Friday, September 28, 2012

Around The 'Catdomeosphere: 2012 Week 5

A few more weeks till we're back at the 'Catdome!

We have an abbreviated news roundup today. With both Linfield and PLU on the bye there was a downtrend in coverage on the 'Cats but there are still a few gems to mull over.  Already talked about it in the NWC pick 'em but do check out's conference rankings.  That's always good to get a grip on just where our teams are at on the national stage.  Just a ton of Whitworth coverage due to their home opener and the fact that THEY ARE NOW 4 AND OHHHH!!!!

Please do check out the student article on the Puget Sound vs Whittier game.  Love this kid's team spirit.  The Willamette play-by-play man runs some smack at Pacific's radio crew who I guess were bellyaching about the Bearcats throwing the ball late in the game.  And I wrap it up with the most disappointing link of the week and that's an editorial from the Linfield Review where they complain about how Linfield's athletic department decided to use the money donated to them by an alumni association/athletic support group (Top Cat).  Pure nonsense.'s Around The Nation: D3 slots the NWC as the 5th best conference in country. WS40's Linfield vs PLU game preview's YouTube page: Coach Smith's thoughts on PLU

Whitworth Pirates YouTube Page: TULLY SPEAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

700ESPN's YouTube Page: Watch the Whitworth highlights vs Chapman and the Rat students embarrass themselves. (:41 mark)

thenewstribune: Poets write off Puget Sound 55-24. (THAT'S HOW YOU DO A SPORTS PUN BABY!)

spokesman-review: Rats gut out ugly win over Chapman (w/video): I refuse to use a walk the plank pun in a Whitworth win Whitworth is out world! I'm running out of things to say about Whitworth beating a 2nd rate SCIAC team.

Puget Sound Trail: I don't know why but I love this student writer's optimism about his terrible football team. 

FullAccessSports weekly podcast: Willamette's play-by-play man tells Pacific's radio guys that if they don't like Willamette throwing the ball in the 4th quarter then score more points. WOW!

Willamette Collegian: Bearcats route Boxers Willamette roll Pacific PLU's legendary Frosty Westering will finally give up his All-Time NAIA total wins mark.

Linfield Review: Just a boneheaded editorial from the review questioning the cost of the Hall of Fame Remodel. 

Two points on the above editorial:

1) Don't spend other people's money for them.  That's always a bad look.

2) Do your research.  Money from the Top Cat club was used on at least 8 different projects to enhance athletic facilities and the wellness trail around campus to benefit current students.

2012 NWC Pick 'Em Contest: Week 5

Mean Machine
So close to having a perfect week 4 but again I missed on the national game of the week. Last season it was Whitworth that killed me and this year I've been great on the NWC picks but just average with the West Region/National game of the week. I'm still within reach of getting back into contention on the NWC pick page but currently I'm solidly in the middle of the pack. My total on the year is 23 out of 29 (79.3%) which is just ok. Nothing to brag about at all.

Besides the huge Linfield vs PLU game we're still about a week away from finding out who are actual pretenders and contenders in the NWC. There is a ton of excitement out of all corners of the Northwest Conference (except for one team) as NWC heats up this weekend. just laid out their DIII conference rankings and slotted the NWC as the 5th best conference in DIII. When you consider there are 26 conferences in the country that's damn good and I think it's about right. I still contend the OAC is over-ranked but that's just my opinion.

Northwest Conference Games:

Willamette (3-0) over Sewanee (2-2) (at Sewanee, Tn.): The Bearcats are flying a LONG way for an easy D3 win this weekend. This was supposed to be the weekend of the Speckman Bowl when Menlo and Mark Speckman went to Salem to face-off against his former team, but due to a “scheduling conflict” one of the two sides backed out. IMO, Speckman’s departure turned bitter fast and “scheduling conflict” is code for we’ll see you later. Works out well for Willamette as they get to thump a long time South Region sad sack and get another D3 win on the books.

Whitworth (4-0) over Pacific (1-2) (at Pacific): I have to say that the Rats 4-0 start is about as impressive as Lewis & Clark’s 3-0 start. That means it hasn’t been. Look, I still think Whitworth is going to be in the title race with Linfield, PLU, and Willamette but they’ve had a terribly soft non-conference and I still don’t know what to make of them at almost the ½ way point of the season. Pacific might offer up a good challenge to the Rats this weekend and I’m expecting another win for the Rats but not a “stand up and take notice” victory.

Lewis & Clark (3-0) over Puget Sound (0-3) (at UPS): This is when the gravy train of tomato cans come to an end for the Pios. Puget Sound’s defense is incredible bad (giving up 46 ppg) and the Pios should take care of business before getting to run into PLU, Willamette, and Linfield in consecutive weeks. Enjoy that.

West Region Games of the week:

Wartburg (2-1) over Simpson (2-1) (at Simpson): Wartburg isn’t the Wartburg of the early 2000’s but Simpson College football hasn’t changed. They still stink. I’ll take the Knights to go on the road and “Be Orange” all over the Storm. BTW, the “Storm” is your college mascot? Really? That’s half of your problem right there.

Bethel (3-0) over Augsburg (3-0) (at Bethel): The Auggies have a super frosh QB named Ayrton Scott who’s been making waves early in the season as Augsburg is a surprising 3-0 to start the season but have played nobody of note. Bethel on the other hand is really freaking good and is going to roll up Augsburg like a grilled chicken caesar wrap.

National Game of the week:

#16 UW-Platteville (3-0) over #4 UW-Whitewater (2-1): Yes, this is my stupid pick of the week. Whitewater hasn’t lost a WIAC in years but I’ve been high on Platteville all season.  I think this is their best shot at taking down UWW. Will it happen? Probably not, but I’m going to roll the dice here and say UW-Platte’s explosive offense will have enough juice to get over the hump.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Game 4 Preview: Linfield (3-0) at Pacific Lutheran University (1-1)

'Cats open up the 2012 up at Sparks Stadium.
HUGE game this Saturday as the ‘Cats hit the road to open up 2012 Northwest Conference play against an up-and-coming Pacific Lutheran squad at Sparks Stadium. It’s homecoming week for the ‘Lutes as they gear up to host the ‘Cats. PLU was also on the bye last weekend after clinching a big 28-14 victory over #25 Redlands down in Los Angeles the same day the ‘Cats overcame CLU 33-30.

The ‘Lutes kicked off their season with a 37-23 defeat against CLU but that game was 17-17 at halftime before PLU had a couple of key mistakes that allowed CLU to pull out that victory. If not for those couple of mistakes, the ‘Lutes might have a great shot in taking down CLU. What I’m getting at is that PLU is going to a big fat test for the ‘Cats on Saturday. The ‘Lutes have explosive offensive players and an opportunistic defense that swarms to the ball.

The bye week came at a great time for the ‘Cats. The CLU win pushed the ‘Cats to 3-0 on the young season and positioned Linfield for what they hope is hosting consideration if the ‘Cats can win the NWC. There’s the rub, as winning the NWC is not going to be a small accomplishment. This Linfield team is still growing and is not yet a finished product. All the pieces are there for this group to be great but there is still room from improvement and growth. I truly believe that. What this team cannot do is be satisfied with starting 3-0 and having everyone tell them how great they are. The NWC is filled with worthy teams this season and PLU is right up on that list. Linfield HAS to keep clocking in every day at the ‘Catdome and get to work. Don’t let the outside praise or meaningless rankings take away the focus on what is in front of you. As fast as those polls and articles pile up the praise and love is about the speed of that all going away when you lose that determination and get tripped up. Keep striving to be great.

Get to know a Wildcat

#44 Wes Meng, Tight End, Sophomore

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: Would definitely be Ribslayer where I can truly feel like a man on every bite.

Favorite Movie: There are so many movies I enjoy but if I had to pick one I would say the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I love Samwise Gamgee.

Favorite Music: You will always catch me listening to Hip/Hop “Bad Woe” by Audio Push.

