March on the Penguins

Posted by mmq on September 6, 2010 

Well that was mildly interesting, to say the least.
Bolden, 20-29, 239, one strange pick, two Brackett TDs (one was a checkdown!) in a very impressive debut, even if it was YSU. He's still 18 for crying out loud.
Of course, leave it to JoePa to rain on the parade. He won't name a starter for Bama, and insisted that it might take a different batch of personnel. While I won't be surprised if Newsome plays more, if Bolden doesn't start, that would be like beating a ranked team 63-14 while No. 1 and losing ground in the polls (er, nevermind that analogy).
The running game was, ugh. Nothing for Royster, et al. Green looked pretty good and Redd, well that was some serious "zoo-zoo," according to the BTN moron announcer. (Really, if it's all that darn successful, can't the announcers and production values be upgraded? And what the hell, exactly, is zoo-zoo, or zuzu, or zieux-zieux, or zous-zous, anyway.)
The o-line is clearly a work in progress. The good news is that Barham didn't get BOlden killed,  and Klopacz did fine work on snaps, and that the unit did seem to improve when Troutman was inserted for Pannell at G. The bad news is that it was YSU.
Defensively, I was quite happy, The tackling was sloppy at times in the 1Q, but let's allow these kids to have some nerves. Once they settled down they were fine. The LB rotation was mostly Mauti, with some Hodges and a little of Yancich. Colasanti was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps he will live up to his earlier hype. I'd really like to see more of Mauti, but as afellow  ACL sufferer, I understand the progress can be slow. Gbadyu looked better, took better angles. The line was, strangely, silent. No sacks, not many TFLs. Some bad missed tackles. Latimore seems to get upfield in a hurry, but YSU (and others, hint-hint) will use that against him. The DB were fine, save for the one YSU TD, which was very close to being a penalty for ineligible linemen downfield. Morris showed serious speed. Astorino and Sukay took bad angles and weren't fast enough to catch up. I'd expect more from experienced safeties.
The special teams were special for the first time since the DWill era. Wagner was fantastic, and Fera showed some leg as well.
No major injuries were reported, so all-in-all, it was a good scrimmage. The remaining question marks would seem to revolve around the QB situation and how it will handle a hostile crowd, do we have any TEs or did Shuler and Quarless take them with them, and will the line and the running game show up to take some pressure off Bolden? Stay tuned...

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