Coaching performances barely above average in Week 2
Posted September 9, 2013
The weekend coaching grades are posted, and here’s what we find:
Dave Doeren (NCSU), C: While it’s somewhat understandable that the Wolfpack’s offense struggled at times against Richmond in a nerve-numbing 23-21 escape Saturday, the bigger concern has to be the pass defense against an FCS offense that should have been outmanned.
On the upside, placekicker Nik Sade obviously isn’t going to wilt under pressure, and the offense has an extra week to get comfortable with quarterbacks Pete Thomas and Bryant Shirreffs before facing Clemson on Sept. 19.
Previous grade: B (40-14 win over Louisiana Tech).
Larry Fedora (UNC), B: The Tar Heels caught a pivotal break when an apparent Middle Tennessee touchdown on the game’s first possession was overturned after video replay and eventually resulted in an end-zone interception by Tre Boston en route to a 40-20 Carolina win.
But overall, the defense has been barely average through two games (with Georgia Tech up next Sept. 21), and the ground game has sputtered at times. Freshman running back T.J. Logan may provide a lift at some point.
Previous grade: D (loss at South Carolina).
Ruffin McNeill (ECU), B: The Pirate defense had one of its top performances in recent history in the 31-13 win over Florida Atlantic on Thursday.
Running back Vintavious Cooper’s 95 rushing yards were another bright spot, but the ground game will need to be better this Saturday against Virginia Tech at noon in Greenville.
Previous grade: C (win over Old Dominion).
David Cutcliffe (Duke), B: There were some breakdowns in the first half and the loss of starting quarterback Anthony Boone (broken collarbone) was an emotional jolt early in the 28-14 win at Memphis.
But Cutcliffe had reliever Brandon Connette up to speed and the Blue Devil defense was durable for the second straight week.
Previous grade: A (win over N.C. Central).
Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers), D: Even with the Seattle Seahawks forking over a whopping 109 penalty yards, the Panthers’ offense was perfectly awful in the 12-7 NFL season-opening loss Sunday in Charlotte. It’s difficult to believe that with Cam Newton’s big arm, Steve Smith’s sure hands and Ted Ginn’s speed, the Panthers can’t generate a vertical passing attack.