Saturday, October 29, 2011

Linfield vs Menlo Game Day Twitter Feed

Doing something different here today on ADvantage 'Catdome. You can now follow live updates of the 'Cats vs. Menlo via folks that will be tweeting the action. Join twitter (it's easy) and be a part of the action. Just make sure you hash-tag "Catdome" in your updates.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

Old School Catdome
Bam!  Lots of action in our weekly link round-up of news on our Linfield Wildcats and the Northwest Conference.  Check out D3.com's article on their projected regional rankings and Keith McMillan adds his thoughts on his current top 50 in DIII.  Willamette and Portland State obviously came with a good amount of coverage in the I-AA vs DIII game, and yes,  I'm still calling schools like Portland State "I-AA".  The love for Lewis & Clark continues by various media outlets, Whitworth is feeling darn good about where they're headed after breaking their 4 game skid.  However, my favorite of the week has to be the article from the CLU student paper on an issue with their new stadium.  Classic.

News-Register.com: Ben Schorzman's Linfield vs PLU running game blog

The News Tribune: Linfield beats UPS and PLU this season by a combined score of 118 to 14

The Linfield Review: 'Cats Crush PLU (page 16 of .pdf)

D3football.com's Regional Rankings: Slot 'Cats 3rd out west behind UWW and UST and Keith McMillan breaks down his DIII top 50.

Linfield Sports: 'Cats play-by-play man Bill Johnson talks PLU and Menlo with the 'Cats Coach Smith.

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Lutes get PLU'd 45-7

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: What WCS40 learned about Linfield after PLU

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: WCS40's Menlo game preview

Mercurynews.com: Menlo is fired up to play Linfield this weekend

The Menlo Oak: Menlo has given out 120-130 athletic scholarships this year.

Northwest Sports Tonight w/ Ron Callen: Ron talks with D3football.com's Pat Coleman about Linfield, L&C and division III football. (Starts at 21:30)

D3football Daily Dose: Pacific is winless team with something to play for. (which would be a win)

Willamette Collegian: Willamette gives it the old college try against Portland State.

Portland Tribune: Portland State doesn't embarrass Willamette which equals a victory for the Bearcats.

Oregonlive.com: Willamette staying within 26 of Portland State doesn't lead to too many smiles in the Viking locker room.  Bonus material in the comment section of the article.

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Coach Speckman reflects on the Portland State game and talks Rats.

Statesman Journal.com: PSU swats Willamette 36-10

Full Access Sports Weekly Podcast: The Full Access guys talk Portland State and Willamette's upcoming game with Whitworth.  They like Willamette by about 30 points this weekend.

Northwest Sports Tonight w/ Ron Callen: Ron talks with L&C's Keith Welch about the Pios 6-0 start.

Portland Tribune: The Lewis and Clark love-fest continues but not everyone on Palatine hill is doing backflips.

D3football.com Around The West Region: Lewis and Clark isn't satisfied.

Portland Tribune: Pacific still looking for the win.  If you played a drinking game where you took a shot each time you read the words "Freshman" or "Sophomore" you would be hammered by the end of the article. We get it.  You're still a young team.

The Spokesman-Review: The Rats run right through Pacific

KXLY.com (video): Whitworth plunders Boxers

KREM (video): Rats break 4 game skid in stomping Pacific

SWXrightnow.com (video): Whitworth feeling good after big win over Pacific

SWXrightnow.com (video): Seriously, Whitworth is feeling really good after beating Pacific

BONUS:

CLU Echo: The Kingsmen build sparkling new stadium but too cheap to put light post on top of press box.  Guess what happens?   People working in the press box are having issues with seeing the field with a light post right in the middle of the press box's line of sight.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NWC Pick 'Em Contest: Week 9

Send 'Em Up!
THANK YOU Whitworth!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for winning a game that I picked you to win.  The curse is OVER!  Thanks to the Rats crushing Pacific in the Pine Bowl, old Wildcat11 went 6 for 6 on the week in the NWC Pick 'Em Contest.  That moves me to 41 out of 52 (78.8%) on the season.  Still tied for 6th place but I've been on a bit of a roll.  The NWC Pick 'Em commish decided to add some juice this week by adding extra games in the West Region (battle of the sad sacks) and added another game to the National pick as well.  8 games total this week (you already know I have Linfield) so let's get to work.

Northwest Conference

Pacific Lutheran (4-2) over Lewis & Clark (6-0) (at PLU):  This is the start of the 3 game stretch where everyone gets to find out if Lewis & Clark is the real deal or if they're just a solid team that has made the most of a soft front end schedule.  Linfield put a whippin' on PLU last week at the 'Catdome but for the past few years the 'Lutes have been a much better team at home.  The L&C offense gets all the hype but I think this game hinges on the production of the PLU offense.  The Pioneer defense will give up points and if PLU's inconsistent offense can find the end zone during the contest I like the Lutes to break L&C up.

Willamette (3-4) over Whitworth (2-5) (at Willamette):  Whitworth has been respectable at home in losing to Redlands, Menlo, and PLU all at the wire but have dropped terrible games to Chapman and Lewis & Clark on the road.  Whitworth's offensive strength (run game) plays right into the hands of Willamette's defense.  Compounding the issue for the Rats' is their inability to protect the quarterback against teams that can pressure.  I see Willamette controlling the game from the kickoff and settling in on a solid victory.

Puget Sound (0-7) over Pacific (0-7) (at Pacific):  This game has been receiving all sorts of attention from the various pick 'em pages as the "something's gotta give" game of the 2011 season.  My heart say "Pacific" but my eyes are telling me "Puget Sound".  If this game was played early in the season I would have gone with Pacific but I think the fact they missed out on earlier opportunities for victory has weighed on this team while Puget Sound has shown some competitive spirit after getting hacked and chopped by Linfield.  In looking at the various pick 'em pages I'd say it's about 98% in favor of Puget Sound.  So stick that on your bulletin board Boxers.  Myself...I wouldn't be mad if I was wrong here.

West Region Games of the Week

#20 Bethel (5-2) over Concordia-Moorhead (6-2) (at C-M): I was "this close" to taking the Cobbers citing an emotional let-down game for Bethel after losing to Saint Thomas.  That was a major blow for Bethel but I think they are still playing for a chance to obtain an at-large bid so the motivation is still there to finish the season strong.  Concordia is having a decent season but I like Bethel to go WAY North and earn the win.

Whittier (1-5) over Pomona-Pitzer (0-6) (at Whittier):  Talk about the junk of the junk.  Poets vs Hens.  I'll take Whittier for no real reason besides I think P-P is incredibly awful to Whittier's only downright awful.