Favorite TV Show: Any of Bravo’s “Housewives” series. My roommates and I can’t get enough of them.

Favorite Pro Football Team: The Miami Dolphins, Ricky Williams made that possible.

Class I most look forward to: Acting class for sure, it is a place where I can be myself and have a lot of fun.

Mac or PC: No question Mac all the way!

What do you use more smart phone or CPU: I’d say smart phone always updating my social network.

Twitter or Facebook: You already know my answer is Twitter, If you don’t follow me follow me @m3ng_G2 I will influence your way of life.

Car or Truck: I drive a 2005 Dodge 1500, it’s by baby I love to hear its purr of the line.

Xbox, ps3 or wii: Not into the gamer lifestyle, I spend most of my time studying or reading.

Favorite McAnally saying: “Ming! Camera on the ball”

Do you have a hidden talent that folks would be surprised at: I really enjoy rapping

Favorite part about playing at Linfield: The whole concept of “The Brotherhood” its something you cant describe, you just know you would do anything for these guys.

Post Linfield aspirations: I would love to work along side my dad and help continue his company’s success like how he did with his father.

Teammate that has no idea they can’t dance: When given the opportunity to dance it is a bad idea for Kyle Wright to step on the dance floor. Much love to my roommate.

Wildcat11’s keys to victory:

Ready to Play Linfield Football: This Saturday…it’s all about the ‘Cats. It’s about this team’s readiness in terms of mentally, emotionally, and physically. There isn’t a single doubt in my mind this group is currently preparing their best for this weekend. All these young men have to do it take the lessons and preparation of these past two weeks and apply them on the field on Saturday for four complete quarters. Do that and you’re playing Linfield football. Team, Excellence, Attitude, Class.

1st down success on offense/staying out of 3rd and longs: Linfield’s offense line needs to continue to shine as they have this early season. Having success on 1st and 2nd down will be key for the ‘Cats offensive productivity this weekend. Not saying Linfield is screwed when they have 3rd down situations but 3rd and long is a traditional down and distance PLU's defense thrives with pressure and making play. Linfield needs to run the ball well this weekend in order to keep those blitz situation limited.

Mickey Inns and the WR core wreak havoc: I’m looking for Mickey Inns and the ‘Cats wide receivers to have a huge day. This group has already faced two damn good cover teams in Menlo and CLU and I’m banking on the ‘Cats passing attack to build upon those experiences and showcase their ability this weekend. Let’s make some plays!

Limit PLU’s big plays in the passing game: The ‘Lutes have a nice young core of receivers that are going to attack the ‘Cats all day long with the ‘Lutes vertical passing game and under screens. Linfield has to do a fantastic job in slowing down the ‘Lutes Kyle Warner and Kellen Westering.  PLU is more that than but Warner and Westering is what makes PLU's passing game go.  Both of these guys run well and can make plays on the ball. In order to limit the big pass play the ‘Cats have to have another great day rushing the passer.

Squeeze the Lutes run game: PLU is going to get some in the passing game. As long as it’s not huge chunks then I can live with that. However, the ‘Cats cannot afford to do is allow PLU’s rushing attack to get going. PLU tailback, Brandon James is a physical back with some speed. The ‘Cats need to button down the ‘Lutes run game in order to keep PLU a one-dimensional offense. If Linfield can do this it’s only going to limit the effectiveness of the PLU play-action pass game.

Limit mental errors/take care of the football: If the ‘Cats can take care of the football and limit mental mistakes (false starts, PI’s, blown assignments) the odds of the ‘Cats walking away with the win increase dramatically. Focus in on taking care of your individual assignments and make good decisions with the football.

Be great tacklers: PLU’s offense hasn’t changed. They run the same sets they’ve always have and cut block on the perimeter like crazy. The ‘Cats defense has to be great tacklers on Saturday and not allow PLU to extend plays for additional yardage. The first ‘Cat that gets to the ball put the good wrap on and allow the extra defenders to come in to clean it up. I thought Linfield tackled great against CLU and that trend needs to continue on Saturday.

Capitalize on scoring opportunities: Linfield will get chances to score this weekend. What they do with them is going to go a long way in who wins this game. Let’s execute on a high level in these situations. Take care of the ball and punch that sucker in the end zone at every opportunity. Attitude.


‘Cats by 10. If Linfield comes out and is sloppy in their play and sloppy with the football then PLU can beat Linfield this season.  HOWEVER, this Linfield team went through a meat grinder in their 1st three games of the season and knows what they need to do in order to win.  I feel that Linfield is going to execute their game play, be sharp on assignments, and compete to their full ability on Saturday. This game is going to have some back-and-forth but in the end, I feel the ‘Cats will show why they’re a national contender in 2012.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Game 4: Linfield at PLU Game Day Guide

View 2012 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

After the Bye the 'Cats are are on the road again as Linfield heads up I-5 for a blockbuster NWC season opener as Linfield squares off against Pacific Lutheran.  PLU is still working on an on-campus football facility so once again the 'Lutes home away from home is in Puyallup, Washington at Sparks Stadium.  Sparks is a community stadium that's home to multiple local high schools as well as PLU.  It's actually a solid game day host that gets rowdy when the 'Cats and Lutes hook up.  That should be the cast on Saturday as it's HOMECOMING for PLU this weekend.  Not too often the Linfield is the homecoming game for the opposition but this weekend is one of those times.

Click on the Wildcat Head in the above map and a bubble will pop up with some links and information about Saturday's game. PLU does NOT have a video feed so it's only the radio call so be sure to tune into Linfield's stream to catch the call with Bill Johnson and Dave Hansen.

Come back tomorrow for our big game 4 preview.

Update:  The Linfield Alumni association is also hosting a pre-game BBQ in the parking lot across the street from Sparks Stadium when Linfield travels up to Puyallup, Washington to play Pacific Lutheran on September 29th.  Again, here is that link where you can register.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Around The 'Catdomeosphere: 2012 Week 4


Welcome to your Bye Week edition of Around The 'Catdomeosphere as we bring you all the news links and stories we can gather up on your Linfield Wildcats and news around the Northwest Conference.  Obviously the 'Cats winning was a big story and gained some national sport light from and  It's always nice getting some run at a national level.  A lot of news also from around the conference as Whitworth is very excited about being 3 and 0, PLU is playing good football headed into their Bye week as they prep for Linfield, and Willamette is riding a senior dominated starting lineup to a strong start as well.  The 'Cats have the weekend off  and so does Wildcat11 as it's time to get some stuff done around Catdome Manor.  I'll be back on Tuesday so be safe out there in the 'Catdome and let's get ready for a big one up in Puyallup next weekend.

Linfield Review: 'Cats kick past the Kingsmen (page 16 of .pdf)

VC Star: 'Cats keep getting it done

Linfield Sports: Where are they now with former 'Cats QB, Brian Higgins ('94-'98)

Linfield Sports: 'Cats Drew Wert is workhorse in the middle of the 'Cats offense Josh Kay named D3 national special teams player of the week 'Cats put out a huge road win with Josh Kay coming up clutch

NCAA Insider Mag: Linfield win over CLU gets 'Cats a mention (page 6)'s Around The West Region: Kay talks about getting back into groove's Around The Nation Podcast: Pat and Keith talk upsets and the 'Cats overcoming CLU again. 'Lutes ride play making defense and big play offense to 28-14 road win over Redlands 'Lutes young guns rounding into shape in time for Linfield

Willamette Collegian: Bearcats catch a East Baptist Texas Tiger by the Tail

FullAccess Sports You Tube Page: Willamette play-by-play guy talks to Bearcats Dominic David

FullAccess Sports You Tube Page: Head Coach Glen Fowles Interview

FullAccess Sports PodCast: Wrapping about win over East Texas Baptist

La Verne Campus Times: Rats scurry past Leos (video): If you didn't know it the Rats are 3-0...don't worry they tell you that about 20 times in 1 minute.

Whitworth Pirates YouTube Page: Tully talking about being...(wait for it)...being 3 and Oh.

