Saturday, September 15, 2012
Keys to the Game @ Northwestern
Well, We have been here before, we have seen the team, but this time its at their house, and we are a 3.5 dog. We know they excel in a couple areas that seem to give the Eagles fits (the dink and dunk) (mobile QB)(hurry up offense) this will be a matchup of preparation, and in our eyes a tell in how good 2012 is going to be for this football team.
1W) Adjust to the hurry up offense
As we found out last year, the hurry up offense seemed to have our Eagles huffing and puffing on the sidelines, that could be because it was the first game of the season, because of injuries in camp, or a plethora of other items. This year I think our fans are prepared to see it, our offense runs a style closer to this, so you’d think our D is a bit more prepared but the result is yet to be seen or just hours away.
2M) Contain Cain Colter
Fewer losses were more irritating to watch than last year's Northwestern game. Their supposed Heisman QB was out and this nobody Colter was in. He short passed and QB sneaked us to death.
We must make sure Colter does not beat us with his feet and is forced to throw downfield, not just quick screens.
3W) Rettig over 300 yards again
Rettig is coming off back to back Over 300 games. And is actually #7 in the nation for Passing Yards. I’d like to see that it isn’t a fluke or a matter of defenses played against.
Northwestern doesn’t necessarily have a phenomenal defense, and actually is known for a less than average Secondary, so even another performance over 300 won’t be the perfect litmus test, but more so it will be a true confidence builder, something he needs after the past couple of seasons he has had.
4M) Possession offense, give D a chance to rest and get off the field
Spaz made a point last year of saying how out of shape and winded the D was. Well, part of that was on the offense for not holding on to the ball a whole lot and giving the D a chance to recharge between sets.
We can be as well conditioned as possible but if our D is out there 75% of the game trying to keep up pace with a no huddle offense, we're going to be challenged to make it close--let alone win.
Fumbles have been very rough for the Eagles, lets see if we can go a full game with 0, we are going to need it. Really nothing else to say here, move along.
6M) Amidon stretching the field
The Northwestern secondary has been beaten up by Syracuse and currently ranks 113th in yards per game given up. To really open things up we need to stretch the field early with Amidon and make them respect the deep routes so Coleman and Spiffy can get open.
7W) DL- Abdesmad Sacks
I actually put this focus before I knew that he was going to be the starter. I liked Abdesmad last year, I like the combo of him and Edebali on the Ends. Abdesmad has great pressure from the side, seems to get to the QB fairly quick and plays with a great motor. We just need the rest of the line to have a great game. They have been fair, but here is their time to shine.
8M) jump the short pass
If you remember last year, the majority of Colter's passes were short ones.
In fact, ask yourself this: in our losses, where are the passes going from the QB's? Almost exclusively the teams that have beaten us have used short almost lateral passes, taking advantage of our patented BC DB cushion.
This worked great when teams passed the ball down the field but today's offenses use plenty of spread and quick hits getting the ball out in the flat.
Let's selectively gamble and start to attack some of those quick hitters and maybe get a pick-6 a-la DeJuan Tribble vs. FSU. If nothing else it will dissuade Colter from slowly killing us with the short passes.
9W) Time of Possession
I unfortunately think this game will come down to time of possession. We will need to own this , by a dramatic amount to be the winner at the end of the day. Neither team is really known for their quick scores, they are known for their methodical attack down the field. If we can own the possession arrow, I think our Eagles come home with a W.
10M) CJ Jones mid-season form
Welcome back, CJ! Jones returns to the lineup after injury and takes back his corner position. Jones isn't having the luxury of warming up vs. Maine or playing against Miami, so it's important for CJ to come out playing in mid-season form.