National Games of the Week

#7 Wesley (6-1) over #11 Salisbury (7-0) (at Wesley): Big game out East.  Salisbury has been putting up a whopping 50 ppg while only giving up 16.4.  Great numbers but those drop into the 20's when they are not playing the Sister's of the Poor in the East Region.  Over the past 8 season's Wesley has lost only 1 regular season home game and that stat alone is why I'll take Wesley to win over the Steak school.

#18 Kean (6-1) over Rowan (5-2) (at #18 Kean):  Ah my old friend Rowan.  There is nothing more fun for me to pick against the former "Beat of The East".  I can remember that 2004 National Semi-Final game at the 'Catdome like it was yesterday.  Rowan came in and looked like athletic freaks that would run the 'Cats off the field.  Man, I was rather nervous.  Then the game started and this happened.  I'll take Kean.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Game 7 Preview: Linfield (6-0) at Menlo (5-2)

Linfield steps out of NWC/DIII play this Saturday to take on former NWC football only member and now NAIA member, the Menlo Oaks.  The 'Cats and Menlo first played each other in 1999 down in Menlo came away with a tight 28-19 victory.  Since then, Linfield has run the string of wins over Menlo to an even 10, but it hasn't been easy.  The Oaks always have a talented roster with size and ability and 2011 is no different.  Menlo has started off the year with a fine 5-2 record and has been in and out of the NAIA Top 25 on the season.  This year's Oaks are built on defense (only allowing 15.4 PPG)  and a ball control passing game.  Menlo is still very much in the hunt for an at-large NAIA playoff birth and they've had two weeks to prep for the 'Cats (on a BYE last week).  This will not be a walkover for the 'Cats.

Linfield can't let the fact this isn't an NWC game effect their preparation or focus.  If folks say that if Linfield dropped this game it wouldn't effect their possible playoff seating then they would be dead wrong.  Playoff committees are made up by people and people are not always bound to follow the logic laid out by NCAA rules.  If Linfield wants to host multiple playoff games then the 'Cats need to be 100% focused on beating Menlo and moving on to the rest of their NWC business.  It's a big game vs a team that wants nothing more than to beat Linfield.  If you secretly asked Menlo's staff if they could guarantee one win in the 2011 season you know they would 100% circle this game.  I can't be there this weekend but I'm excited to see Linfield perform and rise up to the unique challenges of this Saturday.  Catdome Baby!


Get To Know A Wildcat
#81 Buddy Saxon, Senior, Wide Receiver

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: Panda Express

Favorite Movie: Major League (WC11 is with Buddy on this 100%..still get chills every time Willie Mays Hayes beats the tag at home)

Favorite Music: Not a big music guy so what ever Nate Dixon puts in my car

Favorite TV Show: Two and a Half Men (with Charlie Sheen) or Criminal Minds (A WC11 household staple)

Favorite Pro Football team: Oakland Raiders JUST WIN BABY!!!!!!

Class I Most Look Forward to: Economics of Pro Sports (Professor Randy Grant)

Mac or PC: Mac

Cpu Homepage: Espn Fantasy Football

Twitter or Facebook: Facebook but have gotten complaints that i need to step up my Twitter game

Car or Truck: Truck

Xbox, PS3, or WII: Xbox GamerTag= Big Saxy 14 bring your "A" game

Favorite Coach Yen Saying: TEMPO TEMPO TEMPO

Which WR has the best hands: Logan Krellwitz because he has conquered the Jerry Rice catch

You were an athletic trainer for the 'Cats softball team last season. Could manage to make contact off the 'Cats starting pitching: I wouldn't even get in the batters box against them, but if i did out of 100 pitches i would swing and miss 99 times and foul tip one.

Your Favorite Part About Playing at Linfield is:  Playing in big time games.

Post Linfield aspirations: Make lots of money

Wildcat11's Keys To Victory:

Make this a business trip: Like was mentioned above this is the 'Cats 1st big road trip of the season.  There are a lot of firsts this weekend for this team (overnight trip, hotel, flight, etc) and the fact Menlo doesn't have the best accommodations can make it even more of a distraction.  This Wildcat team has to just take all of these items as they come and focus in on the task in front of them.  Menlo will be a worthy challenger and the 'Cats need to be ready to go from the moment they touch down in the Bay Area.   60 minutes of Linfield Football.

Protect the Quarterback:  Menlo's defense is a pressure/movement defense that brings bodies from all areas.  Looking at the numbers of the year, Menlo has limited the opponent's run game (78.6 total rush yards per game) so the ability to keep Mickey upright becomes even more paramount. 

Limit the Oaks Passing Game:  Menlo will to try to establish some sort of rushing attack but the Oaks offense has primary been getting it done in the passing game.  Linfield's defensive backs have been stellar on the season and will be getting challenged once again this weekend.  If Linfield can slow down the Oak's passing attack then the 'Cats will bottle up Menlo's offense.

Get Special Teams on a roll:  Linfield's special teams have been dominate this entire season and they will be needed once again for this big road trip.  Menlo is averaging about 20 yards a kick return and return punts at a 9.3 per yard clip.  If the 'Cats special teams can force their will on Menlo it will only make it easier on the Wildcat offense and defense to be effective.  The travel roster will limit this group in some regards but they will be needed to have a big day in the office.

'Cats Wide Receiver Corp need to have a day: Menlo's defense is based on stopping the run and challenging you to throw the ball.  Last week the 'Cats WR's were put in that same position and came through with tough catches and play making.  Linfield will need more of the same this weekend.  If the WR corp can execute and preform to their ability the 'Cats offense will move the ball on Menlo.

Limit Penalties/mistakes: This is always big in the game of football but even more magnified in tightly contest games.  Linfield started off the season with a small amount of penalties but over the past two weeks have been flagged 10 times and 8 times.  In the past, there has been some rather dubious officiating so Linfield is going to have to tighten this up on Saturday.  Don't give Menlo extra life with bad penalties and don't kill drives for the same reason.

Overall:

'Cats by 14.  I wish I could be there and I'll be in knots watching on-line.  I'm fully expecting Menlo to bring their best effort with guns blazing.  Menlo knows they can make a huge name for themselves and officially claim the program is on the rise with a win over Linfield.  However, if Linfield is sharp and if the 'Cats can execute the way they have over the course of this season then Linfield will walk away with the win and move on to 7-0.   This Linfield team is on a mission right now and that won't get derailed this weekend.  Send 'Em Up!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Game 7: Linfield at Menlo Game Day Guide


View 2011 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

My goodness.  The end of October means three things, Holloween, Linfield is closing in on another NWC title, and Wildcat11 has to miss his only game of the season.  Yes, Catdome peeps, due to work (yes, I do have a real job) I won't be able to make the trip down to NorCal to watch what I'm expecting to be a competitive and possiblity tight game down at Menlo.  I'll talk more tomorrow on why this has the makings of a classic "trap game" for the 'Cats if they're not prepared to take on an improved and talented Menlo team.  But for now I have some tips for you if you're making your 1st trip down to Menlo.