Whitworthian: Rats flush La Verne in Cali

LaVerene Leopards You Tube Page:  Intro is longer than the two highlights they posted.  Not a good sign.

The Puget Sound Trail: A Call to Support the Loggers

PortlandTribune: Pios start 2-0.."We believe we can beat anybody" Guess we'll find out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NWC Pick 'Em Contest: Week 4

'Cats on the Bye Week.  Time to relax.

Another not bad week for Wildcat11 but still not good enough to get in the top 1/3 of the NWC pick ‘em page. I was 6 out of 8 on the weekend and nailed the PLU over Redlands game but where I tripped up was in the West Region and National Game of the Week. DAMN YOU MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR AND YOUR HYPHEN! I’m currently 18 out of 23 on the year (78.3%) which is just ok but not Pick ‘Em Champ material. Still plenty of time but I’ll need to have a string of great weeks to get out of the middle of the pack.

What we’ve learned so far in 2012 is that the NWC is on a big upswing as a conference. I think we have four high quality teams (Linfield, Willamette, PLU, Whitworth), an ok team (L&C), a team slowly building in the right direction (Pacific), and one team way behind (UPS). Currently the NWC sits 12-4 in their non NWC action and 7-2 against the SCIAC. That is HUGE improvement from the past few seasons. Linfield is the favorite (rightfully so) but it’s going to be a battle to win this 2012 conference title. The conference season should be exciting.

Northwest Conference games

Whittier over Puget Sound (at Puget Sound): This should be an offensive explosion between two not very good teams. I’ll take Whittier’s offense to send UPS to 0-3 and headed in the direction of another 0’fer season. UPS might have to change their recruiting strategy from nationally to intergalactic at this rate. I hear the Loggers have five prospects from Mars filling out applications.

Lewis and Clark over Macalaster (at L&C): This might be a tight game between two undefeated teams. L&C’s offense hasn’t had the same pop this season as last year but their defense has been holding down some suspect teams at a reasonable level. The fighting Scots are flying half way across the country and I think L&C will have a little too much. The Pios are saying “they can beat anyone”. I say L&C starts the season 4-0 but will wind up 4-5 when it’s all said and done.

Whitworth over Chapman (at Whitworth): The Rats finally get to come home and play after finishing their “2012 Soft as Charmin” tour to kick off the season. The Rats wrapped up their 3-week roadie in beating St. Scholastic, Whittier, and La Verne. I feel I’ve learned much more about PLU in their first two games (PLU is looking dangerous) than I know about a 3-0 Whitworth at this point. Rats take care of Chapman on the back of Ronnie Thomas as we won’t know anything about Whitworth until Oct 6th.

Willamette over Pacific (at Willamette): In a strange twist this is actually a Non-Conference NWC game. Both Pacific and Willamette wanted that 10th game but instead of tracking down an opponent outside of the NWC they decided to save a few bucks and just stay within Northwest Oregon. These two will play a 2nd time later this season in a NWC game up at Pacific in early November. Pacific is 1-1 after securing a nice road win at Occidental but it turns out that Occidental is a dumpster fire this season. Menlo tacked up 56 1st half points before shutting it down in a 56-6 win. Yikes. I think after two games Willamette has proven that the NWC pre-season poll was terribly incorrect when they slotted the Bearcats 5th. Willamette has played damn good football out of the games and is looking like a NWC title contender along with Linfield, PLU, and Whitworth. The Bearcats will continue that early season roll this weekend.

West Region Game of the Week:

Carroll over St. Norbert (at St. Norbert): Look out. You know that it’s thin picking in the West Region when we have to stoop down into the lowly MWC to find a game. This conference almost as bad as the SCIAC *rimshot*. Only kidding my SoCal readers. Gosh, I really don’t know here. St. Norbert already let me down once during week 1 and fool me once…shame on..shame on you. Fool me…can’t get fooled again. I’ll go with Carroll.

National Game of the Week:

#22 Hampden-Sydney over Huntingdon (at H-S): I know close to nothing about these two teams in the South Region. All I know is that Hampden-Sydney is ranked and Huntingdon has a loss on the year. I don’t feel like doing any research here so I’m going to go with the old “They’re ranked and at home? The other team isn’t ranked? I’ll take the ranked home team.” 60 percent of the time, it works every time. #2 Mary Hardin-Baylor over Trinity (TX) (at Trinity): If the Cru went up to Wesley and won then I have no single reason to think that the Trinity Tigers are going to be able to stop UMHB from rolling along. Go with the Cru.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 Alumni vs JV Game Highlights

Linfield's annual Alumni vs Junior Varsity game took place after the 'Cats 30-9 victory over Menlo on September 1st.  WC11 is retired but I managed to get out there with a camera and shoot the action.  Great turnout by the alumni guys but they were short up front and had to do some patchwork but it turned out well enough.  I don't have the final score but that's really secondary to the occasion as it's an opportunity of the younger 'Cats to get to see somebody besides their own teammates and the alumni crew get a chance to come back home and gear up one more time.  Awesome evening and a lot of wisdom was handed out after the contest.  Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Linfield vs CLU Game Highlights

With no game this week old WC11 isn't sure what to do. I know! How about a stripped down Linfield/CLU highlight video? There you go. Nothing fancy at all. Just a bunch of plays clipped together with the game audio. Big thank you to my man Aaron Heston who is in his 2nd year in helping me cover games. Aaron came on down to LA early Saturday morning, shot the game with me, and flew back that night. That's some Linfield love right there. We don't have a game preview for tomorrow but you should still come on back. We'll have the Alumni vs JV game highlights up as you'll get a chance to see if the old guys can still play some football. Go 'Cats!

Monday, September 17, 2012

'Cats Win! Linfield kicks it in Cali in a tremendous 33-30 win over CLU.

Wow. What a great football game on Saturday in Thousand Oaks and what a great day to be a Wildcat. As you know by now YOUR Linfield Wildcats prevailed in a dramatic 33-30 victory in a back-and-forth contest. Linfield showed tremendous guts and skill on a sizzling hot day. There were multiple opportunities for the ‘Cats quit in that fourth quarter when CLU struck what looked like a knockout blow but this group of Wildcats kept answering the bell…again and again and again. You can look at the stats, drive breakdowns, yards per completion, etc, etc. But what can’t be quantitated in a stat sheet from Saturday was the amount of heart and determination this 2012 team showed. It was a game that revealed what this group is made of and it turns out this Linfield team is made up of a group of young people that believe in each other and are incredibly resilient. Granted, mistakes were made by the ‘Cats, as it was far from a perfectly played game (both sides would say that), but when it came down to it Linfield showed why this program believes they have great things in front of them. Saturday was a classic Linfield team win. Team, Excellence, Attitude, Class.

With the win, Linfield moves up in the polls (with UWW and Wesley losing) to number three and CLU actually moved up a spot to number 9. I agree with that 100% I had CLU in my top ten before Saturday and they remained there after Saturday. They’re a darn good team that is going to light up the SCIAC like a Christmas tree and should be representing their conference in the playoffs once again. Linfield’s season on the other hand just became that more interesting and challenging.

If the ‘Cats thought the target on their back was big before Saturday it just grew that much larger. The NWC is an improved conference that has a number of landmines in the way. Linfield and PLU both have a bye week as they get ready for their September 29th showdown and it’s going to be a good one. The ‘Lutes are a dangerous young team that is going to be amped for the ‘Cats. Linfield cannot take their foot off the gas and feel fat and happy about a ranking in a poll that doesn’t really matter. The real work is in front of them as the challengers in the NWC are going to be one tough out after the next. This next phase of the season is where the rubber meets the road for this 2012 Linfield Wildcats squad. However, after seeing their heart this Saturday I feel this team is going to be up for the challenge.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

Men of Action: I boiled over with pride as the clock hit 00:00. How could you not? This group of young men kept getting back on their feet, dusting themselves off, and sprang right back into action. Everything was against them on Saturday (hostile environment, flight/overnight trip, stinking hot as heck, shorthanded roster) and this group kept responding time and again.

Rushing Attack/Josh Hill: Love what this young offensive line is all about right now. They played against a physical and fast defensive front on Saturday and did a great job in battling and getting on bodies. And what can you say about Josh Hill? I know. Josh Hill is a freaking stud. 3rd consecutive game J-Hill has clipped the 100 yard rushing mark as he did it on 22 carries for 134 yards (6.1 average). Saturday was a great effort in the rushing game by the line, receivers, and ‘Cat backs against a team that made stopping the rush their #1 priority.

Mickey Inns, Offensive Line, and WR: CLU’s defensive backs where darn tough. They were formidable. However, I came away with the utmost respect for how hard our receivers battled on Saturday, for the major set on Mickey Inns for sitting in that pocket for as long as he did, and for our offensive line/running backs for providing great protection on the day. The ‘Cats passing attack kept coming at CLU and came up with HUGE plays to set up those late field goals.

Rushing Defense: Freaking great day against the rush on Saturday. CLU did pop that huge run late in the game but if you take that off the books (I know that’s cherry picking but…) the ‘Cats defense would have yielded only 48 rushing yards on 36 carries (1.3 yards per rush). I thought our tackling and speed to the ball was outstanding. The 'Cats linebackers and defensive line had a flat our awesome day on the clock. BANG, BANG

Pass Rush: The official stats say 5 sacks for Linfield and that’s incorrect. Linfield had two more sacks that they listed as tackles for loss. I’m sorry but when the QB is running for his life after dropping back and gets creamed that’s not a rush for loss, that’s a sack. The Linfield pressure was so great that CLU had to switch up to a three step game for most of the contest and I understand why. CLU’s line is large but the ‘Cats had way too much speed for them to contend with.

Defensive Backs competing their backsides off: CLU got their yards in the passing game and threw a couple of TDs but I was thrilled with the way our fresh faced defensive backfield competed. This group worked so dang hard against a tremendously skilled set of receivers. Freshman Chad Coburn had a great pick 6 to start the second half, the DBs had other pick chances, knockdowns, and what I liked the most was their physicality. They are not afraid to mix it up and they’re only going to continue to improve.

Special Teams Coverage Units: I have to give a major shootout to a big unsung hero this season, punter Josh Repp. He is quietly having a great senior season and was once again clutch against CLU. Repp was so savvy in hanging onto the ball for an instant longer when he didn’t feel pressure before releasing another great punt. He averaged 42 yards a punt on 5 tries and has been solid as a rock through the first three games. Along with that, our kick coverage (kickoff and punt) had another great day. Their job is so vital to the outcome of the game but goes mostly unnoticed. Five all-rights to our coverage teams as they continue to be one of the best units in D3.

Field Goal Team/Josh Kay: Wow…what an incredible day for the FG unit and Josh Kay. Coming into the game this group was a big fat 0-3 and had multiple problems (blocking, holding, snapping, kicking). They were underperforming in a big way but that all changed on Saturday. Kay was 4 for 4 on the day and hit from distances of 45, 35, 41, and the game winner with 5 seconds left at 39 yards. Are you kidding me? What an electric day from this unit and Mr. Kay. That was the definition of mental toughness.

The Bad

Missed Opportunities/Turnovers: Man, the ‘Cats had MULTIPLE chances to take this game by the throat in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of play. We had two big turnovers deep in CLU territory that might have stopped the game from being seized by the ‘Cats. If Linfield converts the ‘Cats might have been able to run away and hide with the victory but both of those turnovers directly led to CLU scores that tied the contest at the end of the 1st half and in the 3rd quarter. Linfield lost the turnover battle (3-1) and still found a way to win. That’s remarkable but I’m not sure if the ‘Cats will be able to get away with that again.

Penalties: 15 penalties for 142 yards. Yikes! CLU also had a truckload (17 for 143) but that’s two games out of three where Linfield was penalized way too much. A number of calls, against both Linfield and CLU were questionable, but some of Linfield’s penalties were just dumb decision making. The players have to make an adjustment and get that number down much lower. Quit hurting yourself with things you can control.

The Ugly

CLU Photographer not owning his flub: First let me say the folks at Cal Lutheran were first class all the way leading up to Saturday and on game day. The Sports Information folks were accommodating and responsive to field pass requests, the administration and people working the game were welcoming and nice. They were great.

CLU’s set up at their stadium so that there is no fencing or guard rail between the visitor bleachers and visitor sideline. It was very cool for a number of Linfield fans to be able to be close to the action and folks kept the appropriate distance from the action. The ‘Cats fans used what’s known as “common sense”. That policy is nice and relaxed but there is always someone looking to take advantage of kindness and that someone was a photographer wearing CLU gear on the Linfield sideline.

It’s an emotional game and my fandom boils over too. That’s why I try to work the Linfield sideline during games so I’m not crossing the line as someone who’s provided the privilege of working that close to the action. If you’re a photographer, video guy, or someone with a pass you have to keep yourself in check, not mix it up with fans on the sideline, and if you do have allegiance to one team and you’re on the other sideline you HAVE to keep your mouth shut. Sometimes I have to pull it back myself but this clown on Saturday blew right pass any line of decorum and wound up paying the price.

Early in the game this guy was right by the Linfield team box giving big old first down signs and cheering for the Kingsmen when they made big plays. He was getting caught up in the emotion and was verbally mixing it up with Linfield fans on the sideline. It came to the point in the 1st quarter where I talked to him for a moment and said that he’s asking for trouble by getting into it with the Linfield fans and that he needs to just work the game.

Fast forward later in the 2nd quarter and the ‘Cats have the ball on the 44 yard line on a 2nd and 22. In the video you can see this CLU fan photographer set up on the 18 yard line right NEXT to the sideline. The ‘Cats run a draw to Hill for 11 yards and the side/back judge on the ‘Cats sideline back peddles taking in the action. Next thing you know the photographer and judge collide and the judge lands right on his backside. The official gets up and throws a flag on LINFIELD for sideline interference. Hey, the guy was wearing purple..must have been a Linfield guy. I was further down field and had no idea what transpired. I ran up to the box and people started looking at me like I was the one who interfered.

That’s when I heard the Linfield faithful screaming at us. I turned around and see at least a dozen ‘Cat fans pointing at this CLU photographer who was trying to freaking hide behind everyone. His head was down and was trying to shuffle behind a light post in the corner. Those fans were not having it as they parted like the Red Sea and keep calling him out. When I saw the culprit I started giving the judge who was tripped and the linesman an earful pointing out the now retreating photog. “That’s a CLU photographer NOT Linfield.” At that point, the photographer shuffled out behind a fence and started RUNNING FOR THE HILLS. It was a “feet don’t fail me now” moment as it looked like a grizzly bear was chasing this clown down. The judge confirmed that the guy doing the Usain Bolt impersonation was a CLU photographer and the call was revered to a 15-yard penalty on CLU instead of Linfield. CLASSIC.

We all make mistakes but you better be willing to stay there and take your reprimand/banning like a man instead of a little kid running home to momma. Easily the funniest “ugly” of the week.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Josh Kay's Game Winning Field Goal

Wildcat11 didn't have a chance to get our post-game interviews in the books due to the fact everybody was trying to catch a 6:40 flight out of Long Beach to PDX. After the game it was pretty much team break and work your way through LA traffic. I felt like I had to give you something today until I can get to the game review so why not Josh Kay and the Field Goal unit kicking their way to a Linfield victory. Great hold by corner Brandon Funk and what a clutch day by Josh Kay. It was a monster 33-30 win by the 'Cats and I'm so proud of how tough this group is. Never quit...just keep banging away. 'Catdome Baby.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Linfield vs Cal Lutheran Game Day Twitter Feed

Your Live Linfield gameday Twitter Feed is back.  You can now follow live updates of the 'Cats at Cal Lutheran 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" and #d3fb in your updates.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 NWC Pick 'Em: Week 3


Not a bad week 2 for Wildcat11 as I correctly picked 7 out of 8 games right. The only contest I missed is the nice win Pacific picked up on the road over Occidental. I’m sure the Oxy faithful is toasting their athletic director and her decision to fire the Tigers' legendary coach Dale Widolff for “violations” of some type. Looks like jettisoning Widolff is going to work out great for the rest of the SCIAC. Congrats. Overall the NWC had a great week in going 4-2 with only UPS being UPS and PLU battling but falling to Cal Lutheran. The conference is looking to be very competitive this season and should make for an exciting NWC season.

