Today the players of the North and South rosters will have a chance to showcase all they learned throughout the week and put their talents on display. Games are usually won by the team who does the best job at exploiting mismatches. There are a few key match ups in today’s game that could lead to victory for both teams.
The North squad’s biggest advantage will be in the trenches. On defensive line, Cameron Jordan and Christian Ballard should have a field day against the South offensive line who failed to impress all week. Mississippi State tackle Derrick Sherrod is the best hope the South has at containing Jordan, but the match up still favors the Cal defensive end. The South should be able to hold up along the interior line with Danny Watkins and Rodney Hudson, but if Lee Ziemba struggles like he did during practice the quarterbacks are in trouble.
South wide receivers should be able to get open against the North defensive backs, but it all comes back to the offensive line. The offensive line needs to give Greg McElroy, Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton time to throw the ball in order to exploit the match up and give the South a chance to win the game. If they get the time to throw, Leonard Hankerson and Luke Stocker, who had huge weeks of practice, will be able to make huge plays. If not, it’s going to be a long day for the South.
Noel Devine will have to have a breakout game to make out for his awful week of practice. Devine was one of the biggest disappointments of the Senior Bowl so far with his pathetic weigh-in numbers and non-existent appearance during practices. Devine appeared that he wanted nothing to do with the practices at times and he never participated in blocking drills. If Devine doesn’t have that breakout performance, his stock will continue to plummet.
Kendall Hunter and DeMarco Murray should have huge numbers as the North offensive line appears to have a massive advantage over the South defensive line which appears to be full of one-trick ponies who will get manhandled. Sam Acho and Allen Bailey virtually did nothing in practice, and they will need to really pick up their performance. Brooks Reed is a guy to watch. He quietly had a good week of practice and has one of the highest motors in the game.
If everything works out the way it appeared in practice, the North should take this one. Their advantage in the trenches will just be too much for the South squad to overcome.