Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Game 3 Preview: Linfield vs Menlo

It's the opening of NWC play and the first step for the 'Cats in the quest to capture the conference title and land the automatic playoff bid. This weekend the Oaks of Menlo College make the long trip from the Bay area in what could be wet conditions at the 'Catdome. Every game for the 'Cats is huge and Linfield has to have the drive to keep improving and put out a great effort this Saturday.

I'm just excited for the traditional 1:30 kickoff at the 'Catdome. Waiting around all day for a night game is brutal and I don't know if Mrs. WC11 can take me running around the house all Saturday driving her up the wall.

Know Your Foe

Oaks: It’s always hard to crush oak trees when they hold such a special place in the heart of Linfield. Just this past year the college lost a great symbol when “The Old Oak” fell due to years of battling a root disease. A truly sad day for Linfield.

But I digress….I would go on for paragraphs about the history of Menlo College but it’s Wikipedia page is shorter than the number of wins the Oaks have in NWC play (HI-YO! *rimshot*). I can tell you that Menlo was founded in 1927 and is right in the middle of the jam packed area of Atherton and Menlo Park (San Francisco metro area). After visiting there last year I can say that real estate is tight and insanely expensive.

A few Fun facts that I do know about the Oaks: They have about 800 students, they are one of the few colleges with duel affiliations with the NAIA and the NCAA. Don’t ask me which sports are in what division all I know is football is in the NCAA (duh). It seems like Menlo really pushes the business and management degrees which makes since due to the location right in the smack dab of the Silicon Valley.

Here’s a link to a wicked cool map of the college to show you really how small the campus is. If this map is to scale than that is one giant whale!

Wildcat11’s keys to victory

1) Turnover Factor. It could be a wet one at the ‘Catdome this weekend and this is where the ‘Cats need to keep improving. Keep the ball off the carpet and make Menlo put it on the carpet. If Linfield doesn’t turnover the rock the chance for the win improves greatly. (no kidding)

2) Establish the run game
. In four games this season, Menlo is giving up 167.2 yards on the ground a game and if Linfield desires to be a contender we have to exceed that number and control the game up front with our offensive line.

3) Take Menlo RB’s out of pass game.
The Oaks do have a number of offensive starters back and that has provided better continuity for the offense. Menlo loves to leak RB’s out of the backfield on arrow type routes where they can do damage in open space. Our LB’s have to be up to the task in shutting Shaun Souza down out of the backfield.

4) No let down, no looking ahead
. A test of a good team is being able to have a short memory and focus on the game in front of them. The ‘Cats just can’t “mail it in” against Menlo and look further down the road. Linfield should be working on getting better and coming out of the gates on fire.

Prediction

Cats by 17. Linfield should control this game on both lines of scrimmage. Menlo is only 1-3, but again, is a team that has really only suffered one bad loss and looks to be improving as the season has moved on. The Oaks have been able to retain kids in the program and has shown to be able to put up points on the score board. Linfield on the other hand hasn’t really exploded as an offense but the signs are there for Linfield to develop into a punishing balanced offense. It’s the opener for NWC play and I look for a another great effort from the ‘Cats.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Video Tuesday!

*New segment alert!* The Tuesday after each home game the ADvantage will post up the video board elements that ran during the game. These videos are co-creations between Linfield SID, Kelly Bird, and WC11. Kelly and I added a new Trivia segment this season that is pretty fun to go along with our Senior Moments and "Today in Wildcat History" spots.


video

Linfield Trivia - Linfield's First Head Coach (will get fixed later)

video
Today In Wildcat History - 1992 Linfield offense explosion vs UPS

video
Senior Moment - Scott Olsen, Def. Line

video
Scott Birkhofer - Place Kicker

video
Reggie Ford - Running Back

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Instant Classic! Cats sink Raiders

Cats beat raiders
Now that is a way to kick off the home season! There were a ton of storylines to fill up one season let alone a home opener. From first time starting quarterback Cole Franklin looking like he was lost to an injury but coming back in the game, our biggest enemy (the turnover) coming back to almost bite us again, the Wildcat defense brining in a huge salt truck to the ‘Catdome, and it all winds up with a team field rush after the ‘Cats seal the victory on a SOU turnover in Overtime.

So lets recap the game with the good, the bad, and the ugly of Linfield’s 14-7 victory over SOU.

The Good:

Wildcat Defense: I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Linfield’s defense improved greatly from game 1 to game 2. SOU had a big physical line, some slick skill kids and a strong armed quarterback but it didn’t matter as the ‘Cats salty defense was pretty dang fast and physical themselves. The ‘Cats only gave up one tug and that was a fade “over the top” but beyond that they limited the Raiders to 13 first downs and only 240 total yards of offense. So many guys played so well but I have to say that Taylor Summers was just a disruptive force at defensive end. He was a thorn is SOU’s side the whole night but huge props to the total defensive effort. Outstanding.

