It didn’t look great, did it? Only 334 total yards, 2 red-zone trips that fizzled into FGs, less than 3 yards per carry, even *2* sacks. But that opening drive in the 2nd half and that game-killing drive at the end, with 3 first downs, those were biggies, big enough to elevate this grade. Also: Herd went 7 of 16 on 3rd downs, the 13th game in which it outperformed the other offense in that category.
They followed the recipe for defeating 2016 player of the year Mike White: Kill the run, put pressure on him, get some 3-and-outs and get a big turnover. That’s 34 yards rushing, 3 sacks, 4 3-and-outs and one “pick-6.” White made the home folks nervous in the 4th quarter and threw for 334 yards, but both were expected. All in all, a very good performance.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A-
I’m deducting for the illegal block penalty, even though it was wiped out by an offsetting foul by WKU. Otherwise, this unit had a great day, with Keion Davis averaging 30 yards per kickoff return, the kickoff coverage doing a great job and Kaare Vedvik hitting 3 field goals. LATE CHANGE: Upon remembering Kaare Vedvik committed a late hit, I raised the grade from B+. All hail kickers who commit manly fouls!
Chase Litton threw one interception in the end zone on an off-target throw, but that had the effect of a punt. Otherwise, he was efficient despite losing 2 of his best pass-catchers.
I’m scratching my head over the 3 runs and a 4th-down pass on a series with 6:00 to go and maybe some other play calls, but I’m not questioning a lot else. After 2 disappointing losses, this was a game that could have gone south, and these guys get credit for a good week of preparation.
Win No. 7, first C-USA win over Western Kentucky, an effort worthy of the “75.”