September 2, 2007
The grades are in - ASU report card
A - All-American level
B - All-Conference level
C - Solid
D - Below average
F - Complete failure
If there was one player on the team that I felt like would come out and play at an elite level, it was certainly Colt McCoy and during the first quarter, he looked like a Heisman Trophy front-runner. However, an unexpected twist occurred as soon as he threw his first incompletion, as he became very average, very quickly. Overall, McCoy completed 22 of 33 passes (66.7%) for 223 yards and two touchdowns, along with two interceptions. From the second quarter on, it seemed like every other pass was nearly intercepted and his accuracy was far below anything anyone in the program has seen this entire off-season. The weight of the entire team is going to rest on his shoulders for much of the season, which is why last night was so disconcerting. After last season's historic freshman season, things are different for the former Jim Ned star. He's no longer a freshman that gets a free pass when he doesn't play well. Expectations are sky high and he didn't come close to meeting those in the final three quarters of action. When it was all said and done, he was the second best quarterback on the field on Saturday night.
The running game has some very real issues after the first game that have to be addressed, but few of them concern Jamaal Charles. The junior running back played as hard as I've seen him play in a Texas uniform in quite some time. On a night when most expected him to be out of his uniform by the end of the third quarter, Charles handed the ball 27 times and every single one of those carries was needed in order for the Longhorns to get the win. Although Charles had a hard time finding creases to run through, he ran hard and finished runs against Arkansas State. His 4.1 average per carry last night is disappointing, but when your offensive line can't get a push at the point of attack, it can be hard on a runner. Of all the things to come out of the game, the play of Charles was one of the few things the Longhorns can feel good about. The one thing that must change is the lack of big plays. When you are the fastest guy on the team and one of the fastest in the nation, and you can't break a 20-yard run with more than two dozen attempts, something has to give. It was nice to see get in the end zone, but the blocking from the fullbacks wasn't very strong.
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