Post Game Report | Bwahlberg
There was some fun throwback moments today. The Griz in copper jerseys, Dave Dickenson in attendance, and game where Hauck and company went in reeling at halftime and came out with some solid adjustments to seal the win.
At the point with 4:10 left in the 2nd quarter with Sac going up 28-17 the Griz from that point out-scored Sac 24-6. The Griz in the 2nd half had 17:51 TOP to 12:15 and out-gained Sac 238 to 120. The Grizzly defense seemed to adjust and cleaned up some of the errors seen in the first half, and the offense continued to put in work. Sac in the 2nd half was 1-7 on 3rd down.
Bobby in his post-game said Sac was the best team we’ve faced this year, I believe I heard Colter Nuanez say that as well. This was a very experienced Sac State team with some real talent at some spots. They were clearly shorthanded in some spots, mostly defensively. The Hornets, I suspect, could make some noise this season, and having these Griz fight back and close out the game in the fashion they did showed some signs of coming of age.
A few general points, first off, what I liked from today:
– Got to start with the super-human performance of Dalton Sneed, 206 rushing with 3 rushing TDs, and 234 passing with 1 more TD (coming on a 4th and goal). This game plan felt like something Montana was keeping a bit of a lid on and today showcased a little more of what Sneed can bring to a game today. Dalton showed a little more trust in his OL today and in his post-game comments he gave them a lot of love. I heard Sneed giving them props and saying he wished his 8th best rushing record was credit to his O-line instead of him.
– Baby steps for the offensive line. Bobby Hauck I believe commented that Sneed showed more trust in the line and it allowed him to make more plays. Adam Eastwood a solid 4 YPC as well and a total 351 yards rushing by the Griz today. The OL has a looooong ways to go and showed plenty of lapses again but today was the first time this season I felt like from the stand point of the total game, they moved forward as a group.
– Glad Wa Griz got to see the electric play-making ability of Sulser. He showed this early in fall camp before getting shelved for a while with an injury. He is lighting fast and fun to watch. Get used to watching #7 make big plays!
– Josh Buss with 3 sacks! Holy crap, great to see this dude getting back to form. Add in 11 tackles for him as well, what a solid day. I went back to the stat line and looked it up, all 3 of Buss’s sacks forced a Sac St punt. His pass breakup on 3rd and 24 saved a first down too, that WR was open.
– Dante Olson is going to make double-digit tackles a habit… 15 more today, he’s up to 55 on the season.
– I’ll split this in half, Keenan Curran had two clutch catches and plays in the 2nd half, the 2nd tremendously difficult. He also had some amazing deep field blocks on long runs, I believe he sealed off the Sulser TD run and was upfield helping block for Sneed on his long runs too. (more to come on Curran)
– Genius game plan today by Hauck and Rosenbach. Almost 600 yards of offense, 40% conversion rate on 3rd down, some well executed plays in the red zone, this fake/option pitch thing that Hauck says Rosey invented this week, and 25 total first downs.
– Great day by Tim Semenza, he’s a guy that takes some lumps on here but dude was money.
– Last week the Grizzly offense had 4 turnovers. Today… none. Also just 34 total yards of penalties by the whole team. Great improvements on both accounts.
– In the first 3 weeks special teams was a mixed bag. Today it generally was an advantage. Semenza stayed perfect, Williams had some great punts, JLM flipped the field once when Sac needed to pin Montana deep, coverage was solid, and Sac basically had no luck/change on their onsides attempt.
And now, the not-so-good stuff:
– It would seem that the word is out, the middle of the field in the 10 to 20 yard range is open for business for most offenses. Sac made major plays there, many times with wide open targets, and in some cases it would turn into even bigger plays.
– Sac’s RB deserves some credit, their OL does too, but the big plays given up on the ground was something this Grizzly defense had not done until today. Naturally this has to be concerning as the Griz head to Poly this next weekend. Sac put up 251 rushing and nearly 6 yards per carry. Elijah Dotson actually out-gained Sneed and had 3 TDs himself.
– Curran’s first drop was a damn tough catch, I think a lot of guys have issues with that pass too. Curran’s 2nd drop was brutal. It lead to a punt on a sure-fire 3rd down conversion that Sac would then shortly turn into a TD. Big swing in points at that moment in the game.
– Where was Akem today? I get this was a plan built more around rushing the ball but Sammy had two damn good games in a row and then only really saw meaningful snaps for a few series in the 2nd quarter.
– Some concerns with tackling/pursuit showed up, it wasn’t all game but it was certainly showing up when Sac grabbed their 10 point lead. I have a feeling the DBs are going to have a lot of film to work from on items of needed improvement.
This was a well-deserved win against a tough team. It showed some resolve, some improvement, and some ongoing concerns. This was kind of what I expected in terms of the style of win, but not with this many points on the board.
Add in, what a great day to have Dave Dickenson back and being enshrined in the college football hall of fame. Hearing the video clip of him speaking to the team this week was so cool. There’s so much owed to that guy, his teams, and the coaches of that era for what Grizzly football is today. There’s nowhere else I’d rather have been today, glad we got the win on such a special day.