Wednesday, 15 February 2012

BUAFL Top Five: FAUK Bowl Top 5 things to watch out for

A few weeks ago we covered what we thought would be the top 5 most fun bowl games. With the jovial nature of our top 5 we missed out more serious contenders, with the most obvious being the annual meeting of two of the BUAFL's most storied franchises.

This Saturday at 1pm on the Birmingham University campus (Facebook event here) these two giants will battle once again in a game that most presume will decided the winner of the MAC and Double Coverage will be on site tweeting live from the event. We thought it best to give anyone venturing down for the biggest game of the season so far a guide to our top 5 things to look out for in the game. So without further ado we start the list with a couple of things you may want to look out for, but didn't quite make the cut:

The Football American product tent - Filled with all the things you could ever want as a ball player, the Football America tent will be making an appearance! Football America are also donating prizes for the game MVP and the winning program.

Special Teams - Games between two opponents so closely matched could be decided on special teams and both squads pride themselves on executing on all aspects of the kicking game. Any missed tackles on kick off coverage, a shanked field goal or a fumbled punt snap or catch could be the difference between winning and losing.

Lions Run Game - Never get's as much attention as the Lions potent passing attack, the run game is equally important. Featuring GB Lions Running back Dan Conroy the Lions will need to turn to the run game if the QB's struggle to get in a rhythm early.

Adam Hope leads the Aces potent run game
5. Loughborough's Strong Running Game
Led by 2011 BUAFL Offensive MVP Adam Hope the Aces run game has definitely moved away from the traditional under centre traditional style offence they ran in years past. The Aces now tend to run from a pistol formation with QB Nick Jaquet taking the snaps and handing it off to Hope.

Loughborough will look to get the run game going early to grind the game out and keep the ball away from the Lions explosive offence. If they can establish the dive on their triple option it may set up the QB keep or pitch, which can go the distance if pulled at the right time.

Kyle Burrows - Mega lad (and an excuse to get a picture of cheerleaders on the blog)
4. Freeman, Burrows and Co (Birmingham Defence) -  While the Lions offence generally gets all the plaudits, the defence is of equal a level as one of the best in the BUAFL. With GB Phenom Kyle Burrows at defensive end the Lions will be hoping they can stifle the Aces run game with their strong defence that is littered with talent (as shown by 5 Lions making the senior GB roster).

The aggressive 3-4 defence is well marshalled by the man of many titles Wayne Hill (seriously, IFAF, GB, Birmingham and he even has time to star in Toy Story) along with London Blitz Lineman Paul Summers you can see the calibre of coaching translates to the field. Their battle with the Loughborough running game will be one of the highlights of the game.

One of many tackles made by Anssi Saari
3. Aces dominant linebacker play - Something that has never been underestimated is the Aces ability to play hard nosed defence. This is most apparent when looking at their linebacker corp with GB Lion and Tamworth Phoenix linebacker Jonathan Varney and his Tamworth team mate Anssi Saari stuffing any attempts to run the ball.

The Aces will also use these two to rush the passer as they have done so effectively this season and expect turnovers when these go into contact as they hit HARD.

Sope Dirsu and Jonny Glover will be key to Birminghams success
2. Birmingham QB Rotation - Since the injury of QB Tristan Varney (yes, he is Jonathan's brother) in the same fixture last year Birmingham have relied on a QB rotation akin to the LSU Tigers in the NCAA. With Sope Dirsu, a WR turned QB they have a player with a ton of experience on the offence. He is also dangerous running the ball and the Aces will have to be mindful of his speed when a play breaks down.

Jonny Glover is the other QB in the rotation and is more of a pocket pass with good accuracy and presence. He and Dirsu tend to split snaps under centre, but expect Birmingham to go with the hot hand when playing against such a potent defence.

This game may eventually come down to Sherrat vs  Hill
1. Coaching Decisions - As already pointed out, Birmingham have a ton of talent in their coaching staff and the Aces are no exception either. What this game will ultimately come down to is how well each staff can adjust to their opponents game plan.

Last year the Lions season was defined by an ill fated decision to go for two in the final by Head Coach Wayne hill, which ultimately cost them the Championship. Will either coach be brave enough to go for it if the decision is there to be made?

1 comment:

  1. While folk are looking out for Freeman at #4 it's also worth keeping a weather eye on his brother Ross Barrow at centre for Lions and pivotal - you did mention both Varneys after all ;)


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