Eyes Wide Shut

Hello Followers.   Hope you’ve had a great week.

As for me, well, it appears that a hurricane is heading straight toward my neck of the woods.

So, instead of sitting down this morning to write my Friday post, I headed out doors to try to get the house ready for the impending storm….And as I raked and bagged a dump truck worth of leaves, I found myself wondering if our Cougars were getting similarly ready for Saturday.

For more on that, read on.

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Followers, on Monday, I told you that not one, BUT TWO upsets were on tap this Saturday.    And while I almost semi-believed that on Monday, I don’t on Friday.  Instead, there will be ONE upset this Saturday.  And it will be Arizona beating USC 45-38. 

The other upset I was going to pick this weekend was WSU over Stanford.   And, while I have great respect for Sark’s ability to rally his team when the chips are down, the bottom line in my book is that the Beavs classic letdown game was last week.  And so, I fully expect them to beat the Dawgs down with that swarming defense. 

I see the Beavs coasting in this one 31-17.

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With respect to the Cougs, well, I felt pretty good about our chances—but that was before I learned that our #1 running back (Caldwell) would be out and that our number 2 (almost 1b) WR Myers would suddenly disappear from Twitter, I mean practice…

So, with two out of our top offensive weapons already on the shelf, I just don’t see us being able to move the ball.  But with those two, I actually liked our chances.

You see, as I’ve been saying for weeks, I actually like the Hair Raid defense. 

And while some of you may have been discouraged about our performance against CAL after seeing them against Stanford, I implore you to consider the two to be apples and oranges.

I mean, two weeks ago, CAL spread us out across the field, punched us in the mouth, and used their blazing speed to pop through those open holes.  And as we saw, they had the type of All-American WR that our shaky DB’s just weren’t able to keep up with.  

Fortunately for us, Stanford has no such weapon at their disposal.  Without Luck, they line up like LSU, displaying a healthy dose of power to go along with similar amounts of predictability.  And so, while our D is still nothing to write home about in one sense, they’re also not the slow and weak outfit of Cougar teams of the past.   And for that reason, if they are not asked to be on the field for 35+ minutes of this game, they’re going to hold up just fine.

Which again, leads me to the offense.  With all of our weapons healthy, this game would come down to three basic keys:  (a) Our O-Lines ability to hold their blocks for 2.5 seconds; (b) Our secondary receivers ability to get off the line and beat press coverage; and (c) Our Quarterback’s ability to check down quickly to his third or fourth read.  When Arizona did all that a few weeks back, they TORCHED the Trees.  And while AZ’s 3-3-5 wasn’t equipped to handle the run, we are.

And so, if we move the ball and score tomorrow, we’ll win.  In fact, if we score 24 real points tomorrow, we’ll have more than a 50% chance of winning. Score 28 and I am 99% sure that we’ll win.

But again, with a starting WR group of Marks, Wilson, Simone, and Bartalone, we’re just not physical enough to get off the line and move the rock. (Kristoff Williams remains my X factor in this one).

So, I suspect to see a 13-6 halftime score give way to yet another Turd Quarter, as the Cougs give up 21 halftime points en route to a 34-6 defeat.

The only question is whether or not Leach will be resolute enough to give Tuel another start the next week against Utah.  And yes, health willing, I’m already convinced that we’re going to win that game.

All for now.  Go Cougs.

 

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