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Irish report card

Joe Meixell | Monday, November 3, 2008

Quarterbacks — C+It’s hard to blame Jimmy Clausen too much considering the stats he put up, but he missed Michael Floyd for a would-be TD in the second overtime.

Running Backs — B-Armando Allen was the focal point on the ground and ran well, especially in the first half when he broke off a few nice runs.

Receivers — A-Floyd and Golden Tate each topped 100 yards and made a couple highlight-reel catches, but they were non-factors in overtime – through no fault of their own.

Offensive Line — C-Pitt got penetration and stuffed several running plays for big losses, and Clausen often didn’t have much time to throw in the second half or overtime.

Defensive Line — c-There wasn’t much backside contain or pursuit, and LeSean McCoy made the Irish pay by reversing field for big gainers on multiple occasions.

Linebackers — CThe unit had two sacks, but Harrison Smith’s third-quarter personal foul was the biggest play that people aren’t really talking about.

Defensive Backs — B+Raeshon McNeil had two picks but was outplayed on the game-tying touchdown near the end of regulation. David Bruton also had an interception.

Special Teams — B+Brandon Walker kept the Irish alive with his clutch overtime kicking despite the final miss, but Eric Maust had a punt blocked early on.

Coaching — DAnother second-half collapse where the opponent made the adjustments and the staff failed to counter. The overtime play-calling was too vanilla and didn’t utilize Floyd and Tate, the team’s two best playmakers.

Overall GPA — 2.41Just a tremendously disappointing finish to a game the Irish looked to have won at halftime. They clearly haven’t turned the corner.