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  1. #51
    FCS Advocate SU FAN's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by SU DOG View Post
    WELCOME to the Board SU FAN. Please post often.

    Thanks for the welcome, great to be here

  2. #52
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by SU DOG View Post
    This is a game that is so hard to figure. The contrasting styles make it even more interesting IMO. I posted on our Bulldogs Board that Furman actually reminds me of Bama in their offensive scheme. NO, before somebody goes ballistic, I'm not comparing the 2 teams just the offensive schemes. Think about it, Big powerful RBs who can take it to the house, a mobile QB who can hurt you running or passing and makes good decisions, speed for the occasional option or sweep pitch, vertical pass after lulling you to sleep, and a big TE who you better not forget about. A DC's nightmare for sure. I make no comparisons on the other side of the ball.

    Samford on the other hand also presents a DC with a huge challenge. Hodges has such a quick release that a good pass rush still has a problem getting to him. Furman often plays off and attacks after the catch. This works well against the WRs of most teams. Trouble there is that Samford's WRs are extremely athletic and can often make those DBs miss the tackle in the open field. The Samford running game is pretty pathetic, but can't completely be ignored. The short passes to RBs are actually an extended rushing game.

    IMO. the BIG weapon for Samford might just be the Samford defense. That unit is playing at a VERY different level now than earlier in the year. They are big, long, fast, and athletic, and with due respect to any other SoCon team, they may just be the BEST in the conference at this time. A big challenge lies ahead in trying to stop those big Furman RBs who will be the best we have seen since Georgia. If Furman can get 3+ per run there, we are probably done. In watching this front 7, however, I'm optimistic that they can do enough to at least slow down that powerful threat.

    There are plenty of folks on AGS wo will disagree, but I have watched FCS games from across the country. These two teams - Furman and Samford, IMO, can compete with most all of them. I did not say that either is a NC contender, but they look like teams that can be really competitive. I wish both could go to Playoffs, but realize that probably won't happen.

    Prayers for a SAFE trip to all who will be traveling to Homewood, and GO DOGS!!!!!


    Gotta agree, both these teams are capable of beating anyone in FCS this year

  3. #53
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by SU DOG View Post
    This is a game that is so hard to figure. The contrasting styles make it even more interesting IMO. I posted on our Bulldogs Board that Furman actually reminds me of Bama in their offensive scheme. NO, before somebody goes ballistic, I'm not comparing the 2 teams just the offensive schemes. Think about it, Big powerful RBs who can take it to the house, a mobile QB who can hurt you running or passing and makes good decisions, speed for the occasional option or sweep pitch, vertical pass after lulling you to sleep, and a big TE who you better not forget about. A DC's nightmare for sure. I make no comparisons on the other side of the ball.

    Samford on the other hand also presents a DC with a huge challenge. Hodges has such a quick release that a good pass rush still has a problem getting to him. Furman often plays off and attacks after the catch. This works well against the WRs of most teams. Trouble there is that Samford's WRs are extremely athletic and can often make those DBs miss the tackle in the open field. The Samford running game is pretty pathetic, but can't completely be ignored. The short passes to RBs are actually an extended rushing game.

    IMO. the BIG weapon for Samford might just be the Samford defense. That unit is playing at a VERY different level now than earlier in the year. They are big, long, fast, and athletic, and with due respect to any other SoCon team, they may just be the BEST in the conference at this time. A big challenge lies ahead in trying to stop those big Furman RBs who will be the best we have seen since Georgia. If Furman can get 3+ per run there, we are probably done. In watching this front 7, however, I'm optimistic that they can do enough to at least slow down that powerful threat.

    There are plenty of folks on AGS wo will disagree, but I have watched FCS games from across the country. These two teams - Furman and Samford, IMO, can compete with most all of them. I did not say that either is a NC contender, but they look like teams that can be really competitive. I wish both could go to Playoffs, but realize that probably won't happen.

    Prayers for a SAFE trip to all who will be traveling to Homewood, and GO DOGS!!!!!
    Both teams present a lot of complications for a defense.