Atherton, California is a stone's throw away from the heart of Silicon Valley and just a few miles away from Stanford's campus.  It's a highly populated area which is both good and bad if you're making the trip.  The good there are a gaggle of food and lodging options off of El Camino Real which seems to run through the entire West Bay metro area. If you want to stay with the 'Cats then give the Hilton Garden Inn in Mountain View a call and see if you can get a break on your room.


Menlo's campus is small....tiny.  Parking is very limited and this is the only small college venue that I can remember where you have to pay for parking.  I know $5 isn't much but it's still different to pay to park at a small college game.  (It was the same kind of shock I had when UPS paid me to park because they were so happy to have someone attend their game.)  So you better get to campus early and have some cash on hand.  Click on the #7 ICON above and there's links to the games VIDEO FEED and to a map of Menlo's campus so you can see where your parking options are.  Weather should be prefect, 72 and sunny, so enjoy one last Saturday in shorts in T-Shirts before we into the last two weeks of the season which I'm sure will be a little more chilly.


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 Whitworth the 'Cats will be staying at the Red Lion River Inn.  Click on the link for hotel contact information.

Monday, October 24, 2011

‘Cats Win!! Linfield steamrolls Pacific Lutheran 45-7.

Photo Courtsy of Brad Thompson: View and Purchase Brad's Photos here

Wow, if Linfield was a steamroller they would have rolled right over PLU.  It was somewhat surprising because I think PLU is a solid team.  However, Linfield was playing at a higher level in about every phase of the game.  Granted, there are few things that were not great for Linfield on the day and I’m sure the coaches are finding all sorts of areas in the ‘Cats game that will need to be improved upon going forward.  But let’s step back for a second and talk about the ‘Cats domination of PLU.  Like I mentioned in my game preview, for me and other ‘Cats of my age, PLU will always be our “rival”.  However, how could the more recent generation of Wildcats feel that way?  It’s a little crazy to think that back in the “leave no doubt” season of 2002 is when this run of 10 consecutive wins over PLU started.  A full decade of owning a program that once time battled the ‘Cats year-in and year-out for conference, and at times, national dominance.  If I look at it from the current player’s perspective I understand how PLU is still respected but is just another game on the schedule to the ‘Cats.

For the game itself, Linfield’s defense turned PLU into a one-dimensional offense and that played right into the speed and pressure packages that the ‘Cats have in bunches.  I felt that if Linfield was emotionally sharp and didn't hurt themselves the 'Cats would be in control for most of the game but I was surprised with just how dominate the 'Cats were from the opening kickoff.  Like I wrote above you can see the talent and play-makers PLU has on their roster but like we've seen from this Wildcat team when they get on a roll it's going to be difficult for most teams to hold up under the constant pressure the 'Cats put on you in all phases of the game.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good:

The ‘Cats were focused and ready: Luckily, I had the camera rolling about 8 minutes before kickoff in the ‘Cats locker room.  The place was so quiet that Northrup Library would have been jealous.  However, the air was filled with a palpable tension.  You could just feel it in the air.  About a good 20-30 seconds into me filming this silent room filled with over 100 players and all it took was for Eric Biege and Drew Fisher to light the fuse by forcibly asking the ‘Cats if they were ready to play and I though the room was going to explode.   Needless to say, our ‘Cats were ready physically and emotionally to play the on Saturday. 

Linfield Defense:  Outstanding.  The ‘Lutes could only manage 98 total yards in the 1st half of the game and if it wasn’t for that very late 80 yard TD drive the ‘Cats would have held PLU to 103 yards of offense on the day.  Just a great job all around by the players, staff, and scout team players for putting in a great week of work to get ready for the week.

Great offensive balance:  If it wasn’t for those crappy 59 loss sack yards (we’ll get to those later) Linfield’s offense would have put up 193 yards rushing and 326 passing the ball.  That is the balance I’m talking about right there that will make this offense so difficult to deal with over these last 3 regular season games and beyond.  44 rush attempts and 37 pass attempts.  Those are numbers that Wildcat11 can live with.

WR Corp making plays:  The WR corp took some well deserved heat early in the season for too many drops but there was none of that this weekend.  In fact, what we had was a WR crew making play after play on the ball and it was a joy to watch.  I loved the way they played on Saturday in getting dirty down the field in the run and screen game and just being difference makers on the ball.  Great job by Coach Yen’s crew.

Owning 3rd down:  The ‘Cats stuffed PLU on 11 of 14 3rd down attempts while the Wildcat offense (check the paw prints) went 10 out of 17 on the day.  That is about as telling of a stat you’ll find on the day.  3rd down is so important in the game of football and Linfield dominated this down on Saturday.

8 Tackles for Loss and 5 Sacks:  Linfield’s defense front did a great job throughout the day in getting pressure in PLU’s backfield.  PLU’s Zack Halverson literally looked like he was auditioning for Happy Feet 2 midway through the 2nd quarter due to the ‘Cats constant harassment and pressure on the PLU signal caller.

3rd week in a row Special Teams TD:  This has to be a Linfield record.  3rd week in a row the Linfield Special Team’s has scored a touchdown.  This week the honor went to ‘Cats placeholder Taylor Skore who busted out a 23 yard Fake Field goal for the TD.  This group is just impressive.  Also, a big shout out to the ‘Cats staff for being willing to continually roll the dice this season and take chances.  There is always risk/reward but this added element just forces other teams to burn precious time during the week on all the different possibilities where the ‘Cats could attack during special teams.  We have the athletes and it’s great to see the staff go for it.

‘Cats Defensive Backs:  Just a banner day in the office for the Linfield DB’s.   What else could you say about this group?  Great run stopping support, 3 picks, a forced fumble, 3 pass break-ups, and constant blanket coverage on PLU.  If you didn’t love watching this group perform then you don’t like football.

The Bad:

Not fishing the ‘Lutes off in the 1st half:  This is a bit of a knit-pick but I really felt Linfield missed a golden chance to dump the dirt on PLU’s grave in that first half.  Granted, the fake field goal TD was a pretty big dagger but it felt like Linfield had other chances to put PLU down even further and extinguish and hope for a comeback.  Again, I’m picking on the edges a little but against teams of great resolve the ‘Cats need to strike on those opportunities.

