Caulton Tudor

With an open date after Giants, Rivera is on the clock

Posted September 16, 2013

Ron Rivera, Panthers, C: The 24-23 loss Sunday at Buffalo was a lot like the 12-7 loss to Seattle in the Sept. 8 opener.

Late-game hustle mistakes turned both games – DeAngleo Williams’ red-zone fumble against the Seahawks and Luke Kuechly’s pass interference with 14 seconds left against the Bills.

But even with a depleted secondary, you just cannot lose track of the other team’s most dangerous receiver, Buffalo’s Steve Johnson, with the outcome in the balance inside the 5-yard-line.

A loss this week to the New York Giants (0-2) in Charlotte, and Rivera very well could be out during the open week that falls before the Oct. 6 trip to Arizona.

Previous grade: One D.

Ruffin McNeill, ECU, B: The Pirate offensive line was overwhelmed in Saturday’ 15-10 loss to Virginia Tech but the defense and special teams had their best performances of the McNeill era.

Both should be important steps in the right direction with approaching games at North Carolina (Sept. 28) and at Middle Tennessee (Oct. 5).

The Hokies’ pressure man pass coverage, coupled with the Pirates’ blocking breakdowns, exposed the flaws in the spread offense. ECU needed some sort of limited read-option package to buy time and space for quarterback Shane Carden.

That tactic is something for offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley to ponder, but there’s no reason to believe ECU will face a Hokie-like defense during the remaining nine regular-season games.

Previous grades: one C, one B.

David Cutcliffe, Duke, D: Without quarterback Anthony Boone, there was no reason to assume the Blue Devils could upset Georgia Tech on Saturday in Durham.

But for the Blue Devils to surrender four touchdown passes to such a run-based Jacket offense was deplorable and the primary contributor to the 38-14 Tech rout.

The loss of Boone changed the dynamic for the entire team. In order to win six games again, the defense is going to have to do more than originally expected. Not less.

Previous grades: one A, one B.

28 Comments

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  • VT1994Hokie Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Wake Forest will be lucky to win 5 games. Wake isn't in the Triangle. WRAL guys only keep up with these teams. WXII is your station.

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 16, 2013

    UNC and State will finally play a real team on Thursday and Saturday. ECU may be a surprise.

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    He's still waiting until State and UNC plays a real team. ECU will be a true test after State and UNC loses this week and weekend.

  • Chili Sep 16, 2013

    Hey Caulton. You're covering the debacles that are happening in Charlotte and Greenville, why not Winston-Salem? Cover Jim Grobe in your column.

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Heck yes they miss Logan. Ruffin is one of the ol Country boys that rose up and has done well. He played the game at ECU. Earned his keep at a few Universities too. He has recruited very well, and his team will win his division. Our FG kicker or licker missed 3 FG's and an extra point after our defense shut down Carden with 7 sacks, 11 tackles for a loss, and 3 Int's.

    I'll venture to bet you that ECU may surprise UNC and State too. What say you? Never underestimate anyone. They will challenge you. What do you think?

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Are you telling me and those that can read that a Head Coach doesn't have the time to over-rule an Offensive and Defensive Coord., during the game? Did you really write this one? I have often wondered why they have those head sets on their ears. Wonder why that is? Dang.

  • cjw6105 Sep 16, 2013

    The only thing better to me than the Panthers getting shut out is the Panthers losing by one point in the final second. So, losing by one point with 2 seconds left rates a close third.

    Please, please, please, Mr. Richardson- KEEP NEWTON! I just KNOW that somebody in that organization can make an NFL quarterback out of Newton; he just needs more time.

    As for ECU, they just gave their coach a 3-year extension. They might need, however, a little longer than that in order to make Ruffin McNeill a real Division One college coach. Do you Pirate fans miss Steve Logan yet?

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Yo. I'bet that you don't even know what I talked about in a prevent defense. Do you even know what this means? The cliche is that is only keeps you from winning....and the rest of your statement. I'm being gracious now. Look up a prevent defense. It's 9:37. Write back what you think a prevent defense means.

  • mittnfriends Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Wilson and Luck are undoubtedly god-sends. But, please consider reality; football is a team game and those two players are playing for better teams. Cam Newton is no Peyton Manning, but darn if he isn't putting up great numbers with the CAROLINA PANTHERS!

    Cam is the second player in NFL history with 7,500+ pass yards and 40+ pass TDs in first two seasons, Joining Peyton Manning.

    Carolina has issues to address and players that need trading, but Cam isn't one.

  • kheffn Sep 16, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I can't disagree except that you don't have time to overrule offensive and defensive coordinator calls during a game. The cliche is that the only thing a prevent defense does is prevent you from winning. Just as there are team wins ... this was a team loss. Lots of blame to go around. That means it's on the coach. He's over his head and needs to go.

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