    Yet to be seen how effective it is, but Furman did put in a little prep work for Samford during their bye week. Prior to the bye, Furman saw a similar stylistic team in Western Carolina, who like Samford, wants to quickly get the ball out to their playmakers in space. While the WCU game itself is a bad indicator given the terrible weather, I do think that the Paladins have probably spent a good bit of time preparing for the sorts of complexities the Bulldogs throw at you.

    I'm not sure really how you best defend Hodges. I noticed that the Samford OL surrenders roughly 2 sacks a game, which given the volume of passes, probably is not much. A lot of that is because Hodges simply isn't going to hold the ball long enough for a defender to get home. Furman's pass rush, though, really isn't one guy just streaking around the end. The defensive front is well coached and tends to collapse the pocket around the QB from the front and sides. One big matchup to watch is how Samford's interior OL handle Furman's two very talented NGs, Reid and Stokes. Those guys are high motor players and a handful for most blockers.

    By the same token, I'm not sure how you schematically stop Furman's inside run game. I've concluded that it may be an instance where you just need superior athletes in the defensive front who plays with a lot of physicality. It's not even really a situation where you can load the box, as Blazejowski is plenty capable of reeling off a 300+ yard passing day.

    Furman really did not start using the Dirks/Wilcox combination until the NC State game. Neither Wofford nor Elon saw both of those backs. Since week three, though, really no team has figured out how to slow down that part of Furman's offense. I imagine by now if something was going to work, it would have.

    I do agree with you, though, that Samford and Furman are talented enough to play with anyone in the country. I'd love it if both of them could make the post season (but I doubt both can).
    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  4. #54
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    I've never really figured out how to embed tweets on AGS, but here is an example of what makes Dirks so difficult for defenses. The Citadel stuffs the play, a DT wraps him up at the line of scrimmage, still can't get him to the ground, and 25 yards later he's in the endzone. You won't find many guys that can run into the chest of a defensive tackle and do much.

    You aren't just going to get him to the ground with one man and an arm tackle.

    https://twitter.com/PaladinFootball/status/929450159041265664

    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  5. #55
    AGS FCS Champion youngterrier's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by SU DOG View Post
    This is a game that is so hard to figure. The contrasting styles make it even more interesting IMO. I posted on our Bulldogs Board that Furman actually reminds me of Bama in their offensive scheme. NO, before somebody goes ballistic, I'm not comparing the 2 teams just the offensive schemes. Think about it, Big powerful RBs who can take it to the house, a mobile QB who can hurt you running or passing and makes good decisions, speed for the occasional option or sweep pitch, vertical pass after lulling you to sleep, and a big TE who you better not forget about. A DC's nightmare for sure. I make no comparisons on the other side of the ball.

    Samford on the other hand also presents a DC with a huge challenge. Hodges has such a quick release that a good pass rush still has a problem getting to him. Furman often plays off and attacks after the catch. This works well against the WRs of most teams. Trouble there is that Samford's WRs are extremely athletic and can often make those DBs miss the tackle in the open field. The Samford running game is pretty pathetic, but can't completely be ignored. The short passes to RBs are actually an extended rushing game.

    IMO. the BIG weapon for Samford might just be the Samford defense. That unit is playing at a VERY different level now than earlier in the year. They are big, long, fast, and athletic, and with due respect to any other SoCon team, they may just be the BEST in the conference at this time. A big challenge lies ahead in trying to stop those big Furman RBs who will be the best we have seen since Georgia. If Furman can get 3+ per run there, we are probably done. In watching this front 7, however, I'm optimistic that they can do enough to at least slow down that powerful threat.

    There are plenty of folks on AGS wo will disagree, but I have watched FCS games from across the country. These two teams - Furman and Samford, IMO, can compete with most all of them. I did not say that either is a NC contender, but they look like teams that can be really competitive. I wish both could go to Playoffs, but realize that probably won't happen.

    Prayers for a SAFE trip to all who will be traveling to Homewood, and GO DOGS!!!!!