Offensive Line: SOU’s front 7 was pretty tough but the ‘Cats offensive line opened up holes and gave the ‘Cats QB more than enough time to get rid of the ball. The ‘Cats kept pounding and pounding and in the end the ‘Cats offensive line wore down SOU and allowed the ‘Cats to get the job done.

Cole Franklin and Simon Lamson: Both of these young ‘Cats were starting their first game of their careers and they both showed they have bright futures ahead of themselves as Linfield Wildcats. Obviously they both have room to grow and improve and I look for them to do just that as the season moves along.

Blocking effort from the WR corp: MUCH improved from game number 1 and that blocking on the edge and downfield was a factor in why the ‘Cats were able to move the ball in that 2nd half.

Team Attitude: Coach Smith said that is probably the loudest he’s ever heard the sideline players from early in the game all the way into overtime. He’s right. The team was focused and emotionally ready for the game. Even when things didn’t go right the kids NEVER wavered and keep together. A great sign for the remainder of the season.

The Bad

Fumbles: Again we have to take care of the ball especially at the goal line. Goal line fumbles have killed vs Whitworth in ’06, Willamette in ’07 and almost bit us again last night. If we are going to win the NWC we need to keep working on this aspect of our game.

Empty seats in the top corner of the ‘Catdome bleachers: The student section was packed, tons of fans in the general seating bleachers, fans around the field, but some empty seats in the top corner of the main grandstand? Come on long time ‘Cat fans….you’re much better than that! Get to the games or turn in your Cardinal Red and Purple.

The Ugly

SOU pre-game chant: Yeah, I hit on this last year but the “hell yeah” chant while half of their team is facing the Wildcat sideline trying to intimidate the ‘Cats smacks of busch league. I don’t know what SOU’s staff is doing down there but maybe they need to start by getting some different recruiting videos.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get your Catdome shirts this Saturday!


Click here to see larger map

Don't forget this Saturday to pick up your world famous "Catdomealumni.com" T-Shirts before you catch the 'Cats take on the Southern Oregon Raiders. The shirts are a true Cardinal Red (one of Linfield's OFFICAL school colors) and not the bright red junk you see pretending to be an offical Linfield color.

Small through X-Large shirts will be $10 and XX-Large (if available) will be $12. We take either cash or check. All you have to do is head out to the tailgate area and the general location of the WC11 icon on the google map above. There you should see a Catdomealumni.com T-Shirt table set up. The table should be set up at 4pm and just ask for "Gig Harbor Cat" and he'll take care of you. Who know's you might get a pull out his legendary "Blue Jug". Just don't ask me what's in it.


All proceeds from the shirts sale will go to the program's "Helmet's For Hunger" drive. During Thanksgiving, the senior players collect cash from their teammates and the local Roth's matches that amount raised so the players can purchase groceries and other items for local McMinnville families in need. I hope to at least give the seniors $300-$400 by the time thanksgiving hits.

Week 4: NWC Pick 'em

An Annual tradition for members of the D3boards.com is the conference “Pick ‘Em” contest. Here is a link to the NWC Pick ‘Em board, however, you must be a registered member in order to see or post on these boards. It only takes a minute to register and doesn’t cost a dime. NWC Pick ‘Em

‘Ol WC11 is still holding strong in 5th place out of 17 pickers in the NWC race. I’m only a few points off from the lead so there is still plenty of time to make a move…or really screw it up. So let’s get to the goods!

Whittier over Menlo. Yeah, the Oaks showed some signs of life last week in giving Occidental a pretty good game but that’s the Oaks for you. This program is like a good golf shot. You shank shots on the course all day long but then you hit that one incredible shot that makes you believe you could actually be getting better. That great shot keeps getting you back to the course but when in reality all you’re doing is continuing to fool yourself and prove you’re not very good at golf. Same thing goes for Menlo.

UW-Whitewater over Puget Sound. Hey I have to give Willenbrock credit that he had the stones to put the Warhawks on the schedule but this could turn out bad. Look I don’t think the Warhawks are nearly the same team from the past three years in terms of a dominate offense but they will handle UPS. Granted UWW has the long road trip and they are playing in what I like to call “The Morgue” (due to the place having no life at all). UWW wins not by a dominate margin but comfortable margin and then look for the Loggers to say after the game “We were “this close” to taking the game, we can play with anyone!”

Willamette over LeVerne. Yup the Bearcats have made me a complete fool the past three weeks, BUT NO MORE! I’m officially picking WU to win.

Whitworth over Chapman. People have been jumping off the Whitworth bandwagon faster than rats jumping of a sinking pirate ship. (Boom! I was able to work in a “rat” reference with a tie in to a Pirate ship. *pats self on back* +1 Wildcat11). Yes I know the Rats lost Kemp at quarterback but I don’t think that is a huge loss. He’s been more of a care taker than a play maker. Whitworth will continue to get better but this is a pick ‘em game and I haven’t given up on the Rats just yet.

