6 Games behind us and the Bears are sitting at 5-1. Who would have thought we would be 5-1 at this point in the season...um, besides this guy? If you need a refresher of the preseason prediction article, here ya go: BNT’s Bold Preseason Prediction. Even though I had our 1 loss half way through the season to OSU, I still think that was a very winnable game and look forward to meeting them again in the Big 12 Championship. This time with a very different outcome. I’ll stick with the predictions for the rest of the season, although we might have an upset loss on the road and I’m thinking the OU game at home is a game we can win. Now on to the grades:
Overall Offense - B+
While we had a couple of hiccups (2nd half vs ISU and the OSU games), we’ve been efficient with the ball both rushing and passing. We are currently 26th in the FBS averaging 461 yds per game, while being very balanced racking up 233 yds passing and 227 yds rushing per game and averaging 38 pts per game. I expect the rushing numbers to hold as we’ve proven that we can move the ball against stout defensive fronts. I also expect our passing numbers to increase as GB continues to gain confidence.
Quarterback - B +
Gerry has shown his mettle and ability to manage the offense, while keeping the mental mistakes to a bare minimum. We all knew he had the wheels to pick up yds rushing, but I have been pleasantly surprised by his arm strength and accuracy. Trust me that all the Defensive Coordinators in the conference are taking note of this as well. Add his leadership and our QB 1 has the ability to end the season with an A or A- grade.
Running Backs - B
While Ebner and Smith might not be the most natural running backs in the Big 12, they are a perfect fit for our Wide Zone offense. Thunder and Lightning give us 2 nice changes of pace and have shown the ability to pick up yardage when needed. Taye McWilliams is more than adequate to rest Thunder and Lightning, and we haven’t even seen Sqwirl at full strength yet. The ceiling is high for our running back tandem this season and at any time one or the other can burn a defense.
Receivers - B
We are just starting to see the speed and athleticism of our receivers as Grimes is letting GB air out the ball more. Thorton is All Conference caliber and Sneed is Sneed (which is a good thing). Estrada has been stepping up and I think we haven’t seen the best of him yet. Sims is tied for the all time TD record for a TE and he's just a sophomore. I could go on and on as we have a lot of weapon receiving the ball and a QB that can get it to them.
Offensive Line - A -
If I would have told you that our O Line would be leading our rushing attack to 227 yds per game (16th in the FBS) and averaging 6 yds per carry (6th in the FBS) midway through this season, you probably wouldn’t have remotely believed it and for good reason. It was our most glaring weakness and area that needed improvement going into the season. Yet, here we are. The line play has to be one of the most impressive turn arounds and stories in CFB this season. Grimes and Mateos deserve a mid season bonus.
The offense excites me as I think we will just continue to get better on that side of the ball. Remember, this is the first year of implementing the system and we are going to be a major force once it becomes natural to us.
Your grades? Thoughts?