Good observations. I'll add a few more.
Tanner Marsh had a good game, Chip Cox was his usual superman self, Duron Carter was targeted early which told me he had a good week of practice, and it was good to see Josh Bourke back in the lineup. However, my unsung hero was Moton Hopkins. He met Curtis Steele three times in the backfield and showed flashes of his pre-injury form. If he can solidify a glaring weakness (DT), it will quietly take pressure off Noel Thorpe as he will not constantly have to bring heat up the A gap via a blitzing Shea Emry. That would result in have him drop more often in coverage and leaving the defense less exposed to underneath crossing routes.
I'm a fan of Pierre Vercheval as an announcer but he kept repeating the same soliloquies about Jerome Messam's upright running style throughout the game. We know it's there, it's glaring to everyone, has been mentioned on this very forum, and yes it makes him susceptible to leg injuries but he is still a non-import load of beef that is difficult to bring down. As soon as Messam started imposing his will on the last drive, Vercheval changed his tune and started praising him.
There was a thread about the FLY offence last week. It was used once this game with 2:39 left and it worked. Arland Bruce III lined up as the z-back and gained four yards out of the FLY formation. More importantly it was a first down and kept the last drive alive. If we can sprinkle the concept once or twice a game and add a little bit of spread formations (which Marsh ran at AK Tech), it will make our offense that much more dangerous.
Anyone remember Marcus Ball looking down at AC after demolishing him the last time we played Toronto? It was sad to see. They smacked us in the mouth. With reason, they have some hard hitters in Robert McCune,Tristan Black, Marcus Ball and some big boys in Chris Van Zeyl, Khalif Mitchell and Tony Washington. Well tonight, we took their punches and hit back. We had a little more swagger and that starts with the QB.
Marsh took hits and bounced back up. He stood up to Ball a few times, not afraid to jaw back. I also remember Lavoie and Whitaker went toe to toe after the whistle with Ball on a particular play after he had hit Marsh a little late. In the trenches, Brodeur-Jourdain manhandled Mitchell a few times. Not sure who it was but Hopkins swatted an o-lineman like a fly on the Collaros fumble and Emry return for the TD. Edem was much more disciplined yet remained the explosive tackler we have gotten to know. Both Parkers are above average tacklers and strong against the run.
All in all, this was probably our most complete game of the season as all three phases (O, D, ST) came together. :rockin: