Initial Thoughts: My first thoughts on this matchup is how much I like our chances in this. We return 6 offensive starters and an All-American QB leading the group against a defense that was completely decimated by graduation last season, but returns just enough good players to make you be cautiously optimistic.
Big thing here first is the Luis Perez gets to settle in and get comfortable. He also has to have time to make his reads and go through all his progressions in order to make good decisions. The Lion coaching staff has always had the attitude that “This is our plan of attack, get the ball to the playmakers, and do not turn the ball over.” That is going to be critical. The Lions cannot turn the ball over against a team that good.
Five Quick Thoughts:
- Luis Perez is a confident guy. He has confidence in his ability to lead the offense better than anyone. He has been very measured in his response to all of the preseason accolades. His response has always been to those awards, “they are nice, but they are preseason, nothing has been done yet, nobody has played.” Exactly the attitude to have.
- Their is a ton of potential in the receiving corps. The crew of Buck Wilson, D’Arthur Cowan, Shawn Hooks, Chochy Luce, and Vincent Hobbs is an explosive group of playmakers that have shown themselves to be among the best not only in the conference, but in the entire nation. This a chance for them to really put it all together. UNA has not had a terrific amount of time to prepare for them. Take advantage of that.
- UNA’s defense was decimated by graduation. You have an experienced offense going against them. If the Lions just execute like they are capable of, Lion fans should feel very good about this matchup.
- UNA Senior DB Dorsey Norris is an athlete and a half, he led UNA in tackles last year and is a big time playmaker. Big matchup is going to be probably D’Arthur Cowan and Vincent Hobbs versus this guy to keep him contained and not let him get downhill.
- The running game is going to be a big X factor. Ovie Urvebu is a rare combination of both size and speed. Though not as explosive as Richard Cooper, he is going to be able to bring a dimension of clock control that the Lions might need should they get a big lead. It will be a huge variable that could determine the game. Also, when the truck package is in the game, touchdowns HAVE TO be scored. Gabe Rodriguez probably runs it better than anyone we have had (Deric Davis perhaps and exception to that) and scoring touchdowns inside the 10 is what has to happen.