Friday, September 30, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

'Catdome!
Welcome back to our weekly link dump where we catch you up on everything that is happening around the 'Catdome and NWC.  Some great items this week.  Be sure to download the video from Linfield Sports of the 'Cats 4 National Championship teams (1982, 84, 86, and 2004) being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall Of Fame.  Lots of Linfield vs Willamette fodder to get you stoked up for tomorrow's 4 pm kickoff. BTW, if you were curious on why the 4pm kickoff it's because of a "big" Cross Country meet tomorrow in Bush park and Willamette had to push the game out.  I'll hold my comment on that.....  Also, another recommend is watching the video former 'Cat defense end, Ian Estrada ('09) put together of his trip back to the 'Catdome to play in the 2011 Alumni Game.  Great work by Ian.  Check back with us on Sunday for post-game interviews and make it out to this game.  It's going to be a huge battle between two very good teams.

News-Register: Linfield's Tyler Robitaille is a stud

News-Register: Linfield vs La Verne running game blog

Linfield Review (pdf): 'Cats claw Leos (page 16 of .pdf)

sbsun.com: LaVerne stays postive after getting hammered.

The Sports Curmudgeon:  The Curmudgeon is still kepping up with the 'Cats 

KPAM 860 AM: NorthWest Sports Tonight interviews with Linfield's Joe Smith (starts at 23:25 mark) and Willamette's Mark Speckman (33:48)

WildcatSpread40.blogspot.com: Wildcats skin Leopards 52-3

WildcatSpread40.blogspot.com: What WCS40 learned about the 'Cats after La Verne Game.

WildcatSpread40.blogspot.com: WCS40's Linfield vs Willamette Game Preview

D3football.com: Around The Nation lists Linfield vs Willamette as one of the games to watch this week and gives a nice plug to catdomealumni.com

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Willamette's Mark Speckman talks Bearcats vs Wildcats

Statesmanjournal: James Day is taking Linfield over Willamette.  Smart man.


Linfield Sports: Download the video clip of the 'Cats 4 National Championship teams being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame

Oregon Sports Hall of Fame: Press release of the OSHOF 7 newest inductees. 

Pacific Index: Boxer students want changes at venue

Pacific Index: Student Coach helping out the Boxers.

The Mooring Mast: This article doesn't say it but this is the 1st step in PLU getting an on-campus stadium.

The Trail: Loggers 0-3 and Linebacker Tyler Vlasak can't really think they have a shot at winning the NWC.

TheNewsTribune: Kniffin sets UPS career TD reception record with 22nd as Loggers loss to Whittier.  Kniffin is now only 37 TD catches behind Linfield's Casey Allen for Conference Record.

Oregonlive.com/Hillsboro Argus: Pacific looking for answers vs L&C

Dailyrepubic: Former H.S. teammates face off in Pacific/L&C game

TheNewsTribune.com: PLU Quarterback, Zack Halverson looks the part

mercurynews.com: Menlo moves to 4-0 and is feeling good.

Thespokanereview: Menlo dominates the Rats up front..Whitworth gave up 10 sacks?  Really?

KXLY's YouTube Page: Oaks keep it perfect in sinking the Pirates ship.

Oregonlive.com: The Oregonian's terrible small college round up

BONUS:

Linfield's Ian Estrada (Linfield, Class of 2009) put together this great video of the 'Cats 2011 Alumni Game & Weekend.


Linfield trip 2011 from Ian Estrada on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NWC Pick 'em Contest: Week 5

Is it Saturday yet?
Much better week for Wildcat11 in the NWC Pick 'Em contest as I went 5 out 6.  I know the Menlo/Whitworth game was a toss up and it lived up to that billing with Menlo pulling out the late win.  I have no issue in missing that as Whitworth proved again to be a worthy home team.  The Rats just haven't able to get over the hump.  That moves me up to the 6th spot (22 correct out of 29 games = 75.8%) in the NWC pick 'em contest but I still have some ground to make up.   Let see if I can make gain ground this week with the Linfield/Willamette, CLU/Redlands, and UHMB/LC games causing some differences of opinion on the NWC pick 'em page.

Northwest Conference:

Pacific Lutheran (1-1) over Puget Sound (0-3) (at PLU): I was shocked that it took PLU hitting a long distance field goal to beat UPS last year but this is a rivalry game we're talking about so tight games happen...but not this year. I fully expect PLU to put this game away in the 1st half and roll a struggling Puget Sound. Articles keep discussing the great passing game of UPS but gloss over that fact the Loggers are giving up 43 points per game to the likes of Whittier and Sewanee and as a team only avg 53 yards on the ground.

Lewis & Clark (3-0) over Pacific (0-3) (at Pacific): Last season the Pios opened up conference play with a 48-0 beat down of Pacific up on the hill. Pacific is still looking for their 1st win since jump starting the program but have at times played competitive football and L&C is 3-0 for the 1st time in ages. The Pios have every right to celebrate this fact and is putting up points like a pinball machine but the fact both Pomona-Pitzer and Macalester each had their chances to win late makes the Pios a NWC pretender. The Pios are going to have to prove it vs the Whitworth's and PLU's before I can consider them a serious NWC challenger. Oh...this game: Pacific will be much more competitive and L&C again won't be able to salt this one way until late.

West Region Game of the Week:

#20 Cal Lutheran (1-1) over #13 Redlands (2-0) (at CLU): This is the win or go home game in the SCIAC. CLU is opening their new soccer lined turf stadium and the already bitterness of the rivalry has been turned up a few notches with the stadium opening. Redlands has played very well to start the season and CLU took it on the chin vs Linfield and had trouble turning massive offensive yards into points vs PLU. This game is going to come down to the wire but I think CLU is going to get the job done and leave the Bulldogs on the outside looking in.

National Game of the Week:

#4 Mary Hardin-Baylor (3-0) over #19 Louisiana College (3-0) (at UMHB): Please, until someone in the ASC can prove it with more frequency you always take UMHB in a ASC conference game. The Cru has only lost once in the ASC during the past 6 seasons and that will continue this weekend.

Bonus Game:

#17 Trine (3-0) over Adrian (4-0) (at Trine): I don't know much about either besides the fact Trine is an up and coming program that gave UWW some trouble in the playoffs last year. I'll take Trine because I just can't see myself picking a team named "Adrian".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Game 3 Preview: Linfield (2-0) at Willamette (1-2)


The 1st weekend of October is just around the bend and that can only mean one thing: Wildcats vs. Bearcats. The story lines, history, and stakes are high as the programs separated by a short 30 minute drive lock paws once again. Let’s face it; there isn’t much love between not only the programs but between the schools, athletic programs, and student bodies in general. Don’t get me wrong, I have a couple of very good friends that attended Willamette and I’ve met some great Willamette football fans over the years but don’t think for a minute they would hesitate to cap me in the knee caps if they thought it could help Willamette beat Linfield.

Over the past 3 seasons, this very game has decided the fate of the NWC Championship and the NWC’s autobid to the DIII Playoffs. This is no different in 2011 as the winner takes the head-to-head match-up and while there are still games to play the winner will have a great chance to capture the 2011 conference championship.

For Willamette, this is it. The Bearcats could easily be 3-0 right now but dropped two tight games to UW-Stevens Point and to Hardin-Simmons. After the two losses, the margin of error for the Bearcats is at zero and it all comes down to beating Linfield. If Willamette takes down the ‘Cats then the memory of last season’s 35-7 loss fades and the Bearcats will have done what no others in the NWC has done since 2008 and that’s defeat the Wildcats. 

