The E. Season 5 Conference Championship Game Previews

Discussion in 'The Experience' started by jello1717, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    Teams' Seasons in Review
    All 6 teams have had great seasons, all finishing in the top 12. 3 rolled along all season to undefeated records (UGA, Wiscy, ASU) while the other 3 have rolled the CPU with only 2 CPU losses between them but have struggled against other users going 2-8 (but one of those wins was between MSU/Ole Miss so one of them had to win).
    Besides the pride of winning a conference title, all 6 teams need a win to fullfill their season's goals. The 3 undefeated teams are playing for a national championship (although ASU needs help from Ole Miss or MSU for this to happen) while the other 3 are fighting for a BCS bowl birth. Ole Miss is definitely out with a loss as Florida will get the SEC's 2nd spot with a UGA win. Stanford will also be out as they'll likely fall behind USC and probably out of the top 14. MSU could possibly squeeze into a BCS bowl, but it's extremely unlikely as they'd like fall out of the top 14 as well.
    #1 [​IMG]
    UGA is the most talented team in the country and has lived up to that this year. They've rolled as they have only had 2 games all year decided by single digits (#11 Stanford by 3 and #7 Florida by 7). Defense is the name of the game for the Dawgs. They have modest offensive yards with the #63 total offense, #20 rushing and #89 passing yards. Like most of these CCG teams, they get the ball in the endzone with 38.1 PPG (#5). Defensively, however, they're arguably the best team in the country. Their total, rushing, and passing defenses are ranked #2, #3, and #4 respectively. #5 Air Force is the only team to give up less than UGA's 10 PPG. They harrass the hell out of the QB as they lead the nation with 69 sacks (the next closest team, Stanford, only has 51).
    SR QB Brian Murray triggers the Dawg offense with his 158 QBR (2nd in the SEC) and 25 TDs (1st in SEC). He has thrown 14 INTs however. On the ground HB Corey Kimbrough is back from injury (I believe he was hurt) which is huge. He was 2nd in the SEC with 1382 yards, but he's only gotten into the end zone 12 times. Murray helps in this department with his 7 rushing TDS. On defense, the Dawgs have a remarkable 4 guys with double digit sacks, led by JR DT Jonas Taylor who leads the nation with 19.5.
    #2[​IMG]
    The 2 time defending national champs have lived up to the growing expectations in Madison once again. Like UGA, they've only had 2 games decided by single digits, including a season opening 2 point squeaker with a now unranked 6-6 TCU team. They know how to score with 38.8 PPG which is 4th in the nation and they do it on the ground (as have all great past Badger teams). They're only 69th in passing yards, but they're 10th for total yards and a very solid 5th in rushing yards with 2482 and 2nd in rushing TDs with 36. Defensively, they're pretty bipolar. No one in the country is better at stopping the run as they've only allowed 895 yards, but their passing defense is only ranked 87th nationally (we'll stick a pin in this and circle back to it later). A great strength of this team is their ball control as they're 2nd in the country by converting 54% of their 3rd downs.
    Their QB may only be a SO, but he led the B1G in QBR as he completed 61% of his passes (#1 in B1G) at a clip of 17.2 YPC (#1 in B1G). On the ground they use a thunder/lightning attack with fellow SOs Derrick Brown (thunder) and Kevin Dykes (Lightning). Both backs went over 1,000 yards and combined for 27 TDs. The D-line is anchored by DE Robert Thompson and DT Bryan Hodge who combined for 18.5 sacks while the secondary is patrolled by FR SS Justin Smith who has snagged 6 INTs which led the B1G.
    #3[​IMG]
    The Devils have had yet another very solid season. Despite being the worst team between these 6 teams their players continue to overachieve. They sport the 2nd highest PPG in the country with 41 PPG and they do this on the ground. Their ground game is also ranked #2 and they lead the nation in rushing TDs, but their attack is very unbalanced as only 2 teams in the country have thrown for fewer yards than the Devils. Like UGA, they get the job done defensively as their total, rushing, and passing defense is ranked #10, #18, #16 nationally. Their scoring defense is ranked #6 in the country with only 13.8 PPG allowed. One of their strengths is that they protect the ball very well while also forcing turnovers. This has led them to the #2 turnover differential. Like the Badgers, the Devils have been very difficult to get off the field as they've converted 51% of their 3rd downs (#3) and 100% of their 4th downs (#1). They've also been money in the red zone as they lead the nation by scoring on 90% of their red zone opportunities. On the flip side, they're 9th worst in the country for red zone defense. The silver lining here is that while teams know that they'll score against ASU when they get to the red zone, they also know that they won't get there often as only 2 teams in the country have allowed fewer red zone opportunities (one of whom is UGA).
    Offensively ASU starts with SO signal caller Robbie Thomas. He hasn't put up big total numbers through the air, but he's been extremely efficient. He's #2 in the Pac12 with a QB rating of 181.2, has only thrown 4 INTs to 13 TDs, and leads the Pac12 by completing 70% of his passes. He's more known for his legs as he led the Devils with 156 carries and has totalled 591 yards. He's joined by a stable of backs as ASU had 3 guys with 500+ yards, 5 guys with 250+, 5 guys with at least 3 rushing TDs and 4 guys with at least 5. They're led by FR Bryan Stephens who has run for over 1,000 yards, returned kickd for over 1,000 yards, and has over 400 yards of punt returns. While their defense has the #2 Pac12 intercepter and #3 Pac12 sacker, other stats are more telling. The leadin ASU tackler is only ranked #25 in the Pac12. The punt returner led the Pac12 in PRs. Despite returning every kick for his team, Stephens has only returned 2.8 kicks per game. These 3 stats combined show that the ASU defense, as a team, gets themselves off the field quickly and keeps the ASU offense on the field most of the time.
