Pony Stampede TV: Football Friday Preview
What to Watch for on Offense for SMU
Gilbert's Shoulder- If Gilbert cannot be himself and plays like he did in the second half against UConn, SMU will have trouble moving the ball. Neal Burcham is not ready as coach June Jones said after practice Wednesday so Gilbert will have to protect himself but will need help from the offensive line. If the running game can get anything at all going, it will help take the pressure off of Gilbert immensely. Gilbert also will need to protect himself better by sliding or getting out of bounds if he runs. With a short, quick passing game with occasional shots deep, Gilbert should be just fine.
What to Watch for on Offense for USF
Andre Davis- With SMU's struggles in the secondary, Davis has an opportunity to take over if White can get time back in the pocket. Davis is one of the better receivers SMU has faced this season and is on fire with two straight 100-yard games. While he is not as physically imposing as Mike Evans from Texas A&M, he has a great deal of athletic ability to make big catches. Kenneth Acker will have a tough task covering Davis, but if he gets some help from the front seven, he should be able to do the job.
What to Watch for on Defense for SMU
The front seven- While Davis is the defense's biggest problem, pressuring USF's young signal caller into making bad decisions can solve all of this. If SMU can get constant pressure and sack White, Davis is going to be limited since the ball won't even be coming his way. This has a much better chance of happening than the SMU secondary all of the sudden becoming a playmaking, shutdown group. It will be on the linebackers off the edge to beat the USF tackles around the edge and to get to White.
What to Watch for on Defense for USF
The defensive ends- While Ryan Giddins and Aaron Lynch came in with a lot of hype, the two have been relatively quiet this year. They are very talented though and may be able to cause problems for SMU's offensive line with their quickness. Couple that with linebacker DeDe Lattimore, who sacked Teddy Bridgewater twice, and the Bulls have a solid group of athletes to rush the passer.
Key to the Game- Protecting Gilbert. Whether it is by the offensive line protecting well or by the running backs getting a good amount of carries, Gilbert cannot win this game alone.
Prediction: SMU wins, 42-10.
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