Grilled Baton Rouge and a play

Vanderbilt entertains LSU Saturday evening in a nationally televised game from Dudley Field. For my tailgating suggestion, I received an excellent idea from my intelligent wife. She realized my dislike for seafood and my belief that nearly all fish is chocked full of too much dangerous mercury. So, she recommended making a dish using a play on words with the French translation of "Baton Rouge."

The city where LSU is located translates to "Red Stick," so we will grill red sticks this weekend. In other words, we will prepare Cajun-style turkey legs.

In order to keep turkey legs from drying out on the grill, they need to marinate in brine; this process also tenderizes the meat. Place the turkey legs in a container and pour water in the container until the legs are completely covered. Now, add kosher salt. The amount to add is one tablespoon for every cup of water you added to the container.

Let the turkey remain in the brine for two hours. Remove it and add this Cajun blend: equal parts salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and chili powder.

Place the legs on a medium-heat grill and cook for about an hour, turning every 10-15 minutes. Replenish the coals when necessary, but do not let the fire get too hot.

When we grill turkey legs, we generally eat mashed potatoes, green beans, apple sauce, and fresh, homemade whole wheat bread. Since it's hard to do that at the stadium parking lot, I will leave it up to you to decide on your sides this week. Nothing really sounds good at the moment because I'm still overly bloated from three festive meals from the Rosh Hashanah holiday, and I am currently fasting today until 7:30 (Thursday).

Food discussion aside, let's talks about the game Saturday night. I haven't had much chance to study this game, as my week has been filled with other responsibilities, but I realize the need for Vandy to stretch the field vertically. Here is a diagram for a long pass to a tight end that destroys Cover 2 zones and gives your QB a good chance to isolate a taller receiver against a smaller strong safety. This play is similar to one used by Coach John Rauch and later John Madden with the Oakland Raiders. It worked equally well with Daryle Lamonica tossing deep to former LSU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon (by then converted to a tight end) and Ken Stabler hitting Dave Casper down the middle for 20-30 yards.

For Vandy's purposes, Jay Cutler to Dustin Dunning would be an excellent way to go deep.

The formation I have drawn is one Vanderbilt has used this season. Three receivers, Erik Davis, Marlon White, and Earl Bennett would flood the hook zones drawing defenders into the short middle. Cassen Jackson-Garrison or Jeff Jennings would run a flat route to the sideline. Dusting Dunning would block for one or two counts, then release and run a streak route. He should time the release to use the "screen" of the inside wide receiver in the event that the Mike linebacker is responsible for covering him man to man. Dunning's goal is to split the two deep safeties. The route is only about 20-25 yards deep, but it provides Dunning a chance to run for several yards after the catch.


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