Matchup of the Week: Gerald Willis vs. LSU interior offensive line

Matchup of the Week: Gerald Willis vs. LSU interior offensive line

Cory Grimes
All spring, all fall and even all of last year during his stint with the scout team, we have heard about the evolution of Gerald Willis. The Louisiana native has a chance to show this Sunday that the tales of Willis on Greentree are more than just folklore. Willis and his fellow trench bullies on the interior defensive line will play pivotal a role in the success of the Miami defense and the demise of the LSU offense.

While LSU has made a lot of changing their offense to become a little more dynamic with some more spread concepts, their calling card has been and always will be the power running game. It’s true that LSU has no backs on the roster that have seen the end zone in an LSU uniform, but I have to imagine they have a formidable back that we just may not know about yet. I would have to believe that the Miami defense would be much more satisfied with first year starter Joe Burrow trying to beat them rather than any LSU back running behind a strong offensive line.

The way to do that is to win in the trenches especially on 1st and 2nd down runs. Gerald Willis will need to get penetration early and often to halt the LSU run game and force Joe Burrow into difficult third and longs. If Miami can get LSU into obvious passing situations, they can allow the thoroughbreds at defensive end to pin their ears back and get after the QB. None of this happens if the middle isn’t anchored down, and Willis has to be the captain of that boat.

The LSU interior line will be led by veteran Senior LG Garrett Brumfield. However, the other 2 in the middle aren’t quite as experienced. The sophomore center Lloyd Cushenberry who saw some time sparingly last year, but was not a starter. Right Guard Damien Lewis was a big time Ju-Co prospect, but this will be his first game in an LSU uniform. I don’t see Willis or any of the other d-lineman overpowering the LSU front, but UM certainly has the advantage athletically. They will need to use their quickness off the ball to get after this LSU group. All 3 of these guys average about 6’4 315 pounds across the board. LSU is usually very solid and physical up front and I don’t think this year is any different, but there is a lack of longevity among this group in the middle that could bode well for Willis and friends.

The defensive tackle spot was arguably the biggest question mark for the Canes coming into 2018. Gerald Willis can’t be the answer to all the questions on his own, but he certainly needs to be the catalyst for this group to have a productive game this Sunday and going forward this season. Guys like Bethel, Ford and grad transfer Odenigbo will also have to hold their own in this game.

Going down the list Miami’s defense wins almost every position matchup against LSU offense on paper. Our secondary is elite, our linebackers are veterans and there’s first round talents all throughout the defensive end group. I truly believe that if Miami can limit the LSU run game with constant penetration from Willis and the boys in the middle, they will be stuck in the mud offensively. Willis will be playing with some added emotion going against his hometown team. I imagine he will continue to play with something to prove the same way he has the past couple years on Greentree. As long as Manny Diaz can get the Greentree Willis to show up in Jerry’s world, Joe Burrow and the LSU offense will be in for a long night.
 

Comments (12)

Good write up... This matchup is going to tell us a lot right off the bat about how this game will go

This game is going to tell us a lot about our team. I am so pumped up for the start of the season. I know that there is still a large contingent out there who expect LSU to physically dominate us because of the whole SEC thing. Personally I am so fu**ing sick and tired of hearing that garbage being repeated over and over again by sports writer hacks and goofy SEC internet shills. I'm sick of these pricks buying our local recruits. I would like nothing more than to put a beating on LSU. I can only imagine what the players feel like. These are the kind of games that we live for. These are the type of games this program was built on. It's finally here! Let's do this! #Hit Stick and Bust D*ck!
 
All spring, all fall and even all of last year during his stint with the scout team, we have heard about the evolution of Gerald Willis. The Louisiana native has a chance to show this Sunday that the tales of Willis on Greentree are more than just folklore. Willis and his fellow trench bullies on the interior defensive line will play pivotal a role in the success of the Miami defense and the demise of the LSU offense.

While LSU has made a lot of changing their offense to become a little more dynamic with some more spread concepts, their calling card has been and always will be the power running game. It’s true that LSU has no backs on the roster that have seen the end zone in an LSU uniform, but I have to imagine they have a formidable back that we just may not know about yet. I would have to believe that the Miami defense would be much more satisfied with first year starter Joe Burrow trying to beat them rather than any LSU back running behind a strong offensive line.

The way to do that is to win in the trenches especially on 1st and 2nd down runs. Gerald Willis will need to get penetration early and often to halt the LSU run game and force Joe Burrow into difficult third and longs. If Miami can get LSU into obvious passing situations, they can allow the thoroughbreds at defensive end to pin their ears back and get after the QB. None of this happens if the middle isn’t anchored down, and Willis has to be the captain of that boat.

