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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Urbanna Creek
    Posts
    3,423

    Default Encouraging signs

    Last nights game gave me more hope that the Tribe will turn this season around. After a dismal first half, plays from Mangas and Moody showed what this Tribe team can do. Grimes has been carry the load up till now on his own. Mixing Gotleib into the offense was an added plus, which we need to see more of. Graham threw too many wobblers but as he gained confidence, the passes were crisp. The dropped deep pass was as nice of a ball as one could throw.

    The defense played as well as could be expected given that it was not provided much support by the offense. Still, the middle is too soft given we knew the Dukes were running the option and still cannot stop it. If we run into GSU agains (and Pike I know you are reading this) we will not be able to stop it. This defense has as a ton of talent, so in a big game like that one would hope it would force some turnovers. A few times the Dukes runners were not protecting the ball, but no Tribe defenders were punching at the ball to jar it loose.

    On special teams, Grimes showed great desire to hit a hole and take it home. Once he started to show that spark he had a few good returns. Haven't seen that sort of confidence in the return game since Derek Cox. Webb is aggressive, but he needs to back away from a ball. A turnover there kills us (just like the very next play).

    It would have taken perfect execution to come back last night. For a brief moment after finally showing signs of life, I thought this team was going to pull a rabbit out of the hat. So, despite the loss, I am still encouraged about the 2011 Tribe team. Time has run out on putting it together, and fortunately there is still a lot of football in front of us. This team has not played its best football yet.
    Succisa Virescit

  2. #2

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    I agree with the previous poster. This team showed me something in the second half and, frankly, Graham, just a redshirt soph,
    seemed to come of age on the second half.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NoVA
    Posts
    5,774

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    Exactly. Would you rather see W&M play the way they did against VMI and UNH or the way they played in the 2nd half against JMU? I'm not talking about winning or losing. JMU's defense is lightyears ahead of VMI/UNH yet W&M was able to pass. In fairness, I believe Moody's return had a lot to do with that.

    Kuhn is a Soph; Graham is a rs-soph; and Tre McBride is a freshman. All 3 have everything it takes to be standouts for a few years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    1,600

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    I'd love to know what happened during half time, whether they said let's just go for broke and come out throwing, or if there was just a mental pep talk. Whatever it was, the second half was great fun to watch. The speed with which we moved the ball down the field made a comeback a possibility. Kuhn's onside attempt was near perfect; it got a great bounce and shot in the air, props to the JMU guy for grabbing it. Looking ahead:

    Villanova -- Not doing great although they did beat UPenn yesterday. A chance for us to open up the playbook.
    Delaware -- A real test for the team. From what people have said about their game against ODU they are still a bit rough, but definitely a solid team. I look forward to seeing us in action with the offense hopefully in full swing.
    UNH -- I know one of these years they are going to beat us, but we just seem to have their number (much like JMU seems to have ours)
    Towson -- Yes, they are much improved and seem to have something going. This is homecoming, and hopefully the team will be riding a winning streak and have tremendous momentum.
    Rhode Island -- Will be interesting to see if their improvement this year in conference continues. I still like our chances against them.
    ODU -- They seem to be continuing their improvement, but we are their last game after 7 straight CAA games with no bye week. I know it is their big end of year game, but I still think we have a solid edge in this one. We can't look past it, but for as much as they'll have a chip on their shoulder, I think our guys do too after we barely escaped them last year and we want to stand strong at Zable. Who do we have to bribe to have this one pushed back and played under the lights? I can't wait for this one....
    Richmond -- If Corp stays healthy they'll put up lots of points (43 against UNH yesterday I think?!) but fortunately pass defense is a strength of ours.

    Bottom line being the rest of these games are winnable if our offense continues to improve and the playbook opens up and Graham gains confidence. Our defense needs to keep playing great (and that is partly conditioned upon the offense playing great enough that they get rest during games). Moody looked great and he, Mangas, and Gottlieb were pulling balls out of the air, breaking tackles, and picking up YAC. I'm excited and actually feel confident now. I know one half cannot make a season, but it was certainly a step in the right direction.

