College football season officially kicks off tonight. Exciting matchups include Wisconsin vs UNLV (the Runnin' Rebs are only 35 point dogs. Only), Kentucky vs Western Kentucky, and...yeah there's not much to get excited about. But Saturday? Oh my goodness Saturday!!!!!!!!
Phil Miller talks with Matt Limegrover, who says the Gopher offense strives to be basic yet inventive. What does that mean? Nobody can really seem to explain exactly what the Gopher offense will look like. Limegrover calls it an "amoeba" that never stays the same, taking pieces from West Coast, spread, and pro-style offenses. One thing they won't be, though, is slow:
That means working quickly, so defenses have less time to read and react. It means running lots of misdirection, plenty of play-action fakes to backs, and giving Gray the license to leap into a hole in the defense if he spots one...
"We'll never be as traditional as, turn around [and] hand the ball off. Drop back, throw the football," Limegrover said. "We need to spread the field, and against teams like USC and Wisconsin, you don't want slow, plodding stuff. You want quick-hit action, so they can't anticipate you."
They've had all offseason to prepare their nameless offense for USC. Kill has said a few times in the last month that they're not going to get too fancy, that because this is new for everybody on offense, they can't be very complex. Still, don't you think we're going to see Kill and Limegrover pull out a few special plays for Saturday? Me too.
A special play that involves, say, Max Shortell getting on the field? Limegrover said it was a possibility. Could be he's out there with Gray splitting out wide, or perhaps to give Q a breather. Because the QB is going to be asked to run a lot in this system, Kill has subbed in the backup now and again to keep his starter fresh.
From that same link in the PP, some injury notes for Saturday:
Kill said linebacker Aaron Hill (hamstring), linebacker Mike Rallis (sickness) and offensive lineman Josh Campion (concussion) probably be would sidelined this week for precautionary reasons. Senior center Ryan Wynn (ankle) and linebacker Keanon Cooper (wrist) are expected to play Saturday.
Ok so that explains Campion's absence on this week's two deep. Good thing we have all that linebacker depth with both Rallis and Hill likely out, AND Keanon Cooper banged up. Think we see Tinsley on the outside at all Saturday?
If you haven't already, listen to FBT's USC preview podcast.
DL Wilhite is #6 on CBS Sports Dennis Dodd's 25 Things to Watch in college football. After an offseason of scandal and turmoil, Dodd was looking for some positive stories, and loves Wilhite's dedication to his studies. GN had a good post on that awhile back, which if you ask Sid Hartman, GN definitely wrote.
The LA Times says USC coach Lane Kiffin is seriously worried about playing Minnesota.
E!SPN.com B1G blogger Adam Rittenberg thinks Minnesota will lose by 2 TD's Saturday. Hey, it means they cover the spread!
Some thoughts on Saturday's game from SB Nation USC blog Conquest Chronicles.
E!SPN LA gives you USC's depth chart.
The B1G unveiled their new football championship trophy. Just a wee bit better than the Cy-Hawk trophy. Just a smidge.