When thinking about matchups that intrigue going into Saturday's opener, the first one that jumps to mind is Boise State's interior line against Kwame and Jenkins.
Thomas Byrd is a RS Senior center who's been named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy watch list. He's 5'11" and 290lbs. And he's charged with controlling the big apple that fell of the Geathers' tree and Big John. To help Byrd the Broncos will surely rely on Jr guard Joe Kellogg (6'2", 303) who along with Byrd is the core leadership for the BSU offensive line. Handle these two and the rest could crumble.
Honestly, I'm not sure who they'll have on the other side of Byrd. And to be even more honest, it shouldn't matter. Coach Peterson's roster includes 4 (four) offensive linemen that tip the scales over 300lbs. And the biggest of those is a freshman at 313lbs. If we can't get a push up the middle on these guys and force Moore to rely on quick drops and dumps...then we're in trouble come next week.
Let's face it...
Kwame's been the story of the football program since the 2010 season ended. He's the poster child for the change in nutrition and conditioning. Hell, for all intents and purposes he might just be the damn bus driver when you get right down to it. He was pissed off that we had to go out and get the top JUCO player at his position and decided that whatever was holding him back last season was not going to hold him back anymore.
Now...can he translate all that work and effort into something substantial on the field? I really think he can be our defensive MVP on Saturday and the season as a whole.
But it's not going to just be #99. We'll also see a lot of Jenkins who has to be at least a little frustrated. He's worked hard the month of August and still hasn't gotten ahead of the guy that couldn't consistently get on the field last season. Big John came to Athens to make an impact and I'm sure he wants to in this game, right out of the gates. There was a pretty steep learning curve for Jenkins that I overlooked. Just in terms of getting used to SEC level practices alone is a lot to handle in a summer.
To close, I'm interested to see how Grantham utilizes his personnel along the front seven. If Geathers/Jenkins are everything they should be then a 4 man front should suffice nicely in most situations. With the talent that we have at LB we could also see some 3-3-5. So...no question that we should see a lot of both nose tackles Saturday night.
But, can the Broncos handle them?