Some takeaways from the first night game against Notre Dame
Now that I've taken off my maize and blue night vision goggles - here are some takeaways.
1) Denard is an unpredicatable passer - He made some brilliant throws and some downright ugly throws. While his arm strength isn't in question - his deep ball accuracy is.
2) We won because of risky plays - At the end of the day - most of our yardage came through risky plays. Denard lofts the ball and hopes the receiver gets it. Some of these were lucky, no matter how we construe it.
3) Our receivers make Denard look good (and bad) - One point which irked me was that our receivers dropped some very catchable balls. On the other hand, they also made some fantastic catches. Much like Denard's passing ability - receiving consistently is something we work on.
4) Our rushing game is a serious question mark - When we play Big Ten opponents Denard can't be expected to do all the lifting. Our rush attack from RB's needs serious work. If Fitz is injured - our other backs look ineffective.
5) We've turned a leaf on turnovers - Overall our ball security has been good (not counting Hopkins fumble). We've also made strides of improvement in forcing turnovers. This comes from Mattison's gametime adjustments - something the other Greg wasn't capable of
6) Our rush defense may become a strength - After the first half - our rush defense was markedly better. Mike Martin, BWC all seemed to step up and snuff out any ND rush attacks. This is a good sign.
7) Hawthorne may be the next Demens - Like last season when Demens upstaged Ezeh, this year Hawthorne may have upstaged Herron/ Jones. Kid has some skill and should solidify his starting position with the performance last night.