Thursday, November 30, 2006

Key Matchups for Championship Games

Today, I will take a look at what I think the key matchups will be in this weekend's ACC and SEC Championship Games. Tomorrow, I will have my final predictions.
ACC Championship Jacksonville 1:00 ABC

When Georgia Tech has the ball-

Calvin Johnson versus Wake Forest Secondary

I expect Johnson to be double teamed for most of the game unless Tashard Choice is gashing the Demon Deacon offense. I expect Georgia Tech to make a very concerted effort to get the ball to Johnson after just two catches last week.

Reggie Ball versus Wake Forest Blitz

Reggie Ball's biggest kryptonite (among other things) is putting consistent pressure on him in the pocket. Ball usually has just one or two progressions and after those will tuck the ball looking to run. By blitzing you do open up the QB draw, but Ball has been hobbled much of this year and not as effective on these plays. I think Wake will definitely blitz on 3rd and medium to long, but not that much on 1st and 2nd downs.

Wake Forest misdirection versus Georgia Tech defense

Georgia Tech's fast, blitzing defense versus the Wake Forest misdirection?

Georgia attempted to counteract Tech's blitz with screen passes and misdirection which worked for some big gains last week. Wake uses a lot of misdirection to offset their lack of speed and size of offense. Jon Tenuta's defense rarely sells out on a blitz, but has been suspect at times tackling in the secondary. Tech will alter their defensive scheme a little bit, but will still blitz and play a very attacking style.

SEC Championship Atlanta 6:00 CBS

When Arkansas has the ball-

"Wildcat" Formation versus Florida Front Seven

I think the Gators will challenge Arkansas to throw the ball by stacking 8 or 9 in the box hoping to string reverses and sweeps out. Florida can live with Darren McFadden throwing the ball, even though he is 5-5 on the season

Casey Dick versus Florida Defense

Dick had his worst game of the season against LSU completing less than one-third of his passes and not putting much scare into the LSU secondary. Without a decent passing game, the Gators can load up in the box.

Arkansas Secondary versus Florida WR

The Arkansas secondary will have a tough task matchup with the talented receivers of Florida. Razorback corner Chris Houston will probably match up with Dallas Baker, but the rest of the defense cannot rest on Andre Caldwell who took a swing pass 60 yards for a TD last week. Florida will likely not be very effective in the run game with a hobbled DeShawn Wynn, so the Gators will need to move the ball through the air primarily.

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