When it came time to grade this performance, it took all of my strength not to just type "F" in size 96 Font, spit on my computer screen and slam it shut. This is what I ended up with.
Brandon Allen through for 412 yards on 53(?!) attempts. How you can through that many times for that many yards and not find the endzone is beyond me. It's tough to go back and look at his play objectively knowing that he left some people wide open, and then threw the ball out of the back of the endzone. And of course there was the interception. Believe it or not. When you look at the stats, the INT is the only thing that Toledo had over us. Play calling was atrocious, so I won't blame 53 passes on Allen, but at some point he is going to have to lead us on a game-winning drive.
The only positive memory I have of our running backs is Collins' 21 yard score. The run blocking was perfect, Alex Collins hit his holes and athletically dove into the endzone. The rest of the day can be summed up with a sigh. How Enos has turned this team from the nastiest line in college football, to a one-trick, pass defense only line through the first two games amazes me. Collins got the bulk of the carries as you'd expect, and we got to see Damon Mitchell with a carry, so that's fun. Without any kind of formidable run blocking the ground game was almost a non-factor.
When you throw for 412 yards, your WR stats get a little inflated. Hunter Henry had 8 catches for 117 yards and was open on just about every play that didn't feature him as the recipient. Words can't do him justice, honestly. He's going to be a first or second round pick in the draft and some lucky team is going to be set for a long time at the position. Hatcher and Drew Morgan also did nicely, with 92 and 77 yards respectively. Toledo's D was doing the classic bend don't break performance. We need our guys to be more physical. It's not enough to catch and get tackled anymore. We need YAC.
What this unit has turned into does not make me happy. We look stellar in passing situations against lowly CUSA and MAC foes, but let's see if the pocket is as sound against TAMU, and the rest of the SEC. On the flipside, our run blocking is garbage. I'm not going to blame the players, since last year proves they clearly can block, but whatever's happened since then is not going to cut it, and I personally hope that Bielema takes play calling duties back from Enos. Would it be wrong to wonder about a Madden-esque media guide cover curse for this unit?
The D-Line played an average part of an overall average performance by the defense. This is funny to say considering we held this team to 16 points, but I have never seen such an uninspired performance from a defense. Ledbetter was the standout again and he only recorded 6 tackles and a TFL. Still no sacks for this group. Until we start getting some production and playmaking, I don't think we will be truly competitive. The question is, who will step up?
You could almost say the same about this group as you did about the D-Line. Ellis and Williams played a fine game, each with 7 tackles. If you'd asked me if they made any plays, I'd say no. Where were the forced fumbles or interceptions from this group? How could no one step up and get a takeaway?!
Toliver had the team's best defensive performance for the second time this week. He totaled 8 tackles, a TFL and 2 pass breakups. In fact, the secondary had a pretty good game. Their coverage was sound and tallied 4 pass breakups, but when a MAC QB throws 38 time, somebody has to find a way to come up with a pick. Granted, interceptions are oftentimes forced by the defensive line (which was catatonic on the pass rush) but we really could have used one here.
Cole Hedlund missed a 41 yarder. Had he made that we could've settled for a FG at the end to force overtime, or possibly win depending on how other things fell. On defense we blocked a field goal. Some good and some bad. On the plus side, we pretty much held Toledo to very little yardage on returns.
I hate that I had to write this.