Bonus Game: Bethel @ Concordia-Moorehead. I’m going with Bethel. Everyone with Willamette ties have now become huge Cobber fans because the more Concordia wins the better Willamette looks for a Pool C bid if they don’t win the NWC. Concordia is coming off a big win but I think SJU’s offense was exposed as a fraud and Bethel is going to be a different beast for the Cobbers to handle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Game 2: Linfield Vs. Southern Oregon Game Preview

This is a MUST win for Linfield. Absolutely gotta have it win for the ‘Cats. Yes, this is a non-DIII game but Linfield cannot afford to come out of the gates at 0-2 headed into NWC play. This team is far too talented to let that happen. However, Southern Oregon is not going to be an easy team to get over on. Granted the Raiders are 1-3 but could just as easily be 4-0 if not for a few breaks in each of their losses. So let’s get into our shtick with “know your foe” and Wildcat 11’s “keys to victory”

Know Your Foe (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Raiders – There are a few definitions of a “Raider” but Southern Oregon makes no bones (ha! a jolly rodger joke!) on the type of Raider mascot that SOU emulates. These Raiders are pretty much Pirates or people that commits robbery at sea. The core of the word is “Raid” which is a tactic that is used by the plunders to achieve one's goal of attacking the opponent’s commercial shipping rather than try to overtake the command of the sea via force of its naval fleet.

Raiders destroy supplies of the enemy instead of engaging the combatant themselves. When the raiders are at war, they break into places and plunder. Raiders or “Pirates” have been around as long as humans have used the seas for trade routes, however, the most glorified and popular of this despicable brand of thieves are the Raiders that terrorized the Caribbean during the 1560’s through the 1720’s.

Many of these “Raiders” came to the Caribbean after the end of the War of Spanish Succession. Most of the conflict arose over trade and colonization among the European powers of the time (English, Spain, Dutch, Portuguese, and the French).

Unlike the movies most pirates/raiders ate poorly, did not become wealthy, and died young. Even though pirates raided many ships, few, if any, buried their treasure, or booty. Often, the "treasure" that was stolen was food, water, alcohol, weapons, or clothing. Other things they stole were household items like bits of soap and gear like rope and anchors. For this reason, there was no need for the pirates to bury these goods.

Pretty much it sounded like the life of a Raider/Pirate sucked.

Wildcat11’s Key To Victory

-Win the Turnover Game.

When you have two teams that are matched up on paper a key swing point can and will be in the turnover department. Linfield not only has to limit theirs but the defense MUST makes some things happen beyond just trying to keep SOU out of the endzone. Last season, the Wildcat defense gift wrapped two Linfield touchdowns and the ‘Cats defense must have that same mindset.

-Run the football.

The SOU defensive front will be athletic and physical but the Wildcats have to be able to produce on the ground. Linfield quarterback Cole Franklin (Soph) is making his first start as a Wildcat and the offense cannot put Cole in a position where the game rests on his arm. The offense as a whole has to make the commitment to run the football. We need a way better effort from the WR corp in blocking on the edges and downfield. The success of Linfield’s run game is going to be a giant key for victory.

-Pressure on SOU’s Bryan Lee-Lauduski

The Wildcat defense faces a much different quarterback this weekend. Lee-Lauduski is a tradition pocket quarterback (i.e. he’s not super mobile). However the kid can really throw the ball. The ‘Cats will do their DB’s a major disservice by allowing him to step up in the pocket and get off clean passes. This job is up to the front 4 of Linfield’s defense. We have to pressure without bringing the house and leaving our backfield in a one-on-one situation. If we can consistently disrupt the SOU passing game in the pocket then the ‘Cats are going to be in good shape.

-Win on Special Teams

Linfield must be the better group on special teams. That means successful PAT’s, great coverage on kickoff and punts, catching all punts, and put the offense in good field position in returns. With Linfield’s offense facing a solid defense the special teams group for Linfield could play a major role.

-Play with Passion

Our ‘Cats don’t have to come out so hyped up that they blow their collective wad in the first series but as Linfield Coaches always say “be wound to the right tension. Not too tight but not too lose.” At HSU we were way too flat and I’m hopeful we don’t come out “too tight” for this game. The ‘Cats just have to focus on playing with contained passion, focus on doing their individual job well (No “S” on the chest), and believe the ‘Cat next to you is going to do the same.

Prediction

‘Cats by 7. This is going to be a bonfire battle. SOU is a wounded team and has to feel pissed that they’ve come up short the past three weeks. There is nothing more that the Raiders would like than to come up to Linfield and stuff the ‘Cats in their home opener. What Linfield needs to focus on is playing a complete 4 quarters of Linfield football. When SOU throws a preverbal punch the ‘Cats need to find the counter and land one on the SOU sweet spot. I can’t wait!

