Friend vs Foe: Nebraska edition
For this week’s edition of Friend vs. Foe, we welcome Jon from the Nebraska SB Nation blog Corn Nation. He will provide his perspective on how or why Nebraska can beat Michigan on Saturday. Remember, this is not an actual game prediction. It is an attempt to describe how or why each team can win from each side of the matchup.
The case for Nebraska
Nebraska’s biggest problem has been turnovers. The Huskers are last in the nation in fumbles lost with 13. Eight have been lost at home. Two came at UCLA in a 36-30 loss, and another four at Ohio State as the Huskers were blown out.
Nebraska’s second biggest problem lurks in how to handle mobile quarterbacks. If you want to successfully disable a Husker fan, all you have to do is whisper “mobile quarterback” in their ear, then stand back and scream “TURNOVER!” and watch them collapse and curl up in a fetal position.
Yet all is not lost for Nebraska!
Friend vs Foe: Illinois edition
This week we welcome Robert from the Illinois blog A Lion Eye. He will provide his perspective on how or why Illinois can beat Michigan on Saturday. Remember, this is not an actual game prediction. It is an attempt to describe how or why each team can win from each side of the matchup.
The case for Illinois
How or why will Illinois win? We can’t and won’t. So there you go. What’s that? Keep going? OK, but your readers need to promise not to laugh. They won’t? You’re sure? OK, here goes:
We should have a top-25 defense. But we don’t. We can’t force field goals, and our offense keeps turning the ball over. We’re 37th in total defense but 78th in scoring defense, and that pretty much tells the whole story. Too many redzone touchdowns, too many short fields for our opponents.
Friend vs Foe: Purdue edition
Fresh off the bye week, we are proud to feature Travis from the Purdue SB Nation blog Hammer and Rails. He will provide his perspective on how or why Purdue can beat Michigan on Saturday. Remember, this isn’t an actual game prediction. It’s just an attempt to describe how or why each team can win from each side of the matchup.
The case for Purdue
Purdue is a team that I am still trying to figure out. It is one that is averaging 45 points per game but hasn’t really played that well offensively. The numbers are a little skewed because we have three defensive scores and we’ve played three pretty lousy defenses. We still have scored the most points of anyone against Notre Dame and had we not been dumb enough to bench a hot Robert Marve for three series against the Irish it probably would have been more.
Friend vs Foe: Notre Dame edition
Offensively, Notre Dame is still a work in progress mainly due to new starting quarterback and redshirt freshman Everett Golson. However, there are plenty of weapons for the young quarterback to work with and an offensive line with a few really strong and tough players.
Overall though with a somewhat less explosive offense, the Irish seem more comfortable with Golson under center. There’s a sense that he can make plays on his own, but the whole offense isn’t as dependent upon his play as is usually the case with Brian Kelly’s quarterbacks. Notre Dame will lean a little bit more on the run, and keep things pretty simple for Golson in the passing game, and there seems to be growing confidence in the team’s ability to protect the ball (just 2 turnovers through 3 games), which is a welcome change from last year.
Friend vs Foe: UMass editionSept. 13 by Justin
For this week’s installment of Friend vs. Foe, we teamed up with Bob McGovern of the Maroon Musket. Bob will provide his evaluation of how or why UMass can win on Saturday. Remember, this isn’t a game prediction. It is an attempt to describe why or how each team can win from each side of the matchup.
The case for UMass
The best way to write about UMass’ chances is to redefine what the word “win” means. In the literal sense, a win would mean that the Minutemen defied all odds, caught inexplicable breaks and pulled off what would be the biggest upset in the history of the Big House (yes, that includes Appalachian State). Under its new, realistic definition, a win would mean not losing by the spread (45.5 points) and scoring more than one touchdown.
In order to get a revised win, the Minutemen need to improve in all three major facets of the game.
Friend vs Foe: Air Force editionSept. 6 by Justin
For this week’s installment of Friend vs. Foe, we are pleased to have Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Air Force blog provide his perspective. Remember, this isn’t a game prediction. It is an attempt to describe why or how each team can win from each side of the matchup.
The case for Air Force
I don’t think Air Force is pulling off this upset on Saturday. But I felt the same way before the Falcons played at Oklahoma in 2010 and at Boise State in 2011, and both times the Falcons were right there in the second half with a shot at the win. They were in those games for the same reason they have a puncher’s chance on Saturday: Their scheme on offense drives first-time opponents crazy.
People think of the Falcons as a triple-option team, but they’ve become a zone-blocking team that uses the triple option as a change of pace. Most of what they do looks more like the Shanahan-era Denver Broncos (Troy Calhoun was an assistant for those teams for a few years) than the DeBerry-era Air Force Falcons. They cut block constantly, which linemen hate. They line up in a million formations and are adept at misdirection.
Friend vs Foe: Alabama editionAug. 30 by Justin
Welcome to the first installment of our new weekly series that will run throughout the season, Friend vs. Foe. In this feature, we will go head to head with a writer from a blog of that week’s opponent. The point isn’t to make a score prediction of the game, but rather for each of us to explain how or why our respective team will win.
For this week’s edition, we are privileged to have Todd from Roll Bama Roll. You might recognize RBR from the “Michigan Hate Week” post earlier in the week. However, that was just a fan post, not by the actual guys that run RBR. Todd is a good guy and they produce some great Alabama content. But head over to that thread for a good pregame laugh. I haven’t met enough Alabama fans yet to tell whether they all subscribe to that line of thinking, but I will say that that poster didn’t do his brethren many favors when it comes to fanbase perception. But I digress. Let’s get on with it.
The case for Alabama
In football, most students of the game will tell you everything starts up front. The team that can control the line of scrimmage and impose its will on the opponent is usually the team that will come out on top. Nick Saban has built his success at Alabama on that principle, using big and surprisingly athletic linemen on both sides of the ball to establish the Tide’s dominance in games early and often. The same will hold true this year.