Friday, November 12, 2010

What to Watch For This Weekend

1. Recruits, recruits and more recruits. Early in the year Tallahassee was the in place be, especially after picking up the pledge of top 10 overall recruit James Wilder, Jr. Well now the Seminoles are imploding like only the Seminoles can(wide right again?) and the shine has long been off the program in Coral Gables, so the recruits are flocking once again to Gainesville. Here is an abbreviated list of the recruits scheduled to be in attendance Saturday night:

Sammy Watkins - 5 star WR Fort Myers, FL

George Farmer - 5 star WR Gardena, CA

Aaron Lynch - 5 star DL Cape Coral, FL - former ND commit

Jeff Driskel - 5 star QB Oviedo, FL - committed to Florida

Marqise Lee - 4 star S Gardena, CA

Jason Gibson - 4 star OLB/DE Gardena, CA

Jordan Prestwood - 4 star OL Plant City - former ND commit

Junior Pome'e - 4 star TE Moreno Valley, CA - teammate of Ronald Powell

Jerrell Adams - 4 star DE/TE Summerton, SC

There are 20-25 more scheduled attendees and they read like a who's who of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 prospects.

2. More Reed less Burton. Coming off last weekend's performance against the vaunted Vandy defense, Jordan Reed has earned more snaps at QB. Expect to see Reed line up as QB for about 30 snaps against the Gamecocks. He provides for a much more difficult matchup for defenses - you know given the fact that he can actually throw the ball, which is a skill Trey Burton hasn't completely mastered yet. In addtion, Burton gives us a "big back" for the power running game.

3. Rainey, Gillislee and a little Demps. Jeff Demps is not 100%, but he is healthy enough to be a factor in this game. I would imagine we will continue to see Rainey get a ton of touches both in the backfield and as a receiver. Gillislee will continue to be the red zone back. Given the lack of depth on the South Carolina defense we might not see Demps until the 2nd half, after the Gamecocks have had to deal with a up-tempo offense for a little while.

4. Deonte starts Hammond plays more. Senior Deonte Thompson will continue to receive the recognition as the starting WR, however Frankie Hammond has earned the right to play more snaps and he will. I also think we will see a ton of Andre Debose this Saturday.

5. How will we stop the blitz? While Ellis Johnson isn't known to be a blitz on every down type of coach, I would expect to see a wide variety of blitzes from the Gamecock defense Saturday night, especially since we have yet to show the ability to pick up the blitz on a consistent basis. More disturbing is if you put pressure on Halapio to make a decision on which blitzer he should block, more often then not he chooses incorrectly. To take advantage of the Gamecocks when they blitz, expect to see more screens, especially jailbreak screens to the WRs.

6. Stop Lattimore. The defense's main focus will be stopping Marcus Lattimore - the sensational freshman running. In South Carolina's 5 wins he has 600 yards. In their losses he averages less than 50 yards a game. Look for Shariff Floyd to have his breakout game. Floyd has been a beast lately and if you throw in the extra motivation of playing against the Gamecocks (he chose UF over USCe on signing day) you have the right ingredients for a breakout game.

7. JJ on AJ all day. Janoris Jenkins has shut down Julio Jones (ok maybe Bama shut itself down that day) and AJ Green so far this year. I expect to see Jenkins mirror Ashlon Jeffrey all night Saturday.

An interesting thing to remember is that Coach Meyer and the staff having been calling this week "Championship Week" since Monday. The reason for doing this is that the team is so young, you have to find a way to stress the importance of the game and effort that is needed this week. I have heard nothing but good things coming out of Gainesville regarding practice, and while we still have some injuries we are as healthy as we have been in quite some time.

8. What happens: Brantley throws the ball about 22-25 times, Rainey has a big day receiving, Jordan Reed has a big day running the ball and Demps breaks off a long TD run. On defense, Lattimore isn't as healthy as the word out of Columbia would like us to believe and the game is put in Stephen Garcia's hands. Garcia plays admirably and Gurley gives us fits catching the ball. In the end, the Gators pull out the victory and head to the SECCG in Atlanta, which is something I would have never thought I could say a month ago.

Pick 6

1. Bama v. Miss. St. Bama has been struggling but Miss. St. is one dimensional on offense (and not the good dimension either). Bama wins by 10 in a good game.

2. Auburn v. UGA. This week must have been a nightmare for the Auburn players and staff and I am sure that they cannot wait to get on the field. Problem is that Georgia is a pretty good team. I think Georgia gives the Tigers all they can handle for a half and then Cameron Newton shows the Auburn faithful that they are getting what they paid for. Speaking of which, does anyone else think $180,000 is an odd figure? Why $180,000, why not $200,000? How do you settle on that figure? Of course Marcus Dupree only wanted a double-wide trailer to be sent to his mom to play at Oklahoma so I guess the mind works in mysterious ways.

3. Clemson v. FSU. I am hearing that Christian Ponder is out at least this week and maybe for the remainder of the season. Clemson puts the clamps on EJ Manuel and defeats the Noles.

4. Ohio State v. Penn. State. Why is this game on TV? Buckeyes win.

5. Oregon v. Cal. This is the one trap game left on the Ducks' schedule, but Cal's starting QB is only playing his 2nd game. Oregon wins by 30.

6. USC v. Arizona. Remember when USC owned the PAC 10? Well team prophylatic has 3 losses already this year and the Wildcats will give them their 4th.

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