Friday, 23 November 2012

Game of the Week: Southampton Stags @ BNU Buccaneers




Some that were close but didn’t quite make it...

Luke Plastow’s hat

There’s no doubt that the BNU side-line has been personified by the presence of HC Luke Plastow’s hat. Will it make an appearance this year?

Home field (dis)advantage

BNU have struggled to find a field this year, having to play at an alien venue might play into the hands of the Stags (Ed: Why? Are their starting receivers Mulder and Skully?).


5 keys to the game:

5. BNU Pass Defence
Stags QB Dana Neale is 23/48 for 385yd with 8TDs/2INTs on the season. The Stags have great balance in their offence with a 43.6 pass percentage. The BNU defence spend half of their time repping against the BNU double wing (although they do pass sometimes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd4XA1XZToE) , and while I have no doubt their tackling will be spot on in terms of form and gang tackling, you have to wonder if their DBs are ready for a proper pass attack.

4. Stags Run Offence
As mentioned above the BNU defence will be strong against the run, and the Stags are a team who run to establish the pass, so gains on the ground are crucial. So far on the season the Stags have had an interchange at the RB position, with a three way attack consisting of #24 Henry Schlaefli (28 carries 186yd), #32 Matt Smedly (14 carries 137yd), and #80 Tristan Demuth (20 carries 183yd 2td), impressive for only having played two games.

3. The Weather
So far this year we have seen multiple games being called off for bad weather, and with flooding in some areas already this week, the weather could play a crucial role in this game. While the forecast is for a bright sunny afternoon, the heavy rain the day before could factor into the game. It’s hard to say whether rain would help BNU, but some strong wind would certainly ground the Stags air ball.

2. Tackling
Playing the double wing calls for a change up in the way you think about playing football. This fact has proven successful for the teams that have run it for the past couple of years, but with the transition of more and more teams to the system it seems that all the forum talk of how to beat the double wing has caught on. The Stags last year seemed to fall victim on ‘how to tackle 101’ in their first encounter of the system allowing a season (and significantly longer than that) high of 48 points in. With strong running games on both sides of the ball, tackling will be key in keeping the points down.

1. The Double Wing
Bodies everywhere, practically non-existent line splits, fatties playing in positions they shouldn’t, no it’s not free burger day at Burger King, it’s the Double wing. Love it or hate it, it gets results. Danny Wallace (BNU RB and all-rounder) currently has 577 yards and 9 TDs on the year, and will be a key read for the Stags. Altering your defence to take on the specialised offence is always the key to a game like this, and for BNU its key that they outscore the Stags, a fact that was obvious in last years encounter.

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