Who will be able to stop Defensive Ends George Selvie & Jason Pierre-Paul?
George Selvie (SR, 6'4" 250) has rivaled Larry English in greatness these past two years, raking in All-Everything awards from 2007-08. This year, he's been a bit less productive only producing 36 TFL and 3.5 sacks. When you've been so good for so long as an underclassmen, teams are going to figure this out and eventually put more and more attention into making sure you're accounted for on every play.
On the other side of the ball is Jason Pierre-Paul (JR, 6'6" 265), who has been making a name for himself all season long. He finished with 47 TFL and 5.5 sacks. This is his only his first year in the D-I level, but he is already looking to the NFL. He was a 5-star prospect at a Kansas JC, but was originally from Florida (Hey, that's where we get our recruits!) He's took a lot of pressure off of Selvie and has made a distinct name for himself.
For the Huskies, the player that needs to step up the most is RT Panan Tense, (JR, 6'4" 300 lbs). He's going to have to take on one of these guys in only the second start of his career. He's spent the entire off-season as the backup RG and RT, so you know that he's versatile. He stepped in to the starting lineup after Adam Kiel went down with a foot injury in the Ohio game that will keep him out of the Bowl Game.
If Tense wants to crack the starting lineup next year as a senior, he's going to have to make the most of all this extra practice time and reps and perform to the best of his abilities. We're not asking him to be superman, but he just needs to have a solid game where he doesn't make any stupid mistakes.
On the other side is LT Trevor Olson (SO, 6'6" 294), who has started every game since he took the field as a redshirt freshman last year. He's been a solid tackle, but this game can be his signature if he plays well. He definitely plays up to competition (he was OL of the week vs. Wisconsin) and has to have his best game of the season. The Huskies are known to have tremendous tackles through the years with guys like Ryan Diem (Colts) and Doug Free (Cowboys) both playing in the NFL. If Olson wants to become All-MAC and an NFL prospect in the future, he needs to be able to stop USF's defensive ends from getting to the QB.
How to stop them? Run the ball at them and attack, as they are more of the finesse type of defensive ends, with a weakness in stopping the run.
How will we attack South Florida's athletic defense?
See the last statement: Run the ball, and then run the ball some more. Me'co Brown won't make the trip to Toronto because of a bad ankle/shoulder + family issues. I hope he gets everything together and heals up for 2010, as he always seems to break down in the latter part of the season.
That leaves the door wide open for Chad Spann to have the best game of his career. He's been nursing a shoulder injury, but should be able to go. Backing up him is Ricky Crider and Justin Anderson, both of which who have success in the past. Poetic justice would be for Justin Anderson to have a huge game, as he rushed for over 1,000 yds in 2007, but has been relegated to 3rd or 4th string ever since.
The best part of our offense, is that it's one-dimensional by choice. We'll pound the ball early like we do every game and eventually bust out the play-action. Against Ohio, you saw a lot of passing by Harnish and friends. We'll have to adjust to what USF throws at us.
Who will be able to stop Quarterback B.J. Daniels?
B.J. Daniels (FR, 6'1" 210) provides the majority of USF's offensive attack. He took over the starting spot after the legendary Matt Groethe went down early in the season. Since then, he's passed for 1,766 yds with a 12-9 TD to INT ratio. His completion pct is only 53%, but what really sets him apart is what he does on the ground. He leads the team with 798 yds on the ground and 9 TDs. Although, he likes to run the ball, he can also step back in the pocket and chuck it up deep to one of his receivers. His arm is powerful, but his accuracy is questionable.
The biggest advantage that NIU has, is that our defense already sees a guy like this on the scout team every single day. Think of him as a DeMarcus Grady with a monster arm. LE Brandon Bice will try to wreak havoc on the left side, mainly trying to stop the run and cause fumbles. Jake Coffman at Larry English's old position on the right side will be able to move around a little bit more and make sure that Daniels doesn't get to the outside. Corporal Coffman has a motor that won't ever stop. The fact that Coffman can move back to the outside with Lawson getting back to the middle is a game changer. Look for Sean Progar, Alan Baxter and the speedy Darnell Bolding to make an impact as well.
At the outside linebacker position, Alex Kube hurt his knee a little bit on the turf in preparation for the bowl game. He'll play, but he's not going to start. That opens the door wide open for the speedy true freshman Tyrone Clark to make an impact, as he'll be making his first start of his career in this bowl game. On the other side is Cory Hanson and Jordan Delegal, both of which can make plays and track a quarterback from sideline to sideline.