    Any word on Cook's injury?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    362

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    Quote Originally Posted by hktribefan View Post
    Looking ahead:

    UNH -- I know one of these years they are going to beat us, but we just seem to have their number (much like JMU seems to have ours)

    Richmond -- If Corp stays healthy they'll put up lots of points (43 against UNH yesterday I think?!) but fortunately pass defense is a strength of ours.
    Everyone has put up 40+ on New Hampshire this year (Toledo-58, Lehigh-41, Richmond-43). And yet they've found a way to outscore Lehigh and UR to get the wins. Corp threw two pick-6's in the 2nd quarter, which helped. UNH's secondary has looked terrible so far this season. It's too bad we don't play them next week as they might be just the cure our offense needs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2,704

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    Some good signs on my spot:

    A. Individual Players:

    1. Drake Kuhn - developing very well as a punter
    2. Stephen Sinnott - started at DE and played well. Very gifted.
    3. Ryan Moody - no explanation necessary
    4. DJ Mangas - emergence and focus on Moody opened Mangas to make big plays.
    5. Jerome Couplin III - emerging as a heavy hitter in the defensive secondary. Maturing as an athlete. Will be exciting to watch.
    6. Ivan Tagoe - merges with Couplin to form what I think should be our starting unit at safety in running downs. Was praying to see
    Tagoe lay a hit on Daequan Scott.
    7. Tre McBride: Rapidly improving. Now one of the top 3 threats.

    B. Hoping to see returning:

    1. DE Bryan Stinnie (inj. since VMI)
    2. WR Nick Downey (inj. since camp)
    3. RB Darnell Laws (inj. since camp)
    4. OT Robbie Gumbita (inj. since UVA)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    I'm glad to see you mention Tagoe, Tre McBride and Couplin...these three guys were, in my opinion, three of the best in pre-season
    and their rapid improvement really showed against a big and athletic JMU team.

    *Tagoe and Couplin--both have great athleticism and are two really heavy hitters. Tagoe has range all over the field and Couplin
    goes to the ball.

    *Tre McBride--one of the very few true freshmen ever to play wide receiver for Jimmye...this kid has the speed, athleticism, hands,
    and smarts to become a star receiver at W&M

    And another word about Ryan Moody, a terrific kid. His recovery from the ACL last spring in just six months is remarkable; talk to a doctor and they'll tell you it's almost always a year, sometimes nine months! Watching Moody Saturday night we saw an athlete who not only was able to play,apparently, with his full talents--mobility, speed, etc. Let us hope the football gods are kind and allow him to
    play injury-free from now on.

    Graham...Of course, the jury is still out on him; one solid and encouraging half doesn't make a career. But his second half play against a JMU defense that I thought had more athleticism than UVA, showed tremendous progress in just one week since he was named
    starter. He does not have that laser arm, but he demonstrated an ability to throw accurately, know when not to throw, run a bit
    (he IS 6-4, 224 and ran and scored 12 TDs as a qb in high school) and take a hit and get up. His confidence has to have grown and,
    possibly and somewhat unbelievably , Jimmye may have come up with another walk-on quarterback starter..one with with two more
    seasons of eligibility remaining.

    Biggest Problem Still To Solve:
    Our offensive line has to block better! Both for our running backs and to protect the passer. If Graham continues to mature into an
    effective passer that would help a lot in keeping defenses honest and not stack eight or nine men within five yards of the line of
    scrimmage anticipating another run by Jonathon or Keith McBride. We need to see our offensive line move the pile DOWNFIELD!
    Grimes is one of the five greatest running backs in Tribe history but he nobody run effectively when two or three guys penetrate our
    backfield before he takes his second step.

    And major kudos to: Greg Kuhn
    His kickoffs are sailing inside the ten or even into the endzone and he appears to have made himself a fine punter. Greg has
    confounded all the pundits, myself included, who were expecting little this season from him.

    I really look for an outstanding Tribe performance Saturday at Villanova.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    1,600

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    Lots of rumors flying over on the JMU board about some failed drug tests. Could be interesting for JMU depending on how serious or what the violation is/was. As I said before I'm thinking with our upswing in performance and a little luck we could run the table. All we'd need for a consecutive conference championship is JMU to lose two. A setback like this could be costly. I think I saw Mickey has having a press conference at noon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    9,529

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    You guys will be fine. We caught you guys at what seems to be the low point in a (resolved) QB controversy. Graham had some troubles getting started, but once he did, he was really good. If he plays the first half like he did the second, the conversation is different today.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    The Green Leafe
    Posts
    3,600

    Default Re: Encouraging signs

    See what happens when people do not post with emotion, they all make sense.

    My .02, Graham or whomever just needs to manage the team, sort of like RJ Archer did, the defense and run game will win most if not all the conf games, he just needs to make good throws and maybe 3-4 plays a game (3rd n long, redzone, etc).

    Defense will keep you in every game, in fact I said before this one, if they can give the defense 21 pts, tribe win, I will say that the rest of the way 21-24 pts each game, Tribe probably wins.

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