Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: LSU

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At long last LSU will get their rematch with the Hokies in Baton Rouge. The
Tigers have looked for revenge for their 26-8 loss in 2002 for quite some time.
All of those players are gone, but their fans have certainly not forgotten. A
national audience will be watching as these two defensive powerhouses square off
in the first huge game with national title implications. However, the key to
this game will likely be the performance of the offenses.

Most fans are predicting a low-scoring defensive slugfest with turnovers,
field position, and special teams playing the most significant role. I agree
that all of these factors are certainly critical, but I suspect that we will see
more offense than many fans anticipate. No, I am not foreseeing a shoot out, but
I do believe that we will see some big plays from each offense. Each team has
the potential to make plays on offense, and the team that can make the greater
number of big plays will likely be the winner.

However, both defenses also have the reputation for making big plays, so the
offenses have to limit their mistakes. In other words, the offenses need to look
for big plays without making game-changing errors. I doubt either team will move
the chains consistently, so much of the offensive game plan needs to focus on
setting up opportunities for big plays.

Keys to the Game

When Virginia Tech has the Ball:

1. Maintain the Pocket

For the Hokies’ passing game to work, obviously the offensive line has to
protect Sean Glennon. Glennon is a classic pocket quarterback and he needs to be
able to find a passing lane and step up to make his throws. After watching
Glennon’s mechanics closely, I observed that his passing accuracy is very high
when he is allowed to step up in the pocket. However, when he is not allowed to
set and take a small step into his throws, he becomes erratic. Basically,
Glennon needs enough time and space to ensure that his throwing mechanics are
sound. If Glennon is pressed, whether inside or outside of the pocket, and he is
not allowed to set, then his passing becomes inconsistent and mistakes tend to
happen.

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