Game 2: Linfield vs Southern Oregon Via Google Maps


The ADvantage has what you need for your game day travel or if you're at home we have the links for you to catch all the action. Catdomealumni.com has crafted a 2008 game schedule using the power of Google Maps. All you need to do is click on the Wildcat Logo number "2" at midfield and a pop up window will appear that will direct you to all of our cool links. If you don't want to work with that small window just click on the link below to go to the large Linfield Schedule map.

The Links that are included are:
-Map Location of the Linfield Tailgate area (for those new to Linfield football)
-Game Previews from Linfield and SOU
-Links to Video and Audio Broadcasts
-Information on Southern Oregon University
-Ect.
View Larger Map

Monday, September 22, 2008

Game 2: Linfield vs Southern Oregon: Finally a Linfield home game

In what has seemed like a football eternity Linfield finally has their home opener. The beginning of this season has felt disjointed for the Linfield faithful as the ‘Cats didn’t start the season until Sept 13th but the game was down in Texas which pretty much kept most fans back home. Then after a bitter loss the ‘Cats get to sit at home during the Bye-week but now we get 8 straight weeks of games where Linfield fans can easily make all 8 contests (5 at home, 1 in Portland, and 2 in Tacoma).

The ADvantage will have something new all week long as tomorrow we’ll have our updated Linfield Google schedule post, on Wednesday we’ll have our Game Preview, Thursday I’ll let you know where you can purchase your “Catdomealumni.com T-Shirts” before the game along with my NWC Pick ‘Em post, and Friday will be our Link Dump post (Around the Catdome’Osphere).

I can’t wait for Saturday and to see how our ‘Cats come out of the gates versus an always very tough SOU program. It should be a slugfest! Go ‘Cats!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Around the CatdomeO'sphere

It's Friday so it's time once again to get you caught up with news around the Northwest Conference in the ADvantage's weekly link dump.

Ugh…Willamette starts the season 2-0 (Statesman Journal)

HSU Tops ‘Cats (Abilene Reporter News)

Rats give Leopards the slip (The Whitworthian)

Panthers mark the Oaks (Redwood city daily news)

Loggers Kavin Williams has field day with crappy SCIAC team (Tacoma News Tribune)

Pios are trying to put one good foot in front of another (Tacoma News Tribune)

Lutes are listless in opener (Tacoma News Tribune)

Young Lutes are young (PLU’s The Mast)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 3: NWC Pick 'Em

An Annual tradition for members of the D3boards.com is the conference “Pick ‘Em” contest. Here is a link to the NWC Pick ‘Em board, however, you must be a registered member in order to see or post on these boards. It only takes a minute to register and doesn’t cost a dime. NWC Pick ‘Em

Wildcat11 went 6 for 8 last week. I picked Willamette to lose and the ‘Cats to win and we know how those game out. 6 for 8 might sound good but I dropped from 3rd to 5th out of 17 posters. I’m hoping for a clean sweep during week 3 of NWC action.

Puget Sound over Claremont-M-S - Kavin Williams played well vs a perennial SCAIC powder puff and I expect UPS to continue to mop up the lower half of the “we won’t play Linfield” conference.

Pomona-Pitzer over Lewis & Clark – I know people were excited that L&C beat a team with 20 dudes on the roster but the Pios are still terrible. Yes, the effort is there to move the program in the right direction but the best part of their season wrapped up two weeks ago.

Cal Lutheran over Pacific Lutheran – Yikes! PLU’s back up QB, Nick Caraballo, comes in for their injured starter, Michael Byrne, and goes 5 for 30 with 3 picks. Oh my. Again, PLU has some good young talent but that will not help them this year as they continue to take their lumps.

Oxy over Menlo – Menlo has shown as much life as 3-day old road kill. Oxy is going to murder them.

Southern Oregon over Willamette – OK so the Bearcats have made me a fool the past two weeks but eventually I’m going to be right and this is the week. The Bearcats play well at home but I think SOU is going to be too physical for them to overcome this time.

Redlands over Whitworth – Redlands was sharp in week one and Whitworth wasn’t. I base this pick on Redlands being at home, having a veteran team, and that the Rats still have many new pieces. Also for me, QB Kory Kemp has not come through in the play making department.

Bonus Game: Central over Wartburg (IIAC). This is a toss up but Wartburg took a bad loss last week so I’ll take the home team (Central)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cats get Texas “2” Stepped

Sorry this is late but I've had a few rough days in getting back to Oregon and trying to take the sting off of Saturday's loss. On to the recap.

That sucked. Guess there’s no better way to put it than that. Yeah, our ‘Cats came back and took the late lead and came “this close” of pulling it out but bottom line is that losing sucks hard.

