Mulcahy’s Report Card
Former UConn defensive end and SNY studio analyst Sean Mulchay grades UConn’s 13-6 loss to South Florida.
Mulcahy’s comments: I saw some good throws out of Chandler Whitmer especially to Mike Smith (3 catches 40 yards) for a crucial first down in the first quarter. Whitmer also had some nice throws to Geremy Davis (7 catches 98 yards) in the 4th quarter before he threw two picks. Whiter was 24-of-38 for 284 yards is not bad, but the two interceptions and no touchdowns are bad. Whitmer moved well in the pocket, even though he was sacked 4 times. He also found Nick Williams 6 times for 48 yards, John Delahunt once, and Ryan Griffin only twice. As Whitmer gains more experience, he will have to learn how to comeback and win a game in the 4th quarter. Scott McCummings had one good run for 25 yards but was not influential in the game – rather irrelevant.
Comments:I have sympathy for Lyle McCombs because 18 carries for 48 yards is terrible. It is not all on him; It’s the line, receivers, tight ends, and other backs that all need to do a better job blocking in the run game, McCombs isn’t simply missing holes, there really is no place for him to go because the O-Line is getting no push up front. The loss of Adam Masters is certainly affecting the performance of the run game even more so then when he was playing. Max DeLorenzo, Martin Hyppolite and/or Joe Williams are not going to do much better with this group that is blocking. UConn should stay with McCombs and try to get him more involved in the pass game with screens and quick passes while he is lined up in the slot. He did have three catches for 28 yards, but that is not enough, he needs at least five catches a game. Add a few more draw plays, because the pro-style offense with running right down the middle is playing into the opponents’ hands.
Comments: Geremy Davis and Nick Williams played rather well. Whitmer went deep once to Shakim Phillips (1 catch 21 yards) that did not go UConn’s way. The offense needs to stretch the field more like that play to gain some excitement and confidence from a big play. Tebucky Jones could be a nice addition to the list, but we need to see more than one catch. The receivers can always work on their down field blocking and their relationship with the quarterback.
Comments: Two catches for 29 yards for Ryan Griffin is not enough. He needs at least five targets per game. His blocking was decent, though John Delahunt’s blocking was a bit better. Delahunt had one catch for 15 yards and I feel he needs at least 3-4 targets too. Uconn has two quality tight ends and need to use them more. I would like to see more bootlegs to get both tight ends in a passing play together. Someone will be open and Whitmer is pretty athletic to maneuver for a bootleg play.
Comments: Fours sacks allowed, 10 hurries, and 43 yards rushing net. Hopefully, this experience helps the next three games and next season. The offensive line isn’t getting it done.
Comments: Tim Willman, Ryan Wirth, and Trevardo Williams each had a sack and were the best on the defensive line Saturday night. The group played pretty well while limiting the Bulls to just 84 yards on the ground. Williams became UConn’s all-time sack leader with 27½ , too bad it was in vain. B.J. McBryde and Angelo Pruitt showed signs of toughness and having the ability to stop the run. They need to build off that, and produce more in upcoming games.
Comments: The stats were not as impressive as we have seen in the past with this group. No one in the line backing corp led the team in tackles, which is an abomination. Yawin Smallwood had six tackles while Jory Johnson and Sio Moore had five each – not enough. Moore missed the 1st quarter for disciplinary reasons. I like the way Jefferson Ashiru played for Moore in the 1st quarter. That experience will be valuable next year when Moore and Johnson are gone.
Comments: Three of the four leading tacklers for the Huskies on Saturday night were defensive backs. Byron Jones led the team again, his third time leading the team in tackles in a game with 9 and 1 PBU. Blidi Wreh-Wilson was second with 7, and Dwayne Gratz was tied for 4th with five tackles, a TFL and one interception. Whenever your secondary is leading the team in tackles, it usually means you are going to lose. The defense allowed 283 total yards, one touchdown and two field goals, which is really good, but not good enough. Taylor Mack had 1 PBU, 1 tackle and got burned once. He is capable of playing better like he did the first three weeks.
Comments: Not bad, good punting and good coverage. The offense needs to spring Nick Williams more. Field goals were good too from 37 & 50 yards from Chad Christen.
Comments: Pass/Fail grade. Loss = Fail.