We know OUR ‘Cats have started off the season strong in turning back a tough CLU team and then dispatching La Verne. While this Linfield team has some great possibilities it doesn’t feel like a finished product yet. It’s exciting to know the ‘Cats have room for much positive growth but Linfield can’t wait 3 or 4 more weeks for it all to come together. It has to happen this Saturday down in Salem. If the thought of “Well, if we drop this game then we’re still in a great position for the playoffs.” is in your mind then get it out right now. You can never put your fate in the hands of the DIII playoff committee. How many times have teams in the NWC been railroaded at the end of the season? That’s a rhetorical question, BTW. If Linfield desires that return to the playoff then there is only one true way to guarantee that ticket being punched and that’s not leaving any doubt.

We don’t get to know a Wildcat this week as I’ve been all over the road and forgot to reach out to a player but below are my keys to a Linfield victory. I might have gone a tad overboard with “keys” but I just kept coming up with one after another. Look, Linfield doesn’t have to be perfect on Saturday but the ‘Cats better darn well bring it. I bumped into a few Willamette backers that came up to the ‘Catdome for the La Verne game. In talking to these Bearcats they had a gleam in their eyes and a newly found confidence in their voice after watching Linfield put in a OK performance vs La Verne. They were being cordial but in reading between the lines the Bearcat faithful think Linfield is vulnerable and ready for the taking. Wildcat11’s response to that…..Send ‘Em Up!

Wildcat11’s Keys To Victory

Play Linfield Football for a full 60 minutes: This is going to be an emotionally charged game. What WC11 doesn’t want is for the ‘Cats to be wound too tight and too hyped at the start of the game and be empty when all of that initial peak dissipates and what’s left is your preparation and how well you can execute. Linfield has to be prepared for the entire course of the game. How are the ‘Cats going to handle adversity? How will the ‘Cats handle success during the game? There will be ups and downs during the game due to each staff punching and counter-punching with the adjustments they’ll make as the game moves on. Williamette has outscored their 3 opponents in the 4th quarter 27-6 so our ‘Cats need to be willing to take this game all the way to the end and finish. One play at a time, boys.

Limit the Willamette big play/make them score off long sustained drives: The Bearcat offense has scored 8 TD’s on the season and 3 of those have come off of plays of 67 (pass), 80 (rush), and 1 (was set up off a 44 yard pass to the 1 yd line). 3 more of those TD’s were short porch drives where the Bearcats had to only move it in from 19, 22, and 19 yards out. They’ve had one drive of 67 yards for a TD and one TD drive of 59 yards. The ‘Cats defense has to put a priority on not giving up the big pass play off their play action game and not allow Willamette to pop the big runs either. If they’re going to score then let’s make Willamette earn it and see if they can put together long drives against our defense.

Take care of the ball: Like I’ve stated above Willamette has feasted off of big turnovers created by their defense and special teams. Ball security is always at a premium but in a game like this taking care of the pill is even more meaningful. If the ‘Cats don’t give the ball away then I feel Linfield will have a great shot in limiting the number the ‘Bearcats will be able to put up on the board.

Tackling: The Fly offense challenges the defense’s most fundamental ability: how well can you tackle. In having to respect the Fly sweep that leaves some defenders in space where they have to make a tackle close to the line of scrimmage or it can be a huge gain for Willamette. Linfield had one great tackling game (CLU) and one not so great tackling game (La Verne). Linfield being sure tacklers this Saturday is a big key to victory.

The ‘Cats offense making the most of their opportunities/balance: This will be the best defense the ‘Cats will see during the regular season. CLU might have a few more athletes but this Willamette defense is much more sound in their scheme and fundamentals. Don’t discount the fact Bearcats also have some pretty good playmakers on that side of the ball too. The ‘Cats offense has had moments when they have looked great and others where they have sputtered. This Saturday is the time for the Linfield offense to have their best game to date. That’s going to get done by being a balanced attack and making plays when the opportunities are there. This offense doesn’t have a lack of talent, far from it, but it’s matter of being a cohesive unit and growth. I’m not asking the offense to be perfect but the ‘Cats offense to play with a chip on their shoulder.

Special Teams meeting the challenge: This aspect of the game is going to play a big role. Willamette prides themselves on being a play making special teams unit in creating blocked kicks, big returns, and not afraid of rolling the dice in running fakes. Linfield’s special teams have been great on the young season and that trend needs to continue headed into this weekend. When Linfield gets the chance our Special teams units need to pin the Bearcats deep, have great protection, and make a few plays of our own. The momentum of this game could very well change at some point off a special teams play.

Make Widing feel the heat: Willamette’s offense is its most deadly when the Bearcats can make plays in the air. Once the passing game gets going it opens up huge lanes in the running game and next thing you know the Bearcats are moving up and down the field. Flat out we have to get after Willamette QB Brian Widing and make him feel the pressure. The Bearcats play action game can be lethal if you allow Widing to stay on his feet and step into his throws. If Linfield can continually get to Widing it’s going to limit offensive firepower of Willamette.

Overall

Linfield by 7. We all know this is a big game but I feel in my bones this Wildcat team has the mental and physical make up to go into a hostile environment and rip it way from a program and school that would give about anything to get over on Linfield. It’s going to be a tough and hard fought game for a full 60 minutes but at the end of the day I think Linfield will do enough to put Willamette down and walk out of Salem 3-0 and have the inside track to another NWC title. ‘Catdome!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011 Alumni vs J.V. game highlights!



The 'Cats win over La Verne wasn't the only action taking place at the 'Catdome this past Saturday.  The now annual Alumni vs. J.V. game took place where the old timers flexed their old man strength in a 21-7 win over our young 'Cats.  WC11was unable to attend but Linfield Senior Christian Hanna took the reins on the videocam and did a great job in capturing the action of this epic battle. (Thanks Christian!).  Make sure you watch the whole clip as the last 3 minutes or so is some post-game advice the alumni players have for the currents 'Cats.  Some great wisdom was dispensed by the Alumni team about being a player at the 'Catdome and a player in life.

Linfield at Willamette Game Day Guide


View 2011 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

1st road game of the year and we here at the ADvantage are hear to help you out on your drive to Salem as OUR 'Cats will be kicking off NWC play with a gigantic game against Willamette. Now, it always a very fun setting at McCulloch Stadium when the 'Cats come to town.  There is only one sided seating but the grandstand seating is ample and very nice.  They also have the North End Zone set up for standing room and typically Linfield'ers occupy that area.

The biggest down fall of McCullouch stadium is the location being at Bush Park and the parking is terrible.  When I say terrible I stress that with a Charles Barkley "Turrrible" and not just with a standard terrible.  If you get there early enough then you should be able to hunt down one of the few spots available, if not, then you're off to neighborhood parking.  Best of luck.

We have some good info for you if you click on the #3 Wildcat Head and a bubble will pop up with a gaggle of information on the game (start time, links to game audio/video, and a handy Willamette visitors guide).  I don't know the Salem area very well but after the game, The Ram (Golden Valley Brew Pub-ish,) seems like a solid standby for a post game meal.

In terms of tailgating, Linfield'er Jason Erwin shouted out me via Twitter that they will be setting up a big tailgate:
From @jerwinlinfield
Large tailgater B4 the Willamette game we will b in the parking lot by the main entrance. Everyone is invited especially @catdomealumni

So if you want to get some tailgating action then look up Jason and tell him Wildcat11 sent you. If you want a bigger look at the map then either click on the link on the info bar on the right or just click here.

