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Both the Washington D.C. and Baltimore offenses will feature quite a bit of the run game. The linebackers have a big responsibility to plug the holes but also to cover the running backs on routes when the offenses decide to pass. Rivals.com analyst Brian Perroni breaks down the matchup of Washington D.C. linebackers vs. Baltimore's running backs.
Washington D.C. linebackers: Darien Harris (DeMatha), Alex Twine (Quince Orchard), Andrew Bose (Huntingtown)
Baltimore running backs: Dwayne Randall (Linganore), Quentin Ezell (Walkersville), Gabriel Ali-El (Baltimore Poly)
The Washington D.C. defense has a very good linebacking corps. Harris, a Michigan State commit, plays on the strong side. He is very good against the pass and can chase down runners from behind. He is not afraid to make the big hit and is quick off the edge when asked to pass rush.
On the opposite side is Twine. The recent Maryland commitment is probably more suited to play inside at the next level but he is a big body on the edge for the D.C. squad. He plays the option well, which is something he will be asked to do quite often during the game.
Bose is a big inside linebacker. He is physical and fills his gap well. He could be a bit of a liability in pass coverage over the middle but the Baltimore offense will not likely throw the ball too much.
Baltimore will counter with three completely different style runners. Randall is a big back at 6-foot and 190 pounds but he can also take it to the edge. He is not going to make a lot of defenders miss but he has pretty good speed.
Ezell is the power back for Baltimore. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds he is a workhorse between the tackles. He is hard to bring down with his downhill running style. Ali-El is the speed back of the bunch and he will line up in the wing quite often. He should keep the D.C. defense on its toes.