Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A look at what to watch for from Tech
We can make a guess that they'll run the ball a lot with their option, and like most of those teams it tends to lead to problems on defense, especially against teams that are effective passing since they never see it in practice. Tech has also lost 3 of their last 5, with wins against a choking Clemson and then barely beating Duke (who scored 31).
Their D has allowed over 25 per, but a lot of that damage has been running where they allow 4.5 per attempt and over 160 per. Having a full strength and ready to work Crowell goes a long way Saturday as it'll give us the horse we need to expose their weakness. If he can be ready to capitalize on an opportunity, it'd be a great day for Boo Malcome to make his mark, as he has the talent to produce a 100+ yd day too.
Aside from a massive TJ Barnes, their DL is undersized, so we'll see if that biggest in all of football OL of ours can get a push. In the least, they should be strong in pass pro handling a weak pass rush. But their corners have good size, and should be a challenge for our WRs. Murray has been hit or miss, usually based on a running game. When we run well, he has time, less pressure to produce, and more space to spot WRs. When we don't, he tries to win the game on his own, and makes mistakes.
Defensively, it's Stephen Hill and then the running game. They complete fewer than 6 passes per game, so it's not like they can do much, but when they do throw it's generally for big plays. Hill has 3 receptions go for over 70, and 9 of his 23 catches went 40+ yds. He's a big, great athlete, and I'd expect Brandon Boykin to be tasked with him on an island, with the occassional spell by Sanders Commings.
But being a altered wing T, they'll the ball, a lot. Keying on the guards is generally a good read on where the ball goes. B Backs Orwin Smith and David Sims provide the inside rushing game. If Geathers, Jenkins, Tyson, and Jones can control their line and own the tackle box, it'll go a long way in holding their offense down, and freeing up others to chase their QB and A Backs. Their OL is smallish, with only one player over 6'3, and just one at 300 pounds. But that's what they want with quicker, cutting blocks. We've got the size advantage in the trenches again, but can we use it while they chop at our knees? Senior Roddy Jones hasn't had a big year, but he's burned us plenty before. Smith will also play some A Back, as well as another small fry in Embry Peeples. Their leading rusher is jr QB Tevin Washington, but he's nowhere near the threat Josh Nesbitt was. But Os like this are all about discipline. Wrapping up, playing your assignment, and not overpursuing are critical to avoid getting burned. We've had our lapses there, particularly in wrapping up on tackles and not overpursuing.
It'll be a test on both sides, as it always is. Grantham's D has been outstanding against the run, but this is a unique rushing attack and by far the best we've seen all year. Our O should be able to put points on the board, but then they should have been able to put up a lot of them last week and we'll see just how well Murray bounces back and Bobo adjusts if we lose our rushers early. On paper, things look good. But paranoia overwhelms, and this game has lots of reasons to worry.