REMINDER: Parents and Fans that are looking to travel to Menlo and Whitworth. For the Menlo game the team will be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mountain View and for the Whitworth game the 'Cats will be staying at the Red Lion River Inn in Spokane.

Monday, September 26, 2011

'Cats Win! Linfield makes La Verne's drive home that much longer after 52-3 win.

Photo Courtesy of Brad Thompson.  View Brad's 2011 Linfield Photo Gallery Here.

After an uneven start in the 1st half the 'Cats push down on the gas petal and overwhelmed the Leopards of La Verne with a 52-3 victory. With the win the 'Cats moved to 2-0 on the young season and that sets up a giant NWC season opener down in Salem as the 'Cats will make the 30 minute drive to face a strong Willamette Bearcat team on October 1st. However, let's talk about Saturday. There are still some areas I'm concerned about and that Linfield must improve upon if this team wants to be in position to achieve the goals this group feels they can obtain. On the flip side, there are some flat out fantastic aspects of this team and they've flexed their muscle over the past two games.

It's exciting to see just the overall athleticism of the team. Linfield has speed and athletes all over the field. Yeah, We're young in spots but the pure effort and speed of our youth has help made up for the lack of college experience. I still believe Linfield is 3 or 4 weeks away from hitting on their full stride as a team. The Linebackers are going to improve each time out and the offense is going to find itself more as we progress. As a Linfield fan, you should be licking your chops at the possibilities of what this team could look like around week 6 or 7 if the 'Cats keep putting in the work.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

Linfield Passing Game: The 'Cats threw the ball for 299 total yards and 5 touchdowns on the day. Starting QB Mickey Inns completed 66% of his passes, 210 yards, 3 TDs, and looks in command of the offense. Josh Yoder also looked solid in the 3rd and 4th quarters tossing 2 touchdowns. 5 different WR's caught touchdown passes and 8 total Wildcats hauled in passes on the day.  A very good day for this 'Cats passing attack.

Special Teams just getting it done: It was a LONG day at the office for the La Verne return men. The 'Cats Hit Squad was handing out huge hits like it was candy. Along with the cover men the 'Cats kickers; Josh Repp, Josh Kay, and Jordan Walker once again impressed with their ability to pin La Verne deep. Love the approach of this phase of the 'Cats attack and hope they can continue to perform at the level of play they have shown over the past two games.

Pass coverage and QB pressure: The 'Cats piled up 6 quarterback sacks on the day and you have to give a tip of the hat to the defensive backs for providing the coverage that made La Verne's Thomas Arguello hang onto the ball a little bit longer than he wanted which led to Arguello getting a good view of the Pacific NW sky.

Red Zone Offense: In the 'Cats 1st game the red zone offense turned it over twice and landed on WC11's bad list. This week, the execution in the red zone was fantastic as the 'Cats converted on all 6 of their red zone trips (5 TD's, 1 FG). Being efficient in the Red Zone has to continue to be a high priority of this offense as the 'Cats cannot waste trips into the red portion of the field.

Balanced Offensive Attack: 35 rush attempts and 33 pass attempts, 162 rushing yards (4.6 yards per carry) and 299 passing yards (13 yards per completion). Love the balance of the offense on Saturday.

2nd half effort: After a 1st half of play that was spotty and filled with wide open drops, dropped pics, stupid penalties, and almost getting Micky Inns' knee blown up, the 'Cats shook it off and dropped the hammer on La Verne in the 3rd to put it away. Yeah, the 'Cats had the 24-0 lead at half but it wasn't the cleanest of halves. Like the fact our 'Cats flushed it and came out with purpose.

Defense tightening down when it mattered: La Verne did get some yards piled up on the day (will be addressed below) but each time the 'Leos threaten to put points on the board, the 'Cats defense tighten down and held La Verne to 1 of 5 on 4th down and only gave up 3 points in 3 trips into the Red Zone.

The Bad:

Uneven 1st half effort: This is redundant but the 1st half wasn't pretty football at times. I was concerned with coming off a huge win and having the layoff the 'Cats might be a little flat. I don't know if flat is the term I would use but it was uneven with quality of play ranging from really good to plain old bad. Eventually, the 'Cats put it away but I'm being one of those crabby old timers when I write it would have been nice to seen the dagger come out a little earlier.

Allowing over 300 yards of offense/Tackling: After having a great tackling game vs CLU, the 'Cats tackling wasn't at that level this past week. The 'Cats went from handling an explosive Dan Mosier to less than 60 yards to letting some Freshman RB named Tanner rush for 92 yards and most of that was because of poor tackling. Needless to say if our tackling is poor next Saturday then we're going to be in a world of hurt.

The Ugly:

La Verne taking the bus: Seriously, La Verne rode the bus from their L.A. campus up to McMinnville and back. That's 969 miles each way and over 18 hours each way in a crowded, stinky bus. Just imagine riding the bus that long knowing you're probably going to get caved in on Saturday afternoon and then have to take that long ride home.  I know we're in Division III but I wouldn't wish that long of a bus ride on anybody playing DIII ball (even Willamette). Ugh.

The La Verne players couldn't be happy and reading their Twitter feeds...they were not:

----Leo WR, @CedircH20, was already feeling the pain after a couple of hours on the bus.

@CedricH2O:  Feels like 7 hours already. Fml. Budgets suck

---This La Verne player, @Ruben_Vazquez, must have type this when he was driving north of Sacramento, because the stretch between Sac and Redding, California really does feel like the middle of nowhere.

@Ruben_Vazquez:  Staring at nothing #middleofnowhere #cabinfever

----However I think @DKALLDAY55 sums up the overall feeling of riding a bus 18 hours, getting crushed, and then having to get on the bus again to ride another 18 hours back home.

@DKALLDAY55: On a f@*%^ng bus again. F&^*


---But there is a silver lining for the Leos.....at least the water was good.

@Ruben_Vazquez: One thing ill miss about Oregon is the water!!! #tastesodamgood

Sunday, September 25, 2011

La Verne Post Game Interviews and Lucas Jepson's Leaping TD Grab

Great win over La Verne yesterday as the 'Cats took care of the business at hand 52-3. We'll have our game review up tomorrow but here are our post-game interviews with Linfield's Tyler Robitaille (Soph, LB), Kyle Wright (Soph, Safety), and Bryan Anderson (Sr, FB/TE).



Oh...we also submitted the incredible TD catch by WR Lucas Jepson to D3football.com as a play of the week nominee. You can watch both the interviews and catch in "HD". Just switch the resolution from "360" to 720 HD in the bottom right of the video player.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

Catdome!
Welcome back to your weekly News/Video/and more link Round-Up!  Every Friday during the season we take you Around the 'CatdomeO'sphere to get you caught up on the weeks news about Linfield, the NWC, and the other schools the 'Cats battle during non-conference play.  Some good reading/viewing this week.  The Review talks about how the Linfield team isn't built from the QB down, the Wildcatspread40 has some good quote grabs from both Linfield and La Verne, get caught up with former Linfield head coach Jay Locey (swim Olympics, sumo..sounds familiar), some great video from Whitworth/Redlands, a bone jarring hit from a Willamette corner (nice "block" by the SOU WR), and all sorts of other goodies to take you into your weekend.  See you around at the 'Catdome tomorrow.  Just give me a shout out and chat me up.