8 Penalties:  2nd week in a row where the penalties are getting up there.  Most of the hankies were silly mistakes that Linfield can easily clean up and will need to moving forward.  It didn’t burn the ‘Cats on Saturday but it needs to be addressed.

The Ugly:

Giving up 6 Sacks:  Coming into the game the ‘Cats had only give up 2 sacks (only 1 sack on Mickey Inns).  Linfield left the game on Saturday giving up 8 sacks on the year.  I don’t think I’m offending any of the ‘Cats offensive players when I put this in the Ugly category because it was ugly.  It was a mixed bag of sacks coming off a blown assignment, holding onto the ball too long, to getting beat one-on-one (O-line and RB).  Linfield’s O-Line and RB’s have shown major growth over the early part of the season in keeping bodies of Mickey Inns but Saturday was just a bad day in the office.  I’m stating the obvious when I write that needs to get fixed sooner rather than later because Menlo’s defense have made a habit of getting to know the other team’s quarterbacks this season. 

Pacific Lutheran Post Game Interviews, Tip Drill TD, and a Non Top 10 Play



We're a day late but not a dollar short here at the ADvantage. Above is your PLU post game interview. A good group of 'Cats this week as we went D-Line strong as we spoke with Senior D-End Brent Shimabukuro and Soph DT Mike Maierhofer. On the offensive side of the house we spoke with freshman OT Steven Schultz and senior receiver Erik Koczian.

Next we have two plays for you...one that is fantastic and another that if not so fantastic but pretty fun. The 'Cats extended their lead to 45-0 early in the 4th quarter on this tip drill TD as the intended pass to Tight End Jacob Priester was knocked in the air but Buddy Saxon was on the spot and brought in the tipped pass for the 'Cats TD.



The final play...well we're going to submit this to D3.com as their non-top play of the week. The 'Cats make a great 4th down stop late in the 3rd but the ball came loose and it seemed that PLU and Linfield decided to play a game of hot potato.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

'Catdome!

Have to keep it short and sweet but here's your weekly news and video round-up on the 'Cats and what else is happening around the 'CatdomeO'sphere. As always, we have many good pieces on last week's game and various player profiles. BTW, who's won the NWC that past couple of season? At least one coach thinks that would be Whitworth. Really?  COme on, coach.

The Linfield Review: 'Cats knock out Boxers (ah...I see what you did there Linfield Review)

The Linfield Review: The Review hands out mid-season grades to the football program.

Linfield Sports: The 'Cats Kole Krieger does it all for the Linfield defense.

Linfield Sports: Linfield's Josh Hill is at home in the 'Catdome.

News-Register: Ben Schorzman's Pacific live game blog.

News-Register: Linfield's Special Teams continue to shine.

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: WCS40's PLU game preview (good quotes as usual)

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: WCS40 hands out his mid-season review of the 'Cats

Sportsillustrated.cnn.com: The 'Cats performance of the Star Spangled Banner gets a mention during this week's hot links

Wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Boxers get flattened 49-6...

NCAA.com: Linfield vs PLU are in this week's storylines

Hillsboro Argus: Winless Boxers put up little fight against nationally-ranked Linfield

Statesman Journal: Widing's Sharp and the defense is not in Willamette win over UPS.

Statesman Journal: James Day think Portland State is going to clobber Willamette

The Tacoma Tribune: 'Lutes ride their defense to tight win over Menlo

The Tacoma Tribune: PLU's hard hitting safety buying into funky pregame jumping jacks and other Lutey Luteness.

The Tacoma Tribune: Loggers lose to Willamette.

Willamette Collegian: The team with the alleged defense who's every starter is better than Linfield's gives up 31 points to Puget Sound

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Coach Speckman puts a spin on playing ok in Tacoma and basically says the trip to Menlo is so bad they would rather get caved in by Portland State.

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

Whitworthian (page 20 of pdf): Rats don't plague the Pioneers

LCpios YouTube Page: NW Sports tonight talks to L&C Head Coach Chris Sulages who claims the Northwest Conference is the best in Division III and he thinks Whitworth has won the conference championship in the last 3 or 4 years.

LCpios YouTube Page: L&C's Keith Welch.  He wants to be a scientist.

NWC Pick 'em Contest: Week 8

Send 'Em Up!
Had a solid week in picking 5 out of 6 games.  Once again, I was bit by the Rats as my continued non-logic based faith in Whitworth has almost ruin any shot of being in contention in the NWC Pick 'Em Contest.  I moved up to 35 out of 46 on the season (a very average 76.1%).  That has left me way off the pace and near the bottom half of this year's contest.  The NWC seems like no-brainers for the most part but some big games are going on at the National Level out in the MIAC and CCIW.  Keep and eye on those games as they will have a ripple effect towards the playoff selections and seeding a few weeks down the road.

Northwest Conference

Lewis & Clark (5-0) over Puget Sound (0-6) (@ L&C): First off, you're welcome Lewis & Clark. I took Whitworth last week which pretty much meant the Pios were a lock for victory. Second, the folks up on the hill are very excited...I mean excited about their 5-0 start. UPS decided nothing is going to happen this year and is building for the future by starting a Frosh QB last week vs Willamette. That's probably the best long term decision but short terms it just means more losses. L&C should roll Puget Sound this week. (Side rant: BTW, that link above and the L&C fan calling their field "rated best in Oregon". I want to know who rated that mess of a field "the best" and get them fired. Beyond the look, that surface feels odd under your feet and you can get dizzy looking at those LAX & Soccer lines crisscrossing all over the place.  It's almost as ugly as Pacific's surface)

Whitworth (1-5) over Pacific (0-6) (@ Rats): Oh my. Listen at this point I need the Rats to come though for me here. If they continue to lose when I keep picking them as winners I could be forced to pick Whitworth over Linfield in a few weeks. Seriously, I'm frightened that I have this George Costanza karma going on with Whitworth that the opposite thing is going to happen when I pick Whitworth to win/lose. Come on Rats, break the spell so you don't force me to pick against my 'Cats.

Portland State (3-3) over Willamette (3-3) (@ PSU): I don't know weather to congratulate the Bearcats for playing at Portland State or to call them foolish for doing so. It might be a little of both. If you're Portland State how could you be excited to play this game? You just got done losing a tight game in front of 25,000 people at U of Montana and now you get to come home and play Willamette. That has to be the one hope for the Bearcats that the PSU players will be so disinterested/flat that Willamette will be able to hang at least for a half with the Vikings. This could get ugly.

