Friday, September 10, 2010

Keys to Tomorrow's Game in Columbia

There have been more than enough headlines this week around Athens. Hopefully this hasn't distracted the team and they will be focused and will take care of business tomorrow. I can't help but feel like this debacle has taken an edge off that focus. I hope I'm wrong, but I digress. What is most important about Saturday's game are the players that are playing. So what players and matchups will be key tomorrow?

#83 Cornelius Washington/ #50 Darryl Gamble vs. LT #68 Kyle Nunn
I have no doubt that Houston will get pressure off the left side. What is most important here is if Corny and Darryl can get pressure on the other side. As we all know, Garcia is very mobile and will hurt us here if we don't get a good rush from the opposite side. With Jarriel King's availability still in question, it looks as though he won't be playing tomorrow, so there is a good chance the Dawgs will be able to get the rush going. What is also important here is keeping contain on those tight ends and dropping back into coverage. If you've ever seen a UGA/USC game, you know Spurrier loves throwing to the TE after they find the soft spot in the zone.

#16 Kris Durham vs. #17 Chris Culliver
This matchup assumes SoCar rolls over Stephon Gilmore to T.K.'s side. If that is the case, I think it's a safe assumption that Tavarres won't have a spectacular day. If we can bust a few to Durham things will open up for the offense. I'll look for him to be a favorite target early on because Culliver has yet to play a snap of live football at corner. He was at safety all last year and is VERY big for that spot. Carolina's corners were pretty good last year but, IMO, there was a reason that he was way back off the ball. Would you want to see Bacarri playing CB? I don't think so.

#25 Vance Cuff vs. #81 Tori Gurley/#9 Ace Sanders
This is a key matchup because I can't see how Bam Boykin will totally shut down Alshon Jeffery. He is huge at 6'5 233 and easily the third best wideout in the conference behind A.J. and Julio. Vance, notwithstanding his praise from practice, has been a liability at time against WRs with size (reference below) and speed. I hope he has remedied this from seasons past. If we don't see a strong performance from VC tomorrow, it could very easily bust SoCar's offense wide open. If you don't recall Ace Sanders, he is a freshman that we recruited last year out of Manatee HS in Florida. By all reports, he was uncoverable at every camp he attended, but his size (some report as 5'7 160) was a liability at best. If you could give his position on the field a more appropriate name it would be "Jitterbug". I think you can figure out his responsibilities based on that.

Skip to 3:15, unless you like watching the Nerds.


Breakout Dawg Performers
Last week, the linebackers all quietly had dominant performances. I don't think they will disappoint this week. I think there also will be a few surprises on the offense. Below are my BDP's or "Breakout Dawg Performers" for this week and why.

#81 Aron White: Despite the decreased role Orson had in last week's playbook, the Cocks will be keying on him. Look for Aron to catch a few passes wide open down the seam this week.
#38 Marcus Dowtin: MD had three very impressive tackles/plays last Saturday. He has all-world talent as long as he can put it together between the ears and decide to give 100% effort.
#3 Washaun Ealey: Ealey is ready to run. I think he'll lower the boom on a few Cocks this weekend. I think the o-line will perform up to billing and we'll control the line of scrimmage.
#50 Darryl Gamble: With Jarriel King likely sitting this one out, I think Darryl is primed to make a name for himself like he did at Death Valley in 2008. If he doesn't have a field day with Kyle Nunn I will be very surprised.

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