Newsregister.com: Linfield ready for La Verne after bye week

Linfieldreview.com: It's not all about the quarterback

wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Linfield vs La Verne Preview 

NCAA.com:  Linfield gets a mention in the the Storylines section

democratherald: Linfield former Head Coach Jay Locey holding it down at Oregon State

spokesman.com: Redlands-Whitworth photo gallery

krem.com (w/ video): Rats drop to redlands

espnnorthwest (w/ video): Turnovers bite Rats in loss to Dawgs

swxrightnow.com (w/ video): Rats strong effort falls short

Whitworth's YouTube Page: Austin Ehlo's nice one handed graber

vcstar.com: Cal Lu dominate PLU but only win by 14

TheEcho: CLU over PLU

PacificBoxers YouTube Page: Fukumoto's 87 yard TD in loss to CMS

Statesmanjournal: Willamett recap on victory over SOU

CCTV YouTube Page: Willamette's Tyson Giza bone rattling hit vs SOU

CCTV YouTube Page: Willamette Highlights of win over Southern Oregon

Willamettecollegian.com:  Bearcats use big play to throttle Southern Oregon

oregonlive.com: The Oregonian's terrible Small College Round Up

PugetSound athletics:  Listen to Puget Sounds highlights with a downright terrible soundtrack playing in the background

Examiner.com: Boxers still winless since 1991.

Dailybulletin.com: Stags bag Boxers (extra from Maynard)

occidentalweekly:  Tigers turnovers costly vs Menlo

TheEcho: New 8.9 Million Dollar stadium, with soccer lines, one-sided seating, a brick wall 5 feet outside the South End Zone, and a light post in the middle of the press box, almost ready

TheEcho: CLU running back Daniel Mosier is back after missing last year to personal reasons

The Pioneer Log: Lewis & Clarks starts off the season 2-0 for the 1st time since 1996...wow...1996.  Has it been that long since I was a Sophomore in College?  Crap.

Thenewstribune.com: UPS defensive back trying to limit big plays against the Loggers

NWC Pick 'em Contest: Week 4

WC11 is looking for the big 'Cats to eat this weekend.
Some weeks you're the truck and some weeks you're the roadkill.  In week 2, WC11 went a perfect 9 for 9 and I was feeling GOOD.  Then in week 3 I must have sniffed some glue because that is the only explanation I have for putting my faith in UPS and Pacific to pull out victories.  That misguided faith and the fact that Saint John's football will do anything to spite me (they beat Concordia Moorhead in OT on a 4th and Goal stop) lead me to having a disaster of a week in only picking 4 out of 8 correct.  That lackluster effort crippled me in the NWC pick 'em standings (now in 7th place) and dropped my accuracy percentage from 87% all the way to 74% (17 out of 23 games).  The good news is there is a lot of season to climb back into contention or the bad news is there is a lot of season left for me to continue tanking.  Let's see if WC11 can bounce back.

Northwest Conference

Whittier (0-1) over Puget Sound (0-2) (at Whittier):  People down in the SCIAC have a derogatory nickname for Whittier and year-in and year-out that nickname seems to hold up.  The Poets are a team going through transition (new coach, new staff, new players, etc) and they were slapped around by Azusa Pacific last week 51-3 (APU is a darn good program).  However,  I'm taking the Poets just on the fact alone that UPS tried to find a patsy for their Homecoming game last weekend and it backfield.  The Loggers brought in Sewanee from Tenneesse, who is a combined 5-42 over the past 5 seasons, in what looked like a lock homecoming win but the Tigers built up a 34-10 lead over the Loggers before UPS made it "respectable" in losing 34-23.  That had to hurt the pride a little.

Lewis and Clark (2-0) over Macalister (1-2) (at Macalister): I have to say that L&C winning last week was no surprise but I was surprised by the fact that Pomona-Pitzer was within 2 until the final minutes of the 4th quarter.  That's not a good sign, IMO.  L&C has to make the monster flight back to the flyover states but Macalister isn't a very good football team.  L&C should take this game and move to 3-0.

Whitworth (1-2) over Menlo (3-0) (at Whitworth):  This was a tough game to call and I'm still conflicted about taking the Rats but I think Menlo is a little bit of fool's gold at this point.  Yeah, Menlo is improved and healthy but I just think the Rats will have the answers this weekend in the Pine Bowl.  Maybe I'm giving Whitworth too much credit for playing Redlands close but it's enough for me to give them the edge this weekend.

West Region game of the week

Louisiana College (2-0) over #23 Mississippi College (2-1) (at L.C.):  You got us.  These teams are in the South region but nothing in the West Region looked worthy so we're going with this fun looking match up out of the ASC.  Mississippi College had a major head turning victory last week as the Choctaws turned top 10 Hardin Simmons on their head in a 45-28 beat down.  That immediatly gave MC some street cred and pushed them in the top 25 but I like Louisiana College here.  L.C. has a of offensive firepower and I don't think M.C. is going to have a hangover from last week's win over HSU


National Game of the week


#4 Mary Hardin-Baylor (2-0) over (#21) Hardin-Simmons (at HSU):  This is almost always the game of the year in the ASC between the conferences top two programs but MHB owns this series.  The Cru has won the last 7 games and even though MHB hasn't looked dominate their first 2 games out I just can't pick against them when it comes to the Cowboys.  This game is going to be tight but the Cru will ride out of Abilene with the victory.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Coach Yen

Recently, one of our Linfield coaches suffered a terrible loss.  Longtime WR Coach and former Wildcat player, James Yen, lost his father Clarence after a courageous fight with lung cancer.  I wasn't sure if it was my place to discuss this on the blog and I'm still not sure if I'm out of line in writing about this.  However, I was recently contacted by a friend of the Yen family regarding the passing of Clarence they asked me to pass along this link to a guest book where our Linfield family can reach out to the Yen's to express our condolences for their loss.  This family friend is right in that our Linfield community should reach out and tell the Yen's we support them and care for them. 

There is nothing any of us can say or do to ease the pain of such a loss but it's important to support those we care about during a time of loss.  Coach Yen has been such a positive force for the Linfield coaching staff over the years and his players and coaching peers have a deep bond with Coach Yen.  Most of us may have not had the pleasure or honor to meet Clarence Yen but that shouldn't stop you from reaching out to express your condolences and well wishes to Coach Yen and his family.   

Clarence Yen Guest Book

Clarence Yen Obituary

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Game 2 Preview: Linfield vs La Verne

Kickoff at the 'Catdome is slated for Noon.  Be there.
That Bye Week felt like a lifetime. Thankfully it's over and the 'Cats can get back to the task at hand, which is zeroing in on the next rung in the 2011 ladder. The rung this Saturday is a non-conference get together with the Leopards of La Verne University out of the SCIAC. The is the 2nd and final installment of a 2-year agreement with La Verne as last year the 'Cats went down to a blistering hot Los Angeles and put in a sound but not very exciting 30-3 victory. Since we've last seen La Verne there has been much change for the Leos. Out is Head Coach (and man who agreed to play the 'Cats) Andy Ankeny, who compiled a 4-32 record over 4 years and in is new head coach Christopher Krich. Krich comes to La Verne from Millikin University (Ill.) where he spent 5 years as the Big Blue's Defensive Coordinator. Krich has a solid foundation of experience but has a big task on hand in rebuilding a La Verne program which has suffered for years.

Starting off the year, La Verne, has the same schedule setup as the 'Cats, where the Leo's opened up play on September 10, had a Bye-Week, and are now getting back into action. The difference is La Verne didn't start the season off on a great note in getting hammered by a very strong Azusa Pacific (#15 NAIA) by the tune of 65-14. It's obvious that La Verne is going to have some growing pains and going to need time to see some positive growth as a program.