West Region Game of the Week

#3 St. Thomas (7-0) over #10 Bethel (5-1) (@ Bethel): HUGE game in the west. I mean big. Bethel is playing for their playoff lives and UST is playing for that #1 seed out west (assuming Whitewater gets moved to another region). This is a game I will not be sad about getting wrong because if Bethel can knock off UST then there is a little team out West that could be in position to capture a very high seed in the playoffs. However, UST seems like the read deal this season and Bethel, while very good, might be over-matched this weekend.

National Game of the Week

#6 North Central (5-1) over #15 Illinois Wesleyan (6-0) (@ IWU): I know NCC is very good and if you're a Redlands fan you're praying that the Cardinals continue to win and win big. Honestly, I don't know anything about Illinois Wesleyan and I'm not going to pretend I do. I'll take NCC just based on rep alone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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

It's Lute week at the 'Catdome! Saturday will be the start of a big stretch for this 2011 Linfield Wildcat team. Coming down to Linfield this weekend is a strong defensive Pacific Lutheran that currently sits at 2-0 in Northwest Conference play. On the line is the 1st place lead in the NWC and the automatic playoff bid that comes along with who wins the conference crown. For Linfield fans in my age bracket and above (mid 30's plus) this is the team you love to beat more than any other in the conference.  The apex of this rivalry spanned over all of the 80's and 90's and both programs have had their fair share of success over the other.  There is a lot of history and classic battles over the years between these two programs. However, the past nine years Linfield has owned PLU with consecutive wins over that time period. That fact isn't lost on PLU as the 'Lutes have seemed to have re-established themselves as a conference contender year-in and year-out after having some big ups and downs (mostly downs) over the better part of the last decade. PLU knows they are not "back" and won't be until they knock off Linfield.

Last year, the 'Cats won a very competitive and tight game at PLU 35-20. The 2010 PLU team was built around an explosive offense that featured an accurate QB with a fleet of big play receivers. This time around the 'Lutes calling card is their suffocating defense. Through 5 games PLU's 3-4 based defense is only giving up 11.6 points per game. The 'Lutes have racked up 18 sacks on the season, 43 tackles for loss, to go along with 6 INT's and 5 fumble recoveries. If your offensive line isn't up to the task then the 'Lute front 7 is going to eat your lunch. While the PLU defense has been thriving the 'Lutes offense is still transitioning after losing most of their firepower from last season. PLU is managing 19.8 points per game but feature a hard nosed running back and an outstanding red zone offense (94%, scored on 16 of 17 trips).

For the 'Cats, this will be a big test after two weeks of pounding winless teams. While it was great to rack up the points and spread the playing time around the program is back to finding out just where this team is going in 2011. If this team is firing in all 3 phases of the game then Linfield is going to be one of the toughest outs in all of division III. However, this team isn't at a place where they are so overwhelming that they can survive on lackluster performances. If the 'Cats come into a game like this with sloppy execution and make big mistakes the 'Cats could get burned. That's my big question for this team. Are they going to raise their play to the next level? Are you ready for PLU to Send 'Em Up?

Get To Know A Wildcat
#59 Tyler Steele, Junior, Defensive Tackle

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: I would have to say Muchas

Favorite Movie: Friday Night Lights or The Guardian

Favorite Music: Country music

Favorite TV Show: SportsCenter

Favorite Pro Football team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Class I Most Look Forward to: Any class besides Anatomy, that was the worst!

Mac or Pc: PC

Cpu Homepage: Google

Twitter or Facebook: such a hard decision. But now that I have became a twitter junkie thanks to Zach Hickman, I would probably say Twitter now.

Car or Truck: Car 2001 oldsmobile

Xbox, PS3, or WII: Xbox 360

Favorite Coach Vaughan Saying: "Get a ticket buddy"

You play without gloves, any reason: I have always played without gloves, they are just not my thing. I feel like I have a better grip without them and I don't really care what happens to my hands.

How has the best pass rush on the 'Cats D-Line:
Dt: Tommy Patrick
De: Nighthawk (aka Hyland)

Your Favorite Part About Playing at Linfield is: At Linfield its about the team, no one person is bigger than the streak or more important than the team. I couldn't imagine playing football any place else!

Post Linfield aspirations: Hopefully get a PE teaching job over in Eastern Oregon and become a football and wrestling coach!

Wildcat11's Keys To Victory

Wound To The Right Tension: After being emotionally flat last week vs Pacific, I'm a little concerned about the pendulum swinging too far the other way and Linfield being too lathered up for this weekend.  That concern is minimal as there have been enough players on this team that have been in the battles and know where this squad needs to be in order to sustain the effort needed to win a full 60 minute game of playing Linfield football.  

'Cats O-Line need to bring their "A" game:  I've ran though all of the PLU defensive stats above to paint the picture of what this Linfield o-line needs to do.  PLU's front 7 is going to be a good challenge for the 'Cats big bodies and if this group has a good day at the office then the 'Cats are going to control this game.

Defense has to limit PLU's Brandon James:  The hard running PLU running is the main focus of the 'Lute rushing attack.  James is averaging in the neighborhood of 80 yards a game and the 'Cats have to do a good job of making sound tackles and rallying to the ball in order to contain James.  If Linfield can limit an aspect of the 'Lute offense then the 'Cats will be able to start bringing the heat as the game moves on.

Own 3rd Down:  PLU only gives up a conversion rate of 29% on 3rd down.  The 'Cats have been lights out with only allowing 1st down conversions 17% on the season during 3rd downs.  This down is going to loom large on day and play into field position and who gets the opportunities to put points on the board.

Run the ball downhill: If Linfield is going to be the NWC champions and be a threat in the playoff the 'Cats have to prove they can flex their muscle and run the ball and own the line of scrimmage.  Linfield has shown they can run the football and will need to again vs a stout rushing defense.

Control the field position game:  While PLU's offense isn't putting up huge points the 'Lute offense has been deadly once they get into the red zone.  Best way to solve that is to keep them from even entering the red zone in the 1st place.  Controlling the field isn't on just one phase of the team but all three groups need to pin PLU deep, sustain drives, and create as many "3 and out" opportunities as possible. 

Tackling/Turnovers:  When Linfield's defense is at it's best they are tackling at a high level but there have been times when the tackling is lacking and teams can pop big gains on the 'Cats aggressive and pressure defense.  Linfield needs to break down in space and make the sure play this Saturday.  Along with that...ball security is huge in every game and this isn't any different.

