Friday, September 17, 2010

What to Look for this Weekend

1. First time. This weekend will mark the first time all year that the entire first unit of the offensive line will be playing together. Last week Xavier Nixon lined up a couple of times as an in-line TE, but this week he will move back to LT. The offensive line this week (and hopefully the rest of the year) will look like this left to right

Nixon Johnson Pouncey Hurt Gilbert

It is my belief that after a couple of series you will see this unit take over the game. Tennessee is very thin up front and I imagine we will try to wear them down with the best unit on our offense.

2. Replacing Rainey. At this week's Thursday press conference, Coach Meyer stated that Omarius Hines would replace Rainey as the #1 at the Slot position. A lot of people, including myself, were hoping that Andre Debose would get the call at this spot. Debose was recruited to play the "Percy position" and it appeared that it was his for the taking. Of course on Friday, Meyer stated that Debose was an outside guy and he was going to stay there - behind Deonte "Hands of Stone" Thompson. With Hines in the slot, it should be interesting to see the overall effect on the offense. Do we become more conservative with one less "playmaker" on the field? Will the addition of Jordan Reed at 1st team TE mean the defense now has even more difficulties with matchups? Personally, I think this year's offense is reminiscent of 2006 - score enough to win.

3. Big v. Big. Maybe it was the disappointment of the actions of our own Nuke Laloosh, but Meyer was unusually candid this week. He stated that when our opponents have a bigger back, we will go bigger on defense. This week provides an excellent test for us stopping the run. Tennessee wants to run the ball right at us, between the tackles. If we can stop it this week against Tennessee, Alabama might not throw the ball at all on October 2nd. Pressure is own our DTs and LBs this week. If we can stop the run and make Tennessee have to throw the ball, we will significantly add to our INT totals because while Simms has a big arm, he tends to float the ball.

4. Kicking Game. On Thursday last week, I received a text that Caleb Sturgis probably wasn't going to play b/c of a strained back injured while working out. Of course Sturgis played last week, but it doesn't change the fact that he still isn't completely healthy. Derek Dooley refers to the area between the 30 yard line and the 45 yard line as the "gray zone". He says that it is that area where you can either go for it, kick a field or punt and it gives him gray hair. If we go for it or punt in the gray zone more than kick field goals, Sturgis's back still isn't healthy and we better hope this doesn't come down to us making a field goal at the end of the game.

5. If you are attending the game in Knoxville and get tired of the (352) shirts, you can take heart in the fact that the NCAA is currently investigating Tennessee's Football, Basketball and Baseball programs for major violations.

6. Pick 6. Last week I redeemed myself by going 5-1. Anyone else think Oklahoma would have scored 75 if little brother wasn't the DC?

Florida beats Tennessee by 17. I think it will be close at halftime and our depth on both sides of the line will wear them down.

Arkansas gives Georgia a 2nd SEC loss. This is a must win for Georgia and I don't see how they do it. This should be a statement game for Ryan Mallett.

Texas beats Texas Tech in a close one. This morning I was listening to an Austin sportswriter talk about the game. He stated that Texas is 0-3 in its last 3 games to Lubbock and that Lubbock is one of those places where anything can happen. I think Tubberville will give Mack Brown (the most overrated coach in America) a run for his money this year, but the talent disparity will be too much in the end.

Iowa thumps Arizona in Tuscon. Iowa has a really good defense, above average running game and a veteran QB - all things you need when you play a good team on the road. Arizona on the other hand has Nick Folk at QB. Whenever I watch Arizona play I always end up asking myself at least a couple of times during the game, why did Folk do that?

Auburn beats Clemson by 7. Can you imagine if the Gators hadn't kicked Cam Newton out of school for stealing a laptop? A Newton Brantley 1-2 punch would be a sight to behold. Damn Urban Meyer and his blasted disclipining! Clemson is an under-performing team for the past 5 years (hello 8-4) and this year should be no different. Expect to see Michael Dyer take over at TB for Auburn this weekend.

Expect LSU to squeak out a close win against Miss St. I think this will be low scoring too. This week should be the last week that Jarrett Lee doesn't start at QB for the Tigers. Jefferson, while a big talent, is too inconsistent to be QB at a big time school and after a season and a half Les Miles will figure that out.


Jams said...

Come on, what kind of SEC blogger can't spell "Tuberville" right?

And clearly you haven't watched Arizona play very much; their starting QB is Nick Foles, not Folk.

Regardless, I liked the excellent analysis of the Gators.

Scully said...

Sorry didn't spell check before posting

Anonymous said...

Tough crowd