Turning to our 'Cats, while there is much to be optimistic about, this Linfield team has yet to arrive and have plenty of areas to grow and improve as a team. Don't get me wrong, beating CLU 24-14 to start the season was fantastic and some questions hanging over the team were answered but this team can't afford to just rest on the accomplishments of a single victory. The 'Cats need to be on a roll headed into game number 3 and can't afford to have an uninspired effort at home this Saturday. That's the danger of having some inexperience at some spots is getting comfortable too quickly and that's when you can let a lesser team catch you napping at the wheel. I'll be curious to see how mentally and emotionally sharp the 'Cats will be on Saturday.

GET TO KNOW A WILDCAT

#70 Jordan Barnes, Senior, Offensive Guard

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: Golden Valley Brew Pub

Favorite Movie: The Dark Knight

Favorite Music: Rap and Hip Hop

Favorite TV Show: Sons of Anarchy

Favorite Pro Football team: STEELERS!!!

Class I Most Look Forward to: Engineering Statics and Dynamics

Mac or PC: PC

Cpu Homepage: Find me on Facebook and Twitter

Xbox, PS3, or WII: XBOX (What real gamers play)

Favorite Coach Hire Saying: HBR (Heart break ridge)

Do O-Linemen always cheat: O-Linemen never cheat, we always play within the rules and are probably the best at doing so.

Worst part about being an offensive lineman: Not having a 6 pack

Your Favorite Part About Playing at Linfield is: The history of this school and knowing I'm playing for something much bigger than myself. Also the family atmosphere is incredible.

Post Linfield aspirations? Becoming an engineer. Either Civil or Structural.

Wildcat11's Keys To Victory:

Come out early and take care of business: Linfield needs to be ready to be sharp and play with the same type of emotion that we saw on September 10th. You don't get too many opportunities to play in a college football game so it would be foolish for the 'Cats to mail in an effort when Linfield needs to be getting better in many aspects of the game. I want to see the 'Cats come out, put the hammer down, and not let off the gas until Coach Smith calls off the dogs...errr...'Cats.

Be the more physical team upfront: Linfield's offensive line did a great job in running the ball in the season opener and I know the Linfield faithful would LOVE to see more of this physical attack up front. Defensively, I'm looking for the same thing. Get after it on those passing downs/situations and create havoc when La Verne tries to establish the run game. Linfield can put this game out of reach in a hurry if we dominate upfront.

Keep Mickey Inns on his feet: Mickey took a beating vs CLU and that had to bother the 'Cats offensive line and running backs to no end. Let's keep our QB upright in the pocket so we can get the ball down field.

Take care of the football: We've seen it before, one team is clearly superior but it winds up being a tight ball game because the "superior" team gets sloppy with the football. It winds up making believers out of the team on the other sideline and next thing you know it's a major fight to the end. Linfield needs to be better in the Red Zone and not put the ball on the ground. No Freebies.

Overall

'Cats by 24+   Look, if Linfield comes out sharp and ready to play then there is no reason the 'Cats shouldn't put La Verne down early and not let them off the mat. However, if the 'Cats are sloppy and don't have their head's right the Leo's are going to be more that willing to punch the 'Cats between the eyes and try to make major waves. Over the past two years, we've seen lesser teams give the 'Cats fits at home, the first case was in 2009, when a bad UPS team was hanging around in the 4th quarter (41-36) before the 'Cats finally put the dagger in late. Then last year, an O.K. Whitworth had a 17-14 lead over Linfield at half before the 'Cats snapped out of it and strung 28 straight points together in the 2nd half.

This 2011 Linfield team isn't at the place where they can roll the ball on the field and phone it in. They need to come out, bring the hard hat, and get to work. If Linfield does have the right approach then it should be a beautiful day in the valley. Go 'Cats!

Linfield vs La Verne Game Day Guide


View 2011 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

It's game week which means you're going to be packing up your cars and headed to the 'Catdome this weekend to watch the the 'Cats welcome the Leos of La Verne University on their 1st visit to the 'Catdome.  Are you new to the 'Catdome and McMinnville and not sure where to grab the best cup of coffee in town or where to get some food after the game?  That's where we come in to lend you a hand on some recommendations around town.

Just click on the Wildcat Head with the number 2 and a bubble will pop up with a gaggle of information on the game (start time, links to game video, audio, previews, tailgate location) and also some recommendations on what to do in Mac and where some solid places to eat.  Now, the Wildcat11's are not wine drinkers and McMinnville has a booming wine industry.  So if you are looking for wine makers in the area then here is the link to the Yamhill Valley winemakers association.

Also, there is a link to the 'Cats primo tailgate area located a few short blocks south from the stadium.  Here is the link if you don't want to click on the map info bubble.  A lot of great Linfield fans down in that area that are always welcoming to anybody headed to the 'Catdome that day.  Be sure to set up shop down in the Keck parking lots.

If you want a bigger look at the map then either click on the link on the info bar on the right or just click here.

Come back this afternoon for our game 2 preview.

REMINDER: Parents and Fans that are looking to travel to Menlo and Whitworth.  For the Menlo game the team will be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mountain View and for the Whitworth game the 'Cats will be staying at the Red Lion River Inn.  Click on the links for hotel contact information.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reminder: Alumni vs JV game is this Saturday!


Wildcat11 wanted to remind you that the annual Linfield Alumni vs. Junior Varsity game will be this Saturday night after the Varsity 'Cats take on La Verne at Noon. The 'Cats have been playing alumni/j.v. game since 2005 and it's been a big hit for the program to have former 'Cats squeeze into the Linfield gear one more time to face off vs the young bucks.  It's the past of Linfield football vs. the future and I've yet to see both sides of the not have a great time.

The Alumni team has owned the series in going 6-1 since 2005 (played twice in 2005) but in watching the JV team in action last Wednesday night (an action packed 41-28 win over Green River C.C.) I think the Alumni team is going to have their hands full with a talented group of young 'Cats.

If you're interested in playing in the game Coach Brandon Hazenberg has set up a open events page on Facebook where you can let him know that you want to buckle up one more time.  If Facebook isn't your thing then please send Coach an e-mail at brhazenb@linfield.edu

So remember, this will be a great football Saturday at the 'Catdome.  Admission to the Alumni/J.V. game is free so roll on out and see Linfield Legends of past vs the Linfield Legends of the future.

Facebook: 2011 Linfield Alumni Football Game Sign Up

Friday, September 16, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

The autograph hounds were out after the 'Cats victory last weekend.
What a busy week at work for WC11 and it was a busy week Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere.  We're going to keep it pretty simple here but there are many links to keep you busy headed into the weekend.  A good amount of Linfield/CLU coverage, some video highlights of Whitworth, L&C, Willamette (well HSU highlights) and Pacific.  But if you're going to read one thing then read the bonus article at the end of the post entitled "I am Brook Collins".  It's a rather gripping and emotional piece in talking to the wife of fallen Occidental quarterback Andy Collins.

