Commentary

Moreno is in for a long day; Fresno State making history

Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench examines Week 5 story lines, including the Georgia-Alabama battle in the trenches, Clemson's trap game versus Maryland and Hokies QB Tyrod Taylor's injury.

Originally Published: September 26, 2008
By Steve Muench | Scouts Inc.
Here's a quick look at some of the biggest story lines Scouts Inc. is watching in Week 5:

[+] EnlargeKnowshon Moreno
Chris Morrison/US PresswireRB Knowshon Moreno may struggle versus Alabama's talented linebackers.
• No. 8 Alabama travels to No. 3 Georgia to take on the Bulldogs between the hedges on Saturday night in a game that has substantial BCS implications. With both run defenses ranked in the top 10 and offenses using the run to set up their passing attacks, expect a violent collision in the trenches. The winner of those battles could very well win the game. Pay close attention to Crimson Tide NT Terrance Cody working against a Georgia interior offensive line that starts true freshman Ben Jones at center. Jones has adequate size for a center, but he just doesn't have the lower-body strength to drive the 365-pound Cody off the ball. In fact, Cody is so big that he can hold his ground even when Jones gets help from OGs Chris Davis and Clint Boling. Additionally, the nose tackle's alignment in the Crimson Tide's 3-4 scheme is frequently right over the center's head, which makes it difficult for the guards to get into a position where they can really help. Cody's ability to clog up the middle will force talented Bulldogs RB Knowshon Moreno to bounce more of his runs outside, making him less of a north-south runner. That doesn't bode well for Georgia's ground game because MLB Rolando McCain headlines a talented Alabama linebacker corps that swarms to the ball.

• No. 24 TCU travels to Norman to take on No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday night. The Horned Frogs stunned the Sooners 17-10 the last time they were in town and TCU comes into this one with the top-ranked run defense and sixth-ranked scoring defense in the country. Nonetheless, expect Oklahoma to avenge the 2005 loss. Though Sooners RBs DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown won't finish with eye-popping stats, they should help Oklahoma sustain long drives. Massive drive blockers LT Phil Loadholt and LG Duke Robinson are capable of controlling the left side of the line of scrimmage and C Jon Cooper is playing at a high level. In addition, QB Sam Bradford reads defenses well and is accurate. His ability to find the open man quickly and hit him in stride will help negate TCU's impressive pass rush.

Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.