Folks, it's finally here! Game one of the 2011 season vs. the Northwestern Wildcats starts tomorrow at noon. If you're going to be at Alumni Stadium, keep your eyes out for Wesley and I, make sure to stop by and grab a beer with us. We'll be the ones grabbing beers from everyone else.
1M) Pressure Persa
Yes, we know that Persa is questionable, but if he¹s not and Colter starts; the same goes for him ten-fold.
Our defense is effective at preventing the score and generating turnovers. The Wilcats will likely move the ball with relative ease between the 20¹s, but they'll find it much tougher to do so once near the Red Zone. Our D will do a fine job regardless, but if we can actually PUT PRESSURE on him and force him to be aggressive, our chances at a turnover increase dramatically. If we give him enough time back there, I feel confident that he'll able to eventually find the open man and make us pay. The front four need to generate a pass rush and make the Northwestern QB throw it before he wants to. Back seven just do what you do man.
2W) Cohesive Offensive line for the Eagles
With the recent changes of Center Guard and tackle for the Eagles I am a bit concerned if they have had the opportunity to gel enough to function well as a collective unit, if not this could be an issue as they will be unable to create holes where a run needs to exist or provide the amount of protection that Rettig needs to do a few check-downs. If they do gel, they should be able to push the previously weak D-line by Northwestern around to their liking, and therefore having offensive successes.
3M) Prove to them that Goodnight Gary is gone
Teams were used to loading the box on us first and second downs. We need to come out aggressive and show we're willing to pass on any down and to any distance.
I'm calling for some aggressive pass calls early and often so the D is forced to relax a little and open it up some for Dre Will.
4W) Covering Northwestern's Wide outs
Persa is going to be the one getting all of the hype, but as with most story lines in the world there are definitely two sides.
Persa, or whomever ends up tossing the ball come game-time, has some options to throw to, but most notable is going to be Jeremy Ebert, a senior listed as one of the best in the Big Ten. He averaged 15.4 yards per catch last year, and would like to do it again this year. With our secondary in so much flux they will have their hands full covering Northwestern's talented Receivers.
5M) Kicking butt on kick returns
Good call with the wide-outs, Wesley--there are two sides for sure.
Next up, I'm going with our kick and punt return teams. Did you know that last season BC had one of the worst KR/PR stats in the NATION?
It's true, worst in ACC and 3rd worst in the nation. We need newly appointed returner Bobby Swigert & Co to give Rettig and the offense workable field position.
6W) Kaleb Ramsey ready
With a couple of true freshman on the d line, we really need the anchor at d-tackle, for both leadership and experience.
I believe we have that angry bull rusher rusher Ramsey, the only concern is if he has adequately healed to demonstrate his dominance.
7M) Hampton Hughes hangin'
Hampton Hughes hasn't played a whole lot of of college football yet. He has only been on the defensive ball for a couple weeks since being moved over from the WR group. If you were the o-coordinator for Northwestern...would you go after him? Know I would.
Hampton needs to be up to the task and alert early. If he gets beat early in the game it will be tough to keep playing confidently In his new job.
8W) Andre's ankle
Andre sprained his ankle about a week and a half ago, and a great depth at RB became a scary thin one. Oh what a difference a week makes, Andre says he is going to play like he is 100% but isn't necessarily commenting whether he really is or not . As much as I would love to see us have an arial attack against the Cats, they have repeatedly shown they are next to putrid against the run.
Dominating the ball control with the ground and pound isnt the most sexy gameplan, but it is something that I think we should start with, and Andre will be key to that.
Our other Rbs that are not recovering from injuries didn’t take a snap last year, so having Andre healthy is going to be VERY key.
9M) Keeks being Keeks
Luke received a lot of press this off-season; and deservedly so. However, it's human nature to want to show off when expectations are as high as they are with many calling him the nation's best LB.
Luke needs to relax and play his game that got him all of the accolades he's received thus far.
10W) Fan support
Mike I agree, Keeks has gotten some serious hype, I think he comes through on the delivering as he did his previous two years, but we will see.
On my final pick , I am going with fan support, its going to be a day game, and our first game of the season, with an opponent that our fans will recognize, but not feel is a direct rival, Make no bones about it , NW is a quality opponent, especially for an opener. The team will need the support of the fans to have a form of home field advantage.
BCMike drafted: Pressure Persa, NO Tranq, Kick returns, Hughes hangin, Keeks being Keeks
Wesley drafted: Cohesive OL, NU WR's, Ramsey ready, Andre's ankle, Fan support