Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Cats Hobble to 6-2 and Bowl Eligibility, Persa Considered OK for Penn State

In a much more tightly contested game than expected, our Wildcats managed to eke out a close win and get away from Bloomington as fast as possible. We survived a scare early in the 4th quarter as QB Dan Persa was knocked out with an apparent head injury. On Monday it was deemed a concussion, but thankfully, he should be going full speed against Penn State and the Nittany Lions this upcoming Saturday. IMHO, I do think Evan Watkins will spell him for a couple of drives, just to be on the safe side.


Quick thoughts about the game after the jump:

Wildcat High-Fives go to...

QB Dan Persa: 18/28 passing, 212 yards, 2 TDs
There's nothing more I can say about our fearless offensive leader that hasn't already been said. His 64% completion rate is on the low side for him, but it was marred by several big drops by receivers throughout the course of the day. He's also incredibly comfortable throwing outside the pocket and didn't try to play "Hero" in the air.

RB Mike Trumpy: 21 carries, 110 yards, long 19 yards
Mike, consider yourself part of the starting lineup for the remainder of the season. Granted, Indiana's defense is pretty putrid, but against worse defenses we haven't managed a 100-yard rusher in two years. You deserve credit for helping run out the clock in the 4th by nabbing two first downs. Give yourself a pat on the back, then get back to work. You don't want Adonis Smith to start taking away your touches, do you? 

WR Jeremy Ebert: 5 catches, 98 yards, 2 TDs
Okay, so it's hard not to change my list from the last time I did a review post, but come on -- these guys are showing up to play every week! Ebert tacked two more TDs onto his resume to showcase himself as one of the biggest receiving threats in the Big Ten. Persa always seems to find him when he needs the end zone. 

K Stefan Demos: 2/2 XP, 2/2 FG, 1 FG from 45 yards
Perhaps it would be best if he just plays hurt or mad the remainder of the season. He booted the 45-yarder in the 4th after Persa's departure while fighting the wind. It turned out to be the difference-maker at the end of the game. Clutch. 

Wildcat Scratches go to...

The Secondary: Allowed 308 yards passing
In terms of what could have been, the Hoosiers could have gotten some big downfield plays at various points throughout the game. I can count at least three occasions where deep coverage was blown and QB Ben Chappell managed to overthrow or underthrow his receivers. If any of those passes connect, they likely go for TDs and we would be talking about how we're ever going to manage our 6th win with the upcoming schedule. We've been lucky so far, but this has GOT to stop.

RB Adonis Smith: 5 rushes, 14 yards
Our true freshman running back came in after a very positive performance against Michigan State and turned in a very mediocre performance against a mediocre defense. Trumpy ended up stealing the spotlight for most of the game as a result. I understand that we're still working him into the offense, but Fitz... work faster!

Yellow Laundry: 8 penalties, 69 yards
Whatever happened to the Wildcat football team that started the season ranked 2nd in the Big Ten in penalties committed? Those days seem to be long over, and I can't see any significant improvement over the last four games. Mr. DiNardo, please put your game face on and leave it there. We can't have you trying to extend Indiana drives unnecessarily.

Although there's still a lot to be worried about this team going into the last four games, I have hope that we can take at least one more before season's end. The schedule is imposing, however: a road date with Penn State, a return home to face a fuming Iowa squad, the trip to Addison to face a much-better-than-expected Illini squad, and a trek to Camp Randall to face the highest-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. We need some solid performances and no turnovers if we're going to Expect Victory.

Go 'Cats!

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