Friday, October 29, 2010

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

Huge Trip around the 'Catdome today as we have a monster amount of news links for you this week. Be sure to check out the very last article link as former Wildcat Chris Casey has turned around what use to be a joke in the state of Oregon that is Aloha football into a now major player in the state. Lots of Linfield coverage this past week and WC11 pokes a little fun at a certain NWC coach who I find very funny for some reason. WC11 won't be at the game tomorrow (work) but I'll be there in spirit! Go 'Cats!

Thenewstribune.com: Wildcats wear out the 'Lutes

Seattle Times: 'Cats drop Lutes first loss of the season

Statesmanjournal.com: Linfield walks away from showdown with NWC lead in tow.

newsregister.com: 'Cats down PLU, extrend streak

kitsapsun.com: Linfield's Eric Hedin has been in Beast Mode for the 2010 season

Linfield Sports: Coach Smith's Monday Presser. Talks PLU game and upcoming game vs Menlo

Linfield Sports: Linfield Back Up QB and 'Cats Baseball Star is just a winner

Heraldnet.com: Aaron Boehme does a little Q&A where he talks 'staches and 'Lutes

Linfield Review (pdf): Linfield takes care of business with win over PLU (page 15)

Linfield Review: The Review's Chris Forrer write about the passion of Linfield athletics.

USAtoday.com: Linfield gets a little love in the "Briefly" in a USA Today College football wrap

Around The Nation Podcast: D3football.com talks where PLU stands in Pool C chances (starts at 27min 45 sec)

D3football.com Around The West Region: L&C/UPS recap and writer credits PLU injuries as main reason Linfield slowed down 'Lutes offense.

The Sports Curmudgeon Blow:  TSC continues to keep tabs on the 'Cats:

Thenewstribune.com: Puget Sound and L&C decide to have track meet instead of a football game

Puget Sound Trail: Records fall, but so does the Logger Football Team

Thenewstribune.com: According to UPS Head Coach, you too, elite high school QBs and WRs, can come to UPS and throw for 85 yards and 5 picks vs Linfield!

Oregonlive.com: The Oregonian's small college wrap up and L&C/UPS basketball games top billing

Pio Pack Coaches Show:  L&C's Head Man talks UPS game and reasons behind big offense

Statesmanjournal.com: Willamette and Schoettgen blast Menlo

Willamette Collegian (pdf): Bearcats soak Oaks (bottom of page 2 of pdf, can't even get top billing in their own paper!)

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Coach Speckman Talks Oaks Game and Pine Bowl/Rats

spokesman.com: Rats Anderson will miss Willamette game with Ankle Injury.

swxrightnow.com: Rats scoot by Pacific 24-12

The Whitworthian: No, that's not a homeless guy but Senior Rat Travis Niles.

The Spokesman-Review: The Rats brightest minds all play in the trenches.

Pacific YouTube Page: Pacific vs. Whitworth Highlights

Pacific YouTube Page: Coach Buckley's Post Game comments (vs Rats)

Bonus:

portlandtribune.com: Former Wildcat player and Assistant Coach Chris Casey has turned Aloha High Football into winners.

Linfield College YouTube page: Linfield Head Baseball Coach Scott Brosius talks with Comcast Newsmakers

newsregister.com: Former Wildcat Player, Laurel Adams (1958) blends his love of aviation and history into his first novel: "Two Boys"

Week 9: NWC Pick 'ems

Yeah, I know Menlo is in town but I'm still hoping the 'Cats Students will show up in force.
Nice! Wildcat11 picked up the pace last week in going 6 for 7 and I can't believe St. John Fisher lost to stinking Alfred. How embarrassing to say you lost to a school called "Alfred". Turn in your man card SJF. With the solid week, WC11 is still locked into a 1st place tie on the NWC pick 'em page with a season count of 41 for 54 (75.9%) which is pretty dang solid. We have a few extra games to chose this week that might break up the race at the top so I better be on my game.

Northwest Conference Games:

Willamette (5-2) over Whitworth (4-3) (at Whitworth): Going up to the Pine Bowl is always a long hard road trip but Willamette is just a better team and should get the road win here. The Bearcats have a solid run defense and will shut down the Rats run offense. Withworth's might be within arm's reach at half but Willamette will pullaway with a solid double digit win.

Pacific Lutheran (5-1) over Lewis & Clark (4-2) (at L&C): This could be a very entertaining game up on Palentine Hills. While PLU has been a very good home team this season they have played so-so on the road in squeaking out some tight victories over sub-par compeitition. L&C has and explosive offense that will test the Lutes but PLU still has the better experience and talent that will win out the day for PLU.

Puget Sound (1-6) over Pacific (0-6) (at UPS): For the second time this season these two teams meet at the Mourge up in Tacoma. In the opening contest UPS beat the brand new Boxers 36-19 and while I expect UPS to get the win here I believe it will be a tight game with the Boxers starting to gain a little traction.

West Region Games of the Week:

Occidental (4-2) over Chapman (3-3) (at Chapman): The Tigers from Oxy were steamed roll last week by Redlands and that has to but a bitter taste on the tonge of the Tigers. Chapman is just o.k. and that's being nice. Look for Oxy to drop an elbow from the top rope for the big win.

Whittier (1-5) over Pomona Pitzer (0-6) (at P-P): Wow...we have a real crapfest here. Look for the Poets to write themselves up a victory and that's all the effort I'm going to put into that game.

National Games of the Week:

Cortland State (6-1) over #14 Montclair State (7-0) (at Cortland State): HUGE game in the NJAC this week as the top two teams and East Region Contenders (JV of DIII regions) face off in Cortland, New York. We have to teams that put up a little over 30 points a game and only give up under 10 points a game. I like Cortland due to the fact they are the home team and I had to pick at least one upset this week. Go Red Dragons!

Wabash (6-1) over Allegheny (5-2) (at Wabash): Big implications on the line for Wabash as they are trying to keep their name in the NCAC championship race and potential Pool C consideration. Allengheny has been beaten twice but by slim margins and I think they will drop their 3rd close game because Wabash always fights.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Google Map Schedule Game 7: Linfield vs Menlo


View 2010 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

Your Google Map Linfield Schedule is back to take care of you with all of your Linfield needs! Want to read up on the games? We have your previews (Well at least Linfield's). Need a weather report? (We just might make it before the rain) Yup, we have it. Want to know where Linfield fans set up shop for tailgating? We have those directions too!!!! Want to know where to grab food before or after the game? We take care of you there too. Just click on the number 7 Wildcat Icon above and a pop-up bubble will give you the run down or you can click on the "larger map" hotlink to view in a full window. Go 'Cats!

Additional Note:  In this week's Linfield Sports game preview there is a blurb about Backpacks.  Linfield will no longer be allowing backpacks from coming into the 'Catdome on game day.  I guess they are trying to curb people drinking at the venue.  So just a warning if you like to bring a backpack to the game your going to  get asked to put it back in your car.  WC11 just wanted to give you a head's up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Game 7 Preview: Linfield (5-1) vs. Menlo (3-5)

 Back at the 'Catdome this Saturday in what could be potentially a trap game for our surging Wildcats. Linfield will host the recently NWC departed Menlo College Oaks who left the NWC before the 2010 season to become a member of the NAIA. Obviously, this is a non-conference game now but it's still a large game in the grand scheme of the Wildcats 2010 season. Not only are your Wildcats playing for the 2010 NWC crown and the automatic playoff birth that comes with the conference championship, but the 'Cats are also building a case for seeding and trying to get a potential home playoff game in the 1st round. With Linfield having a loss on the season the 'Cats need to bolster their case the best they can if they want to have any shot at playing in the 'Catdome come the 1st round of the 2010 playoffs.