Newsregister.com: 'Cats Defense brings it in Linfield's opening week win over CLU

Newsregister.com: Ben Schorzman's live blog coverage of the 'Cats 24-14 win vs the Kingsmen

The Linfield Review: 'Cats crown Kingsmen

vcstar.com: CLU loses at Linfield again (that never gets old)

D3football.com's Around The West Region: Linfield off on the right foot

NWCsports.com: Linfield's Dom Forrest named NWC Defensive Player of the Week. Don't ask me how Josh Hill wasn't the offensive player of the week. *shaking my head*.

myvineyard.blogspot.com: Chuck Humble breaks down the 'Cats win over CLU

wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Wildcats Rob Kingsmen 24-14

wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: What Justin Derby says we've learned about Linfield after game 1

wildcatspread40 YouTube Page: Justin Derby's post-game video breakdown of the 'Cats victory

ATN Podcast: Pat and Keith briefly touch on last week's National DIII game of the week 40:20 - 41:59

Laverne Campus Times: Leo's get mauled by Cougars 65-14

Thousand Oaks Acorn: CLU's new stadium not ready for home opener.

D3blogs.com Triple Take: Once Again my dude Keith McMillen is going to be wrong. This time about PLU keeping it close with CLU

D3football.com Around The Nation: Former Players pass along their advice to current players (WC11 with a contribution)

thenewstribune.com: Lutes blank a bad Hamline team

thenewstribuen.com: UPS loses, keeps talking about passing game because there is no run game to speak of.

tacomaweekly: This paper gives PLU and UPS the "Oregonian" treatment to their local schools

Swxrightnow.com (with video): Rats get ready for Bulldogs.

spokesman.com: Whitworth continues to go with youth at QB in win vs Pomona-Pitzer

krem.com (w/ video): Rats beats the P out of Pomona-Pitzer

Kxly.com (w/ video): How many ways can I write that Whitworth beat P-P?

Statesmanjournal.com: Willamette's home town paper can't send a reporter to their game so they get the wrap up treatment with Linfield

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Coach Speckman talks Hardin-Simmons and previews Southern Oregon

Oregonlive.com: The Oregonian's crappy small college roundup

Hardin-Simmons YouTube Page: Coach Burleson breaks down win over Willamette

LCFootball111 YouTube page: Some clips from L&C's win over CMS

pacificuboxers YouTube page: A Boxer highlights vs Menlo

VCStar.com: CLU is ready for PLU

BONUS:

A gripping and moving interview with the wife of fallen former Occidental Football Star Andy Collins:
I am Brook Collins

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NWC Pick 'Em Contest: Week 3

Linfield has the week of before hosting La Verne.
It was a great weekend for the ‘Cats and a great weekend for WC11 and the 2011 NWC Pick ‘Em Contest. YOUR defending champion, WC11, went 9 for 9 last week and that brings my two week total to 13 out of 15 and I’m locked in a 1st place tie with (509)Rat (a Whitworth poster and one time NWC Pick ‘Em Champion).   D3boards.com NWC Pick 'Em Page (must be registered to view)

In taking a quick look back on week 2, going perfect is always a good feeling but I came close to missing the Pacific/Menlo game as either Pacific is better than I thought or Menlo is crappier than I thought. We’re going to have to wait a little more to see which one of those turns out true. Everything else went down the way I thought but was a little surprised by PLU only scoring in the 20’s vs Hambone but we’ll chalk that up to being a 1st game for the Lutes in their horrible new uniforms that don’t match. Why PLU? Why?

Northwest Conference:

#17 Redlands (1-0) over Whitworth (1-1) (at Whitworth): The Rats got back on track last week in dumping a terrible Pomona Pitzer but the bad news is that Redlands comes to Spokane two weeks after the Dawgs made national waves in beating then #4 North Central down in LA. Redlands currently has a 4 game winning streak over the Rats and I’m just don't have the faith that Whitworth will hold down the home field against what looks like a very athletic and SCIAC championship contender.

#19 Cal Lutheran (0-1) over Pacific Lutheran (1-0) (at Moorpark College): The reason why I say this game isn’t at CLU is that the Kingsmen sparkling new stadium (littered with soccer lines, one sided seating, and a brick wall 3 feet outside the South End Zone) isn’t complete yet so the game will be held at a local Junior College. Getting to the game, this has disaster written all over it for PLU. The ‘Lutes have proved to be a different team away from home and that team isn’t stellar. I think the Kingsmen are going to jump all over PLU and roll them like a California sushi roll.

Lewis & Clark (1-0) over Pomona-Pitzer (0-1) (at Pomona-Pitzer): The Pios not only beat CMS last week but just took Mudd-Scripps apart. Even though the Pios are traveling this week I just don’t see a bad Pomona-Pitzer team putting up much resistance. In looking at L&C’s schedule the Pios have a real legit shot at starting the season 4-0 before hosting Whitworth on Oct 15th. L&C at 4-0? Hang on, I need to check something. *looks out window* Nope, I don’t see any pigs flying.

Puget Sound(0-1) over Sewanee (1-1) (at UPS): Oh come on Puget Sound. Sweanee? Really? I know you don’t have a 1st year program to play twice this season but you’re really flying out some randomly bad team from Tennessee to get over on? If Lewis & Clark student, Rainier Goubault (Class of 2010) was attending UPS you know he would have something to say about this obvious set up game.

Willamette (0-2) over Southern Oregon (0-2) (at Willamette):  This was a tough one. Easily could be a battle between two teams that could be 2-0 right now if they played different schedules but both teams have to be feeling pretty desperate to get their 1st win of 2011. I don’t care that the Bearcats are 0-2. They’re a good team that will be a NWC contender and the ‘Cats better be ready to play when we head to Salem in a little over 2 weeks away. Southern Oregon is going through an identity change with their new coaching staff and it looks like folks down in Ashland are buying in. This should be an entertaining game but I’m giving the edge to Willamette based on Speckman’s scheme.

Pacific (0-2) over Claremont Mudd Scripps (0-1) (at CMS): Here it is, this is going to be Pacific’s best and last chance for a win until late October. It would be ashamed if Pacific doesn’t get the win down at CMS because the Boxers have been playing some solid stretches of football and have been close two weeks in a row. CMS just didn’t impress last week at L&C and if they take the Boxers lightly then CMS is going to wind up being a footnote in Boxer press releases from now till the end of time. I’m taking the Boxers and their aerial attack to putting up big numbers in the air to break the seal.

West Region Game of the Week:

Concordia Moorhead (2-0) over St. Johns (1-1) (at Concordia): It was a sad day in Collegeville last Saturday as Wisconsin-Eau Claire (picked 7th out of 8th in the WIAC), rolled into SJU, and went Rick James on the Johnnie’s couch by the tune of 47-19. It was 35-0 at half and you could hear the Johnnie faithful puking up their Stiftungsfest burgers at the sight of Johnnies getting outclassed by the Blugolds. The Johnnies can stop some of the bleeding this Saturday and winning at “The Jake” is something SJU has done with authority in the past but not this time. I look for The Cobbers to continue the SJU misery.

National Game of the Week:

#11 Cortland State (1-0) over #18 Kean (1-0) (at Cortland) Kean with the HUGE splash win last week in defeating then #3 Wesley 31-28. I don’t know much about either team except that Cortland State has been one of the best out East (which isn’t saying that much) the past 3-5 years and I’m taking the Red Dragons at home against a team that might have a bit of a hangover after winning such a big game for their program.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Linfield vs Cal Lutheran Short Highlight

Any longtime reader of our Blog knows that Wednesdays are game preview day here at the ADvantage, but with the Bye-Week I wasn't sure what to do today.  I thought we could talk about how the weather in the PNW went from high 90's to very comfortable 70's in a matter of 2 days.  Or we could watch a picture slideshow of Baby14 on her first game at the 'Catdome?  But instead I thought I'd post up a short highlight of clips from the 'Cats 24-14 victory over 'Cal Lutheran.  No music, play-by-play, effects...nope just a taste of the action up close and personal.  Go 'Cats!



