McNeill, Pirates lone weekend highlight
Posted October 7, 2013
Dave Doeren, N.C. State, D: The Wolfpack should be a significantly better team upon quarterback Brandon Mitchell’s return but heck, Wake Forest gave up 21 points to Louisiana-Monroe.
The Wolfpack’s offense in Saturday’s 28-13 loss in Winston-Salem was depressingly inept at times in the second half and Wake receiver Michael Campanaro had a virtual hall pass through the State secondary.
Maybe it was just a case of bus lag from the first road trip of the season, but the performance was the first glaring misstep of the Doeren era.
Previous grades: Three Bs, one C.
Larry Fedora, UNC, D: The Tar Heels obviously missed quarterback Bryn Renner’s arm in the 27-17 loss Saturday at Virginia Tech, but the pass defense quickly went AWOL yet again.
Offensive coordinator Blake Anderson didn’t seem have a comfortable feel for reserve QB Marquise Williams’ skill set. Reverses, double reverses and east-west running plays were seemingly thrown at random at the Hokie defensive map.
The intensity level improved from the previous game against ECU and freshman T.J. Logan will help the rushing attack. But on balance, the Tar Heels (1-4, 0-2 ACC) are beginning to drift aimlessly.
If Renner isn’t ready go play against Miami on Oct. 17, Fedora may need to start working younger quarterbacks into the mix. Williams had some positive moments, but not enough to keep everyone else out off the list of possibilities.
Previous grades: One B, one C, two Ds.
Ruffin McNeill, ECU, B: The Pirate defense struggled a few times in a 24-17 win at Middle Tennessee, but the offense was solid again even after running star Vintavious Cooper was knocked out of action.
The developmental job McNeill and his staff have done with former walk-on receiver Justin Hardy (5-11, 185, West Craven) is worthy of national attention.
One NFL scout sized Hardy up as a “Poor Man’s Sammy Watkins (Clemson).” If so that’s one rich neighborhood.
Previous grades: One A, two Bs, one C.
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers, F/X: Viewer discretion warning! Viewer discretion warning!
No one under the age of Steve Beuerlein should have been allowed to watch the hideous Panther offense in Sunday’s 22-6 loss at Arizona.
That game – the Cardinal offense was almost as ugly – is Exhibit-A in the case that the NFL’s popularity is bullet proof.
Previous grades: One A, one C, one D.