This group is without question the toughest to grade to this point. Outside of the quarterback position, this group would ultimately have to grow up quick with defenses working to eliminate Christian Kirk from the game plan.
Coming into 2017, the staff had to replace Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones, Speedy Noil and Jeremy Tabuyo. Going into the UCLA game, the players to watch were Jhamon Ausbon, Roshauud Paul, Kendrick Rogers, Hezekiah Jones and Clyde Chriss (all freshman).
Other questions that came up included, would Damion Ratley grow up? Would the tight end position be utilized? So far Ratley has delivered, he’s averaging 25 yards per catch, maybe it’s time to get him the ball a little bit more.
As for the tight end position, it’s still a mystery to all of us. Tanner Schorp and Aaron Hansford (not sure he’s a tight end) have combined for just six catches. If we’re going to continue to run plays with a tight end in the game, it’s time to actually utilize the position instead of playing with basically an extra offensive lineman in there.
Looking back after seven games the passing offense has done just enough to keep the defenses honest. We’ve completed less than 10 passes twice and only completed 20 or more twice. The games with 20 or more completions both came against non-conference opponents. I’m not sure where these offensive units will go but at some point they will need to take over a game and win it. That means making more plays in the passing game to help a young quarterback out. We also need Kirk to have a better second half and be that preseason all-American.
Second half notes
Get Kirk, Ausbon and Ratley the ball. Give Mond plays where he has one or two reads and the ball is gone. 15-20 completions to the receivers per game is a great target.