We can sit here and do all of the what-if’s but the bottom line is that Linfield didn’t do enough things right. We went down early, mounted a great comeback to only see it slip away in the waning moments of the game. The main lesson on this game? Don’t wait to get your back against the wall to start swinging.

Here is Wildcat 11’s “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” recap of week 1’s loss

The Good

2nd half adjustment/fire: Now this will come back in the “bad” category in terms of 1st half effort but the ‘Cats defense came out and did a great job in the 2nd half in clamping down on HSU. QB pressure that was pretty non-existent in the 1st half started to get to the ‘Cowboys QB Feaster and the ‘Boys running game started to get stuffed up. Throw out the slip and fall on 3rd down during the last drive and the ‘Cats showed some heart and skill on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

Travis Masters: It’s not a very complicated formula. You get Travis Masters the ball and good things happen. #5 led the contest in all purpose yards and scored two Linfield touchdowns (via the ground and the air). Keep finding ways to get him the ball.

Play of Cole Franklin: Linfield fans held their collective breath when starting quarterback Aaron Boehme took off his shoulder pads and was in obvious pain. But, Linfield fans have to feel good about the play of sophomore quarterback Cole Franklin. The kid is flat out electric in the open field. The thing I was most worried about is that Cole would get in the pocket, check his first receiver and if it wasn’t open he would pull it down and go. This wasn’t the case at all. He showed patience in the pocket but he does need to keep growing in terms of accuracy. The offense under Cole moved the ball well and I’m sure that the staff will tailor parts of the offense to his skills.

The Bad:

Coming out Flat: I don’t know if it was just trying to get their legs under themselves or jitters of a first game but I have no good explanation on why this group came out flat. I don’t buy talk of the extensive travel, getting in late, weather, etc. As a player you have to mentally prepare yourself for the hardship of not sleeping in your own bed, getting out of your comfort zone, and the breaks the home team’s can get. This isn’t about a lack of effort in the off season or in fall camp because these young men have been really busting their tails. This is a question that the players need to answer themselves but they cannot afford that type of uneven effort in two weeks.

Negative in Turnovers: Just a killer. Our ‘Cats really were moving the ball in the first half but the two turnovers at mid-field lead directly to 14 points for HSU. That was a big hole to get into. I know that both fumbles have Simon Lamson’s name next to it but the second TO is at no fault of the Sophomore. Option play, ball is pitched; the corner slipped the block and put a helmet right on Simon’s chin right when the ball got there. The first fumble is on Simon (he’ll own it and move on) but the second was a team turnover IMO. We’ve harped on this subject way too much and everyone knows that your chance of winning drops when you give it away more than the other team. I’m done with this subject.

Closing out the game: I don’t need to write much here besides we have to make plays when you have the other team on the ropes.

Not containing Carrillo: HSU’s #2 is gone after this season and I’m thankful for that. Once again he killed us with two TD’s and a two-point conversion.

The Ugly:

Bad injuries: For the second time down in Abilene the ‘Cats starting quarterback goes down in a bad manner. I can’t speak on the extent of the injury to Linfield starting QB Aaron Boehme but it didn’t look good….at all. I don’t like the fact when any player on any team goes down with a bad injury and this one hurts. Boehme earned the job, has the tools (physically and mentally), and I felt had a great year in store.

Also, our starting running back, Reggie Ford, left the game early with an injury. I don’t know the severity and I’m not going to guess on this blog. We really need his speed and play making ability back and I hope it’s not a bad injury.

While injuries are part of the game they do expose the depth and quality of your program. For those that fear the worse let me point to some injury examples of the not too distant Wildcat past.

-In 2000, Linfield’s 3-year starting tailback, Carl Haberberger, is lost early with an ACL injury when it looked like he was having an All-American type season.

-In 2002, returning 1st team All-NWC running back Marty Williams suffers a horrible knee injury early in the year.

- In 2003, Ray Lions who was the ‘Cats returning 1st team All-American safety is lost for the year in the first game with a broken vertebrae.

-In 2004, Linfield’s incredibly talented Defensive End, Kelly Bertrand, tears his ACL in the first game of the year and misses the first 7 weeks of the season.

-Later in 2004 Linfield’s starting tailback Thomas Ford breaks his thumb in the first round of the playoffs and is lost for the season.

However in each of these examples a Wildcat stepped into the vacant roll and got the job done. 2000, a young Marty Williams and young David Russell stepped in and help Linfield to a prefect 9-0 regular season. 2002, David Russell assumes the great bulk of the running back duties and turns in a 1st team All-American season while helping Linfield to a 10-1 season. 2003, Ty Smith fills in for Lions and helps the Wildcats to an 11-1 season. 2004, a young Nick Soo fills in for Bertrand and becomes a key player for that championship team. Then, we all know that Riley Jenkins steps in for T.Ford during the playoffs and winds up being the Stagg Bowl MVP.

