Friday, November 02, 2007
Keys to a WIN against Ark-Kansas...
This will be a tough game for Carolina but I feel USC can win the game. Yes, Arkansas has 3 losses in SEC play but the Razorbacks' three losses to Alabama, Kentucky and Auburn are by a total of 18 points. Arkansas at home, even if they are a run focused team, is real good for some reason.....Only one SEC school has more home wins than Arkansas since 1998. LSU is 53-13 at home in that span while Arkansas is 51-17.
In order to win the game, USC must perform well with these 5 keys to a USC win vs. Arkansas:
1. USC Run Defense ---Simple game plan for Nix and Co. and that is to stop McFad/Jones (or at least contain). This means the d line has to brush off blocks and tackle. I feel the defense is up to the challenge and know that if SC can stop the run and force them to pass (even with Monk) then a win is within grasps.
2. Create 'big' plays---This means we need the D or someone on offense to create big plays. Interceptions are nice as are picking up fumbles...flip side is air it out and create some running room for the playmakers to take one to the house.
3. Gamecocks must win the "mini" games ---This means that USC must win the field position battle, must win the special teams battle and must win the turnover game. Arkansas has forced 11 turnovers in the last two games, seven in a 58-10 win against Florida International this past Saturday...this can not be allowed to happen! SC must win the turnover game. Also Field position is crucial to this game and to USC having success. We all witnessed the poor showing against Vandy and how their punter did his job and we never got past the 50 it seemed. Succop has to hit his FG tries and punt extremely well against Ark. Also the coverage unit must contain Arkansas's Felix Jones, he leads the SEC and is sixth nationally in kickoff returns, averaging 31.6 yards, with a long of 90 yards and two touchdowns. And we gotta contain Norton, who ranks fourth in the SEC in punt returns, averaging 10.8 yards with a long of 45 yards. Heck maybe Succop could kick a ball in the endzone a time or two on Saturday?
4. Offensive line play---Heath Batchelor,6-foot-7, 304-pounder, will be the sixth player to start at guard for the 23rd-ranked Gamecocks this season and had a good showing last week. We need for the entire unit to perform extremely well against Arkansas. It will be a tough environment but if the o unit can give Blake some time to make passes and allow Boyd/Davis to run the ball them look out victory b/c here comes da cocks.
5. Blake and Boyd ---These two players must have great games. We need a performance much like what we have seen glimpses of throughout the season but most recently in the 2nd half against UT. Time to turn it up a notch boys!
Win and we are still in the hunt for the SEC East....Prediction - USC 27 Ark 17