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Grading the Cats: Central Michigan University


Arizona put the hurt on Central  Michigan this past weekend, winning 19-6 and ran out the clock at CMU's 1 yard line as time expired. (Thanks a lot for this Dykes. I had -13.5).  The Cats have plenty to work on and hopefully can fine tune their needs this week against NAU.  Let's dive into some grades for the Cats.  I have ordered the All Access pass from Comcast to watch all of the Arizona games this year from my home in Austin, Texas and guess what? They're having difficulties with the Arizona game. Surprise, surprise.  Hopefully, next week will be a better week in terms of me getting to have more in depth analysis.





Quarterback: Matt Scott. 19 of 32 for 202 yards and 84 yards rushing. He did throw an interception, but as I said earlier, it was a great play by the DB and not really too bad of a pass by Scott.  I thought Scott did an excellent job of not forcing too many balls.  His change in velocity on outside throws versus his touch passes to Simmons was incredible.  It shows that he really does have a feel for his receivers and how they catch the ball.  Scott's explosiveness is incredible and will be a nightmare for any defensive coordinators this year. GRADE: B+


Running Backs: What can you say about Grigsby? He rushed for 118 yards on 23 carries and was a workhorse all day long. He had 1 TD on the night.  Grigsby rushed for over 100 yards for the 9th time in 21 career starts. Keola Antolin had 37 yards on 10 carries (not too shabby 3.7 ypc) and was just what the Cats needed at times to give Grigsby a breather and add a quicker back to the set.  I was disappointed that we didn't get to see Greg Nwoko on the goal line.  Although Grigsby plowed it home, it's always nice having a guy who can get it done every time and is almost a specialty at short yardage. See Texas: Cody JohnsonGRADE: B+

Offensive LIne: The offensive line looked tremendous on Saturday.  Adam Grant absolutely pummeled whoever lined up against him and kept pesky rushers at bay all night.  He also puked three times on the field.  Almost as cool as Riley Dodge in the Texas State High School Championship game:

The line created huge holes for Grigsby, Antolin, and plenty of time for Scott to drop back and look down-field without the impending footsteps of defensive linemen. 246 rushing yards on 46 attempts gives you a nice juicy average of 5.1 ypc.  I'll take that any day.  Keep up the good work OL and stay healthy against NAU. GRADE: A-

Receivers: I want to give a special shout out to A.J. Simmons for the Cats.  He doesn't get much love with so many Rob Gronkowski lovers out there, but he sure did look awesome on Saturday.  He caught 2 passes for 28 yards and blocked like a champ.  Terrell Turner led the Cats with 55 yards on 6 catches.  Juron Criner had 54 yards on 4 catches.  What's missing from these great offensive stats? You know it. No big plays.  The longest reception of the game for the Cats was 25 yards to Criner.  Let's hope Mike Thomas' replacement steps up next game and gives a big one. GRADE: B

Defensive Line: The Defensive was able to get pressure on Lefevour and create confusion for him all game.  Ricky Elmore came away with his first sack of the year, had a tackle for loss, and had 5 total tackles for the game.  Donald Horton had 2 tackles and a sack as well.  Overall the D-Line was able to rotate in guys and keep fresh throughout the game.  NAU should be another great game for this unit. GRADE: B+

Linebackers: Wow.  What a game for Vuna Tuihalamake.  He had 10 tackles and his first career interception on Saturday.  The guy was absolutely flying to the ball.   Xavier Kelly had 4 tackles on the night and looked fast tracking down CMU players. I was most impressed with the linebackers dropping in coverage and squeezing down Lefevour's passing lanes.  That comes from a unit that is playing together at all times and was impressive to see.  Freshman Jake Fischer saw the field and was able to rack up 2 tackles on the night as well. GRADE: B

Secondary: Best crew of the night. Any time you play a guy like Lefevour, defensive coaches expect yards to be piled up on them.  The key word becomes contain, not stop.  Well, not on Saturday night.  The Cats limited Lefevour to 108 yards on 10-18 passing and sacked him twice.  I'm not really sure what our secondary was doing all night to confuse him but it sure worked. Devin Ross had 5 tackles on the night and one pass break-up. Cam Nelson contributed with 4 tackles as well.  NAU will be another warm-up for this crew on Saturday.  Let's hope they stay healthy. GRADE: A-

Special Teams: Great night for Arizona's special teams.  The kickoff and punt coverages looked great while our returns were limited to 2 on kickoffs only.  Their punt coverage was great, not allowing Bug to go even make an attempt at returning one.  Keoli had 2 returns on kickoffs for 64 yards on the night. Alex Zendejas' troubles from August must be long behind him because he sure did come out playing hard on Saturday night.  He connected on 4-5 field goals hitting from 36, 37, 37, 35 and missing from 43.   Zendejas became the 5th Wildcat in history to connnect on 4 field goals in a game and it's great to know that we have a guy who can knock them down time after time. GRADE: B+

NAU previews coming soon.