Tuesday, August 28, 2007

WMU - Early test for the new secondary?

As tummysticks pointed out earlier (And most of this opening paragraph is a repeat of what he has already said. Sorry.), Tim Hiller will be the starting signal caller for the Broncos on Saturday. Hiller was outstanding during his freshman season in 2005 earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors despite prematurely ending the season with an ACL tear. He completed 64.9% of his passes for 1,334 yards and 20 TDs vs. only 3 interceptions. He sat out last season rehabbing that knee. Now assumedly healthy, Hiller has rewon the starting QB position for the Broncos.

I listened to WMU's play-by-play guy get interviewed on the Statewide Sportsline earlier this evening. According to him, WMU plays a single back west coast style offense and most pass patterns tend to be 3 step timing routes underneath or to the outside. If our DBs approach this game like the majority of games last season, vis-a-vis 10 yard buffers, Hiller may pass all over us resulting in an unwanted shoot out with a team hungry for an upset. Take a look at some nice passing by Hiller during his freshman season vs. CMU:

However, it is important to remember that during that well played Freshman season, Hiller was fortunate enough to have two future NFL-ers (Greg Jennings and Tony Scheffler) at receiver. This year, they might not be future NFLers, but WMU will have two receivers returning from last year: 6'1", 187 lb. Herb Martin for whom I could not find stats and 6'2", 223 lb. Jamarko Simmons who caught 61 passes for 668 yards and 2 TDs last season.

WMU also has a huge offensive line, as the top 7 average 6'4" and 314 lbs.

While I expect WVU to walk away with a win, I look forward to this early season test of a hopefully revamped secondary. I hope RR takes this opportunity to test the secondary and approaches coverages a little more aggressively. If the DBs struggle Saturday or if RR continues to lack the confidence in our secondary to play tighter coverage, I may get a little worried about that big match up coming later in the season.

And now, I'll let tummysticks rip apart my analysis in the comments.

1 comment:

letsplaytummysticks said...

Larry Williams is starting and he struggled in bump coverage last year which may have been due to his large helmet. The biggest key for the pass defense is still getting a pass rush which was non-existent last year. That will mean more blitzing and potential big plays from both sides.