07/01/2011 11:44 AM
New Orleans VooDoo at Tampa Bay Storm
The two sub-.500 teams of the South Division will meet Friday night when the 2–12 New Orleans VooDoo head to Tampa Bay to face the 6–8 Storm. Tampa Bay fell last week to the Jacksonville Sharks, and the VooDoo is mired in a six-game losing streak after falling 75–54 to the Spokane Shock.
For the Storm, quarterback Brian Zbydniewski continues to impress. Despite the loss to the Sharks last week, the rookie threw for 341 yards and six touchdowns. The VooDoo will certainly have a challenge on its hands to put the clamps on Zbydniewski.
The New Orleans VooDoo with just two wins on the season is sporting the worst record in the Arena League. The VooDoo has not won since May 7 at Kansas City. Similarly to Tampa Bay though, New Orleans has found a talented quarterback midway through the season in D Bryant. Bryant threw for six touchdowns himself last week and did not throw a single interception.
The advantage in this game however will go to Tampa Bay. Though Bryant has been good, Zbydniewski has been better and has more weapons to throw to. PJ Berry is the only VooDoo receiver having a season of note and the Storm sport a strong trio of Huey Whittaker, Amarri Jackson and Hank Edwards.
The action begins at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday from St. Pete Times Forum.
Pittsburgh Power at Orlando Predators
In a battle of two 8–6 squads, Pittsburgh, the top team in the East Division, will head south to take on the Orlando Predators. The Predators had one of the best starts to the season in the league, but are now riding a three-game losing streak and were crushed by the Georgia Force last week 64–34.
The Force stopped quarterback Nick Hill, who has been so versatile this season distributing the ball to his three top receivers and making plays with his feet, in his tracks. Hill managed 244 yards and three touchdowns last week against Georgia and was picked off once by Robert Durham. Hill only attempted one rush, which went for six yards.
The Power will be riding the momentum from a tight 39–38 win over the Milwaukee Mustangs last week. The low-scoring affair could have the Predators concerned, especially given their struggles scoring recently.
The Power does not have a strong passing game however, ranked No. 16 in the league. With Marlon Moye-Moore and Rayshaun Kizer patrolling the defensive backfield, the Predators may have a chance at winning the game in a defensive battle.
The game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET Friday from Amway Center on NFL Network.
Jacksonville Sharks at San Jose SaberCats
No team has stopped the Jacksonville Sharks since the Arizona Rattlers defeated them in the first week of the season. Thirteen consecutive wins later, it is now up to the San Jose SaberCats to try and end the streak. It won’t be easy.
Quarterback Aaron Garcia has been phenomenal and threw for 288 yards and nine touchdowns last week in a victory over the Tampa Bay Storm. This time around it was wide receiver Jeff Hughley who did most of the work for Jacksonville, hauling in 13 passes for six touchdowns. Defensively, Micheaux Robinson picked up another interception for his ninth on the season. Robinson ranks No. 4 in the league in interceptions.
The SaberCats are in the midst of a long streak as well. However, San Jose has fallen on hard times and is riding a seven-game skid that it hopes to end in front of its home crowd. The Cleveland Gladiators trounced the SaberCats last week 82–21.
For the SaberCats to put a halt to Jacksonville’s stellar streak, they will need to find some magic on their home field. The game begins at 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday from HP Pavillion.