Winston Journal #15

Senior offensive lineman Eric Winston is preparing for his final game as a Hurricane when he takes the field in Atlanta against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

The Peach Bowl is around two weeks away and I am getting excited about it. We have been slotted to play LSU. It will be a great test for our team to take on one of the best teams in the SEC.

From the first little looks I've had of LSU, I've taken away two things: They are strong up front and athletic at the skill positions.

On defense they feature the best defensive tackle tandem in the nation. Some people think they might both go in the first round -- whether or not that becomes a fact is up for debate. But what is not up for debate is the fact that they can play.

Their ends aren't the speed-rushing type. They are the big, powerful run-stuffing type. Their front four really bottles the holes up, allowing their linebackers to make plays. The linebackers aren't all stars but they play hard and make the tackles.

Their ends aren't the speed-rushing type. They are the big, powerful run-stuffing type. Their front four really bottles the holes up, allowing their linebackers to make plays. The linebackers aren't all stars but they play hard and make the tackles.

The defensive backs are their weakest point. They have got beaten deep some this season, but they are also good tacklers. The big picture to take away from their defense is that it is very solid, especially against the run. The offensive line will have to hit low and get some push off the ball. We will probably take an NFL mentality to running the ball. What I mean by that is that we can't worry about hitting a home run right off the bat, but rather be happy with positive gains.

A 3-yard run early in the game on a first down will be a solid play. The big thing we can't do is stick ourselves in third-and-long situations. If we are in second-and-six or third-and-four situations, we will have a lot of success.

Now saying this is easier than just making it happen. It will be important for us to not get down if we don't have a great amount of success early, because it will be one of those games where it will be a slugfest in the trenches and both teams will be scraping for every inch.

My schedule for Christmas break is pretty hectic. We start practice the 15th and go every day until the 22nd, when we will have a practice on that morning and I will head back to Midland that afternoon. I will be in Midland from then until Christmas afternoon, when I will fly to Atlanta.

We have to report at noon on the 26th, but it is impossible to get there that early without leaving on Christmas. We will practice that week and play LSU on the 30th.

After the game I am planning to go on a three-day vacation and then come back to Midland for the next week.

It will be a lot of travel, but I really don't mind it. It allows me to do a little reading and watch some movies while flying. Christmas is the best time of the year and I am excited to be able to come home and see my friends, but most importantly spend it with my family. That's all for me.

With the hectic schedule, I will be taking about a month off. But when I come back I will be telling you about my offseason schedule and the great opportunities ahead for me.

Eric Winston is working with Christopher Stock who is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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