Friday, September 05, 2008

My Staff Has +3 Protection Against Hanna's Breath

Blacksburg, VA -- The Furman Paladins, that's right, the Paladins travel up to Blacksburg, VA on Saturday to face the Hokies at 1:30 PM for their first road game of the year. The Purple and White, Division I-AA*, team from Greenville, SC are coming off a 62-14 win over Mars Hill. This will be the only Division I-A* school the Paladins do battle with this year. A storied program; Saturday marks the 1000th game for the Paladins. In that time they have amassed a 550-411-38 record.

Furman comes out of the Southern Conference that boasts giant killers, most notable, the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Last year, the Mountaineers went into the Big House and stunned the Michigan Wolverines. The Paladins have a talented team. However, the likelihood of a similar upset is slim.

Head coach Bobby Lamb, in his seventh season at Furman, leads a talented high powered offense. At the helm of the offense is quarterback Jordan Sorrells. In the opener against the Division II Mars Hill Lions, he passed for 218 yards and three touchdowns. Behind him Mike Brown leads the Paladins tailbacks. He rushed for 93 yards including one touchdown. Furman dominated Mars Hill on offense.

However, on defense, the Hokies are no Mars Hill. In fact, the Hokies are more like Jupiter's Mountains. Macho Harris returns to the team. His leadership and skill were missed in the loss to ECU. With Harris back, and the fire that defensive coordinator Bud Foster surely lit under their pants, the defense should come out on fire. This is not an enviable position to be in if you are a Furman offensive lineman.

On defense, the Paladins held the Lions to under 100 yards rushing and just 74 yards through the air. They picked off one pass and forced four fumbles, three of which they were able to recover. Again, the Paladins were facing a mediocre Division II school -- 6-5 in 2007 -- and are coming off of a 6-5 record themselves.

Essentially this should be an easy win for the Hokies. The victory is pretty certain. What's more concerning, and what we'll be focusing on, is how the victory is accomplished. First, the return of Tyrod Taylor. Taylor wore a redshirt for exactly one week. Just one week after deciding to redshirt Taylor, the coaching staff announced on Tuesday that they would be lifting the shirt. How much playing time Taylor will get has not been divulged. This uncertainty makes it difficult to predict how the offense will come out.

Second, the loss of Blake DeChristopher, right tackle, will change the dynamic of the offensive line. Richard Graham will come in to replace DeChristopher. It'll be interesting to watch the line adjust to the new makeup.

Third, Tropical Storm Hanna approaches the mid-Atlantic seaboard as I type. Saturday's game will be played in intermittent rain and high winds. This will affect the play calling as well as the accuracy of the passing game. Expect, (well let me take that back, most sane persons would expect), a heavily ground game favored offensive attack on both sides of the ball. That, combined with the new clock rules, and lack of TV coverage, will make for a very quick, lower than expected scoring game.


Hokie Guru said...

The lower than expected score had more to do with Bryan Stinespring's OFFENSE LOL. I will be talking about this on Sunday

Hokie Guru said...

Check out my new candidate at FBS