    #8[​IMG]
    Ole Miss struggled early on, losing 2 of their 1st 3 games (to #2 Wisc, and #3 ASU) but righted the ship by winning 8 of their last 9 (with their final loss being to #12 MSU). The Rebels have lost to 3 of the other 5 teams in these CCGs and they're about to face the best of the bunch. They're 8th in the country by scoring 34.8 PPG, but the rest of their stats are pretty average, all being between #14 and #44. This shows that they're pretty balanced. While losing 3 games, they kept things close 11, 5, and 2 point losses.
    While most think of the Rebels as a running team, their QB has put up big numbers with 2643 yards through the air (#2 in SEC) at a rate of 16.5 YPC (#1 in SEC). He hasn't been terribly accurate, however, as he's only completed 55% and has thrown 15 INTs (2nd worst in SEC) to only 16 TDs. On the ground JR HB Anthony Martin has Rebel fans asking "Jeff Scott who?" He's put up crazy numbers and is the Heisman front runner. He has taken on hell of a pounding with 314 carries (103 more carries than the #2 guy in the SEC) but has run for 2,094 yards and 22 TDs. Astonishingly enough, despite 300+ carries, Martin hasn't dropped the pill once this year. Defenses know that stopping him is priority #1 and they usually need to stack the box for this to happen. When they do that, that's when SR WR Donte Moncrief takes over. He led the SEC with 1385 yards (585 more than the #2 guy), 24.2 YPC, and 8 TDs. His hands are great as he also led the SEC with 9 drops, but with his 99 SPD and 99 ACC, if he sees a sliver of daylight, he's gone in the blink of an eye. Their defense is led by SO ROLB Chris Barbour who is 2nd in the SEC with 49 solo tackles, SR LE Ray Drew who was 2nd with 16.5 sacks, and SO CB Travis Williams who led with 6 INTs.
    #11[​IMG]
    Like the Rebels, the Cardinal season started off disastrously by losing 3 of their first 5. They then went on a roll by winning their final 7 games with only their final game against Notre Dame being close. As is a common theme between these teams, the Cardinal are a high scoring (40.5 PPG - #3 nationally), run-first team as they led the nation with 2,946 yards. They had some semblance of balance as well so their overall offense is ranked an impressive #9. Defensively, they're pretty run of the mill with all 3 ratings being ranked between #30 - #38. Like the Devils, they're very good at ball protection as they're ranked 4th with a +14 turnover differential.
    Despite being a running team, their JR QB R.J. Montgomery has put together a huge year. His 222.4 QBR easily leads the Pac12 as he has thrown only 4 INTs compared to 23 TDs! He's also #2 in the Pac12 with 62% completion %. He easily leads the Pac12 in YPC with 20.8 (5 more than the #2 guy). His only flaw is that he seems to be a bit of a statue as he has one of the worst sack/att ratios in the Pac12. On the ground the Cardinal are led by SR Remound Wright who's another Heisman finalist. He is another 2,000 yard rusher, despite missing a couple of games with a sick 204.6 YPG average (leads the Pac12). He knows how to find the end zone with 20 TDs (#1 in Pac12) and has busted a ton of big runs (22 20+, #1 Pac12) which has led to a 7.6 YPC average (#2 Pac12). Montegomery's main target is JR WR Greg Johnston with 694 yards (#3 Pac12), 8 TDs (#4 Pac12) and 17.7 YPC (#2 Pac12). Their 4-3 defense is extremely dangerous in the middle as their 2 DTs have combined for 33 sacks and are ranked #1 and #2 in the Pac12.
    #12[​IMG]
    Following the theme of the other 2 "underdogs" in these CCGs, MSU's season started so poorly that folks in East Lansing were wondering if they'd even get a bowl bid this season. They started by losing to a now 8-4 Oklahoma team which was followed by 3 more losses in 4 games. After this horrific 1-4 start, the Spartan coach somehow found something that worked as the Spartans reeled off 7 wins in a row to end the season, including a vital 28-21 victory over their arch rival Michigan. Unlike the other 5 teams here, Sparty likes to air the ball out. Their rushing offense is only ranked #66, but their passing is ranked #18, easily the highest of these 6 teams. Their rushing defense is stout, ranked #9, and their total defense is ranked #15 in the country. The biggest glaring difference with the Spartans is their turnover differential. While the other 5 teams were all at least +7, Sparty is -2 this year.
    As a pass first team, the Spartans are led by FR QB George Chase. He's 3rd in the B1G with a 148 QBR, but 2nd with 3,094 yards. He's also 2nd with completions, despite only attempting the 8th most passes (which leads to his 3rd ranked 59% completion %). Being a FR, the Spartan QB has had some serious growing pains as he's thrown 19 INTs (3rd worst in B1G) but was 2nd in the B1G with 24 TDs. Despite being a pass happy team, MSU had a 1,000 yard rusher in fellow FR Kevin Tucker Chase must really spread the ball around as MSU doesn't have a single receiver in the top 10 of the B1G for receiving yards and only TE Lee Greenwood is in the top 10 for TDs with 6. The MSU MLB Barrett Hayes flies all over the field as he's 2nd in the B1G with 46 solo tackles and is only 15 tackles shy of 100 for the season. Their FS Justin Thompson is 7th for solo tackles, which usually isn't a good indicator of defensive strength. Their 4-3 defense, like Stanford's, is also solid up the middle with their 2 DTs combining for 24 sacks and ranked #2 and #3 in the B1G in that category.

