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Buffalo Postgame - Grading the Defense

So we took a look at the offense from the Buffalo game. Let's take a look at how the defense did.

Defensive Line

Another superb job by the D-Line. They effectively stopped the run holding the Bulls to just 56 yards rushing. Odrick and Ogbu were getting good penetration all day combining for 3 TFL. Ogbu got a sack. The ends played well too as Evans and Hayes got to the quarterback.

They did let up late in the game after the first string was pulled. Obviously the younger guys in reserve have a lot of work to do.

Grade: 8 out of 10

Linebackers

Sean Lee and Dan Connor completely dominated the first half. It seemed like one or both of them were making the stop on every play. They both finished with 12 tackles. Tyrell Sales even pitched in with five tackles and a TFL.

Watching Dan Connor is like watching a clinic in playing linebacker. The guy is amazing in how he sheds blockers and weaves through traffic to get to the ball.

Grade: 10 out of 10

mmmm...Buffalo sandwich

Defensive Backs

I was a little disappointed with the secondary this week. Buffalo challenged Justin King several times and they were having success. Perhaps this was a good wakeup call for King. Going week after week without having the ball thrown your way can make you complacent. He seemed to be a bit slow in looking back for the ball on the plays he got beat. Maybe he needed this to refocus himself.

I thought Lydell Sargeant played a good game. He made some really good tackles on some short yardage plays. Anthony Scirrotto showed he still has a nose for the ball. He recovered a fumble that was caused by Tony Davis and picked off a pass as I predicted last week.

Thanks for making BSD look good!

Tony Davis didn't play most of the second half. Paterno said after the game he didn't know if he was injured or not. Safety depth was one of my biggest fears going into the season after Ridenhour transferred and Travis McBride was suspended. Mark Rubin filled in admirably, but it was obvious that Buffalo was testing him and having success.

Overall an ok game, but they were sloppy at times and got loose in the fourth quarter. The turnovers were nice, but when you give up 330 yards passing to Buffalo you're not getting a good score from me.

Grade: 6 out of 10

Special Teams

Kelly is still hit or miss on field goals. He was 1-for-2 missing a 46 yarder. In fairness, the wind was swirling in the stadium, but I'm getting tired of making excuses for him. Good kickers compensate for the wind. No complaints about his kickoffs though as he routinely put them several yards deep into the endzone.

Jeremy Boone continues to develop into a big-time punter averaging 44 yards per kick on Saturday.

The return games once again did very well. Derrick Williams and A.J. Wallace each had one long return.

Defensive Coaching

Great game plan in the first half as Buffalo had trouble doing anything on offense. The blitzing package is a thing of beauty as Connor and Lee are having no trouble getting to the quarterback. They got a little conservative in the second half by relaxing the pressure and sitting back in zone. Buffalo rightfully tore them apart for it scoring 21 points in the final 12 minutes.  Many of those points came with reserve players on the field. While it may hurt the perception of the defense down the road, you can't blame the coaches for it. If Dan Connor took a cut block on the blitz and tore up his knee late in the fourth quarter we would be crucifying the coaches for it. Down the road there are bigger fish to fry than shutting out Buffalo when the game was in hand.

Grade: 9 out of 10