Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Blazer Names to Know: Special Know Thine Enemy Edtion

Last Friday night, while waiting on some people to arrive so we could go and eat, I was busy upsetting Oklahoma with UAB in my '07 dynasty. I made the comment to Lee that if the real Blazers are to beat OU, then Adrian Peterson either needs to miss the bus to the stadium or get hit by it. It never occured to me that losing their starting QB might also do the trick...until today! With the news that Rhett Bomar has been dismissed from the Oklahoma Sooners, an upset for the Blazers enters the realm of the not likely, but entirely possible. Bomar got off to a slow start last season, earning the starting job after the loss to TCU in Week 1, but eventually worked into a rhythm with the offense, going 8-3 as a starter (including a win over a highly touted Oregon team in the Holiday Bowl) without the aid of Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Pre-season hype on the Sooners was growing as Peterson returned and trust in Bomar to run the offense after almost an entire season as starter plus the offseason grew, but Bomar's dismissal from the team again raises questions about the man under center. Listed as backup on the depth chart is JUCO transfer Joey Halzle. Halzle played in ten games for the Golden West Rustlers, throwing for 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns on their way to a 1-9 record. Also available is Paul Thompson, who was the initial starting QB last season before moving to wide receiver. It is entirely possible that Thompson could be moved back to QB because of his experience, and if so there shouldn't be much change. Both he and Bomar were touted as dual threat QBs and the playbook being built around Bomar's skill set should translate well for Thompson.

What does all of this mean for UAB? Probably not a whole lot. If we are to have a prayer, no matter who the starter is, the defensive line and linebackers must negate the run game, get pressure on the QB, and force him to win through the air. We have a lot of experience coming back on the defensive side of the ball (unfortunately, that experience is a 5-6 season) plus a new DC and linebackers coach that will hopefully improve upon the dreadful showing last season, and it's possible they could rattle the inexperienced Halzle or the rusty Thompson and cause them to commit too many turnovers like they did in the upset loss to TCU. September 2nd just got a lot more interesting.

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