Overall:

'Cats by 10:  If Linfield plays to their potential they are going to win this game.  PLU is a solid club and will be highly movtivated this weekend.  PLU isn't just playing for this season but is playing to stop the 'Cats roll over their program and are trying to reclaim their place with the NWC elite.  PLU is going to bring it but I feel the 'Cats will match that resolve and eventually force their will on the 'Lutes.  It's going to be a great day in the Valley.

Linfield vs Pacific Lutheran Game Day Guide


View 2011 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

HUGE old school game between the 'Cats and the 'Lutes this weekend.  It should be a beautiful late October Saturday in the Valley.  With the Ducks and Beavers both out of state there is only one place you should be at and that's the 'Catdome.  So if you're 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 6 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 there are 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.  So if you're a new Wildcat family or visiting 'Lutes looking to tailgate, then that's the best place to set up. 

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.

We'll have our Linfield vs PLU game preview posted up later this afternoon.


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, October 17, 2011

'Cats Win! Linfield takes 49-6 victory over Pacific

Photo Courtsy of Brad Thompson: View and Purchase Brad's Photos here
How could it be that a 49-6 victory didn't feel that great?  I know it sounds weird to say but as one of the 'Cat's Seniors told me late in the 4th quarter vs Pacific "This is a very unsatisfactory feeling".  If you step away from the field and break down the box score and even watch the film, Linfield did some very nice things and had sharp play during significant portions of the contest.  However, the feeling on Saturday was one of being flat, not focused, and emotionally checked out before the start of the game. Heck, even I wasn't all that geared up and that's pretty rare.  Some might say that it has to be hard to get up on back-to-back weeks against winless teams but that's the whole point: this Linfield team is trying to reach a top gear and prepare for a challenging 2nd half of the season and the goal of making a run in the playoffs.  It shouldn't matter what the record is of the team lining up against the 'Cats. 

The 1st five teams the 'Cats played have a total combined record of 8-19 and looking at the next four games, the 'Cats upcoming opponents have a combined record of 15-7.  The 'Cats have a pivotal game against a defensively strong PLU this weekend.  Then, have two long road trips vs Menlo (who's on the bye and has 2 weeks to prepare for Linfield) and at Whitworth.  Last, the 'Cats wrap up the season at home versus a sound Lewis & Clark team.  This regular season isn't in the bag for the 'Cats and in order to get to that level Linfield has been talking about they need to come correct over the next 4 weeks to prove they're worthy of being in this season's elite of Divison III.  Now isn't the time to feel fat and happy.  Now is the time to get to work.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good:

1st half offense: Actually the 1st half and 1st possession of the 2nd half was very good.  The 'Cats scored on 3 of their first 4 possessions and should have been 4 out of 4 if the 'Cats didn't drop a wide open TD on 4th down at the end of the half.  The 1st half was funky with combination of the 'Cats special teams striking twice, Linfield extending two Boxer drives with dumb penalties, and Pacific's very deliberate slow pace.  When the 'Cats did manage to get the ball, the offense did what they wanted for the most part in putting up 477 yards of total offense on the day.

Special Teams: Again, another great day for the 'Cats special teams unit.  A blocked punt for a touchdown on back-to-back weeks, an 86 yard kickoff return to the house, and nice play during the contest by most aspects of the 'Cats special teams.  This unit continues to shine weekly for Linfield.

No touchdown allowed: 2nd time this season the 'Cats haven't allowed a touchdown and the 1st time all season Pacific didn't reach the end zone.  Linfield didn't make it easy on themselves with blowing a few big blitzes, some poor tackling at times, and giving up some big chunks in the air.  However, when push came to shove the 'Cats shut down Pacific and kept them from pay dirt.

0 Sacks...again: Great job by the 'Cats offensive line and running backs in the pass protection game.  The 'Cats have only given up 2 sacks on the season and have provided the Linfield quarterbacks with plenty of time to strike.  The protection has improved greatly from the 1st two weeks of the season.

0 Turnovers: Any game you don't turn the ball over probably puts yourself in a good position to win and Linfield has kept the turnovers down to just 5 on the season.  The 'Cats currently sit with a +8 takeaway/turnover ration.  The bigger you can make that "+" number the better season you're going to have. FACT

Drew Fisher:  "Fish" isn't the type of player to bring attention to himself and doesn't care to be singled out but I have to tip my cap to the 'Cats All-American Safety.  #4 just turned in a fine performance on Saturday in turning in 11 tackles, returned the blocked punt for TD (nice block Kyle Wright), had a pick, 3 tackles for loss and one of those was a bone jarring sack that made everyone in the stadium cringe.  Fisher was a force for Linfield and showed why he's one of the Nation's finest.

The Bad:

Penalties: Oh man.  This was a big challenger to win this week's "Ugly".  Linfield came into the game being the least penalized team in the NWC with a total of 21 on the season.  Linfield racked up 9 hankies in the 1st half alone and 10 on the day that cost the 'Cats 96 yards.  2 of those flags directly led to extend Pacific drives and both of the Boxers field goals.  The penalties where the sign of how sloppy and unfocused the overall play of the 'Cats were at times and it wasn't great.

Red Zone miscues: Yes, the 'Cats scored TD's on 3 of the 5 trips to the red zone but the overall execution at times was uneven at best.  Linfield allowed Pacific to make plays in the backfield when trying to run the ball and the 'Cats dropped a wide open TD and couldn't make a play on another 4th down fade pass. 

Rushing Game:  Linfield rushed for only 96 yards as a team.  Granted, the 'Cats were getting 4 yards a rush but the 'Cats are going to need a better effort in running ball over the next 4 weeks vs some stingy defenses. I'd love to see the 'Cats get back to more balance.

Tackling: This is mainly on the LB's and D-Line.  The 'Cats front 6 could have turned in a better performance on breaking down on some wide open stunts and blitzes but instead were so intent on the kill shot they just flew by and allowed Pacific to extend the play or reel off big chunks of yards.   

Not making plays on the ball:  Linfield's pass defense played well enough but there was 3 instances of Boxers getting past the 'Cats on deep balls and striking on plays of 45, 47, and 27 yards.  The 'Cats had multiple opportunities to make plays on the ball but just didn't get it done and this group is too good to let that happen. 