     
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  2. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    Matchups
    [​IMG]
    This is the most lopsided game of the 3, talent wise. UGA is the most talented team Ole Miss has faced and they haven't fared well this year against lesser talented user teams. The one anomaly here is they they easily handled a more talented LSU team late in the year, so maybe they have gotten things turned around. Despite the talent difference, the Dawgs will have to contain the Heisman front runner on the ground as well as the speed burner at receiver. On the other side, Ole Miss will have to be able to stop the UGA HB as well as their dual threat QB. On paper, the tremendous UGA defense seems like the squad that's more equipped to stand up to the challenge.
    [​IMG]
    This game seems to have the biggest chance for an upset. MSU has certainly gotten things turned around after an early lapse, but the question remains, which team will show up? The team that's won 7 straight including a win over Michigan, or the team that lost 4 of 5 including a loss to Northwestern? If they're to win, the Spartans MUST protect the ball, something they haven't done well this year. They'll have to keep their FR QB calm because if he gets too excited, he could start chucking picks all over the field. The most interesting things of this game is Wisconsin's passing defense (I said we'd come back to this). Bucky has done a poor job of stopping the pass this year, and this is what MSU does best. This could be a lethal combo for the Badgers.
    [​IMG]
    This is the only rematch of these 3 games as the Devils handed Stanford their only conference loss back in September 38-3. This game matches 2 teams that are very familiar with each other as they face off for the 5th time in 5 years. Stanford wins the injury battle as they get back their top HB (who was out for their 1st meeting) while ASU loses their top HB for this game. This is a battle between 2 of the top 3 scoring offenses in the country as well as the top 2 rushing defenses in the country. That said, this game may come down to who can throw the ball better, and the Stanfor QB clearly has the advantage here. It may come down to whether or not the ASU defense can pull a repeat performance, or will the Cardinal's desire for revenge overcome this. One advantage for ASU is that this is a home game for them (which is still beyond retarded IMO).
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
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  3. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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  4. UofCWildcat