However, this won't come easy. Don't be fooled by Menlo's 3-5 record. They are a dangerous team that has had a brutally tough 2010 schedule. Menlo started the season red hot in jumping out to a 3-1 record and a NAIA top 25 ranking but have dropped their last four to their former NWC mates. However, each of those game could have gone the other way in the Oaks favor and the difference in a few of these game was a just one or two plays. Menlo has size, speed, athleticism, and they have been through the battles already. They are a tested and tough team that would love nothing more than to come up to Linfield and put one on the 'Cats. This is a team Linfield can't sleep on.

The strength of this Menlo team is their defense. They only allow 24 points a game and are only allowing a 316 yards a game. Now you may say, Wildcat11 that is not super impressive but if you consider the Oaks offense has struggled somewhat this season (17.2 points per game, 262.1) then that tells me that the Oaks defense has been under pressure the entire season and those are pretty solid numbers considering the 'Oaks offense hasn't been as dynamic as in the past. It's going to be one of those games where we find out where this Linfield team is headed. The 'Cats are coming off a huge win up a PLU so we'll see if Linfield can put that behind them and focus on improving and coming at Menlo hard. Even if this game won't effect the NWC title race, I believe it's another huge game for Linfield in terms of build the foundation the 'Cats will need if they are serious about making a statement in November/December. This is a must win for Linfield on a number of level.

Get To Know A Wildcat

Chris Saunders, #85, Senior - Tight End

Hometown: San Francisco, Ca.

High School: Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory

Major: History

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: El Primo

Favorite Music: Hip-Hop, mainly Bay Area artists like Andre Nickatina and Mac Dre

Favorite TV Show: Either It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Breaking Bad

Do you have a TV Show that's a guilty pleasure: Not really, I did watch a few episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager with Tommy Patrick when it first came out.

Do you have a Friday night before game ritual: For Home Games I usually clean my room. I am not sure why, it might be thats the only time I get all week to do it.

Favorite Pro Football Team: Niners Baby!

Class you look forward to the most at Linfield: Understanding Jazz

Mac or PC: Mac

What's is your CPU homepage set to: I know its lame, but Google

Xbox, PS3, or Wii: Playstation 2. I never graduated to the new systems.

Favorite NWC road trip: Menlo. I got to see my friends and family.

Least Favorite NWC road trip: Whitworth

Favorite Movie that Coach Smith has picked for a bus ride home: Iron Man

Favorite Coach Hire Saying: "Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome! HBR Brudda!"

Who has the best hands on the team: This is a heavily debated question, but the reality is that the entire Tight End receiving core has by far the best hands on the team. I would have to give some love to my fellow H-backs as well, because they do a lot of blocking that softens up theirs hands as well. So overall it goes to the Tight Ends, then the H's in a close 2nd.


Wildcat11's Keys To Victory

Get of the gate early and don't left off the gas: The worse thing that could happen this Saturday is if the 'Cats come out of the gates stumbling and breath life in the Oaks. Linfield needs to come out on the opening kickoff ready to bring the hammer and not take the foot off the gas. The 'Cats don't have to be perfect but I looking for Linfield to be sharp on their assignments and emotionally ready to play Linfield football.

Be the more physical team: Menlo has size on both sides of the ball and want to impose their will up front. Linfield needs to take the fight to the Oaks upfront on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball.

Sharp passing game: I'd like to see the 'Cats passing attack be lights out this week. I thought Linfield missed some things last week vs PLU with some of the incomplete passes and decisions. Menlo is going to try their best to be stout against the run game so let's cut 'em up with throwing the ball.

Do not hurt ourselves: It was the ugly in our PLU game wrap and a major point of improvement I'd like to see on Saturday: penalties. Let's put ourselves in the best position possible to be successful and try to minimize the yellow hankies.

Pin them deep: Starting field position could be huge this game. The 'Cats kickoff team and punt team need to keep shinning and pin the Oaks as deep as possible to try to win the field position game. If Linfield can create short fields for the Wildcat offense to work with it could be a major factor in the contest.

Overall

'Cats by 14. Again, if Linfield has a great week of practice and come to play Linfield football on Saturday then the 'Cats should take care of business vs Menlo. However, like I've stated before this is a dangerous Menlo team that has nothing to lose at this point. I'm sure the Oaks coaching staff has been in their kids ears all week about busting up Linfield's party on Saturday. The 'Cats need to be game ready and take the fight to the Oaks and now think Menlo will just roll over. I believe the 'Cats will be ready and rack up another solid Linfield win. Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Video Tuesday

The 'Cats made some pretty outstanding plays during Saturday's 35-20 victory over Pacific Lutheran but two really stood out on their own. Simon Lamson broke a huge game icing 28-yard TD run and Chris Slezak had an incredible 15-yead one handed reception. Each of these plays I sent in to the D3football.com crew as nominations to the D3football.com play of the week.  **UPDATE** Week 8 play of the week is out and Pacific finally gets to win something this year as a scramble TD throw gets D3football.com's top weekly honor.  http://www.d3football.com/awards/playoftheweek/2010/week8 Simon Lamson's TD run was named a Finalist this week's POTW.



Why WC11 nominated it: It was an incredible run for the fact that PLU linebacker Adam Schwander slipped a Linfield block and put a solid hit on Lamson while Simon was still in the air from jumping over a pair of linemen, however, Simon was able to keep his feet and break the tackle to take it to the house. Just a great run in a big moment.



Why WC11 nominated it: Unlike other one handed catches you may see I thought the level of difficulty on this one hander was off the charts. 1) Boehme not only delivered a rocket of a pass but the location of the ball was up and behind Slezak. 2) Slezak was on a dead sprint on the slant and had to adjust and control his body 3) Going over the middle and reaching up and behind like that is dangerous for your health as Slezak came "this close" to having his lights being turned out. Just a great and very difficult grab.

Monday, October 25, 2010

'Cats Win!!!! Linfield takes control of NWC race in 35-20 win over PLU.



Yes! After two weaker opponents the 'Cats received the challenge they were expecting from in the form of the senior laden 'Lutes. For almost 3 quarters it was punch/counter-punch as Linfield and PLU kept responding to big moments to keep the game in reach until the early 4th quarter when Linfield was able to ice the game away when our Wildcats were able to push the lead to 15 on a great Simon Lamson 28 yard TD run. Both teams came to play and the effort was there by both squads. Kudos to both squads.

For the 'Cats it allows Linfield to keep control of their own destiny and gives Linfield the inside track towards back-to-back NWC titles and the all important automatic playoff bid. Just a huge victory in that regards. A loss on Saturday would have almost eliminated Linfield from Auto-Bid possibilities and Linfield probably would not have a strong enough case for a Pool C bid that is cluttered by a number of one-loss/two-loss teams. The win was just....well...large for this Wildcat team. A tremendous job in winning vs a team that has been lights out on their home turf up to this point of the season.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

Digging Deep: It wasn't the prettiest victory ever but it was a gritty effort by all three phases that made huge plays to get the job done. Linfield faced adversity and when it seemed the host had the momentum on their side another aspect of the Wildcat squad stepped up to swing the balance of the game back into Linfield's favor. It's a win like Saturday's that could help build character that our 'Cats might need further down the road.