WC11 is currently sitting in a tie for 3rd place with about 8 other pickers and this week looks like a chance for folks to make some moves with big games throughout the NWC and around the nation. A great week of Division 3 football is in front of us.

Northwest Conference Games:

Willamette over East Texas Baptist (at Willamette): After opening eyes in their week 1 offensive explosion the Bearcats are back after a week 2 bye. This is actually a Friday night lights game for Willamette as they host East Texas Baptist. ETBU played Wesely well before falling in week 1 and had an unimpressive win in week 2. I think Willamette will put this one to bed and start the season 2-0 and edge closer to breaking the top 25.

Lewis & Clark over Pomona Pitzer (at Lewis & Clark): P-P dropped to Menlo last week in their season opener but that’s not surprising and L&C pulled out a close win over CMS. I still think L&C is in for a rude awaking once they get into NWC play but they get to at least feel good early in the season.

Whitworth over La Verne (at La Verne): La Verne with a really late start to the year as they host a Rat squad with 2 road games under their belt. La Verne is hosting their 1st night game in program history with a facility upgrade. The Leos didn’t play that bad under their 1st year coach and looks to be a program headed in the right direction. With that said, Whitworth should take care of business in what I think will be a closer than expected game.

Pacific Lutheran over Redland (at Redlands): Completely going against the grain on this pick as I’m the only one taking the ‘Lutes for the huge road win. I didn’t see it but I get the feeling that PLU played CLU tough last weekend and my gut is telling me the Dawgs might be sleeping on PLU a little. Might regret this one but I’m going to roll the dice.

West Region Games of The Week:

St. Olaf over Concordia-Moorhead (at St. Olaf): Two games in the MIAC have four teams sitting at 2-0. St. Olaf has had some pre-season hype with what they’re returning but Concordia-Moorhead is that program that seems to always chug along and produce solid teams. Should be a good one but I’ll take St. Olaf in the home win.

St. Thomas over St. John's (at St. John’s): Oh my. This is an annually huge game that sees crowds of over 12,000 plus fans pack to the rafters. The students, alumni, programs are not fond of each other…at all (warning: NSFW language). After years of owning St. Thomas the Tommies broke through and defeated SJU in 2010 in overtime to mark a changing of the guard as the MIAC’s top dog. That was reinforced by 2011’s epic stomping the Toms laid on SJU by a count of 63-7. SJU looks improved this season and UST is breaking in some new parts. The 2012 edition should be a fun contest but I’m looking for the over-talker and his Tommies to break SJU’s heart once again.

National Game of the Week:

Wesley over Mary Hardin-Baylor (at Wesley): Along with the Linfield at CLU game this is the other “national game of the week” You have the #3 team in the country hosting the #4 team in a rematch from last season’s South Regional Finals when Wesley defeated UMHB on the road. This should be a great game to witness and I’m torn on who to pick. I’m going with Wesley solely based on the fact that they’re hosting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 Game 3 Preview: Linfield (2-0) at Cal Lutheran (1-0)

Hey, do we know each other?
For the 6th time in the past 29 games YOUR Linfield Wildcats will be lining up against the Kingsmen out of California Lutheran. At this point, I feel like I should just copy and paste the five previous game previews and call it good. Don’t take that last sentence as an indication that I’m tired of this match-up because I’m not. I think it’s great that the top two West Coast Division III programs have the stones to continue this series in the regular season when the chances are they might very well see each other again in the post season. It’s a credit to both Linfield and CLU that they’re willing to take the risk as this series will continue into 2013.

This game has big implications for both Linfield and CLU. It’s not the end-all for both programs because the reality is winning the NWC and SCIAC conference titles and the automatic bids to the playoffs holds a higher importance to both programs. With that said, this is a game that matters. Not so much in the rankings because those are just a fun bragging point for fans and schools to talk about. Rankings don’t mean much of anything when it comes to the real prize of winning this showdown. The prize is gaining the bonus points in the regional criteria when the NCAA playoff  committee sits down to determine who is in the playoffs and what teams will be hosting games. That’s the truth of the matter. Who wins on Saturday gains the inside track of hosting at least a first round playoff game if the winner can take care of their business for the remainder of the season. That’s kind of a big deal.

Both of these teams are entering Saturday’s game highly regarded in Division III. Linfield holds a number 5 ranking after starting the year 2-0 after downing Menlo (30-9) and Hardin-Simmons (49-35). The ‘Cats have shown a great amount of potential but also have been choppy with their play in the first two games. CLU kicked off their season ranked #11 (now #10) last week up at Pacific Lutheran and beat PLU 37-23. Both teams would tell you they have areas of needed growth and both are trying to shore up aspects of their game as the season progresses. To me, CLU is under ranked by the D3 community. I’ve seen Wesley, UMHB, Whitewater, and St. Thomas with my own eyes over the past three seasons and CLU is in that company along with the ‘Cats. This is the group of teams in D3 that are trying to kick in the door on Mount Union and Whitewater.

For this 2012 CLU team, I know they have a ton of talent. They had to replace some key contributors from their 2011 squad but that’s what good programs do…reload. CLU quarterback Kevin Ramay should have a fine 2012 season throwing the ball to one of the best receivers in Division III Eric Rodgers.  Along with Rodgers, CLU has a number of skillful receivers to spread the wealth around. Along with the potent passing game, CLU has hitched their wagon on explosive freshman running back Romello Goodman.  He looks to be a long term difference maker for the Kingsmen in the running game. Defensively, the Kingsmen will be just as stout with Rian Younker on the defensive line with a number of fast and physical linebackers and DB’s filling up the stat sheet.  I don't see much of a fall off, if any, from last season.

Linfield is coming into this game looking to continue to grow. I don’t think there is any question that the ‘Cats have talent to be a contender in the NWC and beyond but it’s a matter of ironing out some issues from the first two games that has caused a little up and down play. This weekend is a huge opportunity to grow for the ‘Cats. They’re going to be entering a hostile environment against a motivated and talented team. This Linfield team needs to prove they can go into this situation and come out with a win on the road against a top flight team. It should be an awesome football experience.

Get To Know A Wildcat

#41, Brynnan Hyland, Defensive End, Junior

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: Artic Circle was the first meal I ever had in McMinnville and it hasn’t let me down yet.

Favorite Movie: Boondock Saints.

Favorite Music: I will listen to pretty much anything but the island influence on the team has turned me into a big reggae fan lately.

Favorite TV Show: They are very different shows but it’s a toss up between Workaholics and Sons of Anarchy.

Favorite Pro Football team: Born and raised New England Patriots fan.

Class I Most Look Forward to: Right now Spanish is my favorite class.

Mac or PC: Mac no question.

Cpu Homepage: The apple homepage because I haven’t changed it to anything cool in three years.

What do you use more, Smart Phone or CPU: Computer because my old school Iphone takes 7 minutes to load anything.

Twitter or Facebook: Facebook.

Car or Truck: I drive a beat up Subaru Outback.

Xbox, PS3, or WII: My mom wouldn’t let me play video games when I was a kid and I never got around to buying a system when I got older.

Favorite Coach Vaughan Saying: “Take an imaginary water break.”

Do you have a hidden talent that folks would be surprised by: My parents owned a restaurant while I was growing up so I can cook pretty well.

Your Favorite Part About Playing at Linfield is: The relationships that you build through working towards a common goal and understanding that the only way to achieve that goal is by doing everything the “Linfield Way”.