If you want to see a sharper picture then change the setting of the video to 720pHD. Just click on the "360p" on the bottom right hand side of the YouTube Player and you'll see the options.

Monday, September 12, 2011

'Cats Win! Linfield turns up the heat and downs Cal Lutheran 24-14

Photo Courtesy of Brad Thompson.  View Brad's CLU/Linfield Photo Gallery Here.
I have to be 100% honest. Getting into my car Saturday morning and rolling over to the ‘Catdome I had no idea what to expect. I knew this Linfield team has a great deal of talent and depth but the ‘Cats had an incredibly hard time during fall camp with injuries. I’m not just talking about two or three guys out but the Linfield sideline looked like a M.A.S.H. unit at times during the first few weeks of camp. I was deeply concerned about if there was enough time for the ‘Cats to get ready for a tough challenge like CLU coming out of the gates. After Saturday’s performance those concerns were answered with the chant of “LINFIELD” “WILDCATS” in the South End Zone after the ‘Cats slugged out a gritty 24-14 win over California Lutheran.

What a gutty, tough, and I’ll say it…what a ballsy performance by the ‘Cats. The game started out terribly for Linfield. The offense was sputtering and the Kingsmen marched down the field to put up an easy 7 points. Things were not looking that great but in a situation so similar to the Mary Hardin-Baylor playoff game in 2009, CLU sensed the momentum and tried to go for an early kill shot by going for a 4th and 1 deep in Linfield territory. The ‘Cats turned them away and that was the moment the game started to turn and then the emotional dam flood gates opened when Linfield’s staff went riverboat gambler on their own 39 and hit a huge fake punt. At that point the ‘Cats started working things out on the sideline, made adjustments, and took control of the game.

I’m not going to call it an “ugly” win but it was a hard fought victory over a very talented and athletic CLU team. They’re a very good team with a lot of weapons but Linfield is just Linfield: fearless, tough, and pretty darn talented too. So where do the ‘Cats go from here? For one, they have a lot of areas to improve upon and plenty of room to grow. This 2011 team isn’t a finished product yet but if the players keep their mind’s right, stay grounded, keep putting in the perpetration, and doing things the Linfield way there is a chance for this team to be stinking good by the end of the season.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good:

Team Toughness (Response To Adversity): Like I wrote above the start of the game was brutal but before the game Coach Smith told his players that they could come out great or come out poorly. He stated that he didn’t care about the start but how the players responded and performed though out the contest. As we saw, the team responded with toughness in truckloads. It was fun to watch.

Defense, Defense, Defense: California Lutheran has offensive weapons coming out of their ears. But it didn’t matter as the ‘Cats defense limited the CLU rushing attack to 3.3 yards a rush and Daniel Mosier 55 yards on 16 carries. All three levels of the defense did a great job throughout the day. CLU threw a ton of pre-snap shifting at our young LB’s and I’m sure there were some communication breakdowns but the ‘Cats defensive speed was able to make up the difference and close any gaps in the ‘Cats defense. A heck of an effort to hold that team to 14.

Linfield Rushing Attack: 44 rushing attempts, 256 yards for 5.8 a carry. The best part the running game didn’t really get going until the 2nd quarter. Love the physical nature of the offensive line AND the wide receivers were busting backside all game too. Josh Hill was dynamic in rolling up 164 yards and showed that pop the players and staff has been talking about since last spring. Also, Steven Nasca did a great job in getting his 61 yards on 10 carries. It was a brilliant day running the ball for the ‘Cats

Special Teams Coverage: A flat out great job by our kicking teams. My father commented to me after the game “Those kids on our kickoff team were reminding me of that group from the 2004 Occidental game”. Those of you that know what Father Wildcat11 is talking about being reminded of that 2004 kickoff team is a most positive memory. Also, Punter Josh Repp and Kicker Jordan Walker had great efforts punting and kicking off on Saturday.

Mickey Inns: If you’re going to judge Mickey just based off the stats alone from Saturday then you’re going to say he had a bad game. If you do then I’m going to say you’re dead wrong. Mickey had every reason to fail on Saturday: replacing a Linfield hall-of-fame bound quarterback, his 1st start going up against tough opponent, seeing the best pair of corner backs we’ll probably see all year, and all the weight of being “the guy”. Most people would understand if he buckled under the pressure but it didn’t happen. Instead, Inns took shot after shot from the CLU defense and Inns stayed in-control, poised, and he delivered. I think Mickey is going to get better each game out and will be what the Linfield offense needs this season.

Coaching Staff’s Effort: WC11 could write pages on what I think about this football staff. They did a brilliant job in getting this team schematically and emotionally ready to play. They're in tune to what this team needs and provide the very best environment to learn the game of football. I don’t think any of us, me included, will understand the amount of sheer time and personal sacrifice this staff pours into Linfield football.

The Bad:

Red Zone Turnovers: Linfield missed two golden opportunities to put points up on the board. Both interceptions were due to pressure as Inns was hit from behind while throwing on one pick and had a DT in his face on the other. Red Zone turnovers are incredible frustrating and Linfield has to improve on this aspect next time out of the gate.

Defense Not Finishing in the Backfield: CLU QB Jacob Laudenslayer is a good sized QB that moves pretty well but Linfield missed 4 or 5 golden opportunities to put him on his back. Linfield did finish with 5 sacks but that number could have been closer to 9 if we finished better.

Too many hits on Inns: The ‘Cats offensive line and running backs wouldn’t disagree with me here. Inns just took way too much punishment on Saturday. Our O-Line is very proud and I know Inns getting hit that much isn’t going to sit well with them. I expect the protection to improve greatly.

Injured ‘Cats: Lost in the victory was seeing ‘Cats running back Aaron Williams come out the game after the 2nd play from scrimmage with an injury and seeing Sparky Gonzalez get hurt late. Not my place to speculate on the depth or severity of the injuries but WC11 is very fond of both of these seniors and I’m hoping they can bounce back fast because we’re going to need their firepower.

The Ugly:

The Heat: That’s the hottest I’ve ever been at the ‘Catdome. It’s just a good thing our young men up here in the Pacific Northwest did such a great job in handling the heat. In fact, I don’t think I saw one ‘Cats come out due to cramps or anything heat related. The heat probably did help Linfield a little in snatching up the victory but that’s what the home field advantage should be about. Regardless of the heat, it was a great day in the valley and a great day to be a Wildcat! Send ‘Em Up!

Click here for BRAD THOMPSON 2011 GAME PHOTOS

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Linfield vs CLU Post Game Interviews

Heck yes.  WC11 will spill all of his thoughts about Saturday's hard fought 24-14 win over California Lutheran but let's hear from some of the players about the victory.  First, we'll hear from the defense in the form of Defensive End Michael MacClanathan and Monster Back Kalae Parish.  We'll follow that up with talking to fellow blogger and Linfield starting center, Hayden Mace, about the 'Cats offensive line and finish it off with some thoughts from 'Cats Quarterback Mickey Inns.  Send 'Em Up!



Friday, September 9, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

Linfield's season kicks off tomorrow at 1 P.M.
YEAH!  It's Friday during football season so you know what that means on the ADvantage; it's time to take a trip around the 'CatdomeO'sphere.  This is where Wildcat11 rounds up all the various links relating to Linfield football, the NWC, and the 'Cats non-conference opponents.  We have some good links for you to chew on from this past week and be sure to read the touching story about Lewis & Clark's Shawn Evans and his father, Butch, who is dying from terminal cancer but is living his ladder days to the fullest in following his sons football career at L&C.

