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Pregame Objectives Revisited

As I did last week, I outlined some key aspects of the game and particular units that needed to excel against the Bruins in the Open Thread. Now, let's respond on those items. Your comments are welcome n the "comments" section below. If you are not a member of BuildingTheDam yet, get a username here. It really is a 30 second process.

Now, the rundown:

The Secondary: Al Afalava and Co. got torn up a little bit last week, so we'll see how they respond. No doubt they've been working on avoiding the big plays in practice this week.
The secondary did a great job shutting down the Bruins for most of the game, with the exception a screen pass Brandon Breazell broke for 69 yards and a Bruin touchdown in the fourth quarter. From there, the team disintegrated in every way possible.

But how can you point your finger at the defense.

The offense couldn't put a drive together after the first quarter. During the second half, I felt we had a better chance to intercept a pass and run it for a touchdown than we did to score one on offense. Which is really sad, if you ask me. The defense brought their A game today, and the offense did not. When you ask a defense to win a game with little help from the offense, you are not going to be successful.

I've always thought that in order to have a shot to win a game, you have to win two thirds. We won on defense, but then lost the game on offense and special teams. The goal is obviously to win all three thirds, the whole game, but we can't continue to rely on our defense.

Sean Canfield: A no brainer. Sean won't have Sammie to throw to today, but we've still got talent in Anthony Brown, Darrell Catchings, James Rogers, and the others. He needs to limit his interceptions. The goal should be 0, but I think we could allow 2 or maybe 3 and still come out with a win. Maybe.
I really don't know what perspective to take on Sean at this point. Looking back at the game in retrospect, I don't know if it was the conservative play calling that put us in trouble. or the fact that we just couldn't move the ball for the last three quarters. Obviously, the conservative play calling is due to the tenancy for Sean Canfield to throw the ball to opposing players, but still, we only tried to go downfield two or three times.

So here is my take on Sean. He's going to be a great quarterback. He has all the talent, he's just not there yet. Don't believe me? Look at guys like Derek Anderson and Matt Moore. What were you thinking after their first handful of games?

Sean is a sophomore. He has two more seasons here after this one ends. That's two more off-seasons to improve, and two more seasons to mature as a football player and in the eyes of the fans.

Right now, Beaver Nation needs to cut the kid some slack. We know that booing him off the field isn't going to make matters any worse. Let's put this issue aside for now.

Special Teams: I've been hearing all this stuff this week about how we're last in the Pac-10 in Special Teams, and 113 in the nation, or something to that affect. Let's take a kick back today, and how about no shanks from Serna?

If it's not one thing, it's another. Serna avoided the shanks last night, but averaged 28.9 per punt. And when you give the Bruin offense excellent starting field position all night long, they are always knocking on the door. Of UCLA's 7 scoring drives, 5 of them started in Beaver territory. In the entire second half, the Beavers never pinned the Bruins inside their own 25 yard line.

Which brings us back to Special Teams. While it's not all Serna's fault, I really think we need a punter. We all love Serna to death, and I think he's a great kid, but the punting thing just isn't working out for him. Not only is it not working out for him, I have a feeling it's affecting his kicking game as well. We're not seeing the same Serna kicking field goals that we've seen in years prior.

Do we have anyone else on the roster that can punt? It's not that difficult of a job, we just need one guy that can consistantly hit a hanging spiral. Heck, maybe we need to recruit the goalie for the soccer team. I just don't think it's Serna's gig.


Comments welcome below.