-Offensive line: I thought that once again the offensive line did a fine job against a solid defensive front. Franklin had ample time to throw for the great majority of the day and helped Linfield run for over 200 yards and was key in Linfield actually outgaining Willamette on offense on the day.
-Cole Franklin: Cole played all out on Saturday and sacrificed his body time and again in an effort to break plays wide open. He rushed over 100 yards and threw for over 170 yards on the day. A very solid effort. The sophomore went down very late in the game with an ankle tweak but I’m sure he be ready for next Saturday.
-Team Resolve: It would have been very easy to just lay down after that disaster 1st quarter but Linfield rallied and slowly climbed back in the game. It was awesome to see the kids respond and not check out.
-Giving up Big Plays: It was a concern of mine going into the game. You have so many things you have to honor in the fly offense that one simple breakdown that would cost you maybe a 10-15 yard gain vs a standard offense turns into a 50 yard untouched TD run with Willamette. I thought that we might give up a few big plays but it was hard to see Wilamette hit home run after home run.
-QB Pressure: This is more of a compliment to the Willamette offensive line than an indictment of our defensive line (who I think is the best unit in the NWC) but in the 2nd half the Willamette game plan shifted to a passing attack. The pocket held for the 2nd half and that allowed Willamette to move the ball and eventually put the game out of reach.
-Untimely penalties: The ‘Cats only had 5 penalties but they all seemed to give a Willamette drive extra life or stall a ‘Cats drive.
-Special Teams: As a group it killed us. We gave up 14 points on a blocked punt and a bad snap/mishandled snap. Then we gave up the short porch on short kicks, we gave up WAY too much yardage on kick/punt returns, couldn’t field kickoffs, missed a FG, etc. We all knew Willamette had fine special teams coming in but that was just an ugly performance by special teams that crippled our game plan.