'Cats Running Game: Linfield rushed for 177 yards at 5.1 yards a clip. It was a grinding effort by the 'Cats offensive line, wide receiver corp (working hard down field), and our running backs. Taylor Avritt picked up a hard nosed 43 yards (4.3 a pop) and Simon Lamson had a career day at 124 yards on 18 carries (6.9 yards a rush).

Stiffening Defense: PLU quarterback Jordan Rasmussen came into the game with a hot hand that led the 'Lutes to back-to-back TD drives late 1st quarter and early 2nd. It looked like the 'Lutes offense might have figured out the 'Cats rigid defense but after that 2nd TD score the 'Cats only gave up 155 yards on PLU's final 10 possessions (PLU picked up 187 yards on their first 5) and one short porch TD on a 4th down conversion. Very proud of the our defense figuring it out as the game progressed.

Stepping In and Stepping Up: The News Tribune Article was quick to point out the the 'Lutes lost offensive players during the game including their star WR, Greg Ford, early in the 3rd but what the "TNT" didn't notice is that 2 out of the 'Cats 3 top corners were lost in the first half to injury (Bryce Comfort and Taylor Skore).   Linfield inserted Wildcat Rover (safety) Christian Hanna into one of those corner position for over 2 quarters of play. Hanna along with starting corner Nate Dixon gave a gritty performance to help shore up a short handed secondary. It was a perfect example of stepping up when the team needs you.

Special Teams making Special Plays: The Linfield special team's were not perfect on Saturday but the 3rd aspect of the 'Cats game made 3 huge plays that made major contributions Linfield's victory. Linfield's kickoff team was able to break return man Josh Hill for a giant 69 yard return to PLU's 11 that set up Linfield's 3rd TD on the day, the defense blocked a PAT that gave Linfield a little more breathing room with an 8 point lead and the final was the punt team being on the spot to recovered a botched return that set up the TD Linfield used to ice the game.

Going Streaking: With the victory Linfield moves to 5-1 and clinches the 'Cats 55th consecutive winning seasons that extends the 'Cats own college football record (all levels record). So many years of players, coaches, supporters, and Linfield administration are connected by this streak and the 'Catdome should feel great the 'Cats are able to keep the streak rolling.  It's hard to wrap your head around just how long 55 years of winning more games than losing really is.  It's a brotherhood that runs deep.

The Bad:

Too many 3rd and Longs: The 'Cats offense was 5 for 12 on 3rd down conversions (not great) and 8 of those 3rd down attempts were from 10 yards or greater. You're just not giving yourself the best odds to convert when you have to overcome 10 yards, let along 20 or 28 yards, to covert a first down.

The Ugly

Penalties: Linfield had 11 penalties called that cost Linfield 100 yards of offense and hampered the 'Cats offense and at times cost the Defense as well. WC11 is not one to ever point a finger at the officiating but the crew working this game threw some rather inconsistent laundry on both our 'Cats and on PLU (had 8 penalties called against of 78 yards). All of the flags flying mucked up the game a little which was too bad with both sides laying it on the line.

However, I'm not going to let the officials from the PLU game let my 'Cats off the hook. Over the past three games Linfield has had a total of 27 penalties called against them and that is just WAY too much (PLU 11 for 100 yards, Pacific 9 for 67 yards, UPS 7 for 63 yards). The players have to get this cleaned up because this trend can and will hurt the 'Cats in a vital contest.  Let's get this worked out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

Happy Friday to everyone in the 'Catdome. Well, WC11 has to say that besides some solid articles on the 'Cats this is a underwhelming trip around the 'CatdomeO'sphere. Local papers phoned it in regarding last week game coverage and I have to say that the NWC's student newspapers (sans The Linfield Review) have a terrible on-line presentations. The Pacific Index hasn't been updated since May, The Pioneer Log had one review about the updated facilities and nada after that, The Willamette Collegian started posting up PDFs but they are usually late to the party, The Mooring Mast at PLU is about 2 weeks behind, The Whitworthian has stunk up the joint with their football coverage, and the UPS Trail has been decent. You can usually find some good nuggets on insight or information from the student publications and with today's facebook/twitter generation you think these publications would be really on the ball when it comes to their on-line pubs. Thankfully the great staff at the Linfield Review has their act together and punch out new content each Friday. Go 'Cats!

Newsregister.com: 'Cats coaching staff roots run deep at the 'Catdome

Newsregister.com: 'Cats paste Pacific (live blog w/ video)

Linfield Review: Boxers knocked out at 'Cats Homecoming

Linfield Sports: Coach Smith's weekly presser reviews Pacific and PLU thoughts

Thenewstribune.com: TNT has PLU vs Linfield one of their 5 things to watch this weekend

D3blog.com's The Daily Dose: Linfield vs PLU is a game of the week in Division III

Statesman Journal: Bearcats start slow vs team wearing all white but once they figured out it wasn't Linfield they started to roll.

Fullaccesssports vimeo page: Speckman wraps on UPS game and Menlo

Oregonlive.com: The Oregonian's crappy small college wrap up.

Oregonlive.com: Lewis & Clark is feeling good about themselves.

Pio Pack Show:  Lewis & Clark Football says teams have to play them now.

Thenewstribune.com: PLU's Legendary Frosty named "Washingtonian of the Year"

Sportscurmudgeon.com: The Curmudgeon is keeping an eye on the 'Cats

Week 7: NWC Pick 'Em

Old Blue will be looking to pour out a victory this weekend up at Sparks Stadium
For the 2nd week in a row Wildcat11 was only 4 out of 6 last week as Coe and Cortland State were upset by Wartburg and Rowan. That brings my year to date total to 35 out of 47 which is still a solid 74.5% but I'm now tied for 1st place in the NWC Pick 'Em Contest and another picker is just one game back. It's a tight race and my hot pace has cooled off. WC11 is looking to get his mojo back and this week's slate of games is going to be the start of putting this contest in a death grip as we start heading down the stretch.

Northwest Conference:

Willamette (4-2) over Menlo (2-4) (at Willamette): Menlo was "this close" to tripping up PLU but have lost that 4th quarter magic that got the Oaks off that to that 2-1 start. Willamette laid a dud first half vs UPS last week but was able to right the ship in the second half. Menlo isn't a terrible team but has just had a beastly schedule but they are going to take another loss to another quality opponent. Willamette breaks open a tight one in the 3rd quarter.

Whitworth (3-3) over Pacific (0-5) (at Pacific): Adam Anderson is going to feast on the young Boxer defense and put up 3 or 4 trips to the house in what will be a sour 1st homecoming for Pacific. I think that the 'Cats thinned out the Boxer roster by about 10 players last week. Yikes.

Lewis & Clark (3-2) at Puget Sound (1-5): A lot of folks on the NWC pick 'em page were taking UPS in this game and I have no idea why. The Loggers rush defense is downright tragic and L&C is putting up some dang good rushing numbers this year. That will be the story of this game. I don't care that L&C has been a joke for years they are coming around and have put up some solid wins this season and I look for them to get over on UPS by at least 10 if not by more. HACK HACK my good man.

