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5 things to watch for in Stillwater

August 26, 2009

Win or lose, our opener vs. Okie State should give us a pretty good idea of what kind of team we have. Here are several things to keep an eye on:

1. Pressure from the DE’s – A lot of our success in conference is going to depend on if we get production from the ends, something that didn’t happen last year (UGA ranked 8th in sacks within the SEC). If we see a lot of Marcus Washington, Rod Battle, Justin Houston and Kiante Tripp in the backfield… it means good things. If we don’t see Zac Robinson getting pressured, well, not only will we lose the game, but it is going to be trouble for the rest of our schedule as well.

2. Freshmen making plays – We’re probably going to be more run-oriented than we have been the past couple of years, but to be successful we will have to see guys taking pressure off of A.J. Green, and that means guys like Marlon Brown and Orson Charles need to make an impact.

3. Keeping a lid on big plays – The secondary gave up a lot of bombs last season, in the air and on the ground, due to poor coverage and bad tackling. The challenge for them in week 1 will be keeping everything short to intermediate, and not giving up the long ball. If the secondary keeps everything in front of them, they’ll likely have success against our conference foes who lack the vertical passing game that OSU has.

4. Good YPC (yards per carry) in the ground game – Joe Cox should be a capable leader of the offense, but he likely won’t beat anybody with his arm, so we need to see the running game getting good yardage and getting it often. How well this team runs the ball is going to determine a lot, so look for Samuel, King and Thomas to keep the ball moving and keep us out of 3rd and long. If Cox throws it 30 times, that won’t be a good thing.

5. Dancing in the endzone – We were way too uptight last year, no. 1 ranking and all. We need to be loose. I’d suggest coordinating the endzone dance this year so the whole team is doing the electric slide. Maybe Mike Gundy will write a book in which he speaks in 3rd person and refers to it as a “bad deal.” As long as Trinton Sturdivant doesn’t do that chicken dance or whatever the hell it was… we shouldn’t incur any more than 15-20 yards in penalties. Let’s just hope that douche Penn Wagers isn’t calling the game. (okay so that was a cheap #5… but don’t tell me you wouldn’t like to see it, too)

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