Thursday, September 10, 2009


Joe Cox will start against South Carolina. He will face a defense that portends to be better than was Oklahoma State. He will need help... lots of help. The offensive line must execute and sustain blocks long enough to get our backs to the second level with some frequency. Our receivers must block tenaciously down field. Our receivers must run crisp routes. Cox must read and release the ball quickly. Richard Samuel and our other backs must hit the holes quickly and with speed and do the little things necessary to make someone miss or to pick up a few extra yards after first contact. Yards after first contact were nonexistent last week. That must change this week. Coach Bobo must call plays that allow our offense to use its strengths against Carolina's weaknesses. We failed to do that last week when we shelved our power running attack for something cute and ineffective. Most importantly, we must put the ball in the hands of AJ Green at least 10 times.

I don't know where the weaknesses are on the SC defense. Linebacker Eric Norwood and ends Cliff Matthewa, Clifton Geathers and Devin Taylor are beasts. They always have talent in the defensive backfield and this year we must watch out for Chris Culliver and Darian Stewart who, along with Norwood, are the leading returning tacklers. It never seems to matter who is on their defense, we tned to struggle to score points against this bunch. So our Joe Cox will need the most help from his kickers and defense.

Our defense played well against a talented offense in Stillwater. I hope they can play great against a poor offense this week. We got nary a sack last week, but I cannot imagine that we will not get to Stpehen Garcia a few times. The more the better. I will be surprised if SC can run consistently on our defense, but Spurrier would love to stretch the field throwing the ball if we let him, so we must shut that down. Hopefully the monster hits by Evans and Jones last week will cause the SC receivers to grow alligator arms and make them less likely to reach high for balls in coverage.

All indications are that this game will come down to the kicking game. We may not be able to cover kickoffs, but in this series, that has not been much of an issue since we don't score often. SO it could come down to the legs of Drew Butler and Blair Walsh. We need Butler to punt them into a hole every chance he gets and we need Walsh to be perfect when his number is called.

At this moment, my feeling is that this game will be ugly, close and undecided until the end. I am going to give the edge to the Dawgs. We will score one offensive TD, one defensive TD and will win with a late field goal 17-14.


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