West Region Games of The Week:

#4 St. Thomas (7-0) over #20 Bethel (6-0) (at UST): This should be a fun game and I wish I could get a copy of the game to watch. UST is transitioning as the new king of the MIAC block but Bethel is having a banner year. This is going to be a tight ball game and honestly I'm pulling for Bethel to pull out the win but I think UST's a major west region contender and will pull it out late.

Redlands (4-1) over Occidental (4-1) (at Redlands): I took the Dawgs and I'm going to regret it. Oxy has owned Redland's for going on I think about the past decade and the Bulldog offense has disappointing so far this season. However, I don't think Oxy is has strong this season and Redlands will pull out a hard fought victory and get the Tigers off their back.

National Game Game of The Week:

#19 St. John Fisher (7-0) over Alfred (5-1) (at Alfred): I don't know much about these East teams except that I can't in my right mind pick a school named "Alfred". Seriously, how tough of a football team can you be with the name "Alfred". That has to hurt recruiting at some level. It sounds like they play their football games with sweaters tied around the neck and their jerseys are polo style made by Lacoste. I'll take SJF.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Game 6 Google Map Schedule: Linfield @ PLU


View 2010 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

As usual we have your Google Map Linfield Schedule back to help navagate your Linfield road trip experience. We have everything you need in just one spot! Need to know how to get to Sparks Stadium, we have your map right here! Just click on the number 6 Wildcat Icon above and a pop-up bubble will give you the run down or you can click on the "larger map" hotlink to view in a full window.

Don't forget that Linfield's Brian Simpson is organizing the Linfield Tailgate in the parking lot across the street from Sparks. We have a link to more info in the pop up bubble. Also, for you parents and adults...swing on by and say hello to "Gig Harbor Cat" and take a pull from the famous Little Blue Jug. It will keep you warm on a 60 degree day in the Pac NW. Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game 6 Preview: Linfield (4-1) at Pacific Lutheran University (5-0)

The 'Cats will be aiming to inflict more than just a flesh wound on PLU this Saturday.
All eyes will be focused in the Pacific Northwest this Saturday as a MAJOR Northwest Conference/DIII showdown is on the horizon. Your Linfield Wildcats will once again load up the Wildcat Wagons and head up North on I-5 (while making a stop at the Country Cousin) to Puyallup, Washington as the 'Cats will square off versus an undefeated and red hot Pacific Lutheran Lutes team. If we thought the Willamette game was big (it was) just turn the knob up a few slots on the importance scale for this old fashion Linfield/PLU hoedown.

If Linfield wins then the 'Cats just have to win one of their last two games (Whitworth or L&C) to claim a co-championship and since the 'Cats would have the head-to-head over Willamette and PLU the 'Cats would earn the auto-bid. If PLU wins then it wouldn't matter if they lost to Willamette or not as per the NWC auto-bid criteria states that if head-to-head and overall record are a wash then the bid goes to the team with longest time since participating in the postseason. That would be PLU (2001). Bottom line, the winner of this game has the NWC title in a choke-hold.

As for the game itself we have a senior laden PLU team that is executing their game plan at a high level on offense (more balanced with big play threats at WR) and has been a very good bend-but-don't-break defense that has been very stingy in the Red Zone (#1 in the NWC with giving up only 53% of Red Zone chances). On top of this PLU has been great at home in handling solid victories over California Lutheran and Whitworth. The 'Cats will have to bring their "A" game in order to get over on what will be a hostile environment and a very confident host.

Get To Know A Wildcat


Kole Krieger, #9, Junior - Rover

Hometown: Sherwood, Or.

High School: Sherwood High School

Major: Finance

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: Muchas, Oregon Burrito is the best

Favorite Music: Rap, Reggae, Rock basically anything

Favorite TV Show: Entourage and The Office


Favorite Pro Football Team: Not a huge fan of any one team but i like the Jets the most

Class you look forward to the most at Linfield: Managment

Mac or PC: Mac

What's is your CPU homepage set to: Yahoo!

Xbox, PS3, or Wii: Xbox

Favorite NWC road trip: Willamette

Least Favorite NWC road trip: Whitworth

Favorite Movie that Coach Smith has picked for a bus ride home: The Shawshank Redemption

Yes or No on Linfield's All Purple Look: Yes, we looked good

Who is the funniest DB and who thinks they are the funniest DB? Eric Biege thinks he is funny and is the funniest. He's a big moral booster for the secondary.

Would you rather get the pick or lay out a light's out hit? Pick, you don't get em as often.

Wildcat11's Key To Victory

Be At The Right Tension: The 'Cats need to be like an old school wind up wristwatch: You wind it up too tight and it breaks; you don't wind it up, it won't run. The 'Cats just need to have it wound to the right tension and be ready to play Linfield Football.

Be the more physical team: Linfield has to be the more physical team up front on both sides of the ball. If the 'Cats are able to force their will up front it will cause all sorts of havoc on the PLU game plan. Take pride in trying to dominate the man across from you for a full 60 minutes.

Take away PLU's run game: PLU's bread and butter isn't the run game but they try to run enough to keep the defense honest. In order to stifle the 'Lutes offense the 'Cats need to take away the PLU run game and that means the DT's and Linebackers need to answer the challenge of PLU's traps and inside hitting plays. If Linfield can render the 'Lutes run game meaningless that will just allow the 'Cats to bring more heat.

Putting a premium on ball security: PLU currently leads the NWC in Turnover Margin (+6) and turnovers where huge aspects of the 'Lutes wins over CLU (3 picks, 2 fumble recoveries) and Whitworth (3 fumbles, 1 returned for TD). PLU is will gamble and try to force the big defensive play so the 'Cats have to make it a priority to secure the ball.

Keep Boehme on his feet:  PLU runs a big risk/reward defense where they will send multiple bodies at Boehme from a 3-4 look.  It's paramount for the 'Cats offensive line and running backs to have great communication and understanding where PLU is blitzing defenders from in order not only keep Boehme off the ground but allow him to step in his throws.  If our big boys and RB's can pick up PLU's stunts and blitzes then the 'Cats should be able to strike through the air.

Park Ford and Ice Isaac: Linfield's defensive backs will be facing their biggest challenge to date up at PLU. The 'Lutes are ranked 2nd in passing in the NWC and have tossed for 16 TD's in just 5 games. This will be the most complete WR core Linfield has faced to this point in All-NWC staple Greg Ford (speed) and big play threat Isaac Moog (size at 6' 3"). Ford and Moog have combined for 11 out of the Lutes 16 passing TD's and both average around 15 to 16 yards per catch. I'm looking forward to seeing if our DBs rise to the challenge.

Run Downhill: A team that plays a bend but don't break style of defense is trying to keep everything in front of them and the best way to counter that is to gash them with the running game. The 'Cats have to run the ball with purpose and efficiency. It's no secret...the better the 'Cats run the ball the better an offense Linfield is.

Enjoy the environment/Savor the challenge: This type of game is why these kids came to Linfield in the first place. To play in meaningful games with a lot riding on the line. There is no need to be nervous...just enjoy the moment and savor the fact you get to play in such a big contest and get after those 'Lutes.

