Keys to the UT Martin Game
1. Nuetralize Cade Thompson. While not as good as Ryan Perrilloux, UTM QB Cade Thompson is the OVC preseason player of the year. He is not easily rattled, as evidenced by his outstanding performance in a rainstorm last year. Defensive pressure from JSU is a must. Dix, Garrot and Mays need to get some hits on Thompson. The other players must play assignment football or Thompson will pick us apart.
2. Limit the production of UTM’s receivers. Hicks gets all the press coverage. The former starter from Ole Miss may be nicked up, but can still hurt you. But don’t be fooled, UTM has a plethora of talented receivers and JSU must watch out for their possession receivers (fullbacks and tightends) keeping drives alive. UTM’s Simpson is a smart coach, he will look for JSU’s defensive tendencies and try to take advantage of them. This would be an excellent game to pick up our first interception of the year.
3. Our running game. We need Middleton to continue to get his power yardage, but it would be awesome to see Brandon George or Drec Lindley (if he’s healthy) bring the speed element into the mix. This would be a nice boost to the diminutive, but powerful Jamal Young who is making the most of every opportunity he is given. If you haven’t seen it yet, go to youtube and see Young knock the helmet off of a player in the Nichols State game.
4. Home Field – The crowd needs to make some NOISE and let the team know we are there. Be LOUD on UTM’s third downs. JSU’s defensive coaches love to shout: “Get off the field” in practice. Lets let em hear it from the stands. Also, the Gamecock players leave the Gamecock Center around 10:30 and walk across the Gamecock field to the stadium. If you can do it, give them some support. There are many reasons to be excited about this team, the direction of the program, etc. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT- its contagious.
5. Consistent Offensive Execution. Crowe has alluded to the fact that at times we’ve been inconsistent on offense this year. It all starts with RP, when he’s calm, cool and collected, there is noone better in the college game. The offense must avoid 3 and outs, sloppy play and turnovers.