The Beast Looks at Penn State

The key for Miami on offense will be ball control, especially early. Ok I know its over stated and extremely obvious, but with 107,000 Joe Pa deciples in the stands, Miami will need to take the crowd out of the game. Now, there are two options to do this: 1. Go Deep early. However, with the inexperience at wide reciever (which we will get back to in a second), it would probably be more favorable to let them get accustomed to the environment before going long.

2. Give the ball to Clinton, Najeh, Willis or Jarret. The Canes have the deepest running corps in the country, why not use it. Miami can beat Penn State at their own game, smash mouth football. Now, don't think Ken Dorsey will be relegated to handing the ball off the whole game.

Look for Najeh Davenport to be a star, as a reciever out of the backfield and as a runner. Jarret Payton has great hands out of the fullback postion as well. Back to the recieving game. You have been hearing since the NFL draft that Miami's recievers were a question mark. Well I hate to say this but they are. Darryl Jones has alot of big game experience but the Fab Four of Andre Johnson, Kevin Beard, Jason Geathers, and Ethnic Sands had a total of 3 cathces between the four of them (Andre Johnson had all four) last year. Does this mean Miami won't have their bombs away passing attack, no. However, look for Jeremy Shockey, Najeh Davenport and other runningbacks to be very involved in the passing game early.

Penn States defense is strong up front, especially at the defensive tackle postion. Anthony Adams and Jimmy Kenndey are both above average players with Kennedy being close to a stud. Of course Miami's offensive line isn't too shabby so look for that matchup between the PSU DT's and the guards of Miami to even out. Penn States defensive backfield isn't exactly the next coming of a bunch of Deon Juniors and their linebackers don't exactly live up to the Linebacker U billing. Miami should be able to rack up the yards if they can get to the outside. As you can imagine, Penn States Team speed is not quite as speedy as that of Miami.

Penn States offense will rely on what every Big Ten team relies on, the running game. They have three very capable running backs in Eric McCoo, Omar Easy and Larry Johnson. All three tailbacks have the big play capability. Their passing game is a question mark, both in the sense that it probably isn't very good and because its hard to know much about their passign game with a new quarterback and young recieving corps. Matt Senneca is thier successor to Rashard Casey (not exactly huge shoes to fill). The Canes watched some quality film on Senneca including alot of late game hand offs, about a dozen passes, and most importantly, they saw alot of him holding a clipboard which always makes preparing for him a tough task. Miami's defense will be ready to stop the run. They will throw stuff at Senneca that he hasn't seen in his wildest dreams. The point, to rattle him as much as possible.

The only question mark on the Canes defense is at the end postion. it is fair to say Cornelius Green will not play against PSU. While a turf toe may sound like its a cousin of Athlete's Foot, it is actually a very painful injury which takes a long time to heal (see OJ McDuffie). That being said Jerome Mcdougle will get that start at defensive end. You might remember Jerome from his fainting stint a few weeks ago but he is fine now and ready to make his first D-1A start at Happy Valley. At the other end spot will be the incummbant Jamaal Green or another juco transfer Andrew Williams. Jamaal has been suffering from a sprained knee but had a great practice week leading up to this first game. It wouldn't surprise me to see Williams start with Green backing up both sides. John Sqare the 3rd down rushing maniac can also play both sides. Mat Walters the starting defensive tackle can also move outside to end because he has wide reciever like 4.5 speed and figures his new bleached hair look will rattle and opposing blocker.

All in all Miami should win this game. Forget about the crowd, forget about the night game, forget about Joe Pa going for Bear Bryant's record, forget about Adam Taliaferro( a PSU player who was paralyzed last year) leading the team out of the tunnel (although we applaud his recovery and wish him the best), this game will come down to who has the better players on the field and Miami gets the check mark in that category. On to the Creamery and the Nittany Lion Inn, its time for College Football (and of course BCS chat)!

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