Overall

'Cats by 10. I'm telling you if Linfield comes into this game after a great week of preparation and if Linfield executes to their level of expectations....the 'Cats are going to win this game. No doubt. However, don't take your opponent lightly. This is an experienced and explosive PLU team that wants this game badly. Linfield will face adversity but if the 'Cats rise to the challenge then our 'Cats will be leaving Sparks Stadium with another victory. Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great Time at 2010 Alumni Game



The 2010 Alumni vs Junior Varsity Game is in the books and the old guys in White pulled out a 18-6 victory over the young bucks. It was a fun evening as the Alumni was able to don the Wildcat jerseys once again (although they may be a little tighter than they remember) and run out onto the 'Catdome turf and into battle. The young 'Cats played hard and didn't back down from the old war horses but in the end the experience and what gas was left in the tank won out for the old 'Cats. Great job by Coach Brandon Hazenberg in organizing the event and for the alumni players who came out to support the program and share their Linfield experience for the next generation of Linfield greats.

Video Tuesday



We have a short highlight video of last week's 66-14 pounding of Pacific up for your viewing pleasure. The clip above was put together for the Newsregister.com's live blog article of the Linfield/Pacific game. Come back after lunch today and we'll have an alumni game special post up with highlight video.

Monday, October 18, 2010

'Cats Win!!!! Linfield paves a road over Pacific in 66-14 victory

View and Contact Brad Thompson for game photos
That was pretty much what I think most were expecting on a beautiful October homecoming Saturday. Your Linfield Wildcats battered, bruised, and buried a young Pacific team as a gaggle of Wildcats hit the field in the 'Cats 66-14 victory at the 'Catdome.

For the 'Cats that moves Linfield up to 4-1 and sets up the NWC game of the year next week as Linfield will travel up I-5 and square off versus the PLU Lutes who are 5-0. That game will give either the 'Cats or 'Lutes the major inside track on the NWC championship and Divsion III Playoff bid. They don't get bigger than this game and this is why these young men come to Linfield....to play in games like this.

It's a short shot this week but lets still get to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

-18 yards of rushing for Pacific: The Boxers gained 54 of rushing yards on the day but the problem is they also lost 74 yards in either sacks or Linfield defenders living the Boxer backfield. Great job by the 'Cats defense in just being more physical and pounding away at the Pacific offensive line.

13 'Cats with rushing attempts and 10 'Cats with a catch: The Linfield offense spread the love in putting up 557 yards on the day at 8.7 yards per play. The 'Cats were able to allow some of their young guns some time to show what they have and I feel confident in saying the future for Linfield remains bright.

Red Zone offense: Linfield's Red Zone offense continues to lead the NWC in Red Zone offense and the 'Cats showed why by going 6-7 in the Red Zone on Saturday and the only miss was Linfield taking their foot off the gas in the 4th quarter so Linfield wouldn't break the 70 point mark.

Being Ready To Play: Loved the excitement in the locker room and readiness this group continues to show each week. They didn't poo-poo Pacific but were fired up to welcome the Boxers back to NWC play.

Linfield Students: Let's be honest...besides the HSU and St. Thomas game last year the Linfield students really sucked it up during the 2009 season. In the first two games of the year the Linfield student body has been great in their support and showing up in mass. I hope they can continue that effort for the last two home games of the season.

The Bad

First Team Defense giving up a TD: Linfield brought the house on a blitz and the Pacific had the right play called on a little bubble screen that broke for a TD. It happens but I'm sure the Linfield 1st team defense was not thrilled they gave that up.

9 penalties. 9 yellow hankies where called on Linfield and that's two weeks in a row with a high number of penalties called. Linfield cannot afford to have that be a trend headed into next week.

The Ugly

Pushing the fence back in the Student Section. I've been attending games at Linfield for over 16 years and I've never seen the student fence pushed that far back. Maxwell field is know for how cozy it is and the famed south end zone where the students are right there behind the end zone. I'm not sure if there is some randon rule that is now being enforced but I hope whoever made the call could have a change of heart and move the fences back to where they belong.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

CATDOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
At first I didn't think there would be very much action on this week's link dump but as you peal back the layers of the onion all sorts of goodies started to show up.  Things Wildcat11 learned in this week's trip Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere:  Don't play Texas Hold'em with Simon Lamson, some people are doubting this Linfield team, WC11 is not the weirdest football blogger out there, SOU football just might make it, PLU's facilities are as dirty as I thought, and why do I feel like I've met UST's head coach at every car lot I've walk onto?

Newsregister.com:  Linfield crushes Puget Sound

Thenewstribune.com: Wildcats Reign supreme at Puget Sound Homecoming

Linfield Review (.pdf): Linfield clear cuts Loggers (page 14 of pdf)

Linfield Sports Player Spotlight:  Defensive End Eric Hedin is too much to handle.

D3football.com Around The Nation:  ATN columnist says Linfield is "overranked" at #14

Linfield Sports:  Coach Smith's presser.  Wanted the shutout but likes how 'Cats handled success.

Linfield Sports;  Linfield vs UPS highlights (via catdomealumni.com)

Linfield Review:  'Catback goes Full Tilt and hits the jackpot

HIsportsfolio's Blog: 'Cats Linebacker Bubba Kukahiko gets a chance to roll through some former Maui high school players

BlueOregon:  Carla Axtman gives nod to oldschool Maxwell Field and the 'Cats

Pacific Boxers' YouTube Channel:  Pacific Highlight vs Willamette

Full Access Sports Vimeo Channel:  Willamette's Speckman talks Boxers and gives UPS way too much praise

Rojonekku Blog:  Some random blogger has Pacific ranked 5th worse college team in the country.  That's being tough on a 1st year program

Thenewstribune.com: PLU back to their old tricks in big win over Whitworth

TacomaWeekly.com:  'Lutes break in Top 25

Spokesman.com:  Bad start spells doom for Rats

Pio Pack Show (video):  Interview with L&C's QB and offensive Coordinator

Oregonlive.com: Pios off to their best start in years


Bonus:

The Mooring Mast: PLU invaded by Bedbugs!  GROSS!

Mailtribune.com: Southern Oregon is optimistic in joining NAIA Frontier Conference. Could save football at SOU.

Tommie Sports: UST head coach writes open letter to Tommie Backers and you would swear UST just won the Stagg Bowl.

Week 6: NWC Pick 'em!

Old School 'Catdome Scoreboard in the house!
Wildcat11 was 4 out of 6 last week and my overall record is 31 correct picks out 41 games (75.6%). It boggles my mind but WC11 is still leading on top of the NWC pick 'em page but it's only a razor thin lead. I should have know better in putting any faith in Whitworth's offense as PLU just housed them but the big surprise to me was how Lewis and Clark got over on Menlo. I was convinced the Oaks would be much more physical than L&C but the Pioneers have legitimate offensive firepower and some pretty good defenders. Have to give them props for their season up to this point and it should be an interesting season finale for Linfield up on Palentine Hill. On to the picks!

Northwest Conference:

#25 Pacific Lutheran (4-0) over Menlo (3-3) (at Menlo): Man, Menlo has fallen off a cliff after their 3-1 start that launched them into the NAIA top 25. I've picked the Oaks to win the past two weeks and they haven't come through for Wildcat11 so the Oaks are dead to me. Besides, the hot handed 'Lutes are headed to the Bay and I look for them to continue their great start and set up a major showdown with the 'Cats next week.