Post Linfield aspirations: I am an International Business major so I would like to go into a career that allows me to travel and possibly live in another country. I think it would be really interesting to learn another culture by being fully immersed in it.

Wildcat11’s Keys to Victory:

Embrace the Opportunity: Players come to Linfield to play in big games. This Saturday would qualify. The ‘Cats need to come into Saturday fully prepared to handle adversity for four full quarters. CLU is going to try to wear Linfield out over the duration of the game. The ‘Cats have to be prepared mentally and physically to go the distance. Enjoy the moment and the chance to compete in what should be a big game environment.

Contain the CLU run game: I think I’ve used this as a “key” in the previous five game previews but it holds true today. I’m probably a moron and should replace this with “limit the CLU passing game” because CLU will be dangerous in the air, however, if Linfield allows CLU to run wild on Saturday then it’s going to be a long flight home. The ‘Cats have to put a premium on containing the Kingsmen rushing attack. If the ‘Cats can do that then we have a fighting chance.

Balanced Linfield Offense: Josh Hill had two fantastic games in 2011 vs Cal Lutheran. I would imagine that the Kingsmen have spent a good chunk of their defensive preparation on focusing on the Linfield rushing attack. That’s why it’s vital for Mickey Inns and the ‘Cats receivers to pull their weight on Saturday and not allow CLU to load up the box on the ‘Cats. Linfield has to make plays in the passing game to allow Linfield to keep CLU guessing.

Limit big plays: I don’t doubt for a second that CLU is going to try to get after our younger secondary and see if they can hit some big plays. Linfield needs to tackle on defense at a high level and make sure they do a great job in not giving up anything easy.

Great on coverage teams: No short fields for CLU on Saturday. The Kingsmen offense will be explosive enough. Let’s make sure we converge on the ball and not get hurt in the return game.

Get points any opportunity that you can: Linfield needs to find a way to scrape, claw, and fight for every point they can on Saturday. Creating turnovers, special teams, offensive production, it’s going to take a complete team effort. Linfield needs to make plays on the ball and convert at every opportunity they can.


‘Cats by 3. This game is going to come down to which team can play better for the longer period of time. Linfield and Cal Lutheran are both capable of winning on Saturday and it would be lying if I wrote anything different. However, I have faith that this Linfield team is going to dig deep and find a way to get a big win on the road. If the ‘Cats play Linfield Football for four quarters then anything is possible.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Game 3: Linfield at California Lutheran Game Day Guide

View 2012 Linfield Wildcats Football Guide in a larger map

The 'Cats are are on the road for the first time this season as the 'Cats venture down to Southern California to play the 3 time defending SCIAC champions the Kingsmen of California Lutheran. Don't be fooled by the image from the Google Maps above of Saturday's venue as CLU opened up a brand new multi-use athletic stadium at that location that hosts CLU's football and soccer programs.  It should be an electric environment as the 'Cats come to town.

Click on the Wildcat Head in the above map and a bubble will pop up with some links and information about Saturday's game. CLU does have a free video feed so be sure to bookmark the link (in the info bubble). Only been to Thousand Oaks once before, when the 'Cats dropped a 47-42 decision to CLU in 2010.  I'm the wrong guy to talk to about what to do in town.  California Lutheran University does list out 50 things to do while at CLU but most of the items on that list are things to do outside of the city of Thousand Oaks.  Going to a CLU sporting event is number 34 so at least I'll be able to check that off the list.  Only 49 more to go.

Come back tomorrow for our game 3 preview.

Update: For those are going to be attending the Linfield vs California Lutheran game this weekend, the Linfield Alumni association has set up a Pre-Game BBQ.  The BBQ is for all Linfield fans, family, and alumni who would like to attend.  Here is the link for more information and how to register.  

The Linfield Alumni association is also hosting a pre-game BBQ in the parking lot across the street from Sparks Stadium when Linfield travels up to Puyallup, Washington to play Pacific Lutheran on September 29th.  Again, here is that link where you can register.

Monday, September 10, 2012

‘Cats Win! Linfield flips the script in the second half to outgun the Cowboys.

Photo Courtesy of Linda MacClanathan

Linfield answered the bell on Saturday. In facing their 1st true adversity of the season YOUR Linfield Wildcats didn’t do anything crazy at halftime with the scheme or adjustments. Nope, the ‘Cats came out of the locker room and put it into another gear with playmaking on both sides of the ball. There were a few key plays that Linfield made that opened the dam as the ‘Cats would break off 28 consecutive points to put the game to bed before HSU could tack up a couple of meaningless touchdowns that made the game look closer than it actually was in that 2nd half.

A number of younger players were pushed into key spots on Saturday and I was impressed with the response. Mistakes were made, but overall, we had a number of younger ‘Cats making plays when we needed it and that bodes well as the season progresses.

However, it isn’t all flowery and back slapping for the ‘Cats. While this 2012 Linfield team had some tremendous growth this past Saturday there are still some areas this team will need to tighten up and show marked improvement if these ‘Cats want to achieve the goals they have in front of them. And the ‘Cats better make it quick as Linfield will be packing up the bags for a trip down to Thousand Oaks to play a talented California Lutheran squad this weekend.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

Team Response: HSU came into the game with full intentions of smacking Linfield in the mouth and upending the ‘Cats 3-year, 19 game home winning streak. With the defense on their heels, the offense responded with a critical TD to get the score back even at 21 before the half. I was curious to see how Linfield would respond with some key players on the shelf for the remainder of the game and this group of ‘Cats responded in a fantastic manner. The 'Cats kept their composure and raised their level of play. That was a great sign of what is possible for this team.

Josh Hill and the rushing attack continue to impress: Linfield’s Josh Hill was electric on Saturday in rushing for 149 yards on just 19 carries (7.8 yards per rush). That’s J-Hill’s second consecutive 100 yard rush game and #7 looks so strong running the ball. Along with Hill's production, Freshman John Shaffer again made waves with 46 yards on 4 carries, Quarterback Josh Yoder punched in two rush TD’s in Linfield’s Wildcat package, and Steven Nasca showed great pop as well.

‘Cats second half defense: Linfield’s defense actually played well in the early going of the game in limiting HSU to only 28 yards in their 1st four possessions but the Cowboys got on a roll with key 3rd down conversions and a big run after catch to reel off 3 consecutive TDs in the 2nd quarter. After that stumble, the ‘Cats defense was electric during the 3rd quarter in blocking a field goal, forcing short possessions, and creating monster turnovers. It was a great surge by the ‘Cats defense.

Mickey Inns/WR’s having a day: The Wildcat wide receivers showed their depth and explosiveness this past weekend as five different ‘Cats caught TD passes with Sophomore Charlie Poppen leading the way with 147 yards on 10 catches. Mickey Inns had fantastic decision making on the day with 4 TD passes and showed great patience in the pocket throughout the game. Second game in a row where I've been impressed with the 'Cats youthful offensive line.

Coverage Teams: Hardin-Simmons had some dangerous return players in the kick and punt team but I thought the ‘Cats coverage (especially on kickoff) was fantastic. Well, it was fantastic when they could return a kickoff that Josh Kay didn’t send through the back of the end zone. I was impressed with both of these special teams.

The Bad:

Giving up 35 points and 500 yards of offense: Not ideal at all. HSU had a nice scheme, savvy quarterback, a hardnosed running back, good skill people, and solid protection on the day. This is tough because Linfield showed HSU major mercy late in the 4th quarter from 1st and goal from the 8 by running four consecutive dives up the gut. The ‘Cats could have easily opened up the playbook and pushed the lead to 56-28 but went the classy route. HSU responded by running their 1st team back on the field and went hurry up for 96-yards for the meaningless TD in the last two minutes. That drive skewed the stats some but regardless Linfield allowed a running back to get 160 rush yards on them and allowed a number of big plays in the passing game.

