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FIRST QUARTER GRADES: Linebackers

GRADE: A-

STATS (best viewed in "wide" format; link on left side of page):

Tackles

Sacks

Pass Defense

Fumbles

Blkd

DEFENSIVE LEADERS

GP

Solo

Ast

Total

TFL-Yds

No-Yds

Int-Yds

BU

PD

Qbh

Rcv-Yds

FF

Kick

Saf

46

Louis Bland

3

12

7

19

2.0

- 4

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

51

Jason Stripling

3

11

5

16

1.0

- 2

.

.

.

.

1

1

- 8

.

.

.

43

Alex Hoffman-Ellis

3

9

6

15

2.0

- 4

.

1

- 52

1

2

.

.

1

.

.

45

Andy Mattingly

3

12

2

14

1.0

- 1

.

.

1

1

.

.

.

.

.

13

Myron Beck

3

8

2

10

.

.

1

- 67

1

2

.

.

.

.

.

44

Mike Ledgerwood

3

1

1

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

COMMENTS: I had to give these guys a solid grade, because without them, we would most assuredly be 0-3. Even with out the spectacular interception returns from Hyphen and Beck (sounds like a good cop show from the 70s) this unit has been the most steady of any on the defensive side. Every guy that has had significant playing time has made an impact, and the backups have really stepped up when the starters left due to injury.

Louis Bland was an absolute beast in the opener against Stanford, but has been limited due to injury since. Amazingly, he still leads this group in tackles. Alex Hoffman-Ellis has proved why he was number one on the depth chart for much of fall camp. He was the player of the game against Hawaii and has shown the ability to disrupt passing lanes. Andy Mattingly has been happy to return to his natural position, showing off his talent in the opener when chasing down Andrew Luck on a fourth and goal. When healthy, he can make noise in the pass rush. Jason Stripling has been solid in his first significant playing time. Myron Beck hasn't played as much as the other guys, but will definitely be on my top ten plays of the year list with his 67 yard interception return against SMU.

HOW THIS GRADE CAN BE IMPROVED: The defensive line has really struggled and the linebackers will have to play even better to compensate for that. More sacks and quarterback pressures out of blitz packages are a must. They are the most talented and deep unit on the defense and we will need to see even more big plays out of these guys the rest of the year if we want to upset a Pac 10 team.