Getting Bull-ish on defense 

September, 22, 2009
South Florida lost QB Matt Grothe to a season-ending knee injury, while Florida State QB Christian Ponder is playing the best football he's ever played, so suddenly there is a lot of pressure on the Bulls' defense when the two teams meet this weekend. Much of that pressure will fall on a pair of early-round prospects -- DE George Selvie and FS Nate Allen.

Selvie, a first-round prospect, needs to get pressure on Ponder, forcing him into bad decisions. Selvie, 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, will go against FSU's Andrew Datko, who despite his 6-6, 291-pound frame is a very athletic lineman. He's not a power offensive tackle. He moves well and sets his feet quickly. It is the type of matchup that could test Selvie, who is a speed rusher. It will be interesting to see if Selvie can still get the corner on the athletic Datko. But there are a couple of things to like about Selvie in this matchup. First of all, he's simply the most explosive defensive lineman in the country. The second thing -- and just as important -- is that he's smart. If he sees Datko trying to take away the outside with wider splits or with a big kick-step when the ball is snapped, Selvie will shoot inside.

As good as that matchup will be, I'm more excited to watch Allen. Allen, who projects as a second-round prospect, will be tested in a couple of areas. The first is against a mobile quarterback like Ponder. I think Allen will step up and help out in run support. He's an effective drag-down tackler, and although Ponder isn't Tim Tebow-like when he runs, he does run hard. It will be interesting to see how Allen limits Ponder's yards after contact.