I know I said I’d be back on Sunday to give a run down on Saturday’s activities but responsibilities took priorities and I had a few things to take care of on Sunday. So here I am all settled down on Monday evening reflecting on the start of the college football season.
It would be great to give you a detailed report on all the happenings of the scrimmage but I had the great pleasure of running into a number of familiar faces and spent the great majority of my time catching up with some great Linfield fans. However, when I did turn my head to the field what I saw was a field littered with speed. We’re not going to outsize a WOU but I’m very excited about the athleticism of the offensive/defensive backs and linebackers.
The obvious great unknown is the play of the offensive line and we’re going to find out really quickly how they measure up in week 1. In getting an up close look at the line during the scrimmage I saw some very good things but I also understand there are still some adjustments to be made. If our big bodies are able to provide Trevor the time to make his decisions then we’re going to be in great shape.
Mrs11 and I made the trip later that day out to Monmouth to watch the Bearcats get pushed around by WOU. The thing that jumped out at me immediately was the defensive line play of WOU. They’re very athletic and don’t waste very much time getting to the ball. In terms of the Western offense, they did what I expected them to do for the most part in terms of being a balanced attack. They ran their zone run scheme that got the Wolves big bodies on the Bearcats and let a hard running RB do his work while a 3 step/roll out/play action passing attack keep the chains moving down the field.
In terms of Willamette. They didn’t quit on one play the whole night. I really like the Bearcats linebackers and their defensive backs had great stretches of play. If Saturday is an indication then Willamette is going to be a tough game in the NWC this year. Coach Speckman has a team full of kids that compete hard.
What did surprise me is that I’ve been reading about WOU’s depth at running back but the Wolves basically hook up their trailer to Sophomore Ben Kuenzi and ran him all night long. I didn’t know if the WOU staff was sandbagging but it just seem odd that they’ve talked all camp about 4 very good RB’s but just go with the one guy for 95% of the snaps.
We’ll talk more about WOU/Linfield later this week but the key match-up is obvious at this point: WOU’s Defensive Line/Linfield’s Offensive Line. My initial thought is that Saturday is going to be a hotly contested battle but I think Linfield will be a better prepared team this time around. I wish it was Saturday right now.