Mulcahy’s Report Card
Former UConn defensive end and SNY studio analyst Sean Mulcahy grades UConn’s 24-17 win over Pittsburgh.
Mulcahy’s comments: Chandler Whitmer looked really good Friday night, minus one pass in the 4th quarter for a pick. His completion percentage (19 for 25) was better than Tino Sunseri’s (19 for 34) and he also had a huge first down pass to Shakim Phillips with 2 minutes to go. He really stepped into the throw and put a little extra mustard on it. His reads throughout the game were nearly perfect and I really like how he targeted the tight ends 10+ times. That helped move the ball in the right direction, and kept Pittsburgh guessing. One touchdown and one interception for 213 yards is a solid night for the tough quarterback who is getting better.
Comments: Lyle McCombs looked fresh, fast, and motivated. He bounced around in holes, accelerated through holes, and ran for 120 yards. He couldn’t have done it without the whole offensive line, tight ends, and receivers carrying out their blocking assignments. It was a really good team performance in the running game.
Comments: Shakim Phillips led the corps with 5 catches for 52 yards, followed by Nick Williams with 3 receptions for 31 yards. Mike Smith and Geremy Davis each had a catch, Smith’s a huge 27-yarder. Davis and Smith need more targets, but with Ryan Griffin and the running game playing so well, it is easy to understand why they didn’t get the targets. This group really does a nice job blocking down field for the running backs and receivers who catch the ball.
Comments: Well, we asked for more Ryan Griffin and we got it. He tied a career high with six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. He should have had a least two more catches and at least one more TD. Should have, would have, could have; either way this group played great with at least 10 targets between Griffin and Jon Delahunt. Even though Delahunt had just one catch for seven yards, he was targeted 3 times, blocked well, and kept the defense on their toes as to which tight end might catch the ball. Keep up the consistency.
Comments: This group definitely improved, it was actually night and day compared to recent games. What stood out was the line carrying out their blocks, sustaining the block, and being consistent in their blocks. The best aspect for this group was playing until the whistle. The defense of Pitt was frustrated and was getting little man-handled. Several times throughout the game one could fine Kevin Friend or Gus Cruz shoving an opponent after the whistle. It shows who is in control and how its going to be for the whole night. That toughness needs to come out every game. Now that this group has put it on film, they must realize they have to play with fierce aggression for every game.
Comments: Great effort and job limiting Ray Graham to just 41 yards. Tim Willman had the only TFL, which was a sack, but the whole group did their job. They maintained leverage, remained in their gaps, and owned the line of scrimmage. Hopefully, Trevardo Williams’ injury isn’t too bad and he gets back on the field in no time. Angelo Pruitt and Ryan Wirth did a solid job with two tackles each
Comments: Sio Moore was unreal Friday night. It honestly could have been better too. I believe he dropped two interceptions, but lets not focus on the negatives. Moore had six tackles, three TFL’s, with two of them being big sacks. Yawin Smallwood led the way with nine tackles, Jory Johnson had six as well, and did a great job pursuing the ball to limit Ray Graham. This is the most consistent group on the defense
Comments: Dwayne Gratz was great agianst the run Friday night, with six tackles and one TFL. Ty-Meer Brown was balling too with five tackles coming from his safety position to support against the run. Blidi-Wreh Wilson had a huge pass brek up and Tino Sunseri didn’t want to test him or Gratz at all. Instead they tried to pick on Taylor Mack, it was close, but not enough to win. Mack stayed focused and poised as to not let big plays upset his confidence. Give credit to Byron Jones too, he had five big tackles to limit those big plays.
Comments: Love the punt return touchdown by Nick Williams, it’ so exciting and propels the team’s momentum with unparalleled confidence. Good field goal by Chad Christen in the 1st quarter. David Stevenson limited Nick Williams to another big punt return gainer with a block in the back. Good thing it didn’t matter
Comments: Pass/Fail grade. Win is a pass. Great job incorporating more bootlegs in the offense to spring Ryan Griffin. Incredible job on defense to limit Pitt to 48 yards rushing.