The Ugly:

Flat 'Cats: We've already covered this up above.  For whatever reason, the 'Cats were flat on Saturday and that's the only time Linfield will be able to get away with it and not suffer the consequences.  However, Saturday is over and done with.  This Linfield team will move on and grow from the experience.  I'm very excited about this upcoming four game run.  We're going to find out a lot in terms of how good this team can be.  Wildcat11 thinks they've yet to hit their stride and full potential, and when they do, the rest of the NWC and the nation better look out.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Linfield vs Pacific Post Game Interview and more

We'll talk more about the 'Cats 49-6 victory over Pacific tomorrow but we have a trio of goodies to get you through the night and into tomorrow.  Unfortuantly we only have a single interview after the Pacific game.  Due to Pacific's rigid security, family and friends are not allowed on the field after the game so after I wrapped up with the 'Cats Colin Forman just about every single 'Cats was off the field and headed into the locker room.  So Foreman gets this post almost to himself as we're submitting his TD return to D3football.com as a play of the week nomination.  





However, my favorite clip from the weekend is video below video of the three below.  During the Star Spangled Banner, the performer was experiencing some heavy technical issues with her mic/sound system.  There was an awkward moment of silence before the 'Cats took the moment and ran with it.  Well done boys.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Around The 'CatdomeO'sphere

Dang, the 'Catdome is a great place to take in a football game.
Welcome back to your weekly news link round up where we gather everything we can track down dealing with OUR Linfield Wildcats and teams around the NWC (and Menlo since the 'Cats will be playing them soon).  We have a full range of nice pieces this week.  Justin Derby continues to nice job on wildcatspread40 in covering the 'Cats and capturing some nice quotes from players and coaches.  The Full Access podcast is classic, and the bonus video is FAN-tastic.  Make it back to the ADvantage on Sunday with Pacific post-game interviews and we'll get ready for 'Lute week!

The Linfield Review: 'Cats put Loggers out of business

The Linfield Review: Linfield prepares for the next level

News Register: Nasca keeps it moving

The News Register:  UPS vs Linfield live blog recap

Fullaccesssports.com Willamette's weekly podcast as they talk to UPS Head Coach Jeff Thomas and Mike Allegre claims that Linfield doesn't have a single starting defender that's better than any of the Willamette defenders (13:40 mark)

wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: What WCS40 leaned about the 'Cats in week 6

wildcatspread40.blogspot.com: Loggers Get Chainsawed 73-7...

Krem.com: Rats fall to PLU in the final moments

Kxly.com: PLU kicks the Rats to the curb

SWXrightnow.com: Weak unsportsmanlike conduct penalty dooms Rats

Spokesman.com: Rats vs Lutes Photo Gallery

The News Tribune: Logger assistant coach has been sticking it out for a LONG time with UPS football. It has to feel like dog years.

Statesman Journal: Bearcats rolls Pacific

Spokesman.com: Pirates taunt their way out of a victory

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

Full Access Sports Vimeo Page: Willamette's Mark Speckman talks Boxers and Loggers...oh my!

The News Tribune: PLU Field Goal decision of "fake it or kick it" leads to win and the Loggers "didn't execute in any aspect of the game"

Statesmanjournal.com: James Day talks about the 'Cats 73

Newschief.com: Menlo improves to 5-1 in shutout vs Webber International in Florida

Paloaltoonline.com: Menlo wins in terrible conditions in Florida vs Webber International

Mercurynews.com: Menlo's Mattias Pelesasa has found a home just down the street from his home

The Whitworthian.com: Rats lose another close one, this time to PLU (page 20 of pdf)

Pioneer Log: L&C is undefeated and feeling "Bloodthirsty" for more

Pacific Index: Boxers are mining 8-man football for their 11-man teams.

Pacific Index: Boxers not afraid to reach in the bags of tricks.

Pacific Index: When you're 0-5 you have to have something to cheer about.

BONUS:


UW-Whitewater has a great football program.  No doubt about it and I'm not going to take pot shots at the type of football they play because how can you?  They're freaking good.  However, their team intro videos they run on the UWW scoreboard are high freaking comedy.  I mean, COme on UWW.  The 2010 video was pure gold because it was like 5 guys were sitting around and said "Let's slap together a intro video where we look very uncomfortable in front of the camera and people are laughing in the background".  This one is painful because it looks like someone actually tried and it's just brutal.  "DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?"  Um....well I'm sitting in a football stadium with a bunch of football players running around so I hope it's time for a football game.  Then we get to the meat of the video with sweet animations and random video clips that don't do justice to the type of program UWW is.  I'm probably a jerk for writing this but if you're going to have 10K watching this on your board then it might be good to step your game up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

NWC Pick 'em Contest: Week 7

'Catdome!!!!
Rats.  Seriously.  I was once again bit by two close losses and my season of near misses continues as I languish in the middle of the pack in 7th place of the NWC pick 'em contest.  Like Willamette, I'm relegated to just playing out the 2011 string. (ZING!).  I was 3 out of 5 last week and that brings my pathetic yearly total to 30 out of 40 and drops me to only 75% on the season.  That's just plain weak sauce. We have 6 games this week and you already know I have Linfield (duh) so here is my breakdown of the rest of this week's pick.

Northwest Conference 

Whitworth (1-4) over Lewis & Clark (4-0) (at L&C):  If you're from Lewis and Clark and you're reading this (and I know you are) then you should be thanking me for taking the Rats on the road over L&C.  The Rats have broke my heart time and again this season and last week is no different.  L&C is saying this is their 1st real test and that's all you need to know about the first 4 games of the Pio's season.  Regardless of the lack of tough competition L&C's offense have some legit talent and going to be tough to contain for a full game.  However, the 'Rats have played a solid schedule and have had shots in each game and have weapons.  L&C is overwhelming the favorite with the other NWC pick 'em players as all the close losses have solidified the Rats as a team that can't close.  That's my biggest worry in the game as Whitworth has fallen short so many times they could be mentally broke at this point, while L&C is flying high with confidence. 

Pacific Lutheran (3-1) over Menlo (5-1) (at PLU):  Again, this should be a tightly contest game and could go either way.  While each have glossy records I think each of these teams are solid but not outstanding.  If this game was in California I would take Menlo but since it's at Sparks I'm taking PLU due to their track record of being a solid team at home over the past two seasons.  Linfield fans should be keeping a close eye on this game and what these team bring to the table as each should present some very good challenges to the 'Cats in over the next couple of weeks.

Willamette (2-3) over Puget Sound (0-5) (at UPS): Nothing to say here besides Willamette's reserves should get plenty of work.

West Region Game of The Week:

UW-Oshkosh (4-1) over UW-Platteville (3-2) (at Platteville): Hugh game in the WIAC race.  Platteville is coming off a very respectable loss to Whitewater and Oshkosh's only blemish on the season is a loss to Mount Union in week 2.  This game as the folks on the WIAC pick 'em board split down the middle but I'll lean towards the team coming in on a 3 game win streak.

