5 Things We Learned, 1 Thing To Improve, 7 Players That Made A Difference
What We Learned
- The defense is a stingy as we thought as they held Tulsa to a school record -73 yards rushing. The leading rusher for the Golden Hurricanes had 0 yards.
- The offense is still trying to find its identity and sustain multiple drives. The offense was outscored by the defense and special teams.
- The pass rush on this defense is as good as advertised and while they didn’t force Tulsa into any interceptions they did rack up 6 sacks.
- While Brian Lewerke struggled at times with accuracy he spread the ball around nicely. Lewerke connected with 8 different receivers and got everyone involved.
- The running game never really got going no matter how hard they tried. With 40 attempts the Spartans were only able to muster up 108 yards, which equates to 2.7 yards per carry.
Biggest Need Of Improvement
The biggest need of improvement is one this team has heard over the last couple of years. The offense has to find some continuity and be able to control the clock and the game. Too many time drives stalled and ended with field goals. The next opponent is the Western Michigan Broncos and hopefully we will see a better offensive performance. They have the playmakers to be good offensively and with the defense all they really need is an average offense.
- Kenny Willekes had a monster game that proved why he is on many award watch lists. 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and more importantly 2 fumble recoveries.
- Antjuan Simmons was also a man on fire and was all over the field. He had the teams only interception and added 6 tackles and 1 sack. It seemed like Simmons was in on every play.
- Darrell Stewart Jr. led the team in receptions (6) and yards (56) and proved to be Lewerke’s favorite target. Stewart showed why he will be leaned on this year to balance this offense.
- Connor Heyward continues to be the workhorse of the offense and the swiss army knife. Heyward had 18 touches for a combined 71 yards and will look to be more productive in the coming weeks.
- Shakur Brown led the team with 2 sacks and was pretty decent in coverage as well. While not his forte the sacks were a welcomed sight for the cornerback.
- Brian Lewerke struggled with his efficiency but was very good at taking care of the ball and not putting the defense in bad spots. Lewerke compiled 192 yards passing, with a Touchdown and added 34 yards on the ground.
- Joe Bachie put in another solid performance as the leader of the defense. Bachie finished the game with 7 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Just another day at the office for the great linebacker.