Each game week here at Blogger So Dear we'll do our best to analyze what the three most important 1-on-1 matchups are of the upcoming football game.
A'Lique Terry (Center) vs. Gerrand Johnson (Nose Tackle)
Like most people watching football, I watch the ball and am not necessarily paying attention to the intricacies of the interior linemen. Thursday night will be different, however, as I will be paying very close attention to center-nose tackle matchup. Obviously it's not always 1-on-1, but how well true freshman A'Lique Terry blocks experienced nose tackle Gerrand Johnson will go a long way in determining the winner of this game. Johnson is a large man at 6'0" 283 pounds, and he led the Warhawks with 11 tackles for loss last season. Can the number 9 rated center in the 2014 recruiting class stop him? We'll find out if Terry is up to it on Thursday night. If he can contain Johnson, he will give our offense a far greater chance of being successful.
Kevin Johnson (Cornerback) vs. Rashon Ceasar (Wide Receiver)
Rashon Ceasar is ULM's leading receiver and Kevin Johnson was rated by ESPN's Todd McShay as the 5th best cornerback in the country. Last season, Ceasar caught 65 balls for 964 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2013. Against Wake, he had 10 receptions for 84 yards. Johnson's ability to limit big plays from Ceasar will be critical. Ceasar will have to work hard all night to get open against our very experienced secondary. Our secondary will be critical in all of our games this season; their first big test is Rashon Ceasar. The last thing Wake needs to happen is to have ULM beat us with a big play early. If Wake can force Pete Thomas to have to sustain a long drive, then that greatly goes in Wake Forest's favor.
Zachary Allen (Defensive End) vs. Chase Regian (Left Tackle)
This matchup could really just be our defensive line vs. their offensive line. Our four starting defensive linemen (Zachary Allen, Josh Banks, Tylor Harris and Wendell Dunn) have a total of just five career starts, while ULM's offensive line has a total of 79 career starts. Joseph Treadwell leads the way at right tackle and had started all 37 games of his collegiate career. The left tackle, however, is a reshirt freshman who has zero career starts. Chase Regian is just 289 pounds, so I would expect redshirt senior Zachary Allen to be able to take advantage and collapse the pocket around Pete Thomas. If Zachary Allen and the defensive line can force pressure, then the secondary should feast.