    UofCWildcat Bear Down!

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    The Stingy Defense of Arizona State puts on a show:
    Arizona St: 35
    Stanford: 3

    Sparty Ends the Badgers National Title Hopes:
    Wisconsin: 28
    Michigan St: 31

    Georgia Shows Why They're the Best Team In College Football:
    Georgia: 45
    Ole Miss: 14
     
  5. Masler

    Masler Moderator

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    I think Georgia will win this one on a game winning FG much like he did vs me. 24-21

    I would love to see MSU win after a disastrous start to the season. But my gut tells me Wiscy will roll again. 35-21
     
  6. dakota7

    dakota7 Former Blue Chip Recruit

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    When you're winning by 21 at half, teams don't run the ball much in the second half. (hence the higher passing yards allowed)

    I've got Georgia and Arizona State.
     
  7. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    So, are you saying that ASU and UGA haven't been winning by 21 at the half most of the season? (which I can tell you is at least 50% untrue and most likely 100%)
     
  8. dakota7

    dakota7 Former Blue Chip Recruit

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    Nope, I didn't say anything about them. I said something about my team.
     
  9. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    Then I'm saying that ASU and UGA have also been leading by 21 at the half all season long, but they still haven't given up tons of passing yards, despite teams throwing all 2nd half this season.
     
  10. dakota7

    dakota7 Former Blue Chip Recruit

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    Okay
     
  11. blLL flo

    blLL flo BTFU!

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    Kimbrough is back?!?! Wow! I'm pretty sure he was supposed to be out 10 weeks with back spams. Must be from that star thingy under him during the games...


    My D-line has been ridiculous. I only control the MLB Robinson or the DE Bailey, so Taylor has done all that by himself. And I run a 3-4 half the time so my other DT Kidd getting 10 sacks are all coming in nickel and dime formations. But don't forget the secondary. No one gets open and my guys get more time to find the QB.
     
  12. JCspartan2

    JCspartan2 Sparty Party

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    Wrong team showed up. Chase got rattled but instant sacks on his first two downs and was eventually pulled for Cook who had the same problems. The Badger's lines ruled the day.
     
  13. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I find this hard to believe as I don't think those words have ever been uttered before.
     
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