Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Defending (the) Best

Unlike any hype that you were hearing about Greg Paulus (did you know he went to Duke and played PG for Coach K), any hype that you are hearing about Cal RB Jahvid Best is absolutely legit.

The guy can flat-out play and he is likely the best running back that the Gopher defense will face all year long. 

Here's some quick stats to help you get to know Jahvid Best:
-Height: 5'10", Weight: 195lbs
-40 yard dash: 4.4 sec
-Ninth rated RB prospect in the country and the 11th rated prospect in the state of California in 2007.
-2008 Stats: 1580 yds rushing, 8.1 yds/carry (HOLY CRAP!), 15 touchdowns.
-Career runs of over 60 yards: 9.
-2009 Stats (through 2 games): 281 yds rushing (over 140/game), 10.4 yds/carry, 4 TD's (3 rushing, 1 receiving).

Here are some highlights from Best's effort in the Maryland game:

The word YIKES comes to mind.

It appears that Best isn't too difficult to tackle... if you can catch him.  And good luck with that.  He is very fast and unbelievably shifty.  He is an unreal open field runner, and if you catch him one-on-one in the open he will make you miss.  If he gets an opening he is incredibly dangerous.

The thing the Gophers might have going for them is a d-line that has done a nice job of gobbling up blockers, backed up by a group of linebackers that are good hole fillers and tacklers.  Campbell, Triplett, and Lawrence have had two fantastic games so far this season, but they are all going to have to play out of their minds to be able to stop Best on the ground.

And even if you can stop him on the ground, Best has good hands out of the backfield, and can make things happen in the screen game.

Get ready for this one Gopher fans.  We are really going to find out what our defense is made of this week.  Make no mistake, Best is absolutely the key to the Bears offense.

If the Gophers can hold Best to a reasonable game on defense (and I'm not going to make any mentions of what the offense needs to do, because it's clear they need a much faster start), then they might just have a shot at winning this game.

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