Promoted from FanPost - Sam
Oh Noes- Its the Troy defense. Sorry, thats what my browser tells me every time I preview one of these posts. Well, we went through the offense Sunday, so that leaves us defense, and maybe, one day, special teams (but not today). Also, I want to know, do y'all like the current format, or would it be better to compare OSU offense/Troy defense, and vice versa. Just curious, a friend of mine pointed that out. Now, I know one game does not a season make. But currently, after one game, Troy is 59th in total defense. Oklahoma State, is 58th. Hmmmm, interesting. Numbers after the jump. --Im adding this after I wrote the above paragraph, Kendall Hunter had the most rushing yards in the country Saturday.
First, before I even start, I want to give a shout out to Fresno State, which recorded 8 sacks on Saturday. Now, where to start. D line seems like a good place.
Allright, everyone wanted to know how the D Line would perform, and I say the performed well. Richetti Jones, who deserves the big stud award on the defensive side of the ball, had 3 tackles for loss, which tied him for 6th in the country, and 2 solo sacks. Those, my friends, are big time numbers. Its been a long time since we've had a guy on the end who could create havoc and get to the quarterback. Ugo Chinasa and Shane Jarka each had 1 solo tackle, and Chris Donaldson was just kinda there, but not for long, as Donaldson and Jarka both left before halftime. Backing up Donaldson is Anthony Rogers, who had 3 tackles and one TFL. Behind Jarka is Nigel Nicholas, who had one tackle. On the rivals site he is listed as the starter this week, but Donaldson is still listed as a starter. So, luckily we have a couple weeks to retool the line before the A&M game. Overall, while I would love to see more tackles at the line, nothing from Saturday led me to believe we have line problems. (except losing two players in the first half, but the backups played well). My grade, B+ (that will probably drop to B- after Troy, unless Nicholas steps up big. According to Robert Allen he was supposed to be ready for the A&M game, but looks like its go time now)
At D Line, Troy has to replace all four starters from last year. Adding to the trouble, Troy's defensive line is a bit undersized. Biggest player is 285 lb Emmanual Dudley, other than him its pretty small. Against Bowling Green Dudley had 2 solo tackles and 1 assist. 250 lb Jonathan Massaquoi, 230 lb Riley Flowers, and 240 lb Mario Addison round out the line. Together they combined for 5 tackles and no sacks. However, the Bowling Green offensive line averages under 300 pounds, so they should not fare so well against our boys. Overall, this is the least experienced bunch on either side of the ball, but Troy always seems to produce good linemen (see NFL badasses Osi Umenyiora and DeMarcus Ware) Also, they see a lot more spread type offense's than WSU, as they run one themselves. (see the Tony Franklin System). But much like the offensive line, size and depth will take over by the end of the third quarter, and they have never seen Kendall Hunter in form. Also, our tight ends are as big as some linemen, so we should be able to push them forward mostly at will. My grade, B- (they did well against Bowling Green, only allowing 1 rushing TD, but its still Bowling Green)
First, it was awesome to see Ori Lemon back. Seeing him on the sideline last year was like having a buddy in a slump for an entire year, while everyone of his other friends scores time and time again with tons of awesome tail, and no matter how much you want to help him you cant, then he regains form and just tears the ass up. Good day. Lemon had 4 solo tackles and 1 assist, one TFL and one sack. If you didn't watch the game Ori was flying to the line, man was playing hard. Justin Gent had 6 tackles, 1 assist, and spent most of the game inside Tuel's personal bubble. Like Ori, he flew around crushing people all night. Makes me tingly thinking about it. James Thomas had 1 tackle, but his backup Shawn Lewis had 6, so I wonder how long Lewis remains a backup. Overall the linebackers were badass. Once or twice one would be out of place, and that accounted for two or three big pass plays and a big run or two, but considering no Cougar running back had more that 40 yards, I'd say it was a great night. My grade, A- (but I would love to see less big plays, but corners and safety's must help on that also)
Troy has to replace 2 1st Team All Sun Belt players at linebacker, so there will be some drop off from last year. Troy rotates a lot of guys around in coverage, so LB's and CB's switch positions from time to time. The corp consists of Daniel Scheffield, Xavier Lamb, and Donnell Golden. Together they combined for 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. That equates to 26% of the total team tackles. They have the least experienced depth here, except for the line, losing 3 starters and 2 backups. I think, given their size and lack of experience they will not pose to many problems for our receivers or running backs. My grade, C (Not much great to say here, zero sacks, and 5 runs of 8 yards or more, no pass breakups, and no interceptions, so Hunter and Blackmon will make them their bitches)