The lesson? When it’s your time to step up in a Wildcat uniform, seize the opportunity, because you never know just how good it might turn out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Around the CatdomeO'sphere


Welcome back to the ADvantage's weekly link dump. Some good reading around the NWC this week. Enjoy.




‘Cats feel that losing sux (Statesman Journal)


Menlo Wasn’t Stout enough *rimshot* (Redwood City Daily News)

Bearcats corn cobbers (Statesman Journal)



Tacoma Teams tune up (Tacoma News-Tribune)

Northwest Conference Pick 'Em

An annual tradition for the memebers of D3boards.com is the conference "Pick 'Em" contests. Here is a link to the NWC Pick 'Em board, however, you must be a registered member in order to see or post on these boards. It only takes a minute to register and doesn't cost a dime. NWC Pick 'EM

Old WC11 sits in 3rd place out of 17 after going 2 for 3 last week. I came "this close" to taking Willamette over Concordia but the Cobbers strong tradition baited me into picking the Cobbs. My mistake.
So here are WC11's week 2 picks for the NWC games plus the bonus game of the week.

St. Olaf over the visiting PLU. The 'Lutes are so young and this is a tough trip to start off on. I have no idea how the 'Lutes will perform so I'm taking the home MIAC team.

Puget Sound over Pomona-Pitzer. The Logs get to chew up on the soft SCIAC teams before getting to the meat of their schedule. I'll be keeping an eye on Kavin Williams this week.

Chapman over Menlo. The Oaks are at home for the 2nd week in row but I'm still not sure if/when they are going to start putting up good performances. Chapman is not a world-beater program but they are solid enough to get the win.

Claremont M-S over L&C. I know people are happy for the Pios but I would be shocked if they have improved that much in such a short time.

Rats over LaVerne. Coach Tully has said that Whitworth hasn't thought about Redlands at all and all their focus is on LaVerne. I suspect LaVerne to get ran over all day long here.

Cal-Lutheran over Willamette. The Bearcats have been very quiet about QB Ryan Whitcomb's knee injury but I suspect he won't be in LA this weekend and that should spell doom for the Bearcats. I would take the Bearcats with Whitcomb but not if he's out.

Bonus Game: UW-Whitewater over UW-EauClaire. I think UWW will be able to get it done on defense but this should be a very tight game.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Week 1 Preview: Linfield @ Hardin Simmons

It’s game week! It’s time to start kicking up dust! It’s time to strap in, kick butt, and take names. Man, I’m so pumped up that I think I could get my 32 year old body out there for at least one series….well maybe not.

However, as a fan I’m very happy it’s that time of year where our ‘Cats hit the field looking to win ball games and play the game the Linfield way. As usual the ‘Cats don’t have the luxury of easing into a season with a lesser opponent but the ‘Cats once again jump into the fire with all four paws.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be making the journey down to Texas and in the process try not to get blow away by Hurricane Ike. The ADvantage is sticking to last year’s format of better get to know a foe, keys to victory, and outcome (Wildcat victory). So get ready for some football Texas style.

Know Your Foe- (99% ripped off the Wikipedia page for Cowboy)

Cowboys – Did you know that the word “cowboy” appears to be a direct translation of vaquero, a Spanish word for an individual who managed cattle while mounted on horseback. Now don’t let the name of “cowpoke” confuse you because that word comes from the dudes that would proddle cows into railcars using long poles. That defiantly doesn’t sounds as cool as being a manger of cattle.

-The roots of the American cowboy tradition came from Spain as Spanish settlers brought their cattle raising traditions to the Americas.

- In pop culture, the cowboy and the gunslinger are often associated with one another. In reality, working ranch hands had very little time for anything other than the constant, hard work involved in maintaining a ranch. Likewise, cowboys are often shown fighting with American Indians. However, the reality was that, while cowboys were armed against both predators and human thieves, and often used their guns to run off people of any race who attempted to steal, or rustle cattle, nearly all actual armed conflicts occurred between Indian people and cavalry units of the U.S. Army.

-Hardin Simmons University was founded in 1891 and was then known as Abilene Baptist College so Linfield and HSU do have Baptist roots. People did refer to Linfield’s athletic teams as the Baptist before adopting the nickname of “Wildcats”. Go Baptists!

-HSU has a little over 2,400 students and holds a 13:1 student to teacher ratio.

-Some famous alumni from HSU include Dan Blocker who played “Hoss” in the famous TV series Bonanza, Doyle Brunson who is a well know poker player, and Stedman Graham who is best known as Oprah Winfrey’s ex-boyfriend. GOTCHA OPRAH!

Wildcat11’s keys to victory:

Limit the legs of Feaster. The Junior quarterback is a playmaker with his legs just as much as he is with his arm. Feaster does have the ability to pull down the rock and take off for big gains or extend the play by scrambling to allow his WR corp to break off and get open. It’s key for Linfield to do their best to contain Feaster and not allow the big scrambles. That is an easy thing to say but much tougher in practice.

