The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Salt Truck Defense. The Wildcat defense brought the salt and them some in just hammering the Leo's offense for a full four quarters. There was no let up and the numbers were impressive. Only 3 first downs given up, 21 yards rushing yards allowed, 79 total yards allowed on the day, 2 picks, and a forced fumble recovery. Just a nice day in the office.
Improved tackling. The 'Cats poor tackling burned vs CLU and that was an area of great improvement on Saturday. 'Cats tacklers were square in the hole and brought their hips all game long.
Passing the rock around. 9 different Linfield wide receivers caught passes on Saturday and the 'Cats had a different 100 yard receiver with Chris Slezak bringing down 8 catches for 139 yards. Thought the receivers did a nice job in making things happen after the catch though out the day.
Kickoff coverage team. Fantastic job by Josh Kay in getting the ball deep and with the coverage team keeping them deep. Linfield will need this team to continue to improve and put out that type of effort moving forward as the battle of field possession is vital. La Verne started drives after Linfield kickoffs on their own: 34, 25, 44, 21, 18, 32, 18. Do the quick math and that's an ave. starting field possession of the 27 yard line. I'll take that all day.
Rushing attempts only mustering up 2.8 yards a clip. I've said it before and I'll say it again, in order for this Wildcat offense to hum along we have to run the ball with greater efficiency. I'm putting the entire offense in this bad...not just pointing a finger at the O-line. We do have to do a better job in moving people, but we also need to do a better job in making defenders miss in open space, and our WR's need to be dynamite in getting on the secondary. This has to get better in order to accomplish this team's goals on the season.
Shanking punts and missing easy field goals. Josh Repp had a nice punt earlier in the game that pinned La Verne but the two shanks later in the game can't happen next week and the rest of the year. Josh proved he has the leg and ability but he needs to step up his consistency. Josh Kay did an awesome job on kickoffs and he did knock down 2 field goals but the 'Cats can't be missing 32 and 40 yard field goal attempts and leaving points on the field. That may be harsh but WC11 has high expectations of that group. I believe in our kicking group but I want to see more consistency.
Penalties. 7 yellow flags for 86 yards and at least 2 or 3 of those were drive killers and one took away great field possession on a punt return. Need to get that cleaned up.
2nd half offense. I'm not writing anything that the 'Cats don't already know. Linfield puts up a great 24 points in the 1st half and I'm not sure what the issues were in that 2nd half. However, the 'Cats have cashed in two poor 2nd half offensive performances early this season and that's alarming. However, I think the difficulties the 'Cats may be experiencing are fixable. There is no doubt this Wildcat team has the talent in place to make a great run but the players need to be to one's who decide just how good this offense will be. If they decide they want to be excellent then we're going to see that improvement moving forward. I have faith and belief they will but the rubber has to meet the road Monday-Friday. Go 'Cats!