Tag Archives: Heisman

Keys to the Game

So, Jeff has given you a couple of key matchups leading into the big game tonight and the two matchups that he highlighted are definitely two of the biggest storylines to watch tonight.  What I’m going to try and do, however, is give you some Keys to the Game to watch for, some specific examples of things that I think could swing the score one way or the other.  I’m not Gary Danielson and these aren’t sponsored by Home Depot but my guess is that at least one of these things is going to completely decide the outcome.

Turnovers

Alabama and LSU both are known for their ability to hold onto the football and not make the crucial mistakes.  Alabama’s runningbacks have gone something like 295 carries without a fumble and LSU is +15 in turnover margin on the season.  One turnover could take one of these teams from a win to a loss.

Field Position

It’s pretty inevitable that in a game with as much defensive hype as this game, you’re going to hear how the field position battle is crucial.   Alabama’s special teams have been a weakness for the team from a coverage perspective but they also have one of the best return men in the SEC in Marquis Maze.  Watch for Alabama to give up big yards on kickoffs but also watch for Maze to potentially switch field position back with a big punt return or two.

The Return of “Pick Six”

Jarrett Lee has been spectacular this year in relief of Jordan Jefferson following his controversy in the offseason.  Lee has been efficient to the tune of 13 touchdowns and only 1 interception on the season.  He hasn’t played a defensive backfield like Bama’s yet, though.  In case you’ve forgotten, Jarrett Lee is the same person who was notorious for doing a lot of this:

Trent Richardson’s Heisman Moment

People talk about this being Trent’s Heisman moment:

While an amazing highlight like that is definitely something that will look spectacular if Richardson wins the Heisman, a big game against lowly Ole Miss is not going to win it for him.  A big game against the #1 team in the country?  That will.

Rueben Randle

My guess is that this is going to be the biggest Key to the Game.  While Alabama has some talented receivers in Marquis Maze, Darius Hanks and DeAndrew White, they don’t have a guy with the ability of Randle.  Randle caught two huge touchdown passes in the blowout against Auburn and he is the most talented receiver on the field tonight.

The truth of the matter, like I said here, is that this game is going to be broken down continuously leading up to the kickoff but in all reality, nobody really knows what is going to happen.  Whatever ends up happening, something is going to go incredibly right or incredibly wrong for one team in one of the key phases of the game.

-Sadler

Games of the Week: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

We're going to see plenty of these this weekend

As mentioned yesterday, every week we’re going to put out the top games for each weekend along with a prediction for each of them.  Included in this article will also be the worst games of the weekend, which we’re entitling our “Dry Wedding Games” (because they’re about as much fun as a dry wedding).

This week it was pretty easy to pick the biggest SEC games of the weekend considering that 90% percent of the league is getting one of their cupcake games out of the way.  It was much harder for me to decide which game was actually the worst on the schedule since there were so many awful ones to choose from in Week 1.

Biggest Games

#4 LSU vs. #3 Oregon

I already wrote a little about this game here, so I won’t go into the boring details

Can Jarrett Lee lead the Tigers to victory?

again but this is the biggest game of the weekend.  For the Ducks, it’s a chance to show that they belong in the National Title chase again after making a run to the BCS Championship just last year.  It also is a chance for the upgraded PAC 12 to try and make a statement against the baddest conference in the  land.  LaMichael James and Darron Thomas will look to move the ball against a John Chavis defense that is among the top in the country

For LSU, it’s unfortunately going to be a game in which they’ll have to decide who is going to be their quarterback in the absence of Jordan Jefferson.  Jarrett Lee is the most likely choice  but Zach Mettenberger could also get in on the action.  The Tigers are also without their top receiver, Russell Shepard, who was declared ineligible for violating an NCAA rule.

Even with some of their big playmakers gone, LSU’s impressive defense will most likely keep them in the game but I think Oregon makes one more big play than the Tigers.

Pick:  Oregon 24   LSU 20

#19 Georgia vs. #5 Boise State

Aaron Murray will be the key for the 'Dawgs

Despite the fact that the other game of the week pits two top 5 teams against one another, the argument is that this game is actually more important to the National Title chase.  Boise State will get a crack at an SEC team and if they win, will pretty much have played the toughest game on their schedule and could basically cruise to an undefeated season.  Of course, that was what was supposed to happen last year before Nevada ruined the party for them.

Georgia comes into this game with a lot to prove; Coach Mark Richt is already on the hotseat again, a recurring theme for the Bulldogs over the last several years.  With a win against a top program like Boise State, they could start the season on a strong note and send a warning to the rest of the SEC East.

Boise State returns Kellen Moore but also lost his top receiving threats, Titus Young and Austin Pettis.  How well the offense can perform against an SEC defense without two of their biggest playmakers will be the big question going into the game.

I believe Georgia is on the rise again and quarterback Aaron Murray is one of the best in the conference.  In my opinion Boise is not as good as last year and the ‘Dawgs will pull this one out.

Pick:  Georgia 30    Boise State 21

Dry Wedding Games

Elon at Vanderbilt

I'm guessing that Elon is the equivalent of FCS Southwest on NCAA '12

Ok, so I promise I won’t pick Vanderbilt as the worst game of the weekend every week but even Vandy fans have to admit that this might be the worst game of the entire season.

I didn’t even know there was a school named Elon and I certainly don’t care to watch them play Vanderbilt on opening weekend.  All I know about this game is that Vanderbilt is favored by 14 which means that Elon must be pretty awful because Vandy doesn’t get favored by double-digits too often.

Pick:  Vandy 31  Elon 10

Kent State at #2 Alabama

When reporters are approaching the storyline that Kent State is Nick Saban’s alma mater it’s not a good sign for the quality of the matchup.  Even Kent State knows that this one is going to be horrible because they tried to get some mercy by sending their entire team to help with tornado relief in Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago. (all joking aside, a very classy move by Kent State, bravo)

If this game isn’t over by the beginning of the second quarter it could be considered an upset by the Golden Eagles.  I’ll watch this game because I have to but I won’t be happy about it.

Pick:  Alabama 49   Kent State 3

Honorable Mention

Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky

This game was played last night and if you watched it, I’m truly sorry.  The Cats did their best to embarrass the conference against the mighty Hilltoppers.  At last check before I went to sleep last night, Kentucky had 70 offensive yards on 34 plays and had their only touchdown scored on an interception return.  I’m making this prediction:  Kentucky will end the season with a worse record than Vanderbilt.  You heard me, mark it down.