Field Goal Team: I’m stating the obvious here but this unit needs to improve. Field goals were a huge weapon in 2011 and Linfield needs to get this current group back to that level. There isn’t a single doubt in my mind the talent is there, it’s just a matter of execution when the lights are on. Linfield is going to need this group’s productivity in order to reach this team's full potential.

QB pressure: Have to credit HSU’s quarterback as he didn’t hang onto the ball for very long and he also did a nice job in getting rid of it when he felt the rush get close but I’m sure the defensive line would be the first to tell you Saturday wasn’t their best game in the rush department. I’m not worried about these guys because the talent is proven and they’re hard working. Just not a great pressure day.

The Ugly:

All-Purple Uniforms: Ok, here is my “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!” moment. I’ve been bagging on the all-purples since the 2005 team first rolled them out. Each time I see them it just reaffirms my thought that the all-purple look should be shelved for good. However, I know the players and younger alumni love the monochrome uniform. Guys will say they wish they could do it more often. Listen, the ‘Cats purple top/white pants look has become a trademark of Linfield football since they made the alteration in 1998. That look has matured beautifully over the years as its classic and players are able to make it fit the current times with bands, sleeves, gloves, etc. So it pains me to see that awesome uniform combo get put away once again for the pure purple look. Some guys pull it off well but others (looking at you big guys)…not so much. I understand the times are different with team doing uniform reveals like a fashion show and having 5 different helmets with 1,245 uniform combos. It’s the “thing” in college football. This is just a matter of personal preference, but to me, it’s still ugly every time I see purple on top of purple.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hardin-Simmons Post Game Interviews

Late night submission today for our post-game interviews but late is better than never.  The 'Cats faced their 1st major adversity of the season with the 'Cats going into half knotted up at 21-21 before Linfield rolled in the 2nd half.  I tracked down Rover Mike Nardoni and Linebacker Tyler Robitaille on the defensive side of the ball and Quarterback Josh Yoder and receiver David Sigler on the offensive side of the ball.

We submitted the below video of Sophomore Rover Mike Nardoni throwing a stick of dynamite at HSU quarterback, Logan Turner, in the 3rd quarter.  Huge play as the 'Cats just went up 28-21 when Nardoni's hit and fumble recovery set up Micky Inns hitting Charlie Poppen for a 31-yard TD pass and the 'Cats never looked back.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Around The 'Catdome: 2012 Week 2

Get to the 'Catdome tomorrow!!!

Lots of action today in our link round-up. Student Newspapers have not been on their game but there has been plenty of media coverage all around the NWC to whet your appetite for tomorrow's action.  Linfield vs Hardin-Simmons game should be a lot of fun.  Toss out last weekend's result for the Cowboys as I'm expecting then to iron out some of their issues last weekend and give the 'Cats all they can handle.  It should be an excellent opportunity for Linfield to showcase why some think this Linfield squad is a National Contender.

Beaver Nation Live Radio KPOJ-AM: Beaver Nation talks with Linfield Head Coach Joe Smith

Linfield Sports: Josh Kay is kicking it for the 'Cats 'Cats have a little fun Menlo beat Linfield in Time of Possession. Yeah for moral victories! Game Day Live blog of 'Cats 30-9 beating of Menlo. Linfield surges past Menlo. 'Cats in the D3 round-up

WildcatSpread40: 'Cats Slash Oaks 30-9...

WildcatSpread40's YouTube Page: Linfield vs Hardin-Simmons Preview's Triple Take: Linfield is on the radar this weekend. Cowboys travel a long road to the 'Catdome Bearcats pass up Hardin-Simmons Willamette rolls up a fat offensive number in season opener

Fullaccesssports: Bearcats weekly podcast says Willamette fans and players will be lurking at the 'Catdome tomorrow. PLU going with Sophomore signal caller Loggers get rolled by Sewanee Rats Thomas was workhorse in 28-13 win over St. Scholastica (w/video): Rats roll chump in week 1 look to fatten up on another cupcake this weekend. Rats will face a new look Whittier team.  BTW, Sweet pose coach!

Pacific Boxer YouTube Page: Boxers Simon Frasier Highlights Kingsmen say National Championship or bust


Linfield Sports: You're invited to Linfield's re-dedication to the 'Cats tricked out new Hall of Fame and Hall of Champions

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 NWC Pick 'Em: Week 2

First week is in the books and Wildcat11 just had a so-so week in picking 5 out of 7 games right. I missed big on St. Norbert vs John Carroll as J.C. pounded the Green Knights and I missed (along with almost everyone) Willamette putting up a huge offensive performance in beating Hardin-Simmons. It’s just one game but Willamette made a rather big statement that their offensive attack is going to be much different than the past almost two decades. Props to the Bearcats for winning down in Abilene which is no easy task.

While last week looked like some good picking, this week is looking to be a tough slew of games. Unlike Division I which has now turned into most of the major programs paying for wins by lining up cream puff former I-AA’s to take a payout for a beating. Division III actually has a number of high profile games early in the season because teams know strength of schedule matters along with the auto qualifier. If you miss the A-Q and go into Pool C you better have a resume to sell.

On to the picks!

Northwest Conference:

#11 Cal Lutheran over Pacific Lutheran (at PLU): A now annual battle of the Lutherans will take place up at Puyallup as the ‘Lutes are turning back the clock on their helmets and looking to restore their program back to the success of that era. However, waiting for them is a CLU that is bigger, deeper, and tougher than ever before (they do that every year). All joking aside, CLU is going to be the better team that should handle PLU.  The Kingsmen did drop a game to PLU back in 2010 as a heavy favorite and I might pay more attention to that but that's when PLU had a seasoned QB running the show. History won’t repeat itself this weekend.

Whitworth over Whittier (at Whittier): I have to be honest and I was surprised that the Rats only posted at 28-13 win over a blah St. Scholastica team. Thought the margin would have been much greater. Folks down in Whittier are talking big about making waves this year but that seems to be the only thing Whittier does well and that’s talk. Rats give the Poets a steady diet of Ronnie Thomas and lock up another “just ok” win.

Lewis & Clark over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (at CMS): Lewis & Clark and CMS have traded home games with each team winning decisively on their home turf the past two years. The NWC picking board is split over this game but I’m going to give the edge to L&C. I think the Pios have a laundry list of questions to answer. I know it’s their QB’s show but he’s missing some big weapons on both sides of the ball. Now that I typed that I feel like I should go with CMS…nah. Let’s go with the Pios to start the year 1-0.

Occidental over Pacific (at Oxy): Man, I was following last week’s beating 51-14 Simon Frasier put on Pacific via twitter and I could just feel the air being let out of the Boxer balloon by the minute. No shame in losing to an improved DII team, but I think those around Boxer nation were putting too much stock into their close call with the Clan in 2010. Folks in Forest Grove were thinking last Thursday was a win waiting to happen. Ouch. Pacific may not lose by that big of a margin this weekend but Oxy should be prepared. I’ll take the Tigers.

Chapman over Puget Sound (at Chapman): I’d be shocked if UPS beat Champman. Not saying Champman is a SCIAC title contender but they’re a decent program. UPS may need to open up the recruiting globally instead of nationally at this rate.

West Region Game of the Week:

#14 North Central over #13 Redlands (at North Central): This is a big game for both programs. Last season, the Bulldogs built their entire season off of upsetting North Central in the 2011 season opener and rode that wave to an NCAA playoff berth. North Central went bonkers after losing to the ‘Dawgs and won 10 in a row before falling in the 2nd round of the 2011 playoffs. It looked like the rematch this year would be just as big of a game but some speed came off the fast ball when the Cardinal fell apart last week in getting upset 21-17 by the hand's of UW-Lacrosse. That screams to me that Redlands has a chance this weekend but I think N.C. will rebound over Redlands.

