I was happy with our overall performance, particularly given that Wyoming's QB could create with his feet like Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot and Christensen did a nice job of attacking our tendencies.
They pretty much did nothing except for two pass plays, a great improvisation by ACS in the red zone, and had a couple of penalty extended drives.
3 of 12 on 3rd down, 0 for 3 on 4th, with 7 points on the board, and 257 yards of offense is winning on defense. We forced turnovers, but basically didn't get the bounce on a fumble and the sideline wasn't our friend on a couple of possible interceptions. Fun to see us demolish the zone read after Rice stung our pride with it last week.
MVP performances by Sam Acho (5 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack) and Eddie Jones (8 tackles, 1 sack) who did a hell of a job of containment for most of the game while getting hits on the QB. Eddie is really getting it done for us and Acho's first step is deadly when he's facing a fat ass guard inside. Jeffcoat also played really well, essentially logging starter quantity snaps when Acho opened the game at DT. Muschamp has committed to getting his best guys on the field and that bodes really well for our development as a defense as the season progresses and in 2011.
Kheeston Randall isn't going to put up big tackle numbers against the spread offenses, but he's a force inside and he was good for another 2 TFL. Nice redemption for Dravannti Johnson this week, who gave us solid snaps when he was in the game.
Competent play from Tyrell Higgins. He controlled his gap and did the job in limited snaps.
Another really active game from Keenan Robinson who had 8 tackles and a sack. He and E Acho (6 tackles, 1 TFL) are extremely disruptive in ways that aren't always captured by the stat sheet. They can blitz with power, they get deep drops in pass coverage, and they smother screens with their range and instinct. Sometimes their best contributions are negations of a potential play, which doesn't always show up on the ledger. Earnest logged a few snaps and was fine. We're very much committed to a two linebacker defense against any team that plays 3+ WRs. I expect some 3-2-6 against Tech.
Very physical performance from the group as a whole.
Wyoming understood that they should attack Chykie with double moves and our safeties in the middle of the field out of four wide with short passes and they executed it reasonably well. ACS also completed a half dozen holy shit throws on the move against overwhelming pressure from Jeffcoat, Jones, and Acho, transforming -6 yard plays into +8. The only guys on our schedule remaining who will be able to do that are RGIII and Jerrod Johnson. I won't be surprised if and when ACS gets drafted in two years. We hit him really hard and he kept coming back.
Blake Gideon had a nice game. He was physical, had three nice hits - two of them legal - and played with some edge. I don't have a problem with his targeting penalty at all and if you do, I have some shirts that need ironing later. He's making decisions in fractions of seconds and I'd rather he knock someone out and take the 15 than be soft.
Christian Scott also had a nice hat and was active, but it's also clear that his pairing with Gideon over the middle leaves your offense a little space to operate with underneath since neither has the foot speed to really choke down on the short pass and dare a throw over the top. That's where we miss Earl Thomas and I'll be bringing this up again in my Tech preview.
As a pure cover guy, Curtis Brown has been the best dude on the team through two games. Guys are just having trouble getting him off of their hip on their breaks and he's not being targeted at all.
Chykie had his obligatory hiccup, but he was solid otherwise. We play a lot of man. Sometimes corners lose. If that's what Chykie gives us every week, I'll snap it up.
A little bummed about our inability to pooch kick effectively in two situations where we could have pinned Wyoming inside the 5. This is a key element to maximize with a defense that's adept at inflicting negative plays and an offense that's not very explosive. We need to manufacture points and field position in any way we can. Liked our kickoff coverage, was happy to see Tucker go 2/2 on field goals, and was a little disappointed in our kickoff return group. They're not doing a good job of getting a hat on someone and I'm wondering if they're expecting pooches too much.
It's absolutely clear to me that Curtis Brown has the potential to be an exceptional punt returner if we'll give him the job outright. Aaron is good too and he'll bring it back if we block it well, but I think Curtis has the best chance of creating something.
Happy with our D/ST effort. This group is exactly what I thought they'd be going into Lubbock and I'm excited for them to face their first real test of the season.