I'm sure as Friday rolls along there will be new articles popping up on the net and I'll be sure to add them to the list below.  Go 'Cats!

Quick Note:  Couches are NOT banned from the 'Catdome. Students are still more than welcome to bring in couches to the student section in the south end zone.

Linfield Sports Player Profile:  Defensive Back Christian Hanna is a true Wildcat.

News-Register: Mickey Inns named the 'Cats starting QB in the season opener

NCAA.com:  Cal Lu looking to knock off Linfield in back-to-back season openers

VCstar.com:  CLU's new stadium isn't quite ready and on a side note I hope they're plan on padding that brick wall 5 feet beyond the South End Zone.  Yikes.

VCstar.com: Best team that CLU has had (on paper) is ready to invade the 'Catdome

D3blogs.com's Triple Take:  Linfield/CLU is Keith McMillan's D3 game of the week

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Williams Anchors 'Cat Running Attack in 2011

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Linfield vs CLU game Preview

Ron Callan Twitter feed: Linfield Head Coach Joe Smith will be guest on NWsports (KPAM860) tonight at 6pm  KPAM's LISTEN LIVE LINK

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

Dailybulletin.com:  Krich is looking to rebuild La Verne Football

La Verne's Campus Times: “Last year was last year,” says new Leo Head Coach, Chris Krich

hmbreview.com: A paper thin player profile on a Menlo offensive lineman

Statesmanjournal.com: Bearcats drop opener in heart breaking fashion

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Willamette's Mark Speckman talks Stevens Point and preview Hardin-Simmons

Pacific Boxers YouTube Page: Keith Buckley's Simon Frasier Post Game Comments

Pacific Boxers YouTube Page: Pacific vs Simon Frasier game highlights

Thenewstribune.com: UPS Adam Kniffin gets featured.  Did he play against Linfield last year?  I don't remember him.

Thenewstribune.com: PLU's defensive line will get a big boost with a last name most football fans in the PNW will know.

dailybreeze.com:  Pacific Lutheran almost didn't have a 2011 season due to lack of players. (yeah, that made me turn my head too when I first saw it)

SportsTribune.com: An emotional story on Lewis and Clark's Shawn Evans and his father, Butch, who's dying from terminal cancer.

ADvantage Catdome UniWatch:  Looks like PLU is throwing out some new gear this seasonLa Verne with a new look. And Southern Oregon is another PNW school that is biting Linfield's all-white helmet/stormtroopers look.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2011 NWC Pick 'Em: Week 2

Catdome!
Wildcat11 started off just O.K. in the 2011 NWC Pick 'em contest. I picked 4 out of 6 games correct last week, but the problem is that 4 others also picked 4 winners so there is a bit of a bottleneck at the top of the standings. Most folks missed the Willamette/UWSP game but my gut feeling (found out it wasn't the Breakfast Burrito) proved correct that Willamette's offense would have some early season struggles. The game that I missed and surprised me was Redlands over #4 North Central out of the CCIW. It sounded like a heck of a game and that was a huge victory for the Bulldogs not only for this season but for their program as a whole. Now maybe they'll start returning Linfield's phone calls.

There's still time if you want to take part in the NWC Pick 'Em Contest. Here is the link to the pick 'em page BUT you need to be a registered member of the board in order to access and see the pick 'em pages. Let's get onto week 2.

NWC:

Pacific Lutheran over Hamline (at PLU): Last year the 'Lutes were two different teams. On the road the Lutes almost lost to Hamline, needed a last second kick to beat UPS, and struggled at L&C and Pacific. At home the Lutes beat Willamette, Cal Lutheran, and gave Linfield all they could handle. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So with that in mind I would be stunned if the hapless Pipers out of the MIAC came out west and beat PLU. I am curious to see what the 'Lutes have on offense after graduating a large number of their 2010 offensive starters.

Occidental over Puget Sound (at UPS): The Loggers aired it out last year and set all sorts of school records on their way to a 2-7 record but those wins were only against re-start Pacific and the Loggers were beyond enemic running the ball. I think UPS still has numerous issues in terms of talent on their roster and is in store for a tough year. If the Loggers had a proven QB I might be a little more up on them because not only is All-NWC WR Adam Kiffin back but the big get for UPS is the return of WR Ross Zuhl who missed all of 2010.  However, I look for Oxy to eat 'em up and head South with the win.

Lewis & Clark over Claremont Mudd Scripps (at L&C): CMS is a solid team and they undressed the Pios last season 63-38 down in LA. I look at this year's match-up to be more even this time as the Pio's QB Keith Welch is now established and seems to have help around him. The quesition is if the Pios defense has made any strides this off-season? I like the Pios defending their weird feeling home turf (seriously that astroplay feels like you're walking on fresh snow)

Whitworth over Pomona Pitzer (at Whitworth) Ugh. The Rats laid a total egg down at Chapman last week in taking a brutal 16-14 loss (the Rats 1st loss to Chapman). The Rats offense only could scrape up 287 total yards vs. the Panthers and that has to make some alarm bells start ringing around the Pine Bowl. This week, let's be honest and just say Pomona Pitzer not that good. If the Rats can't hold it down at home vs the 'Hens then Whitworth is going to have a very long and frustrating 2011.

Menlo over Pacific (at Pacific): Pacific did what I thought they would do and competed very hard vs Simon Frasier.  The result was a near rabbit out of the hat victory in the last seconds of the game. Almost. The problem Pacific has going into this week is that they "almost" beat Menlo at the end of last year with Menlo winning by a score of 44-42 and I keep hearing that score coming up from the Boxer's camp.  It's as if Pacific is thinking "we almost had them last year so we should be able to get the Oaks now because we're that much better". That sounds good in theory but Menlo was a walking corpse at the end of 2010. They were decimated with injuries, a freaking case of MRSA (staff infection) ripped through the Oaks roster, and they were was just flat broke by the end of the season. 2010 goes into the long time pattern of what Menlo has been for a long time of being fast starters that fade over the season. Again, Pacific will compete but Menlo is going to win this by double digits.

Hardin-Simmons over Willamette (at Willamette): Willamette goes from out of the frying pan and into the fryer this weekend. I wasn't surprised the Bearcats lost last weekend but was shocked at the 8-6 score.  That's sounds like the Pointers and Bearcats played a baseball game instead of football.  The good news for Willamette is that their Defense looks rock solid.  The bad news is that the offense stumbled bad out of the gate.  This isn't a must win for Willamette but you don't want to start the season at 0-2 and leave no margin for error for the remainder of the season.  The issue is Willamette has to host a tough Hardin Simmons team that just took apart a highly touted Coe squad by a 41-14 rout.  I don't see the Bearcat offense struggling as bad as last week but I just don't see Willamette's defense holding down HSU enough to pull out the win.

WEST REGION GAME:

#1 UW-Whitewater over #21 Franklin (at Franklin) -  Yeah, Franklin might be a plucky up and comer and might hang around for a half but UWW is going to wear Franklin out as the game moves along and eventually win by a comfortable margin.

NATIONAL GAME:

Hampden-Sydney over North Carolina Wesleyan (at N.C. Wesleyan) - I couldn't tell you who's coming or going with these two teams.  I'm going to flip a coin here....hold on....*flips coin*....O.K. I'm going with Hampden-Sydney.