    I think it is 100% fair to compare Furman, at least in terms their *style of play* to Alabama and Georgia this year. At least on offense. Defensively, they aren't quite there yet. All three of those teams use the run game to set up the pass game. They limit possessions and are very efficient on those possessions. Blazejowski is clutch and should be first team all Socon IMO.

    When I say we're going to figure out this weekend whether or not Furman is Bama or UGA, I mean we're going to figure out how good Furman performs against a team with its **** together. In UGA's case, they pulverized teams that didn't have their **** together and who couldn't stop their run game, but got kind of flattened by a good team that had it together in Auburn. Meanwhile, the tide is still rolling.

    No one worth talking to thinks Furman doesn't have the best offense in the Socon this year, based upon consistency and efficiency. Having said that, Chattanooga, VMI, Citadel and ETSU are not teams that had their **** together on both sides of the ball, while relatively speaking Mercer, Wofford, Western and Samford are. In assessing Furman, I personally put more stock in how they beat Mercer and played Wofford more than anything (and I wish there weren't so many problems with the Western game with the Adams injury and weather) because those are going to be how the playoffs are going to be, not pulverizing teams that can't score 20 consistently (VMI, Citadel, Chattanooga) or who have piss-poor defense (ETSU and Western). There's lots of signs that Furman's not just a team to run it up on so-so competition (look at the Mercer, Wofford, Western and Elon games), but this game is testing the hypothesis most conclusively with no ifs and or buts.

    And I'm not saying that to take away from Furman. Every year, it takes until the last week or two of the season to assess the second or third place team in the Socon. I think if the playoffs were perfect meritocracy, Furman would be in the playoffs regardless of the outcome of this weekend. But that's just not how this system works. Wofford hasn't made the playoffs at 7-4 and on years where we were 7-3 or even 8-2 going into the final week (which is basically all of our playoff appearances), the general assessment was "win and you're in, lose and probably not. Furman's in the same position. We know Furman is a good team (as is Samford), but the nature of the game is that if you lose this game, you feed all of the criticisms against your resume.
    I’m not as cool as Clenz

  6. #56
    AGS FCS Champion youngterrier's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinFan View Post
    Both teams present a lot of complications for a defense.

    Yet to be seen how effective it is, but Furman did put in a little prep work for Samford during their bye week. Prior to the bye, Furman saw a similar stylistic team in Western Carolina, who like Samford, wants to quickly get the ball out to their playmakers in space. While the WCU game itself is a bad indicator given the terrible weather, I do think that the Paladins have probably spent a good bit of time preparing for the sorts of complexities the Bulldogs throw at you.

    I'm not sure really how you best defend Hodges. I noticed that the Samford OL surrenders roughly 2 sacks a game, which given the volume of passes, probably is not much. A lot of that is because Hodges simply isn't going to hold the ball long enough for a defender to get home. Furman's pass rush, though, really isn't one guy just streaking around the end. The defensive front is well coached and tends to collapse the pocket around the QB from the front and sides. One big matchup to watch is how Samford's interior OL handle Furman's two very talented NGs, Reid and Stokes. Those guys are high motor players and a handful for most blockers.

    By the same token, I'm not sure how you schematically stop Furman's inside run game. I've concluded that it may be an instance where you just need superior athletes in the defensive front who plays with a lot of physicality. It's not even really a situation where you can load the box, as Blazejowski is plenty capable of reeling off a 300+ yard passing day.

    Furman really did not start using the Dirks/Wilcox combination until the NC State game. Neither Wofford nor Elon saw both of those backs. Since week three, though, really no team has figured out how to slow down that part of Furman's offense. I imagine by now if something was going to work, it would have.

    I do agree with you, though, that Samford and Furman are talented enough to play with anyone in the country. I'd love it if both of them could make the post season (but I doubt both can).
    I think people underestimate the role of the interior DL when it comes to stopping the run (FWIW, Wofford didn't have our all-freshman NT in the first two games due to a two game suspension or the last two as he has Mono).

    Samford probably won't be able to run the ball against Furman just as they weren't able to run the ball against Chattanooga or Wofford. I think Chattanooga, Wofford and Samford probably have the best defensive fronts in the conference. The only reason I don't put Furman up there is because I honestly haven't seen them enough. I know they lead the league in sacks, but often sacks are a measurement of the strength of the front 7, not the DL.