Put the wraps on Mychal Carrillo. Linfield fans are all too familiar with Carrillo who has scored TD’s in both the 2006 and 2007 contests. The senior is HSU’s best offensive player and a game breaker whenever he touches the ball. I look for HSU to try their best to get Carrillo the ball (in the air or on the ground). The ‘Cats have to know where Carrillo is at all times and try to limit his touches.

Convert scoring chances. In a tough road game a key component is not coming up empty when you have scoring opportunities. The ‘Cats have one of the best kickers in the country in Scott Birkhofer so if Linfield is within his range the ‘Cats have a chance for at least 3 points. Touchdowns are always better but Linfield has to feel good about having a weapon like Birkhofer.

Unknown HSU defense vs Linfield’s unknown players. A big question mark for Linfield is what defense the ‘Cats will see. HSU brought in two former DIII coaches to Co-Coordinate its defense and the scheme has changed.

I’m not even sure if the ‘Cats have film from the LAX game so our ‘Cats are at a disadvantage there. Also, we know we have a number of new starters on offense and in our defensive secondary. The talent for Linfield is there, trust me these kids are VERY talented, but you don’t truly know how that talent will perform until the rubber meets the road.

A key will be how fast our traditional passing attack will adjust to the HSU changes and how fast our new kids clear the butterflies and just play ball.

Overall

HSU is a tradition rich program that, like Linfield, has something to prove this year. I truly believe that if the ‘Cats don’t hurt themselves with turnovers (LAX killed themselves last week vs HSU with TO’s deep in their own territory) and do a solid job on Feaster then there is no reason why Linfield can’t will this game by at least 10 points.

Linfield CAN be that good this season. The ‘Cats have some major speed on offense and defense and I feel the new starters will perform up to the staff’s expectations. Linfield was in a haze in 2006 the first time they traveled to Hardin Simmons but that haze is long gone and Coach Smith has been putting his stamp on our great program. Linfield fans are going to love this team.

Cats by 10 points

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Week 1: Linfield @ Hardin Simmons University via Google Maps


View Larger Map

Catdomealumni.com and the ADvantage has just about everything you need in order either get to the campus of Hardin Simmons, where to go to read up on each team, and have hot links for the radio broadcasts, school information, etc. This is all possible thanks to the power of Catdomealumni.com's Google schedule.

All you need to do is just click on the Wildcat Logo in the above map and a capsule will pop up with all the information you need before kickoff. You can also click on the "View Lager Map" to go to Google Maps and see the complete schedule.

Come back tomorrow for the ADvantage's game breakdown.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Week 1: ‘Cats looking to gun down ‘Boys


It’s finally here: Game week. No more doubles or scrimmages for Linfield. The ‘Cats are just a few days worth of preparation away from game #1. Catdomealumni.com will be in Abilene for our 2nd time and hope our ‘Cats can make the outcome a little different than in 2006.

The ADvantage will be busy all week too. Tomorrow, we’ll get the Wildcat’s Google Map Schedule all fired up for week 1. Wednesday, we’ll break out our game preview and follow that up with picks/thoughts on the NWC weekend and our link dump post on Thursday (CatdomeO’sphere).

I’ll be in flight on Friday but I’ll try to get a little something up on the web about the travel and
the boring experience that is the Dallas Fort Worth airport.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fall Camp: Line work

video
WC11 presents to you the last video of our Fall camp series.

The boys up front on both sides of the ball will play a key role in the performance of the 2008 Wildcats and the video above will give a small glimpse on the daily grind of the big fellas.

The offensive line is lucky to have coach Doug Hire as their line coach. Coach Hire is so knowledable and a great teacher for his young men. Defensive line coach Gary Thorson is returning for his 2nd year and had a great start heading up the D-line. His front four had an outstanding 2nd half of 2007 and Coach Thorson is looking for his 2008 D-line to pick up where they left off.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fall Camp: Tackle Circuit

video
Ahhh the tackle circuit. One of my favorite parts of the defensive practice week. Hitting the various stations to work on various skills needed to make a clean tackle on an offensive player.

Catdomealumni.com (WC11) was at practice on Monday to bring the tackle circuit to you the Linfield masses. All I can say about defending the cut block "control the head, control the body"

Tomorrow we'll bring you some offensive and defensive linework.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall Camp: Coach Rutschman coaches up kickoff return team

video
College Hall Of Fame coach and Linfield Living Legend Ad Rutschman still has his coaching cap on as he has continued to head up the 'Cats Kickoff Return Team.

