Saturday, December 23, 2006


Teams can only run the 4-2-5 effectively if the "2" in the middle play well against the run. A&M's linebackers do just that, and Cal's OL and new FB will need an improved effort to control this unit. This battle is one of the keys to the game - if Cal run blocks like it did against Oregon (as opposed to USC or Stanford), then the Bears can force A&M to add a 3rd backer or commit the rover to run support.

Justin Warren (6'3"/242/Senior) is a very physical linebacker who may be the key to the entire game. With Storer out, sophomore FB Will Ta'ufo'ou will often need to block #10, which will be a tall order. Warren has started 37 games for the Aggies and has 275 career tackles; he was named a few All-Big XII teams after the season.

Mark Dodge (6'2"/222) starts at the weak-side spot; he's a 25-year old junior who served four years in the Army before entering junior college in 2004. He was at the Pentagon on 9/11 when Flight 77 crashed. On the field he was twice named Big XII defensive player of the week - once for a 17-tackle performance against Nebraska, and again for making a key interception in A&M's win over Texas. He is the Aggies' best linebacker in pass cover.

Misi Tupe, a talented Juco transfer will also rotate in at WLB; he's a 5'10"/250 bowling ball with surprising quickness for his size. When A&M brings in a third linebacker in run situations, it's often Tupe who gets the call.

RS Freshman Matt Featherstone adds depth off the bench; he had 23 tackles in relief of Warren. Senior Nurahda Manning (6'3"/247) will also see time in the rotation.


At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This game is so important to us. If we win, we will go into next season with high hopes and even higher expectations. If we lose, people will think that we have reached our glass ceiling.

While I am getting excited about the game, frankly I am a bit would be nice to see that for ONCE, we don't choke on the pressure. Go Bears!


Post a Comment

<< Home