacker. Brock Stratton also had a strong outing, getting in on several plays. Kellen Tillman played well and managed to avoid being penalized this game, which was nice to see. The main improvement that I saw here this weekend was in tackling. I saw players wrapping up, and rejoiced at the sight of it. Hopefully, this carries over to conference play.
Darcel McBath was the star of the defensive backs, showing off his abilities as a run-stopper against SELA. Chris Parker rested up to prepare for conference play, and Marcus Bunton played well in his absence. Brent Nickerson is proving to be one the better tacklers on the team. Jamar Wall and Anthony Hines are significant contributors, and add more to the unit than they will get credit for. Overall, the secondary has player extremely well, and should continue their good play against the Aggies.
The special teams played extremely well. Keith Toogood's kickoffs are almost always touchbacks, and Alex Trlica is proving to be automatic on PATs and good on field goals. Our kickoff coverage has been solid, and special recognition goes out to Blake Collier for always being the first guy down the field on kickoffs. Danny Amendola finally reminded us why some people have called him "Wes 2.0." Danny had several excellent punt returns, and is looking better than ever. Score one for the third side of the ball.
The team played very well overall, even if was against SE Louisiana. A 62-0 shutout, with five sacks, no turnovers, 509 yards for us, and 119 yards for the opponent is a good game no matter how you slice it. The team looked good on all three sides of the ball, and had the kind of performance that gets the fans excited and the players prepared for next week's rivalry game against Texas A&M.
(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org