Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How We Can Beat South Florida

Yes, everybody even a negative fan like myself sees this South Florida game as completely winnable. We have all seen the massive collapses that the South Florida teams have managed in the past few years and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop on their season. Believe it or not, I believe this Thursday could be the start of the collapse or not but I can envision scenarios where we sneak out of Raymond James Stadium with a victory. Here are my must-haves if we are to have this special win:
  1. Shady needs to be the player he was last year the entire game. Our running game is going to need to generate 20+ yard runs and at least three touchdowns. Against Syracuse Shady finally began to run with more confidence and did a great job of finishing every play. The USF defense is going to be keying on him but primetime games on national tv are where big stars in college football are solidified. 
  2. The secondary needs to completely turn around their play. Against USF we can't allow them the big plays and touchdowns off missed coverages. If Aaron Berry is the top-level corner that he is advertised as this is the game we need him to show it. An interception or two would make this game much more winnable.
  3. Our defensive line and linebackers need to put together an entire game and not just one quarter. I expect Scott McKillop to have a great night because that is what legitimate All Americans do but we need better play out of everyone else in the front 7 around him. Hopefully, Shane Murray isn't injured because we need him badly in a game like this against a very well run spread offense. Sheard and Romeus need to contain Grothe in the pocket and combine for at least 3 sacks. Getting to Grothe with a 4 man rush could create havoc with USF's offense and if he can't run it makes USF one-dimensional. 
  4. Playcalling wise we need to leave every ounce of the playbook on the field. I'm talking running the wildcat more than just once or twice. If there is anything creative in the playbook use it early and often. Getting a touchdown in the first three possessions is imperative to winning this game. 
  5. Jonathan Baldwin needs to touch the ball at least 5 times. I know this seems impossible considering what we have seen all year but Baldwin is the type of player who can make a difference in big game. USF as his coming out party would be quite the story.
Thursday is the biggest stage our Panthers will have all season. The last time we were in primetime on national tv we all know what happen. A win against USF changes absolutely everything about the program and that isn't an exaggeration at all. 

No comments: