08 October 2010
Hard to believe that Game 6 is here, but it is. As you know by now, MSU (3-2) will be facing the UH Cougars (3-1), at Robertson Stadium, in Houston, TX. Kick off is set for 7:00 pm Central Time, as both teams try to earn their 4th win of the season. We've talked all week about the magnitude of this game for State, but today we actually get to talk about what he hope unfolds. MSU seems to have regained their identity on Offense, thanks the reawakening of the Offensive Line. Chris Relf's improvement has him looking more and more like a SEC QB, RB Vick Ballard has emerged as the number one Back, and the Bulldog D, seems good enough to keep State in some games this season. UH on the other hand, has lost 2 QBs, in just as many weeks, including Heisman hopeful Case Keenum. The Cougar Defense is somewhat unproven due to their slate of opponents thus far, and many have to wonder how they will hold up in 2010, considering Keenum's absence will result in fewer points on the scoreboard. With that said though, the Cougars have a ton of talent, and are deep when it comes to skill players. QB Terrance Broadway hopes to show Coog fans that he is their QB of the future, and a duel threat one at that. RB Bryce Beall, is among the nation's top RBs, and adds another dimension to UH's attack. One thing to keep in mind though, is that James Cleveland, UH's leading veteran WR, is suspended for the match up.
As always, here's what CollegeGamedayStats.com has to say about tomorrow's game, and some advantages that exist...
- MSU Scoring vs UH Opponent Scoring- Advantage MSU
- MSU Pass Off. vs UH Pass Def.- None
- MSU Rush Off. vs UH Rush Def.- Advantage MSU
- UH Scoring vs MSU Opponent Scoring- Advantage UH
- UH Pass Off. vs MSU Pass Def.- Advantage UH
- UH Rush Off. vs MSU Rush Def.- None
- The experts have MSU as a 5 point favorite.
*Remember, you can always contact them at email@example.com, in order to receive their newsletter.
So, with that insight, here is my breakdown for MSU at UH...
_______Keys to Victory_______
-Control the Clock, Run the Ball:MSU must establish the ground game early, and keep pounding away at UH. Relf, Ballard, Perkins, and even Bumphis, will not only wear down the Coog Defense, but eventually break off some big runs. The read option, when ran successfully, creates those types of opportunities. Running will keep MSU's identity intact, and also eats clock, which keeps UH off the field, and therefore off the scoreboard. Mullen and Koenning could also benefit Relf, by calling high percentage pass plays. If the OL can push around the UH DL during run plays, that will only provide them even more confidence in pass protection. I really think that running variations of the Rabid Dawg or Wild Bumphis, will keep UH extremely off balance.
-Keep the UH WRs in Front; Force Turnovers: One thing that the MSU D cannot afford to do, is let the UH skill players get behind them. Just about every team that State has played this year, has had their WRs run read patterns, sneaking behind the MSU coverage, and keep the chains moving. UH runs down field screens, or what some call dinks and dunks, and then eventually hit you over the top. This was the one game last season, where it was evident to me, that the Bulldogs needed a Def. Coordinator, due to Carl Torbush's inability to make adjustments. I have complete faith in Manny Diaz, to make adjustments within a possession, rather than at the Half. I doubt that we will rush as many guys as we have been this season, just because of the numbers game that will be an ongoing challenge. But, whether we are blitzing 4 or 5, we have to get to the Freshman QB (Broadway), make contact, get our hands in the passing lane, and disrupt their game plan. MSU has also had a pretty poor showing, when it comes to forcing the opposing Offenses into turnovers.The potential is there, but we have to force them into mistakes. Pick 6 this week?
-Respect the UH Run Game:We cannot take RB Bryce Beall for granted. The kid is averaging over 100+ ypg, he is among the top scorers in the nation, and can catch out of the backfield. Kevin Sumlin loves to run the draw play or a quick base run, after a big pass play. This is an excellent way to gas an opposing D, and catch them off guard for a big gain. So, I see Beall as just as vital to their Offense, as their passing game is. Be watching for those two plays, after big pass play. Not only do we have to worry about Beall's feet, but QB Terrance Broadway as well. UGA, LSU, Auburn, and even Alcorn State, have had success when their QB tucks it and runs. Diaz must have someone spying Broadway, so that MSU can get off the field on 3rd downs.
-Solid Special Teams:Quite possibly MSU's most inconsistent area in 2010. We must make our FGs, punt effectively for field position, shoot for touch-backs on kick offs, and have some decent returns. Usually winning the special team's battle, is key for the visiting team in road games, and that won't be any different on Saturday. I'm really ready to see our whole unit show up and play an entire game. If they do, this one will not be close.
MSU 34 UH 20
MSU has really been seeking the kind of game in which they win decisively. In the UGA game, MSU owned the 4th quarter, but until the final 10 minutes, the game was far too close for comfort. I really look for MSU to come out and take control of this game early. I see us scoring on our opening drive, and on our first possession after the Half. QB Chris Relf will come away with 80 rushing yards, RB Vick Ballard with 110, and WR Chad Bumphis with 60. Due to the attention that Bumphis draws in the rushing game, I see Arceto Clark, Chris Smith, and Leon Berryleading the WRs. I can only see us throwing for around 180 yards, but effectively at opportune times. I think QB Tyler Russell will play, and play well, when he gets the nod. But, all in all, Tyler won't have to do much. KJ Wright and Chris White will both register a sack, and Corey Broomfield will come away with an INT. In a year where we have lost the turnover battle in about every game, I see MSU coming away with 3on the night. I don't see Berry or Bumphis returning a kick, but putting us in decent field position more than once. As for UH, I have QB Terrance Broadway throwing for 230 yards, 1 INT, and losing a fumble while scrambling. As far as RB Bryce Beall, I think we hold him to 85 yards, with 2 TDs. I look for RB Michael Hayes to have a big night, with 150 total yards receiving/rushing.
Expect anyone to stand out?
And, Buzzard brought this question up yesterday: Will MSU be Bowl eligible by the end of October (UH, UF, UAB, UK) ?
______Other SEC Games_______
UT @ UGA
Bama @ South Carolina...I know, I know
LSU @ UF
Auburn @ UK
Who ya got? My picks are in 'bold'
Let's chat it up today...in other words, don't disappear like yall do every Friday at noon ;)
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