Jim Grobe has a lot to be optimistic about this season
With 4 games down, we thought it would be a good idea to look forward at the remainder of the football schedule. I know the coaches and team will tell you to take it one game at a time, but here at Blogger So Dear we don't have to listen to that philosophy. After the jump we'll offer predictions on each game and how we think the season will shape out from here.
Passing: Price- 8.8 yards/attempt 7 TD 2 INT Quarterback Rating 152.04
Josh Harris: 78 attempts 276 yards 3.54 yards/carry 2 TD
Brandon Pendergrass: 27 attempts 104 yards 3.85 yards/carry 2 TD
Pass Defense: 5.5 yards/attempt 7 TD allowed 2 INT Quarterback Rating 115.26
Rush Defense: 3.48 yards/attempt 2 TD allowed
Turnover Margin: 0
Will EJ Manuel be starting on Saturday?
Passing -Still not sure which of EJ Manuel and Clint Trickett will be playing this Saturday. It's quite possible they may split some of the duties. Both have their individual strengths. Manuel is a threat to escape the pocket as he averaged 4.39 yards/carry. Trickett is not a threat to leave the pocket, but he is a stronger threat when he is in the pocket. Trickett has averaged 10.6 yards/attempt and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 7 to 2, with a quarterback rating that is more than 40 points higher than Manuel.
Rushing-Florida State has been unable to get their ground game going so far this season. Through 106 carries on the season, they have only averaged 3.00 yards per carry. Furthermore, against Oklahoma they averaged 1.04 yards/carry and against Clemson they averaged 1.93 yards/carry.
Pass Defense-Florida State has given up 8.75 passing yards per attempt in their last two games. Granted, these were to prolific offensive teams, but this bodes well for Tanner Price this Saturday.
Rush Defense-Their rush defense has been very impressive this year, as they only surrender 2.12 yards/carry. Clemson ran the ball 50 times against this Seminoles defense and only managed to amass 99 yards. Josh Harris and Brandon Pendergrass will have a very difficult matchup this weekend.
Turnover Margin: -2
Prediction: Loss (3-2)
Logan Thomas has been a significant downgrade from his predecessor, Tyrod Taylor
Passing-Logan Thomas is only averaging 6.7 yards/attempt and has thrown only four touchdowns to five interceptions. He's also completing just under 57% of his passes. He's certainly a downgrade from Tyrod Taylor. They've only scored 28.4 points per game, and this is mostly against inferior competition. They only managed to score 3 points against Clemson.
Rushing-David Wilson is a legitimate threat in the running game. He is averaging 5.97 yards/carry on 107 attempts so far this year, and has scored five touchdowns. Josh Oglesby is also a nice back, who averages more than 4 yards/carry and has five touchdowns on the year.
Pass Defense-Virginia Tech has a very solid pass defense. They limited Tajh Boyd to just 40% completion rate, and intercepted him once. That being said, they still gave up 6.4 yards/attempt, so Tanner Price should still be able to find open receivers against this defense.
Run Defense-It's a little bit tough to talk about their rush defense just yet. For the season, they've only allowed 2.05 yards/carry, but Appalachian State was able to rush for 3.25 yards/carry and Clemson rushed for 3.4 yards/carry. And of course we all know Josh Harris had an absolute monster game in Blacksburg last year.
Turnover Margin: +2
Prediction: Win (4-2) I believe that their offense is simply not that good, and that they will struggle to keep up with us offensively. It will be crucial for our offense to score touchdowns once we reach the redzone, rather than settling for field goals. I think the Deacs will get revenge for last year.
Wallace Wade is a glorified high school stadium
Passing- Sean Renfree has been very efficient this year. He completes nearly 71% of his passes and still manages to average 7.3 yards/attempt. He also has thrown only two interceptions all year. Interestingly enough, the defense who he struggled the most against was Richmond's.
Rushing-Juwan Thompson has gotten the majority of the carries this season. He's averaging 4.62 yards/carry, and has gotten to the endzone four times. That being said, Duke passes far more often than they run, so he will not be the primary concern of our defensive staff.
Pass Defense- They give up 8.1 yards/attempt, have allowed 10 passing touchdowns, and have only forced 3 interceptions. All that adds up to Tanner Price connecting with Chris Givens and company for a lot of yards and a lot of scores.
Run Defense-They allow 4.11 yards/carry, so Wallace Wade could very easily be the sight of a huge run for Josh Harris.
Turnover Margin: -2
Prediction: Win (5-2) Wake is just too talented for Duke. We're better than them in almost every facet of the game, and there is really no excuse to lose this game.
at North Carolina
Passing- Bryn Renner is very accurate, and averaged 9.8 yards/attempt, but the six interceptions have to worry you if you are a Carolina fan. Rutgers was able to pick him off three times, so if he does that against the Deacs, then i like our chances. As the game gets closer we will know if he has improved his decision making.
Rushing- Giovani Bernard is sensational. He is averaging over 7 yards/carry and he already has7 touchdowns on the year. They've been able to successfully run on each team they've played this year, so it will be critical to get an early lead and try and take them away from their rushing attack.
Pass Defense-They have intercepted 5 passes this season, but they allow a completion percentage of 62.5% and give up 7.4 yards/attempt. They can certainly be beat in the passing game. It just will depend on how well our offensive line is able to block Quinton Coples.
Rush Defense-Their rush defense is a definite strength, and maybe the most impressive part of their team. They limited Rutgers to just one yard on 25 carries. Virginia and Georgia Tech were both able to run on them though, so it will be interesting to see how their rush defense holds up against an ACC schedule.