National Game of the Week:

Wesley over Salisbury (at Salisbury): This is the Division III national game of the week. Wesley had to work hard to put East Texas Baptist away last week (34-14) while Salisbury put Christopher-Newport to bed late by a count of 40-16. Salisbury has been close to breaking out on the national stage but keeps falling to Wesley year after year. This might be the Gulls game but I think Wesley will retain that number 3 ranking in edging out Salisbury.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Game 2 Preview: Linfield College (1-0) vs Hardin-Simmons University (0-1)

Once again it will be 'Cats vs Cowboys

After a two year break the Linfield Wildcats and Hardin-Simmons Cowboys have renewed their series with a fresh deal over the next two seasons.  The 'Cats and Cowboys played for four consecutive seasons starting in 2006 with each squad holding serve at home with HSU drawing first blood in a 21-6  2006 victory.  2007 saw Linfield and the Cowboys have an old fashion shootout in the 'Catdome with Linfield taking the 54-42 victory.  The 2008 edition saw the game go down to the wire as a Linfield rally was turned back in a last minute drive to down Linfield 29-22 back in Texas.  Finally, the last time these team faced off was in the 'Catdome in 2009 when Linfield put the Cowboys on ice 37-22.  These games have been intense, highly competitive, and contests that sent one team shooting up the D3 ladder and the other stumbling for the remainder of the season.  This Saturday is a big game for Linfield.

The Cowboys are coming into Saturday reeling after getting blitzed by Willamette 58-34 in the Cowboys season opener.  Some in the 'Catdome might be thinking to themselves "Oh, if Willamette did HSU like that then we should roll."  That would be foolish line of thinking to buy into.  The Willamette and HSU game was the 3rd consecutive season those teams played and Willamette obviously had a handle of the Cowboys schemes.  On the flip side, Willamette was entering the game with a major schematic advantage over HSU.  The Bearcats have been saying they'll be using the fly with a twist throughout the spring and summer.  HSU was going into that game blind on the defensive side of the ball.  What Willamette rolled out was brand new uptempo passing offense that had left the 'Cowboys scrambling to the tune of giving up over 700 yards of offense.  Credit to Willamette for being the first NWC school to win in Abiliene but HSU didn't have the book on the Bearcats.  You also need to take into consideration that HSU did rally and get the game within 10 in the 4th quarter before Willamette was able to put it away.

What I'm getting at is if you think HSU is some cream puff that's going to roll over in the 'Catdome then you would be mistaken.  I have to imagine a program as proud as Hardin-Simmons has to feel disgusted with last weekend and are fully focused on getting that taste out of their mouth.  Knocking off #5 Linfield would go a long way to put this past Saturday behind them.  If the 'Cats come into this game asleep at the wheel and are sloppy the Cowboys are a team capable of knocking off Linfield.

For our 'Cats this is another major test and a chance to correct some ills from last weekend that held Linfield back from playing at a level in all three phases this program is accustom.  The 'Cats will need to take the next step forward in eliminating those errors that keep Linfield from putting more points on the board and breathing life into the opposition.  Even with some of the rough spots you had to be excited to see what might be possible for this 2012 Linfield team.  We have an incredible fast defense that is ball hawking every play, an offensive line that played very sound out of the gate, and offensive weapons with the ability to make plays every time they touch the ball.  It's just a matter of firing on all cylinders. 

Get To Know A Wildcat

#25 Tim Edmonds, Linebacker, Junior

Favorite place in Mac to eat: On special occasions, my favorite place to eat would certainly be the Hotel Oregon, Mcmenamins restaurant. Where I enjoy an appetizer of Buffalo wings, and an entry of the Captain Neon Burger and fries.

Favorite Movie: There is no one movie for me. I’m a die-hard fan of the Star Wars Saga, which I have been watching for as long as I can remember.

Favorite Music: Voted “Best taste in music” my eighth grade year, listening to 90’s alternative rock. Though I listen to many other genres, I will always refer to these as my favorites.

Favorite TV show: American Pickers. Those guys are always off on adventures searching and seeking out what most people call trash. They call treasure.

Favorite Pro Football team: Green Bay Packers. Born and raised a Packer. Go Pack Go!

Class I most look forward to: Football, 5 days a week, 3:00 to 6:00pm in the Catdome!

MAC or PC: Mac for sure. Wouldn’t have it any other way!

What do you use more Smart phone or CPU: Definitely will always find me on my Smart phone if I got nothing else going on. Quick, and accurate!

Twitter or Facebook: I’d say neither, but I just started a facebook and enjoy the social networking.

Car or Truck: I own a 95’ Black Honda Accord, but would certainly prefer a big ol’ Dodge Ram Super Cab 2500.

Xbox, ps3, or wii: Not a big gamer, I really enjoy my time spent outside. Xbox is a nice multiple use system though!

Favorite Rombach saying: “LOUD NOISES!!!”

Linebacker with the best and worst sense of style: I will be honest here.... I myself have swagger, along with my boy Dominique Forrest. While Tyler Robitaille is still working on catching up.

Do you have a hidden talent that folks would be surprised by: I have been playing the Drums since 5th grade. In middle school I played in two bands, which my last band played a gig for 50 friends in my garage. I continue to play for fun.

Your favorite part about playing at Linfield is: Men of Action. The feeling I get when I step on that field and know that I’m not alone. There is a pack of men around me all fighting their own challenges, but when we step on the field together we fight for one goal and one purpose. Linfield football is built under four pillars of concrete characterists in which we all thrive to withhold in our lives. No better feeling.

Post Linfield aspirations: I’d love to keep going in the sport I love! I love this game and what it has done for my life to give up on it quite yet. I plan on getting hooked up across seas and play for a few more years till I hang up the pads. From there I’d love to work for a college and continue to help people in finding their own path and provide the perfect place for their future success.

Wildcat11's Keys to Victory

Be ready to play a worthy opponent:  Respect All, Fear None.  Live that on Saturday.  Be ready to play against a team this is looking to come into the 'Catdome and take something you've been working towards for years.  Come out of the gate emotional and physically ready to play four full quarters of Linfield football. 

Cash in on scoring opportunities:  It's going to be key this game to make every trip down in the red zone count.  Linfield has to come away with points when the chances present themselves.  Leaving opportunities wasted could allow HSU to be in position late to steal this game.

Win 3rd down on both sides of the ball:  Linfield has to be better this weekend with their 3rd down execution this week.  It's vital for not only this Saturday but moving forward to be able to convert on this down.  Get positive yardage early and set up those shorter 3rd down plays that allow the 'Cats to use more of the playbook.  On the flip side, the 'Cats defense has made a killing on 3rd down over the past few seasons.  HSU is going to get after the 'Cats secondary so it's vital to create those 3rd and longs.

Keep the pressure on:  Hardin-Simmons Quarterback in a senior transfer from Southeaster Oklahoma State (DII) who is a dangerous QB.  He has weapons around him and Linfield's defensive line is going to have a much stiffer test this weekend.  Linfield's defensive front four have to be able to make things happen on their own to allow for more defenders to provide help in coverage.  Big pass rush week for the 'Cats.

Balanced Offense Attack: Linfield's uptempo offense is most dangerous when the 'Cats can gash teams with both the run and pass.  It keeps teams off balanced to have to honor the run while still accounting for the 'Cats passing attack.  If Linfield can hit the right notes this weekend then I'm expecting a big offensive day.

DB's first air challenge:  Last weekend our defensive back faced a big challenge in terms of scheme and making sound 1-on-1 tackles in the run game.  This weekend is their first real challenge in the passing department.  The Cowboys are going to try to run the ball but mainly are going to attack through the air.  I believe this defensive back group is ready and Saturday is their first chance to prove it against a more traditional  passing team.


'Cats by 10. I'm very much looking forward to this weekend.  As I've stated over and over again the 'Cats are playing a worthy team in Hardin-Simmons that will bring their best effort on Saturday.  I don't doubt that for an instant.  However, if the 'Cats are able to iron out last weekend's issues this is a dangerous Linfield team.  I'm looking for Linfield to hit some big offensive home runs this weekend and look for the 'Cats defense to fly around the 'Catdome making big plays.