Willamette (3-2) over Puget Sound (1-4) (at WU): I expect Willamette to fully slap the Loggers around this Saturday in Salem. The Bearcats soft shell defensive backfield will be nightmare for the Logger passing attack and the Bearcats are going to rush for major yards on the UPS defense. Expect another spanking for UPS.

West Region Game of the Week:

#6 Coe (5-0) over Wartburg (5-0) (at Coe): HUGE game in the IIAC on a lot of levels. With Central having one loss it's a bottle neck at the top of the IIAC and this game is going to go a long way in determining who gets the conference auto-bid and how will be praying for one of those allusive Pool C bids. The Knights defense has been lights out so far this season but their offense hasn't been great against a bunch of dogs. I think Coe's offense will win the day in this national impact game.

National Games of the Week:

#13 Ohio Northern (4-1) over Baldwin-Wallace (5-0) (at ONU): Another large playoff impacting game because the 2nd place team in the OAC is pretty much an autobid thanks to Mount Union. ONU's lone loss was against the Death Star (Mount Union) but has had more decisive wins against common opponettes (Capital & Otterbein). I'll take the Polar Bears


#23 Cortland State (5-0) over Rowan (4-1) (at Rowan): We don't get too many East "National Games of the Week" because the East Region is a waste land of tomato cans compared to the other 3 regions but they do have some solid programs. The Red Dragons (Cortland State) looks like a winner to me and I love picking against Rowan whenever I can.

Bonus Game:

Linfield Alumni Over Linfield Junior Varsity (at the Catdome):  While its disappointing to say that Wildcat11 will not be playing this season for the Alumni Team this might just be the more entertaining game played on Saturday at the 'Catdome.  The Linfield Alumni team will feature some Wildcat greats such as Brett Elliott, Casey Allen, Brandon Hazenberg, Phil Marr, Brandon Olsen, etc, etc, as the 'Cats JV team is LOADED with young guns.  It should make for an entertaining duel as the Alumni team has feasted on the young bucks the past two years but I'm expecting a slobberknocker Saturday night under the 'Catdome lights.  Game starts at 7pm and admission is free.  Come see the past greats for the 'Catdome take on the future greats.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Game 5 Google Map Schedule: Linfield vs Pacific


View 2010 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

Your Google Map Linfield Schedule is back to take care of you with all of your Linfield needs! Want to read up on the games? We have your previews. Need a weather report? Yup, we have it. Want to know where Linfield fans set up shop for tailgating? We have those directions too!!!! Want to know where to grab food before or after the game? We take care of you there too. Just click on the number 5 Wildcat Icon above and a pop-up bubble will give you the run down or you can click on the "larger map" hotlink to view in a full window. Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Puget Sound Post Game Interviews



Wildcat11 is a little sorry the post-game interviews are late this week. However, I didn't forget! WC11 was only able to round up DT Paul Nishizaki and Corner Bryce Comfort after the game. With the rain pouring down the 'Cats scattered after the team break and a water logged WC11 was slow to move. Nish and Bryce have some great thoughts about last week and moving forward so take a few minutes out of your day to listen to a few of the team's elder statesmen.

Game 5 Preview: Linfield (3-1) vs Pacific (0-4)


Back to the 'Catdome this Saturday on what the weather forecast is call for a beautiful fall October day. It's going to be a very fun day at the 'Catdome as your Linfield Wildcats host the re-booted program from Forest Grove, the Pacific Boxers. As anyone could understand the Boxers are getting broken in the hard way in their first year back as a program as Pacific has taken a few on the chin. However, by accounts coming into the Catdomealumni.com headquarters is sounds like Pacific is building a solid foundation to a decent program down the road. Even with that promise of a better day dangling as a carrot for PU players and fans, the reality is they are going to have to endure a few years of getting bullied by the establishment of the NWC.

For the 'Cats, this is another opportunity to show themselves and the Linfield faithful that this team is building towards something great. As we have seen the past few weeks when this group is prepared to play and executes on the field they are a force to contend with. Wildcat11's hope is that the players are not taking this week lightly but are working on improving each day out and are ready to execute and play with excitement and emotion on Saturday.

Get To Know A Wildcat

Sparky Gonzalez, #93, Junior - Defensive End

Hometown: Honolulu, Hi.

High School: St. Louis High School

Major: Business Management

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: MUCHAS!!!

Favorite Music: Reggae

Favorite TV Show: Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Sports Center

Favorite Pro Football Team: Not really a die hard fan but I like the Colts, hence the 93.

Class you look forward to the most at Linfield: I dont think Im looking forward to any, but I thought Business Law was pretty interesting

Mac or PC: Mac

What's is your CPU homepage set to: Sadly, it's facebook

Dog or Cat: Dog, I'm allergic to cats

Xbox, PS3, or Wii: PS3

Favorite NWC road trip: Willamette or Lewis & Clark because it doesn't take long to get there

Least Favorite NWC road trip: Whitworth

Favorite Movie that Coach Smith has picked for a bus ride home: Shawshank Redemption

Yes or No on Linfield's All Purple Look: It doesn't matter to me, but I think it'll look better with a black spat

What did you think the first time you saw a squirrel? Hahaha, I can't remember the first time I saw one

You and your friends are in the band "Na Hemo". What feels better, nailing QB on a huge sack or moving the crowd with a song? That's a tough one, it's mutual, but with different feelings. After a sack your all pumped and you wanna get after it, and get your sack dance going and run around and celebrate. When you play for a crowd, you feel the "vibes" as I'd say and you feel that nice groove that you bump to.



Wildcat11's Key To Victory:

Be Ready To Play Linfield Football:  I already mentioned it above but what I'm really interested in seeing is how the 'Cats take on this young opponent.  Are the 'Cats going to half step and get caught with their eyes a little further down the road or is this Linfield team going to come with their game face ready to roll?  In order for this Wildcat team to achieve their goals I think it's vital they prepare for each week with the thought of being a better ball club than the week before and playing to the utmost of their ability.  Let's revisit this on Monday.

Physically own both lines of scrimmage:  There is no excuses for the 'Cats to come out and not try to punish the Boxers upfront on both the offensive and defensive lines.  WC11 wants to see a push from our defensive tackles and bodies being moved by our offensive line. 

Box them up early and often:  If Linfield takes care of the first key then your 'Cats should drop the hammer early and leave the foot down during the 1st half of play.  Let's take care of business and then get the roster some work during the remainder of the game.

Do the little things right:  In a game where the 'Cats are such a heavy favorite I'd love to see Linfield not get content and work on continuing to excel in the little things such as good tackling, pass protection, securing the ball, etc.  Let's keep improving on those aspects this week.

Enjoy the day:  The 'Cats only have 4 regular season home games this year and who knows what kind of weather we'll have later on.  It should be a great crowd, the weather is going to be perfect, and for Linfield fans and players, we're at one our favorite places on this earth....the 'Catdome.  Soak it in, enjoy the day, and GET AFTER THOSE BOXERS!