The clip above is a small sample of the Legend in action as he shapes up another lethal 'Cat return team.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Around the CatdomeO’sphere

-Willamette Season Preview “Hey did you know we beat Linfield last year?” (WU athletics)

-Winning Season isn’t enough (Oregonian)

-Rats are looking to 3-peat (Kxly.com)

-Cats Roster has been posted (no numbers yet) (Linfield Athletics)

-Former ‘Cats heading up local HS program at Willamina (statesman journal)

-Linfield Football Hall of Famer passes away (Honolulu Advertiser)

Camp Diary: WR Trevor Patterson

In ripping off an idea from Johnniefootball.com I asked Linfield WR Trevor Patterson to keep a loose diary about the first full week of fall camp. Trevor is battling for a starting position and should be a big contributor for the 'Cats this season. Huge props to Trevor for being honest and giving us all a small glimps of the ups and down of fall camp.
----------------
8/22/08

Second day of camp! First day was exciting but boring just all paper work! Today was a good day for me and I think our entire team. We really got to see some big gains in our testing and I think all the credit goes to (Coach Neil) Fendall and his program. Also, the team’s commitment to the 7 am workouts in the spring and the working out during the summer. For me I was real excited about my testing. Didn’t have my best number but I was sidelined with a contusion on my femur and had not actually ran for about 5 months. Strictly pool and bike workouts. Wish I could say I was a 100% but I’m still battling some soreness and tenderness. I’m excited after today and ready to see what this team could do!

8/23/08

Our first day of actual practice! As a veteran meetings are getting a little boring but I’m still able to learn…don’t know it all yet! First practice did not go my way at all. I had sea legs and struggles with running crisp routes. It’s hard not to get down on myself but I understand I’m just a little rusty. Plus my teammates understand and are supportive. We looked good today for a first practice but of course we exposed what we need to work on. I’m definitely excited for the receivers, especially the boys on the outside. I think we have a good group of guys and all mesh really well even though many of us are opposites in were we came from and our playing styles. The way we contrast each other is going to be why we are going to surprise people. Now to the not so good part of the day. It was time for gassers. This year we ran a 300-yard shuttle instead of the usual dolphins. As a speed guy we had to run 3 of them and each had to be less than 65 seconds. It was more intense then what we have done in the past as far as testing your lungs but even though it was intended to be easy on out legs it definitely wasn’t! The one positive is no one got hurt and it was over a lot quicker! For me it was a little tough on the legs but it was great to see everyone come together and finish hard! Afterwards it was a race to strip down and get in the ice bath. Nothing better then 12 sweat almost naked football players in a stock tank from Wilco (Wilco is where I work!). My roommates and I then celebrated by buying Ben and jerry’s ice cream and playing NCAA 09! Another day in the books and one step closer to TEXAS!

8/24/08

Only one word to describe today and that’s SORE! It was definitely a relief to have the conditioning test over with and just concentrate on football! The best part of today though was the YOGA we did to help us relax and relieve some of the soreness. I’m getting frustrated because I feel rusty and am not making the plays I should be making! Definitely have a talented receiving crew this year and so many returners have improved tremendously! Sunday was just another day in the 2008 football camp!

8/25/08

I am still struggling with my return from my knee injury. I am hesitant on my breaks and am not making the plays I should be! I am happy with where I am at mentally and now I just need to get there physically. This camp has been a lot more emotionally driven then the past two years. Lots of excitement and competition between the offense and defense. There have been some close calls with taking things to far but that is to be expected when you’re playing such an intense game. We’ve done a good job of keeping our cool.

8/26/08

I have forgotten what day it is at this point! Every day seems the same. Lots of talking going on between offense and defense, which can be good and bad. Had a little altercation between and receiver and a corner today after the corner took a shot at a vulnerable receiver. I didn’t find anything wrong with the hit besides the fact that is was one of our teammates. Everything worked out and hopefully those kinds of hits will not happen again so we can stay healthy. It’s nice to see that intensity at practice.

8/27/08

First day of doubles! Practice in the morning was tough on the body, especially the knee. Couldn’t really get warmed up and my knee was really sore. Practice started out rough for us. Everyone was feeling sorry for them self and it showed. We started out real sluggish. Some seniors really stepped up and by the end of the day I thought things turned around and we finished strong. The second practice was fun; it was our first night practice. The offense really seems to be understanding the scheme and we are starting to execute like we can.

8/28/08

Swim Olympics were today! It was the best one of my three years here at Linfield. Once again the WR’s dominated every event but got absolutely embarrassed in the synchronized swimming. The DB’s had the best routine I’d seen but they were topped by the coach’s routine which included coach Nagel doing the solider boy.

8/29/08

Last double day! Coaches seem to be getting frustrated with the mental mistakes that are being made, especially the ones by the veterans. We have the potential to be real good and the only one that can stop us is ourselves.

8/30/08

We had a live scrimmage today and to be honest it was frustrating for the offense. We did not perform like I thought we should of and a lot of things we need to work on were shown! I am excited to see the improvement we make this week and show the defense how tough we are next Saturday! Now I am going to enjoy my first day off with the roomies!