Turnover Margin: 0
Prediction: Loss (5-3) I think this one will be really close, and the Deacs certainly have a chance to win, but I just think Giovani Bernard is too good and will keep the ball away from us. We'll need to pick Renner off at least once to have a chance.
They may have not won a championship since 1988, but they could still finish the year a top 15 team
Passing-Tommy Rees may not have been an Army All-American like Dayne Crist was coming out of high school, but nevertheless, he's their guy. The offense struggled early, primarily because of redzone turnovers, but has since found their stride as the Irish have won their last three games. They have been passing for fewer yards/attempt, however that has also led to fewer interceptions, which is what caused them to lose their first two games of the season.
Rushing- I know Cierre Wood gets the majority of reps, but Jonas Gray is a monster. He averages over 8 yards/carry. He is a physical specimen, and I truly hope that he is not their main back by the time early November comes around.
Pass Defense-Their pass defense is very similar to Virginia Tech's in that they only allow 6.5 yards/attempt. They also have five interceptions on the season, and hold opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 58%. Notre Dame's defense is better than they get credit for, but you have to feel confident that they will fall asleep on a play and that we will be able to take advantage.
Rush Defense- Their rush defense has been fairly solid this season. They've given up under 3 yards/carry, but did allow Michigan to rush for 4.38 yards/carry. I'm not saying that we have Denard Robinson on our team, but all it takes is one big run to change the game. It could be from our runningbacks, or is could be someone like Michael Campanaro on a jet sweep.
Turnover Margin: -9
Predication: Loss (5-4) If Notre Dame continues this dump down offense, then they will be difficult to stop. Our defense always attempts to bend but not break. I think that philosophy might allow Notre Dame to move the ball fairly easily. If Tommy Rees tries to take chances and force some throws, then I believe our defense will capitalize.
Incredible environment at Death Valley
Passing - Tajh Boyd has been sensational this season. He would be my pick for conference player of the year if the season ended today. He has 14 touchdown passes to just 2 interceptions, and averaged 8.7 yards/attempt. He will not get mistaken for Michael Vick, but he does have the ability to tuck the ball and run when necessary.
Rushing-Andre Ellington is quite fast. He averages 4.42 yard/carry and if he gets in open space, then watch out. He's not a great runner in between the tackles, but if he can bounce to the outside, then you are in trouble. Mike Bellamy is also a very impressive speed back. He's averaging 7.58 yards/carry on 24 attempts.
Pass Defense-This team can be beat through the air. They allow 7.5 yards/attempt, but they do limit opposing quarterbacks to just 55% completion rate. They've forced 5 interceptions through as many games, so it will be important to limit turnovers.
Rush Defense-They allow 4.49 yards/carry, but their rush defense has improved since the start of conference play. The next several weeks will be very telling who the real Clemson rush defense really is.
Turnover Margin: +3
Prediction: Loss (5-5) This Clemson team is just too impressive, and Death Valley is too intimidating. Clemson has too much speed and physicality for us to compete. I really don't expect this one to be that close.
So far it's been style over substance for Maryland
Passing- Danny O'Brien has had a bit of a sophomore slump. He is completing 64% of his passes, but he only averages 6.1 yards/attempt. He, like Logan Thomas, has thrown for four touchdown passes and has five interceptions. He cannot continue to turn the ball over if they want to be able to compete in conference games.
Rushing- Davin Meggett is their most impressive back. He averages just over 5 yards/carry, but he has only one touchdown. Sophomore D.J. Adams has scored three.
Pass Defense-Don't let their five interceptions fool you-they're not good. They allow 8.2 yard/attempt and a completion percentage of over 70. That's simply not a formula for winning football games. Tanner Price and other quarterbacks throughout the league should be able to pass at will on this team.
Rush Defense- Their rush defense is better than their pass defense, but it isn't anything to write home about either. They give up more than 4 yards/carry, and have allowed 10 passing touchdowns. So far this season, they have been thriving off the turnovers. Wake Forest has been very disciplined this season, and rarely turns it over. That will be very troublesome for the Maryland defense.
Turnover Margin: +6
Prediction: Win (6-5) Wake wins. I'm really not very worried about this game, especially since is at home. I know they won by nearly 40 points last season, but these are two completely different teams. O'Brien will turn it over and Price won't.
Jay Cutler is not walking through that door
Passing-Larry Smith is not the next Tom Brady. He has a completion percentage of 57.5%, and averages only 4.7 yards/attempt. His three touchdowns to three interceptions is not impressive. Those numbers are also inflated because of his game against Elon. I don't suspect he'll be a threat to go vertical on any given play.
Rushing- Zac Stacy and Jerron Seymour are both threats, but their numbers are inflated due to playing Elon, although they were impressive against Mississippi. I know Mississippi is not good, but at least they are an SEC team. Odds are their averages will come down throughout the course of the season.
Pass Defense- They have some ballhawks on this team, as they have intercepted 14 passes already this season. Their secondary is very strong, so this will be a classic example of strength vs. strength.
Rush Defense- Their rush defense is also decent. Their worst performance all season was against South Carolina, and they only gave up 3.28 yards/carry. Maybe Marcus Lattimore just had a bad game.
Turnover Margin +7
Prediction: Win (7-5) Wake will win their final regular season game of the year and beat the Commodores. I do not believe their offense is very impressive, and I think that by the time the end of the season comes around, there will be a blueprint on how to pass against this defense.