Some Rays of Sun Shine Through

Although the rain came down steadily throughout the game, there were some bright spots on the field for the Devils in a tough 20-17 loss against the Georgia Bulldogs.  Here is a quick break down of how the Devils fared...

QB: Not all the blame can go on Danny Sullivan as there were a few untimely drops from the receiving corps, but Sullivan's accuracy was plain horrendous.  Sullivan couldn't seem to make a big play when we needed it and mismanaged the play clock several times.  In order for this team to succeed, we need some production from the QB.

QB Grade: D

RB: Nance was the main RB for the Devils tonight, and he didn't take the opportunity for granted.  Dmitri carried the Devils for much of the game with explosive runs and several catches.  He scored the only offensive TD for the Devils, and showed that he can handle the majority of the carries for this team.

RB Grade: A-

OL: The offensive line provided Sullivan with some time to throw the ball for once.  The pass and run protection held up relatively well throughout the game, sans a few breakdowns on some of Nance's runs.  Compared to the OL's of the past few years, this one rose up to the occasion against a tough SEC defensive front.

OL Grade: B

WR/TE: The WR's had game changing drops.  A number 1 receiver (ahem...Kyle Williams) is expected to make the routine plays while also making some outstanding plays.  Williams did neither.  2 Huge drops in the 4th quarter took away first downs from the Sun Devils anemic offense and killed the momentum after a turnover.  With Sully's good passes being few and far between, we can't afford to drop the ball.  Knapp also had a drop, although we would've most likely been stopped short of the first.  Overall, I expect more from the WR's.

WR Grade: C-

Special Teams:  The special teams met expectations with their play. True frosh Bobby Wenzig connected on a 43-yd field goal attempt, but also got a low kick blocked with the game on the line.  Its unfair to expect Wenzig to play up to Weber's level, but with our offense we are going to need him to connect when called upon.  His leg looks very weak on kickoffs, leading to good UGA field position.

The return team played average.  Williams often looked tentative to return kicks, calling for fair catches before truly assessing whether he had room to run.  In a game like this, field position is key and we need Williams to make better decisions when returning kicks.

Special Teams Grade: C+

Defensive Line: The DL did well against the run, but got very little pressure on QB Joe Cox.  With no sacks, and very few hurries, it makes you wonder where Dexter Davis has gone.  The DE's need to step up and get some pressure on the opposing QB's.

DL Grade: B-

Linebackers: The LB's are the strongest part of this team.  Burfict, Munns, and Nixon all made big plays throughout the game.  Vontaze Burfict continues to show why he is the prize posession of Erickson's recruiting class.  Despite running through a misplaced referee, Burfict jumped over the line to stop UGA on a critical 4th-and-1.  He's a beast. The linebackers make their presence known all over the field and fought hard through the end of the game.

LB Grade: A

Secondary: The secondary played pretty well.  There are few WR's better than AJ Green, and despite his 153 yards, the coverage was usually pretty decent.  On Green's catch to set up the winning FG, Singfield was well positioned on the play.  Green made an NFL-caliber grab.  In wet conditions, the CB's and Safetys looked pretty good.

Secondary Grade: B

Overall the Devils played a good game and beat most people's expectations. Time to come back to the dry desert and prepare to take on the Beavers next Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.

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