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Memphis Preview: Analyzed

First, I want to point out that this is NOT our post-game analysis. This is simply a review of the preview I put up on Thursday.

Arkelon Hall - sucked. 15/27 with 159 yards and an interception. To quote my preview, "It appears, to a casual observer, that Memphis has a poor man's Brent Schaeffer." While his completion percentage was better than Schaeffer's, I would hope that Brent Schaeffer would go 15/27 when 80% of his passes were completed one yard past the line of scrimmage.

Next, I said, "I don't understand why they don't just give Will Hudgens the nod. I thought he was pretty good." Hudgens was 8/15 for 102 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. I think that if they had been playing Hudgens all game, things would have gone better for them, but we still would have won.

Next, I said, "I'm not worried about Memphis' running game based solely on our linebacking corps. Our linebackers are built to stop elusive backs in the spread. Our starting outside linebackers are converted safeties. Their speed and agility is uncommon for that of linebackers, and their coverage skills are pretty good too (see Ashlee Palmer leading the team in INTs last year). Jonathan Cornell is also noticeably faster than any linebacker (other than Palmer) that saw any time last year. I just don't see them having a problem with the Memphis running backs." Looks like I was wrong with that one. Their runningbacks averaged about 5 yards per carry. The spread really messed us up a lot.

"If Memphis' passing game is going to work at all, they're going to have to give it to their wide receivers close to the line of scrimmage and let those playmakers work." - Memphis did this, and it was generally effective. We were able to stop it some, but their short passes that relied on YAC were generally successful.

"Still, I find myself wondering how much it will hurt us that there is a seven inch height difference when Memphis throws bubble screens all day. Height doesn't seem to have any impact on your ability to step back and turn to the quarterback. If they do that all game again this year, I will be officially convinced that Tommy West is a bad coach. They should use their mismatch more effectively." - So that proves it. Tommy West is a bad coach. Look, I like the short dink and dunk stuff... until you're down by 24. Right around then, you have to start putting it up for your wide receivers. Every time they threw deep, I cringed, but they only threw deep 6 or 7 times. That's stupid. Might I remind you that Carlos Singleton is 6'8"? Have I said that enough?

"Memphis' defensive line is nothing at which to laugh.Mills and Brown are the starting defensive ends on a Memphis squad that will rely heavily on getting to the passer before he can exploit their secondary. Their starting DTs are Freddie Barnett and Clinton McDonald. I hope we run right at those guys." Our O-line did well opening holes for our backs to run without having to far outside. John Jerry and Michael Oher at tackle were both able to spring several runs. Brandon Bolden particularly did well following his blocks.

"At linebacker, Memphis has several more injuries. Like we apparently don't, Memphis didn't have depth. Then they lost a starter. It's rough at that position for them." - Think back to Bolden's touchdown run. He broke four tackles (two linebackers, one end, one safety). He also juke a linebacker out of his shoes. Linebacker play... poor.

"In the secondary, Memphis has significant trouble. Like us, they can't defend people through the air. I hope Jevan can exploit that well. We need to get the ball in the hands of Mike Wallace, Dexter, and Shay." - Well, Mike Wallace didn't get the ball (though he got his fingers on it at least twice), but Shay and Dex were firing on all cylinders. Shay's first touchdown catch was just beautiful.

"In closing, I expect us to beat them, though I'm sure Singleton and Calhoun will give us trouble."
Carlos Singleton - 6 catches - 89 yards
Duke Calhoun - 4 catches - 43 yards
Final Score - Pink Polos - 41; Blue Sleevelesses - 24

"My Prediction: Ole Miss by 8" - Ok. So I was off by 9. If I had predicted a win by more than eight, no one would have taken my prediction seriously.

So, to finish things off, the two things I said that weren't right were my prediction on the score and our defense's ability to stop the run. I'm not all that certain how percentages can be assigned to predictions, but I'm 100% (see that... witty again) sure that I got more than 65% right.