National Game of The Week:

#22 Salisbury (5-0) over #23 Alfred (4-1) (at Alfred):  I know squat about these two teams.  I do know that I loved Salisbury steak as a kid and the only Alfred I know is Batman's butler.  I'll take the steak.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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

This weekend is the half way point of the 2011 season and the 'Cats look to continue their hot start vs the Pacific Boxers out of Forest Grove.  This is the 'Cats 1st trip up to the Forest Grove campus since 1989 (I'm pretty sure about the year, could be 1990) and I'm looking forward to my 1st trip to a football game at Pacific.  Right now, the 'Cats have to understand there is much work to be done for this team to get to the places they desire.  Obviously, the 'Cats should be a heavy favorite coming into this weekend but it's games like this that can get sloppy due to poor preparation and  you can give a building program something to hang their hat on.  Last Saturday, the 'Cats show they have the mental maturity to put forth a great effort against a lesser team.  I'm betting and wanting more of the same this Saturday.

The Pacific Boxers are not a bad program.  This is the 2nd year of Pacific bring back football and they are laying the foundation to a solid football program.  The Pacific players are well coached and they have good schemes but right now they lack the depth of talent and experience it takes to be a player in a rather competitive NWC.  The Boxers are still without a win since rebooting the program but have been competitive in multiples games towards the end of last season and at the start of 2011.  Pacific missed some prime opportunities to cash in that 1st win and I'm sure right now it has to be weighing on the program to be 0 for 14 and are now in the heart of their 2011 schedule.  I do think there is a win left on their schedule (Puget Sound) but that win isn't going to come this weekend.  Not against this dynamic and fast Linfield team.


Get To Know A Wildcat
#23 Dominique Forrest, Sophomore, Linebacker

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: Rib Slayer and Wendy's

Favorite Movie: Top 3 in no particular order: Shooter, Blow and Despicable Me.

Favorite Music: J. Cole, Wale, Drake.. plus many more. There is a lot of good music out there.

Favorite TV Show: Rob Dyrdeks Fantasy Factory

Favorite Pro Football team: Broncos, Tebow is the man!

Class I Most Look Forward to: Football 201

Mac or Pc: Mac is better, I rep the PC though

Cpu Homepage: Google

Twitter or Facebook: Facebook all day

Xbox, PS3, or WII: XBOX

Which LB has the fastest 40: Mike Nardoni, that kid can move!

Your Favorite Part About Playing at Linfield is: If someone spent one day with this team, they could see how close we are collectively. Guys on this team are with you on and off the field, the brotherhood we have here is pretty strong.

Post Linfield aspirations; Hopefully I can take the things I learn at Linfield with me and apply them to my job life, become wealthy and be able to support my own family and then in later years filter my little Domos through the Linfield program.

Wildcat11's Keys To Victory:

Play with purpose: The 'Cats need to come out and play as if a Whitwater or Saint Thomas was lining up against them this weekend.  You only get so many chances to play in a college football game so this is the payoff for all of that hard work during the winter, spring, and summer.  Play to the best of your ability, do your job the best you can, and have fun doing it.

Continued the balance attack: Pacific gives up a boat load of yardage on the ground (228 ypg) and have done a respectable job in allowing 160 yards in the air.  Linfield's offense needs to control this game with their now established balanced attack.  I would love to see a 50/50 split between the run and pass at the end of the day.

Keep Pacific Quarterbacks in the pocket: T.C. Campbell is the primary starter for Pacific and has done a very nice job.  T.C. is completing passes at a 61% completion rate but is most dangerous extending the play while scrambling out of the pocket.  Campbell isn't looking to run the ball very much but buy time for his receivers to find open spots.  Linfield needs to keep Campbell's activity restricted in the pocket.  Look for P.J. Minaya to get some extended action as well.

Secure the Football:While the Boxer defense is giving up 39 points per game the one area they've done a very nice job in is forcing fumbles.  While the 'Cats need to be aggressive with the ball let's not get sloppy and give Pacific life with turnovers.

Suffocate the Boxers on 3rd and 4th down attempts:  I mentioned this on Monday but the 'Cats defense has been lights out on 3rd and 4th down over the past two weeks.  1 of 26 conversion attempts on 3rd and 4th down combined vs Willamette and UPS.  Now, asking Linfield to continue this pace is a ridiculous request but let's see if the 'Cats can keep the Boxers in the teens on 3rd and 4th down this Saturday.

Lock up Fukumoto: Jordan Fukumoto is a heck of a football player.  The Sophomore wide receiver has game breaking speed and the 'Cats 1st team defense found out the hard way last year as Fukumoto took a bubble screen on the Boxers 2nd play from scrimmage 79 yard to the house.  Fukumoto is the big play man for Pacific this year and a lot of that damage has come off of deep posts routes.  This is another opportunity for the 'Cats secondary to take a big number WR and take them out of the game.

Overall:

'Cats by 30+  If Linfield comes to Forest Grove with the hammer and puts forth the effort and execution it will be All 'Cats, All Day.  Pacific is going to be a good team sooner, rather than later, but the promise of a winning team down the road isn't going to help the Boxers this Saturday.

Linfield's Aaron Boehme and Paul Nishizaki bring home the German Football League Championship!

2011 German Football League Champions!
2010 Linfield Graduates and stand out Wildcats Aaron Boehme and Paul Nishizaki wrapped up what had to be a trip and experience of a lifetime.  The pair helped their Schw√§bisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League to their 1st ever undefeated season (15-0) and German Bowl Championship with a wild 48-44 victory over the defending GFL champions the Kiel Hurricanes.

Boehme was named the German Bowl MVP for his 18 of 28 for 230 yard effort. Aaron threw for 3 TD's against 2 picks and also racked up 93 rushing yards on 10 attempts and punched in the game clinching TD with an 8 yard rush with 1:09 remaining in the contest.

Nish representing the strongest link!
Nishizaki was a force all season in the middle of the 'Corns defensive line. Nish racked up 6 sacks on the season and did what Nish does best and that is cause chaos in the heart of the offense and let the LB's pile up the tackles. Boehme was a wrecking crew for the 'Corns offense. He led the GFL in passing yards per game (310.3), Pass Efficiency, and total offense (338 yards per game), and hurdled defenders (1). Boehme's season stat line alone was ridiculous. 315 completions in 451 attempts (69.8%), 4,965 yards, 59 touchdown passes against only 3 picks. Needless to say I don't think they will be forgeting the names Boehme and Nishizaki anytime soon in Schwäbisch Hall.




Catdome Germany!!!!!!

GFL Stats