    The fact that Samford has let up 183 ypg running the ball on the surface looks bad, but when you factor in the fact that they've played Georgia, Kennesaw State, Western Carolina and Wofford and they only average that much, that's not bad at all.

    I imagine Furman will run for at least 200 on them, but how well that does for them in terms of points is another story. I think Blazejowski's passing ability is more of a key than people think as he's been very efficient in the last month. If he continues that efficiency/consistency, I think they win. But if he has a day where he's below 65% or so and Furman throws 20 times, they could be in trouble. From what I can tell it looks like he's learned how to throw on the run better in boot legs or has got in the habit to setting his feet before throwing (it sounds basic, but he was a pocket passer before this year and I think it took an adjustment) and that's probably why he's more accurate.

    The more I think about this game, the more I think Furman should be favored but at the same time, that's when Samford thrives historically.
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  7. #57
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    I still think you put too much stock in how Furman played Wofford.

    Remember, that was week 1. Furman had a brand new coaching staff and played a bunch of freshmen. They lost one of the few veteran players they had early in the game for the season. Even something as simple as getting a playcall in was going to be a new and unique challenge for a group that had never worked together in a live game situation. Not only was Furman playing with a new coaching staff, but they were implementing new schemes and systems on both sides of the ball. So, even your veteran players were starting at ground zero from a knowledge standpoint.

    Since the NC State game, when Furman really started to find their sea legs, they've pretty much hammered every team they've seen. The only team to keep it within a single digit margin was Mercer. Up until last week the Citadel was the best defense in the SoCon. Furman hung 35 on them in the first half.
    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  8. #58
    Major FCS Ruler SU DOG's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    No, PF, The Citadel was NOT the best defense in the SoCon. Now, there may be stats(that don't consider the strength of opponents) that say that, but I think most of us know better. And just how much did Samford hang on them in the first half?

  9. #59
    AGS FCS Champion PaladinFan's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by SU DOG View Post
    No, PF, The Citadel was NOT the best defense in the SoCon. Now, there may be stats(that don't consider the strength of opponents) that say that, but I think most of us know better. And just how much did Samford hang on them in the first half?
    Statistically speaking, the Citadel was the best defense in the SoCon until they played Furman.

    Samford's got a good offense. I think objectively, they are a rung behind Furman and Western Carolina on that side of the ball. Both teams have underrated defenses.
    FU all the time.

    "It's not like we didn't know what was coming. We just couldn't stop them" -WCU head coach Kent Briggs

    "The game we know and love literally grew up in the Southern Conference. To find the foundation for ACC and SEC football, you have to go the league’s roots. To find an appreciation for a brand of football often-overlooked and seldom-appreciated, we as fans should do the same."

  10. #60
    First Class FCS Ruler SCPALADIN's Avatar
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    Re: Furman @ Samford. Socon game of the week

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinFan View Post
    I still think you put too much stock in how Furman played Wofford.

    Remember, that was week 1. Furman had a brand new coaching staff and played a bunch of freshmen. They lost one of the few veteran players they had early in the game for the season. Even something as simple as getting a playcall in was going to be a new and unique challenge for a group that had never worked together in a live game situation. Not only was Furman playing with a new coaching staff, but they were implementing new schemes and systems on both sides of the ball. So, even your veteran players were starting at ground zero from a knowledge standpoint.

    Since the NC State game, when Furman really started to find their sea legs, they've pretty much hammered every team they've seen. The only team to keep it within a single digit margin was Mercer. Up until last week the Citadel was the best defense in the SoCon. Furman hung 35 on them in the first half.
    Anyone who has watched all of the Furman games this season can tell you, definitively, that we were using 1/2 or less of our playbook against Wofford and Elon. Heck, just watch the Citadel debacle...they had no clue what was coming at them. And even when they did they couldn't stop it. I'm not saying it will be the same result against Samford...but comparing the Furman offense now to what it was in the first few weeks just doesn't work.

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