Overall:

'Cats by a lot.  If our young men come to play they should control the game from the early going.  I want the offense to make that vermin dance and for the defense to bring the wood for a full 60 minutes.  Let's have a great homecoming Linfield!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boehme's Hurdle Named D3football.com's play of the Week!

Our QB's hurdle of the Puget Sound Defensive Back was just named D3football.com's play of the week (week 6). Each week d3football.com solict video from every Division III program in the country and Boehme's leap was named top cat this week. While Coach Smith told Aaron never to do it again (with a smile on his face) you can always come back and watch it on YouTube, D3football.com, or visit the ADvantage.

Monday, October 11, 2010

'Cats Win! Linfield topples Puget Sound 55-14


It's rained 'Cats and Linfield points at Baker Stadium this past Saturday as our 'Cats went up to Tacoma and handled their business in a 55-14 undressing that wasn't even as close as the score indicates. Linfield outplayed and outclassed the Loggers in all phases of the game (except one aspect but we'll get that in a little bit) and did what a team of the 'Cats caliber should do in a match up like that: Drop the hammer.

As for the trip itself, Wildcat11 was lucky enough to be able to tag along with the 'Cats and enjoy the trip up. As usual, the players are first class all the way in how they deal with people when traveling. They treated the wait staff at the Country Cousin (Breakfast stop) with respect and lots of thank you's and just going about their business. You can tell it's a tight knit group that is now just hitting their stride as a team. The 'Cats potentially has some special things in front of them, but as usual, it's up to the young men on the team to decide if they are going to put in the hard work and sacrifice to make it happen. Wildcat11 is betting that they will.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Ready to play Linfield Football: The past two seasons the 'Cats have played sub-par football against Puget Sound. In both cases, the 'Cats were coming off emotional games vs Willamette (2008 a loss, 2009 a win) so many people were interested in just how Linfield would respond this time after a convincing hammering of Willamette the week before. Well, it didn't take long to find out this Linfield squad was emotionally and physically ready to handle their business. Great job by the players and staff in getting ready this past week.

Defensive Back lock down: Have to give the DB's 10 alright's as six different defensive backs picked off a pass each on the day. Just a flat outstanding effort by the secondary with the 6 total picks (could have been about 3 more) and great coverage on the day. The 'Cats pass defense continues to shine as they lead the NWC in pass defense and Pass Def Efficiency.

Season High Total Offense: 591 yards of total offense. What else can you say? The 'Cats racked up 330 yards on the ground and another 261 in the air. Those totals would make any offensive coordinator happy. The 'Cats averaged 8.7 yards per freaking play on Saturday. That's just flat getting after it.

Puget Sound was sackless: The 'Cats offensive line has now gone back-to-back weeks without giving up a sack on the day and don't think that WC11 didn't notice. The first two weeks the offensive line was still trying to get all on the same page and now it looks like this group is starting to gel. Good work big boys.

1.8 yards per rushing attempt for UPS: That is a salty stat if I've ever seen on. Granted UPS isn't primarily focused on the run but the 'Cats made sure it wasn't even an option as the 'Cats D-Line and LBs stoned the Logger's rushing attack all day. UPS' best rushing play was their QB's pulling down the ball and running for their lives.

Coverage and Return Teams: It goes unnoticed but the Loggers starting field position after kickoffs was their own 28 yard line. If the 'Cats can continue to have outstanding coverage it will pay huge dividends throughout the remainder of the season. Shoutout to the kickoff return team who didn't get much work but made the most of it with a great 69 yard return by Nate Dixon.

New Faces getting to cut their teeth. About 70 Wildcats are listed in the participation report and it was fantastic to get to see so many 'Cats get their opportunity to show their stuff during the game. Loved the way the team competed even late into the game. Great job young bucks!

The Bad:

PAT team: 3 blocked PAT's and one missed PAT. Not good....at all. No need to harp on that because we know the 'Cats are better than that. Let's get that cleaned up and move on.

Penalties: 8 yellow hankies were tossed on the ground against the 'Cats. Some of those flags I'm not too sure if there was really an infraction but the reality is the calls were made so Linfield has to make it a point in improving on this for next week.

The Ugly:

Having Linfield as your Homecoming Football game. Yeah, this is probably more of a College Administration decision than an athletic department decision but whoever decides to host Linfield football as their homecoming game should get fired or made to do The Dougie in their underwear in the school academic quad. Seriously, what percentage of the "alleged" 3,878 in attendance wanted to come back to the 'ol alma mater to celebrate homecoming with a 55-14 beating? This isn't the first time this has happened with Linfield and WC11 would love to know what the 'Cats record is when they are the visiting team during homecoming. Check yourself UPS administration.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Linfield and Aaron Boehme Hurdles over Puget Sound

The 'Cats brought the hammer up to Tacoma on Saturday as Linfield rolled past Puget Sound 55-14 but WC11 couldn't wait on the highlight of the day as Linfield Quarterback Aaron Boehme takes off out of the pocket and hurdles over a UPS DB at the 3 yard line and into the end zone for the TD. Just watch the video and you'll know why I posted this up today

Friday, October 8, 2010

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere


Oh man...now this was a fun Friday link dump post to put together.  Not only for the rounding up all of the Linfield beatdown articles but WC11 unearthed a gem of a quote and story on a staff infection that hit the Menlo football team.  Seriously, I almost spit coffee all over my computer screen.  This blast is pretty nice but it still doesn't clip the epic line from the L&C student from last year about the Pios bring in a patsy for homecoming.  L&C student, Rainier Goubault's quote is still the king.

Oregonlive.com:  'Cats Whip Willamette

StatesmanJournal.com:  Linfield just made another Tackle for Loss against Willamette (that joke never gets old)

Linfield Sports:  Linfield vs Willamette Game Highlights

NewsRegister.com:  Relive Linfield vs. Willamette with Live Game Blog

The Linfield Review: 'Cats Clobber the Bearcats (page 16)

The Willamette Collegian:  Bearcats bumming because of buttkicking

FullAccessSports.com Vimeo Page:  Coach Speckman's Willamette/Linfield game thoughts

Linfield Sports: Head Coach Joe Smith's Willamete/Linfield game thoughts and his take on upcoming UPS game.

D3football.com: West Region Writer sends in postcard from the Catdome (I know he LOVED writing it too!)

The News Tribune:  PLU boots their way to victory over Puget Sound

D3sports.com YouTube Page:  PLU's game winning FG

Mercurynews.com:  Rats carve out victory over the Oaks

Menlooak.com:  Staph Infection rips thought Menlo and anonymous students drops quote of the year.

Spokesmanreview: Rats looking for positive position vs PLU

ESPN Northwest (w/ Video): PLU and Rats have a big showdown!

KGW.com: KGW's morning goofball visits with Lewis & Clark Football

KGW.com:  KGW shines light on football staff.

D3football.com around the west: Halfway though the West Region Season

Bonus:
Idaho Press: College of Idaho wants to be in the Northwest Conference (Article from July but a good read)

Week 5: NWC Pick 'Em!!!!

Load up the Wildcat Wagon as it's time for a Road Trip!
Wildcat11 went 5 out of 7 last week to bring my yearly total upto 27 correct picks out 35 games (77%).  That's still good enough to lead the NWC pick 'em page but my lead is tight right now.  My misses last week were pretty tight games but I picked with my heart in thinking SJU would overcome UST (SJU lost in OT on a missed PAT) and what was surprising to me is the Rats gave Wildcat11 the middle finger in going down the the Bay and beating a solid Menlo team.  Of course, it was the Rats stand out defense that got the job done but that was a huge non-conference/confidence game for the Rats.  Interesting.

