Friday, September 10, 2010

What to watch for Saturday

1. A second look. Mike Pouncey defied logic last week and didn’t look for Brantley a second time before his shotgun snaps. While this might not sound like a big deal, it is definitely not the norm, with most centers stating a second look ensures you know exactly where the QB is before the snap. Brantley and Pouncey worked extensively this week to fix the problems that led to 13 bad snaps and most of the 8 fumbles last week, Saturday we get to see if they figured it out.

2. Healthy returns. Xavier Nixon and Sam Robey have been cleared to play, but will they? Without Nixon in the lineup, 3 of the remaining 4 lineman play out of position and against Miami (OH) line play was suspect at best. This week Carl Johnson returns to LG and Nixon could return to LT. While Nixon has been cleared to play it is possible that Addazio will see if the return of Johnson shores up the problems along the line, allowing Nixon an extra week to heal before the Tennessee game. My head tells me that it would be smart for Nixon to play before Tennessee, but my gut tells me the staff will hold him out for one more week. My guess is the line looks like this from left to right:

Gilbert, Johnson, Pouncey, Halapio, Hurt

I sure hope Halapio handles being in the starting lineup for a week better than he did knowing for all of 18 hours. The possibility exists that Robey plays some at center, allowing Pouncey to return to his natural RG position. Line play will be the key to the offense just as it is every week.

3. Play calling. Last week, the offense was consistently in 3rd and long because of missed assignments, which hampered Addazio. In addition the play calling was vanilla at best. Will Addazio open up the playbook this week? I think the return of Stephen Alli, Andre Debose, Frankie Hammond and Jordan Reed will ensure that the play book is opened up this week, but not as much as the fans want. I think we will see some jet sweeps with Debose, some deep routes with Alli and I think Rainey will have a big week. Don’t be surprised if Debose plays more than Carl Moore, given the fact that Debose is bigger threat to go the distance everytime he touches the ball.

4. BJ Daniels. Daniels might be the most athletic QB the defense faces all season. Due to the score, our first team defense didn’t get to rest as much as they should have against a team the caliber of Miami (OH). Obviously containment is the biggest job for the DEs, they have to stay in their lanes when rushing up-field and not lose containment on the edge. I think this week the pressure is on the linebackers, specifically Jelani Jenkins and Jon Bostic. Something to keep in mind is the health of Terron Sanders. With Sanders back in the lineup, the possibility for the defense going to a 3-4 comes back into the equation.

5. Pick 6. Last week, I struggled at 2-5. This week’s games are much more interesting

I like Ohio State to beat Miami by 10 points. Cameron Heyward should have a big game.

I like FSU to cover on the road in Norman, but OU will get the win. I also like the over.

Penn St. will be lucky to score more than 10 points this week in T-town. Alabama covers a big number.

I like South Carolina against Georgia. Spurrier gets a big jump on the SEC East.

I like Michigan to cover against Notre Dame. Denard Robinson is a player and Notre Dame doesn’t play defense.

Oregon will overwhelm Tennessee after struggling early.

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