While we are all complaining about the offensive problems we had last week, lets give some cred to the defense. I thought with the loss of Ba Ba Booey (Gus Mus) we would give up a ton of rushing yardage. I was wrong. Malecki, Duhart, Duncan, McKillop and Mick Williams all showed up big time. They were able to get pressure on the qb despite Rhoads refusal to blitz. Even with out the top dlineman in the game, the running game was snuffed out. When is the last time you could say that Pitt's front four was a solid unit that impacted the game in a positive way? Kudos to all of you keep up the great work.
The linebackers, while still young and green played a solid game too. Everyone is complaining about Dorin messing up one arm tackle, but he also played a good game. He was rarely out of position and covered his assignments well. Dell and McKillop played well also. Heading into the this season we all knew that Qb and LB would be our two biggest question mark areas. After 3 games though, I think that our linebackers are all starting to ease our fears a bit. I'm just wondering is this whole improvement to the defense a credit to Paul Rhoads? He did take over coaching the linebackers, so there has to be some impact. Maybe P.R. just needed some quality defensive players under Wanny to do what he told us he planned on doing.
The Cb's and Safeties did not have their greatest game, but they were far from horrible. We are all spoiled with having Revis, Torrie Cox, Shauntae Spencer, and the other recent defensive backfield greats over the last few seasons, but the new guys aren't playing too bad. Ricky Gary, despite having some criticism from us at Cat Basket has really played great, yes I said it, he has played great. Kennard is playing exactly like we expected him too. I'm not sure how much Aaron Berry's injury is hampering him but once he gets to 100% I believe he will step it up and over come some of the early mistakes.
Thatcher and Phillips are solid at the positions. It hurts not having Elijah Fields back there but it is not a huge drop off in talent. Phillips should have had an int last game, but if he was so good at catching the ball he would be a WR instead of safety. Thatcher is still one of the biggest hitters on the team and I'm glad I will never be asked to go over the middle against him.
Overall, a great job thus far by everyone on the defensive unit. I hope we are able to carry this through the rest of the season, and I hope D.J. Hernandez has to catch a ball over the middle while being shadowed by Thatcher.