Monday, August 29, 2011
Knowing Is Half The Battle
Waste too much time on stupid stuff and know nothing about our upcoming opponents? The public service department of Sports & Grits is here to help. Here's a run down of Boise and their roster so you can sound somewhat smart all week talking about the game to friends and coworkers.
For starters, some of them can draw, and they are really cocky about their chances and their team. This is their Super Bowl, and the $1.4m payday makes this an unprecedented regular season (or college football's "playoff") game for them.
But positionally, here's what we're looking at:
QB-Physically, he's similar albeit a shade smaller than our QB. Mobile, smart, accurate, he's a front runner for the Heisman and puts up video game numbers against the cupcakes they call a conference schedule. Similarities could be drawn to Colt Brennan (hopefully we could get that same amount of pressure on him we got on Brennan), if you wanted to be overly optimistic. But with time, Moore has proven that he can carve you up as good as any QB you'll see. He's a senior, and his little brother is one of their wide recievers.
RB-Their fans talk non stop about some gerbil with a steroid problem in Doug Martin, as if he's the next Barry Sanders. (He's not, no one is. Not that we're immune to such stupidity as Georgia fans have this constant "next Herschel" issue that's never gonna happen either. Also, "Muscle Hamster" might be the worst nickname since "Snot Boogie" and the dumbest one we've ever heard for a high caliber athlete.) Considering his build, collegiate jersey colors, and ability to pile up yards against teams where his offense is at an extreme advantage, Emmitt Smith might be the better comp. But he puts up those numbers against a teams that we use as preseason practice, and it'll be interesting to see if he can break the tackles of legit LBs, and if our pair of Cyrano-sized noses can clog up the middle better than most teams he faces who are much more focused on stopping Moore and the pass than him.
WR/TE-Like us, they lost their starters here, which means they return little that's known. What they do return at TE is somewhat smallish, and of the "recieving TE" variety. It's also young, and if Grantham can get more creative with his schemes could be required to block, which should be to our advantage. Their WRs are also generally smaller, so Boykin, Love, Commings, etc could be successful being more physical at the line. Their possible lead WR is their lone one with size, 6'4 from Amsterdam named Geraldo (Geraldo, from Amsterdam? No way he'd pass a drug test). They are all young, and include the QB's younger brother, so he should have "good chemistry" with the group. Of course, physical DBs and pressure can disrupt that timing and chemistry. And that's our key, their offense seems similar in clips to the old Spurrier Florida Os, spread you at and attack all angles. Timing matters, as does rattling the QB. The individual WRs don't matter so long as they are quick and in the spot they should be when they should be there.
OL-Small, but it's been great against subpar competition. Can they handle the size? Can we get low, since that's a problem for young, taller lineman, and the low man wins the battle? Thomas Byrd is 5'11, and is supposedly the best C in the country. They return a big OT in Potter. Having our DL beat their OL is the key to success. If their line can protect Moore and open lanes for Martin, it'll be a long night. If Moore is shaking pressure and Martin having to make people miss in the backfield, then you'll know our immense size advantage ruled the day.
DL-Like their OL, also small by SEC standards. Stud senior DE and Canada native Tyrone Crawford would be the only DL they go we wouldn't consider undersized. Alongside him are SR DTs Chase Baker and Billy Winn. Their DL is deep, and talented, and if we're losing going in to the 4th quarter, will make a comeback very, very difficult. We need Bean Anderson to not be susceptible to the stupidity that got him moved to DL a year ago, or else Murray could get hurt.
LB-Jr JC Percy has led them in tackles for two years. SR Bryan Hout is a DE turned LB (think Brandon Tolbert), and FR Blake Renaud are supposed to be the big timers helping him. It's a good unit, and their front 7 will be a very difficult challenge for Crowell and the OL to run on. We'll need to have Murray have a big day, cause we won't run well on them unless Coach T is a miracle worker.
DB-Young, but talented. They've produced top picks like Kyle Wilson (#1 to the Jets two years ago), and have an upcoming CB in Jamar Taylor and S George Iloka who are going to contend for All American status with the numbers they can post against Montana St and Eastern Washington.
Kickers-Newbies. Their P should double as their kick off man, and they've had an open competition for their place kicker all camp. If they need a clutch kick to win, we might be in luck. I doubt the game gets that close, but it's nice to have that ace up our sleeve should it come down to a game winning kick.
For the gamblers-the lines I'm finding all have Boise around 3 1/2 favorites, but the o/u around 51 or 52. IMO, that's the easy win right there. Both teams score 20, and in our opinion, the winner needs to top 40. Expect the over to be a winner sometime during the 3rd quarter.
Miscelaneous-Jared Zabransky may be at the coin flip (last seen in Georgia pissing his pants at the sight of our D. Thankfully our new uniforms will remind him of Fresno St, not Charles Johnson). And in the worst news of the day, we're using SEC refs, which means we might get Penn Wagers.