The LSU interior line will be led by veteran Senior LG Garrett Brumfield. However, the other 2 in the middle aren’t quite as experienced. The sophomore center Lloyd Cushenberry who saw some time sparingly last year, but was not a starter. Right Guard Damien Lewis was a big time Ju-Co prospect, but this will be his first game in an LSU uniform. I don’t see Willis or any of the other d-lineman overpowering the LSU front, but UM certainly has the advantage athletically. They will need to use their quickness off the ball to get after this LSU group. All 3 of these guys average about 6’4 315 pounds across the board. LSU is usually very solid and physical up front and I don’t think this year is any different, but there is a lack of longevity among this group in the middle that could bode well for Willis and friends.

The defensive tackle spot was arguably the biggest question mark for the Canes coming into 2018. Gerald Willis can’t be the answer to all the questions on his own, but he certainly needs to be the catalyst for this group to have a productive game this Sunday and going forward this season. Guys like Bethel, Ford and grad transfer Odenigbo will also have to hold their own in this game.

Going down the list Miami’s defense wins almost every position matchup against LSU offense on paper. Our secondary is elite, our linebackers are veterans and there’s first round talents all throughout the defensive end group. I truly believe that if Miami can limit the LSU run game with constant penetration from Willis and the boys in the middle, they will be stuck in the mud offensively. Willis will be playing with some added emotion going against his hometown team. I imagine he will continue to play with something to prove the same way he has the past couple years on Greentree. As long as Manny Diaz can get the Greentree Willis to show up in Jerry’s world, Joe Burrow and the LSU offense will be in for a long night.
Brumfield graded out very poorly. Go look at grades especially with all those snaps. G gotta eat that man's lunch period.
 
I have no doubt Willis is going to get his, I wonder how the other DT’s are going to do especially Odenigbo, Ford, Miller, and Silvera. If we can continue to clog the middle and eat up blocks while getting good penetration into the backfield look for this to turn into a very long and sad night for LSU. That will allow Manny to dial up blitzes on 3rd and long to confuse Burrow. I see him running for his life later tonight and for our boys upfront to win the battle of the trenches. Let’s hope Burrow gets stupid trying to throw up air balls in hopes his WR’s will run under them and secure the catch. He does that, we’ll see the new and improved Turnover Chain early and often.
 
I have no doubt Willis is going to get his, I wonder how the other DT’s are going to do especially Odenigbo, Ford, Miller, and Silvera. If we can continue to clog the middle and eat up blocks while getting good penetration into the backfield look for this to turn into a very long and sad night for LSU. That will allow Manny to dial up blitzes on 3rd and long to confuse Burrow. I see him running for his life later tonight and for our boys upfront to win the battle of the trenches. Let’s hope Burrow gets stupid trying to throw up air balls in hopes his WR’s will run under them and secure the catch. He does that, we’ll see the new and improved Turnover Chain early and often.
I like being aggressive on defense but there is a time and a place for everything. With 4 senior starters in the seconday and the freakish talent we have at DE, I dont see why Diaz would have to dial up blitzes on 3rd and long. I'm not necessarily against it. I just don't particularly care for the constant gratuitous blitzing Diaz does sometimes. I will however take that over that ineffective soft zone he calls occasionally.
 
I like being aggressive on defense but there is a time and a place for everything. With 4 senior starters in the seconday and the freakish talent we have at DE, I dont see why Diaz would have to dial up blitzes on 3rd and long. I'm not necessarily against it. I just don't particularly care for the constant gratuitous blitzing Diaz does sometimes. I will however take that over that ineffective soft zone he calls occasionally.

This is huge game for us and almost life and death to LSU. It should be fantastic. The secret to cane defense and therefore greatness has always been DTs that crush the interior of the LOL with quickness and strength and deny a pocket for the QBs. It is what opens the feeding frenzy for the DEs and others. That up field attack is what we need. The more blitzes we need the less effective we will be. Diaz needs a little less of Diaz defense and more Cane defense. He seems to understand that but can’t resist trying to prove he is smart. Just play the Cane defense that took over college football.

LSU and the whole SEC is the old school offenses that Miami crushed for 20 years. It looks like we might have the horses to do it again. Once we do it will be our time again. We might never be as overwhelming as before but we will end this Bama rule and take more than our share of titles.
 
This game is going to tell us a lot about our team. I am so pumped up for the start of the season. I know that there is still a large contingent out there who expect LSU to physically dominate us because of the whole SEC thing. Personally I am so fu**ing sick and tired of hearing that garbage being repeated over and over again by sports writer hacks and goofy SEC internet shills. I'm sick of these pricks buying our local recruits. I would like nothing more than to put a beating on LSU. I can only imagine what the players feel like. These are the kind of games that we live for. These are the type of games this program was built on. It's finally here! Let's do this! #Hit Stick and Bust D*ck!

I believe this post is the feeling of our whole program, not going to be surprised if they open a can of...
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

Latest Predictions

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2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 14
09/19
Louisville
Louisville, KY
W 47 - 34
09/26
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
W 52 - 10
10/10
Clemson
Clemson, SC
10/17
Pittsburgh
Miami Gardens, FL
10/24
Virginia
Miami Gardens, FL
11/06
NC State
Raleigh, NC
11/14
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
11/21
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
11/28
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
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