Friday, November 26, 2010

NCAA DIII Round 2 Preview: Linfield (9-1) @ St. Thomas (11-0)

Linfield will be looking to knock off the west #1 seed.
Who said the playoffs were going to be easy? The 'Cats are on the road and in the cold this Saturday as YOUR Linfield Wildcats will be in the St. Paul, Mn. to take on the West Region number 1 seed and #4 University of St. Thomas Tommies. The word huge is a pretty good way to describe this game for the 'Cats. It's huge because it's win or go home, it's huge because the 'Cats are playing a huge (large body) team, and it's huge because the underdog 'Cats have an opportunity to knock off the #1 seed in the West. Lots of opportunities for Linfield to do something special tomorrow. However, in order to make it happen the 'Cats are going to have to bring their A game to knock off a high powered offense with a salt worth defense.

In saying that I feel if someone is going to knock off a number one seed tomorrow it's going to be our 'Cats. This Linfield team is built for something great this playoff season and the 'Cats in place the scheme, toughness, and skill to go into a combative environment and deal with the adversity and come out with a hard fought victory. I just believe in this team in how they approach each week and those that have watched Linfield this season knows that the blend of personality, talent, and leadership are all there to handle the challenges of being on the road on a holiday week and understand what it will take to be a team of UST's caliber. It's going to be a physical battle tomorrow and we'll find out just what this Linfield team is made bet is all-heart and grit.

Get To Know A Wildcat

Scotty Ray, #94 Defensive Tackle

Hometown: Chehalis, Wash

High School: W.F. West

Major: Business Management

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: My house after home football games.

Favorite Music: Rap and Rock

Favorite TV Show: South Park and Sons of Anarchy

Do you have a Friday night before game ritual?: Some of the D-Line goes out to dinner.

Favorite Pro Football Team: Seahawks

Class you look forward to the most at Linfield: Leadership in Management.

Mac or PC: PC

What's is your CPU homepage set to: Bing

Xbox, PS3, or Wii: Xbox 360 all the way.

Favorite NWC road trip: PLU or UPS because I get to go home the night before with a couple of guys and eat my Grandpas breakfast.

Least Favorite NWC road trip: Spokane

Favorite Movie that Coach Smith has picked for a bus ride home: Tears of the Sun

Favorite Coach Vaughan saying with D-Line: That's a terrible life decision buddy.

Which D-Lineman has the grossest habits and why: None of the D-Line has zero gross habits because we are not O-Linemen

Wildcat11's Keys To Victory

-Just play 60 minutes of Linfield Football:  There is nothing special that Linfield has to do on Saturday.  The 'Cats don't have to play our of their minds or play a perfect ball game.  All that Linfield needs to do in order to compete in this game and to have an opportunity to win at the end is play Linfield football for a full 60 minutes.  That means each Wildcat executing their assignment to their best of their ability, being emotionally ready for the long haul, and taking the fight to a Saint Thomas team looking for redemption after Linfield put them down in last year's West Region Final.  Don't force anything...just play within the systems, enjoy the moment, and have a blast!

-Have to bottle up the UST rushing attack: The Tommies come into the game with a huge power running game that puts up 224 yards per game (5.4 yards per rush). UST has a great combo of running backs in Ben Wartman (98 yards per game, 13 TDs) and Colin Tobin (73 yards per game, 10 TDs). To make matters more challenging is that the Tommies QB, Dakota Tracy, is also a threat in the option game in rushing for 335 yards on the year and 5 TDs. I can't stress enough how this aspect of the game will be a key player in determining the winner. It's the battle of the 'Cats standout defensive line vs a standout UST offensive line.

-Balanced Linfield attack: I mentioned last week just how far the 'Cats offensive has come in being an aggressive balanced attack and Linfield is going to need that to ring true on Saturday. The 'Cats have to be able to rush the ball effectively and at the same time be able to strike in the air. Linfield's offense can explode for points in chunks but that's because Linfield's offense mixes it up so well that defenses have a tough time covering the 'Cats option.

-Protect, Protect, Protect:  Huge challenge for the 'Cats offensive line again.  I know it seems we keep coming back to this point of the Linfield offensive line (and RB's) allowing time for Boehme to be upright and stand and deliver but it's for a reason.  When Linfield keeps bodies off of Boehme our passing game is tough to handle.  Last season UST was able to get to Boehme multiple times and I'm sure they are going to be aggressive in sending blitzes and extra bodies at our Senior signal caller.  Big day for the 'Cats offensive line.

-Special Teams have to lock down Fritz Waldvogel: The Wildcat special teams coverage groups have a major challenge on their hands in dealing with Fritz Waldvogel. The UST junior is one of the best at the division III level in open space and has been a back breaker on special teams for the Tommies. The field position game is vital for Linfield and it doubles in importance this weekend with a threat like Waldvogel returning kicks.

-Take care of the football and limit mistakes: The Tommies are very solid in taking care of the ball and are a +17 in their turnover ratio on the season. UST has picked off 17 passes and look to make plays on defense and a game like this mistakes will be amplified. I'm not saying Linfield needs to be conservative but just take care of the ball and let's not hurt ourselves with being loose with the ball or making dumb mistakes with drive extending/ending penalties.

-DB's need to make plays: I'm sure that the Linfield defense is going to dedicate a lot of resources towards the UST rushing attack and will pin a lot of pressure on the Wildcat secondary. While UST loves to rush the ball Tracey is very efficient in the air (65% completion rate with 16 TDs) and the Tommies are going to put the ball up in the air. I love our secondary and they're going to have a huge imprint on the outcome of this game.


'Cats by 7. This is a major challenge but at this point of the playoffs every game is. UST is a very good ball club but so is our Linfield Wildcats. This should be an epic match-up and I'm looking for this game to come down to the wire in the 4th quarter. But to come back to what I wrote before....this Linfield team is going to get it done. I just believe it in my bones and I have a feeling some of the 'Cats unsung heroes are going to make the plays Linfield needs in order to win and advance. Go 'Cats!


MacQuiz said...

All said, focus for 60, trust your team-mates, 110 percent, all left on the field!
No worries...Catdome road mode...Have fun!
"The mettles in the men"

doc said...

Take care of the football and limit mistakes Take care of the football and limit mistakes Take care of the football and limit mistakes etc.

doc said...