FanPost

What to Watch Four: Fiesta Bowl Edition

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via 3.bp.blogspot.com


  1. Life's great at super 8. Or is it? Chip Kelly loves going for two early, but that's ok because he still has to get his team to execute it. Point here is to not be taken back by it, or their weird formations. This KSU team cannot stand to go down by more than 8 points early. If the defense has to trot back out on the field with the score 0-11 and they know how fast Oregon can score, this type of thing could end up being the wrong kind of head game for the 'Cats.

  2. In order to combat all of that mentioned above, I believe the offense has to operate in true mid-season (well pre-Okie Lite) form. One with great diversity, a close to balanced rushing-passing attack...John Hubbert a factor, and a disciplined OL+Collin Klein. If Collin Klein throws no INTs, I like our chances. Yes Oregon's #3 nationally (to our #1) in TO margin, but it's because their defense forces turnovers to make up for its offense. Oregon's offense has coughed up the rock 19 times to KSUs 10. I see a good chance of ending the game +1 in the TO margin in favor of the 'Cats.

  3. Livin' on the edge: we need lateral speed! This game will be won on the outside, the edge, the corners. Sure we'll miss Tre, but this is where having AB is glorious. I don't believe Oregon has any rushing attack outside of the sweeps on the corners and Mariotta taking off when there's an empty backfield and the middle of the field opens up (more on that later). Force Kenjon Barner to run between the tackles. If the DL can get off some blocks post hand off and get into the backfield, I think I'd rather see TFLs than sacks this game. Should Barner or De'Anthony Thomas get loose on the edge, this is where 'mid-season' form becomes important for the defense. So many of their runs get to be bigger by poor tackling. Here's where a healthy Ty Zimmerman coming down field to clean up a tackle makes a huge difference, but will Ty be 100%?

  4. Force Mariotta to beat you with his arm: There may be little need to get a pass rush. The DTs I believe could almost just play a 'containment' game in the middle of the field and do plenty well. Like I mentioned above Mariotta's a threat when the middle of the field opens up. He can scramble in the pocket but if you force him to pass on the run, I'm not convinced he's a polished passer. I could be wrong I haven't watched loads of Oregon tape, but I can't figure out how he has 69% passing completions. And unlike Baylor's Nick Florence, the downfield threat isn't really there. He's prone to over throwing, he's like Geno Smith: if he's throwing withing 3 seconds after receiving the snap, he's likely completing the pass...but the receiver isn't far fro the line of scrimmage.

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