Cornerback's and Safety's:
Well, I was going to be all critical here, and give shit about giving up some big pass plays to WSU. But, after looking, the 4 CB's who saw action accounted for 13 of 52 tackles on the team. Now, I'm torn as to if this is good or bad. But, I did see their play tighten up, and played well in position in the second half. The two starters, Andrew McGee and Broderick Brown played a pretty decent game, got out of position a couple times in the first half. Again, I think I'm reading way too much into this, as we only allowed 17 points. Justin Gilbert and Devin Hedgepeth came in and played well in relief. My grade, B-/C+ (compared to WSU's wideout's, Jerrell Jernigan will be like seeing Afroman one weekend, then Snoop Dogg the next. Our boys better be ready. But, he is Troys main weapon, so he will be a good warm up before receivers like Broyles and Williams show up, who have other weapons on their teams)
Now come's to what I believe to be the strength of the secondary. Markell Martin and Johnny Thomas, the pimpass safety's. Both are juniors who have seen extensive action over their first two years. And now, they've had one full year in the Bill Young system, so productivity should increase. Martin, who started all 11 games he played in last year, also saw action in 11 games his freshman year. Against WSU, Martin had 1 tackle, 2 assists, and 1 pass breakup. Thomas has seen action in 22 games over the past two years, but this is his first year starting full time. Against WSU he had 1 tackle and 1 pass breakup. Also seeing action against WSU are backups Deion Imade and Victor Johnson, who both had 1 tackle. I love our safety's. We have experience and depth, something we haven't had alot of before. If our line can get to the quarterback and pressure him, with the coverage from our cb's and safety's, we should have a pretty badass defense this year. My grade, A (need an interception to get an A+ from my ass)
Troy's cornerbacks are 5'10" 170lb Chris Pickett and 5'9" 182lb Bryan Willis. Pickett had 3 solo tackles and 2 assists, while Willis had 2 solo tackles against Bowling Green. Pickett is a true freshman this year, and while he has tons of awesome numbers in high school, that doesn't mean dick at this level, so his experience level is 1 game against Bowling Green. I like this. He'll get a lesson Saturday in the Boone Bowl. Willis, however, is the yin to Pickett's yang. He's a redshirt sophomore, who started all 13 games last season, and was voted second team All Sun Belt. Last year he had 73 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions. I don't like this. He's had two full years in their system, knows where to be, and is quick, According to Troy, (so this number maybe bullshit) he runs a 4.47 forty. Speedy little shit. I'm no coach, but I suspect we will be picking on the Pickett side of the field. My grade, C+ on one side of the field, A- on the other.
Troy boast's two senior safety's, 6'1" 214lb Bryant McKissic, and 6'1" 196lb Willard Ross, who both happened to have monster games against Bowling Green. McKissic had 5 tackles, and Ross had 6 with one pass breakup. Ross played in all 13 games last year, starting two, with 26 tackles. Before that he was a two year All Region player at Mississippi Delta Community College, recording 148 tackles and 8 sacks. McKissic made his first career start last year in the GMAC Bowl against Central Michigan, where he had 3 tackles and his first career interception. Overall he has seen action in 36 games. So, two dude who have combined to play in 49 FBS games. Shit. But, all is not lost, I expect Blackmon to be entirely too much for these guys, and Kendall, well, you know. My grade, A (guys are good, no shit, but still, it's the Sunbelt.)
As I said in my offensive comparison, I expect a tight game at first, where our size, depth, and speed takes over. Sorta like your first time, it starts off slow, then builds into an all out pounding. I'm sticking with my 45-24 W, but I'm adding that Troy will score 14 of those points in the fourth quarter when the game is out of reach. Our D will be tested, Jernigan will see to that, but Troys will be pushed to the breaking point. With the way Weeden is slinging the ball, Blackmon catching the ball, and Hunter doing what ever the fuck he wants to with the ball, it's going to be a long day for the Trojans. Also, time for some god damn payback. My liver will never recover from the last Troy game, and those precious brain cells lost are what took me so long on this post.
Until next week, HUNTER FOR HEISMAN
GO POKES!! BEAT THAT TROJAN ASS!!