Sugar Bowl punditry

There are a couple of Sugar Bowl previews up at CFN and ESPN for your perusal.  There’s nothing particularly earth shattering in either – in case you didn’t know, look for Hawaii to throw the ball and for Georgia to run the ball – but both pieces do focus on one particular matchup that should be interesting to watch.

From Fiutak at CFN:

Looking to bottle things up in the middle is 6-0, 302-pound bowling ball Michael Lafale, who’s been the anchor of the Hawaii line since moving over from the offensive side a few years ago. While not an interior pass rusher, he’s the one who needs to be shoved around to make the Georgia running game go. If he’s handled by just one lineman, there will be big problems for the Warrior linebackers. If he can consistently take on two blockers, Hawaii’s defense will have its moments.

And here’s what Scouts, Inc. has to say over at ESPN:

Key individual matchup

Hawaii DT Michael Lafaele vs. OC Fernando Velasco
Lafaele anchors the Warrior defense and he can be tough to move at 302 pounds, but he will struggle to hold his ground working against Velasco. Velasco has adequate quickness, he takes sound angles to his blocks and he shows above-average lower body strength once in position. If Velasco is able to handle Lafaele by himself, it will make it easier for the guards to release up to the second level and wall off the linebackers, giving RBs Moreno and Brown big lanes to run through. In addition, Lafaele shouldn’t have much success getting to QB Stafford. Velasco gets adequate knee bend in his pass set, and he rarely gives ground to bull rushers. While Velasco lacks an explosive first, Lafaele isn’t quite quick enough to exploit this weakness.

Note that both previews pick Georgia to cover the spread.  Note also that somebody can’t spell the Hawaii DT’s name correctly.  (The Honolulu paper indicates that it’s CFN’s screwup.)

On another front, we haven’t seen a Tom Dienhart “what I’m hearing about coaches” link in a while, so here’s a timely one.

A source close to the SMU situation tells me Hawaii coach June Jones is the main target. He already has had a clandestine interview for the job.

SMU has yet to make a move on former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione and ex-Southern Miss coach Jeff Bowers, among others, even though both have been available. Why? Because SMU is waiting on Jones to finish the Warriors’ trip to the Sugar Bowl, where unbeaten Hawaii will play Georgia.

Is it true?  With Dienhart, who knows?  Brennan is gone after the Sugar Bowl and Jones’ contract with Hawaii is up.  Could this be a distraction?  It couldn’t hurt if it were.

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