Northwest Conference:

Menlo (3-2) over Lewis & Clark (2-2) (at L&C):  L&C is an improved team but their two victories are over totally over matched programs but to give the Pios credit they used to be one of those doormats so credit to them in getting it on track.  However, Menlo is a better team that has played MUCH better compeitition and should be able to control the LOS on both sides of the ball and spoil the Pio homecoming.

Willamette (2-2) over Pacific (0-3) (at Pacific):  This is up to Speckman in just how ugly he wants to make this contest.  I expect the full Willamette roster to get plenty of snaps as they should baptize the Boxers in their NWC home opener with a unabashed spanking.

Whitworth (3-2) over at Pacific Lutheran (3-0) (at PLU):  Wow.  I've gone back and forth for a few days on this game. PLU is the favorite for the unblemished record and beating top 25 CLU but I picked the Rats to finish 3rd in the NWC this season and I'm sticking to my guns here.  I REALLY like the Rats defense this year.  They are only giving up 16.8 points a game and that is in playing 3 pretty solid offenses in HSU, Redlands, and Menlo.  However, the Rats offense is another story and that is where I'm concerned.  PLU is confusing me.  They hammered CLU (who I think had a major hangover from the Linfield win) but struggle to beat a crap Hamline team and a not great UPS.  This game will tell us a little more if PLU is for real or not.


West Region Game of the Week:

Bethel (4-0) over #23 St. Johns (3-2) (at Bethel):  SJU is going to be the reason I lose this pick 'em contest.  I pick them to win and they lose and now I'm picking them to lose so you know they will win.  Just add it to the long list of reasons why I despise the Johnnies.

National Game of the Week:

#7 North Central (4 - 0) over Augustana (3-1) (at Augustana):  Big CCIW match up in a conference that has been on the uptick.  I like North Central here and to win the conference and make some waves in the North Region this year.

Game 4: Google Map Schedule, Linfield @ UPS


View 2010 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

Don't think that we forgot about our weekly Google map schedule update.  We are your one stop shop for the information you crave and need.  It's going to be a VERY wet contest up in Tacoma so remember to bring your rain gear and everything you need to stay dry and comfortable tomorrow.  If you are driving up I-5 tomorrow and want to eat where the 'Cats get their breakfast grub on then just click on the Wildcat Icon above to get the information and location of the World Famous Country Cousin.  Drive Safe everyone and Go 'Cats!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Game 4 Preview: Linfield @ Puget Sound


Road Trip! The 'Cats will be packing up the buses early Saturday morning, head north on I-5, hit the Country Cousin for some grub, and then roll into Tacoma to play Linfield's 2nd NWC contest of the year vs. the Puget Sound Loggers.

Each game is huge and playing UPS is no different now that the 'Cats started of the season 1-0 in conference play. UPS will be trying to bounce back after back-to-back weeks of heartbreak as they roll out the welcome mat for Linfield on the Loggers homecoming week. (I wonder what Linfield's record is on the road when other teams schedule the 'Cats for freaking homecoming?)

After the way Linfield played this past Saturday it would be easy for most casual observers to dismiss the chance that the Loggers will give Linfield a game this weekend but those that have been following the series knows that Linfield has played terribly vs Puget Sound over the past few years. Yes, the 'Cats haven't lost to UPS since 1983 but it hasn't always been easy vs the Loggers.

In fact, the 'Cats have played some sub-par football at UPS in their last three games in the Mourge (Baker Stadium was lifeless during most of the 90's and 2000's). The 2004 championship team played their worse game of the year at Baker Stadium in a 35-16 win, in 2006 UPS was only down 21-17 at half and out-gained Linfield before the 'Cats were able to salt that one away 42-17, and let's not forget about the 32-24 near disaster in 2008.

Bottom line, what I'm trying to express here is that if our Linfield players are just betting on the performance against Willamette to just play into this weekend and for UPS to roll over then we're going to wind up in a much closer game that we want. Linfield HAS to continue to work hard during the week in order to keep performing like they did just a few days ago. What WC11 wants to see is this to be a message game and the message is "This 2010 Linfield team just didn't have one good weekend but we are one of the elite".

Get To Know A Wildcat

Ryan Henderson, #1, Senior - Wide Receiver

Hometown: Portland, Or.

High School: Lincoln High School

Major: Accounting

Minors: Economics and Philosophy

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: Thai Country

Favorite Song: Dance, by Nasir Jones

Favorite TV Shows: P.T.I., Entourage and Lost

Favorite Pro Football Team: Carolina Panthers

Class you look forward to the most at Linfield: Ill be taking an economics class in Australia this January term.

Mac or PC: Mac

What's is your CPU homepage set to: Yahoo

Dog or Cat: Dog

Xbox, PS3, or Wii: Xbox

Favorite NWC road trip: PLU my sophomore year, great trip.

Least Favorite NWC road trip: Menlo

Which receivers own the most pairs of gloves on the team: I do, and I wear the belt proudly.

Favorite Movie that Coach Smith has picked for a bus ride home: Last of the Mohicans

Yes or No on Linfield's All Purple Look: I fully support our all purps. I think we need to have a game wearing our all purps with all black accents (socks, flare, tape, etc.).

Wildcat11's Key To Victory:

Prepared To Play: WC11 wants to see the 'Cats come out sharp mentally and emotionally and ready to take the game to UPS from the opening kickoff. This UPS team has been in some tight battles so the 'Cats can't afford to let them hang around. The 'Cats need to put the hammer down early and not let off the gas.

Front Line Pressure: The Loggers are 2nd in the NWC in passing yards a game and their QB, Duncan White, is a talented trigger man. Linfield's front line has to continue to be the disruptors of the timing of the offense and put the heat on White all game long.

Put a Premium on Ball Security: Linfield needs to get out of the negative of the takeaway ratio (-.67, 7 takeaways to 9 turnovers on the season, 6th out of 7 NWC teams) and that starts by taking care of the ball on offense. Linfield is going to be able to move the ball but let's not be our own worse enemy. Make plays but take care of the pill.

Run The Ball with efficiency: I might as well copy and past this up because it's the key to this offense. If the 'Cats are able to run the ball then everything else falls into place.

Protect Boehme: The Loggers play a 3-5 defensive front that Coach Thomas brought up from Redlands so you can expect all sorts of exotic blitzes on Saturday and all sorts of bodies coming at Boehme. The offensive line and running backs need to do a great job in communicating and keeping AB's jersey nice and white.

DB lock down: I think the 'Cats DBs where great in taking away Willamette's big play WR last week but I'm still waiting for this group to have a breakout day and they get that opportunity this Saturday. I want to see this group have a HUGE day in coverage and on the ball.

Overall:

'Cats by 24. I know, I usally keep it pretty conservative with my margins of victory but I'm EXPECTING for Linfield to be ready to play this Saturday. If not, then we'll be in a dog fight and feel crappy afterwards. This Linfield team can be THAT good but I want to see it on back-to-back weekends and not just one time. If Linfield brings the hammer with them this weekend then the 'Cats should roll.