With a touchdown finally scored with 1:31 left, this unit avoided its first blanking since 2000, and it was rough to watch. The first six possessions used only 23 plays and advanced 54 yards. The way UTSA shortened the game, that stretch extended into the 2nd half. 229 yards total, 12 first downs.
Yes, and I am only deducting a third of a grade for giving up the winning drive in the last 1:31. The unit could have done a few things better, but it gave up 4.6 yards per play and held UTSA without a TD in 4 trips to the red zone. The offense put this unit at a disadvantage the entire game, and the defense still delivered a manly effort, one that should have been rewarded.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-
Kereon Merrell lifts this out of F-dom with his stop on the fake punt pass play. He was the only human with a white jersey who had a chance to track down the receiver short of the first-down marker. Special “un-kudos” for multiple penalties on a punt return, sending the Herd from the UTSA 48 to the MU 27. And Vedvik’s extra point would have made a super soccer goal, but it was the ugliest PAT I have seen in a long time.
Chase’s perfect throw to Hyleck Foster couldn’t rescue this grade. Dropped snap was a gut punch; interception could have been a killer.
It’s not easy running an offense without its top 2 receivers against the league’s top defense, but 3rd-down calls drove me a little batty. Defensively, a re-emphasis on defending slant patterns is in order, but that unit was as well-prepared as you can ask for.
The level of frustration calls for a flunking, but giving up 9 points has to be commended. Still, the Herd loses to another winning team.