Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Week in the Dawg House Part II: MSU Offense

The leader of the MSU offense is none other than the HMFIC himself, Dan Mullen. Actually, they do have an offensive coordinator in former Texas A&M OC Les Koenning (no, this is not that guy from K-State UGA was rumored to hire for its DC position), but this is Mullen's offense. That means pretty much shotgun every play with mostly short to medium range passes and inside read-option running plays (like Florida except not as good). Just from watching them casually, they like to use play-action on most passes, even out of shotgun. So far, they rank 11th in the SEC in scoring offense (23.3 ppg), 8th in total offense (361.0), and 9th in yards per play (5.5). The problem this year (1-2 record so far) on offense has been inconsistency from the QBs and really only one big-time offensive player (more on him later). So...let's break down each position group:

Quarterbacks: #14 Chris Relf (6-4 240) has opened as the starter in all three games so far but because of poor play (24-42 261 1TD 3INTs) he has split time with rFR #17 Tyler Russell (6-5 225). Not to be outdone, Russell has thrown 4 INTs himself, but does have a higher completion percentage (62.9%) and TD passes (4) than Relf. Neither are spectacular runners, but Relf does have 92 yards rushing this season. I think as the season moves along Russell will gradually get more snaps as he gets experience. As for this Saturday, I would expect we will see both QBs get snaps, especially if UGA gets up by multiple scores (not counting on this btw).

Running Backs: So far, MSU has pretty much split carries this season between three backs -- #28 Vic Ballard (5-11 215, former JUCO), #2 Robert Elliott (6-2 215), and freshman #27 LaDarius Perkins (5-10 190). Ballard has 23 carries for 101 yards and 4 TDs, Elliott has 24 carries for 92 yards 0 Tds, and Perkins has 21 carries for 91 yards 0 basically Ballard has hogged all the touchdowns. You can bet MSU will try the inside draw play (not to bring about bad memories) that South Carolina kept running, but I promise none of these backs can compare to Lattimore. Also don't be suprised if two of these backs are in the game simultaneously, lining up on either side of the QB in shotgun. Overall, I'm not too concerned about the running game, as they only average 3.95 yards per carry (knocking on wood).

Wide Receiver/Tight Ends: The best player, in my opinion, for MSU on offense is WR #1 Chad Bumphis (5-10 195). He is the teams' leading receiver (12 rec. 155 yds 2 TDs) and is probably the most athletic as well. His complement is WR #3 Brandon Heavens (5-10 175), who has 9 rec. for 145 yards and 2 TDs. The team's third leading receiver is converted defensive back, #19 Arceto Clark (5-10 180, 7 rec. 95 yards). As you can see, their top three receivers are all 5-10 and under 200 lbs, so we should be able to get physical with them. They do have TE #32 Marcus Green (6-1 235), who is questionable with a knee injury and only has 3 rec. for 36 yards. While the receivers are quick, MSU lacks a lethal vertical threat, so most of their passes are thrown short or toward the sidelines. A lot of this also has to do with the sub-par QB play, and getting pressure would really stymie the passing game, as their quarterbacks are not the most creative. Speaking of getting pressure....

Offensive Line: This is certainly the most experienced group on the offense, and is probably the best offensive group as well. Their starting lineup has been very consistent over the past year (meaning the lineup has not changed), and 4 out of the 5 starters are upperclassmen. The best/most talented player on the line is LT #79 Derek Sherrod (6-6 305), who was 2nd team All-SEC last year. The other starters include: LG #Gabe Jackson (6-4 305), C #70 J.C. Brigone, RG #55 Quentin Saulsberry (6-2 305), and RT #62 Addison Lawrence. Statiscally MSU is average (not bad, just average) in sacks allowed this season and last, and as I stated earlier, only averages 3.95 rush yards per carry.

Place Kicker: They actually have two place kickers they use (#37 Sean Brauchle and #40 Derek DePasquale), but combined have only attempted 1 FG this season. Last year, Brauchle was 6/9 on FGs while DePasquale was 10/12. Combine they are 10/10 on XPs this season.

Basically, this game is easy -- if the Dawgs can get any kind of pressure on the MSU QBs, we should shut down their offense. If not...if could be a "busted remote controller game" for Dawgola and Van Dawgin.

Here is the projected offensive starting Lineup:

QB: Chris Relf/Tyler Russell
RB: Vic Ballard/Robert Elliott
WR: Chad Bumphis
WR: Brandon Heavens
WR: Arceto Clark
TE: Kendrick Cook (not listed above but will play if Marcus Green can't go)
LT: Derek Sherrod
LG: Gabe Jackson
C: J.C. Brigone
RG: Quinton Saulsberry
RT: Addison Lawrence
PK: Sean Brauchle/Derek DePasquale

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