Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Game 3 Preview: Linfield vs Menlo

It's the opening of NWC play and the first step for the 'Cats in the quest to capture the conference title and land the automatic playoff bid. This weekend the Oaks of Menlo College make the long trip from the Bay area in what could be wet conditions at the 'Catdome. Every game for the 'Cats is huge and Linfield has to have the drive to keep improving and put out a great effort this Saturday.

I'm just excited for the traditional 1:30 kickoff at the 'Catdome. Waiting around all day for a night game is brutal and I don't know if Mrs. WC11 can take me running around the house all Saturday driving her up the wall.

Know Your Foe

Oaks: It’s always hard to crush oak trees when they hold such a special place in the heart of Linfield. Just this past year the college lost a great symbol when “The Old Oak” fell due to years of battling a root disease. A truly sad day for Linfield.

But I digress….I would go on for paragraphs about the history of Menlo College but it’s Wikipedia page is shorter than the number of wins the Oaks have in NWC play (HI-YO! *rimshot*). I can tell you that Menlo was founded in 1927 and is right in the middle of the jam packed area of Atherton and Menlo Park (San Francisco metro area). After visiting there last year I can say that real estate is tight and insanely expensive.

A few Fun facts that I do know about the Oaks: They have about 800 students, they are one of the few colleges with duel affiliations with the NAIA and the NCAA. Don’t ask me which sports are in what division all I know is football is in the NCAA (duh). It seems like Menlo really pushes the business and management degrees which makes since due to the location right in the smack dab of the Silicon Valley.

Here’s a link to a wicked cool map of the college to show you really how small the campus is. If this map is to scale than that is one giant whale!

Wildcat11’s keys to victory

1) Turnover Factor. It could be a wet one at the ‘Catdome this weekend and this is where the ‘Cats need to keep improving. Keep the ball off the carpet and make Menlo put it on the carpet. If Linfield doesn’t turnover the rock the chance for the win improves greatly. (no kidding)

2) Establish the run game
. In four games this season, Menlo is giving up 167.2 yards on the ground a game and if Linfield desires to be a contender we have to exceed that number and control the game up front with our offensive line.

3) Take Menlo RB’s out of pass game.
The Oaks do have a number of offensive starters back and that has provided better continuity for the offense. Menlo loves to leak RB’s out of the backfield on arrow type routes where they can do damage in open space. Our LB’s have to be up to the task in shutting Shaun Souza down out of the backfield.

4) No let down, no looking ahead
. A test of a good team is being able to have a short memory and focus on the game in front of them. The ‘Cats just can’t “mail it in” against Menlo and look further down the road. Linfield should be working on getting better and coming out of the gates on fire.


Cats by 17. Linfield should control this game on both lines of scrimmage. Menlo is only 1-3, but again, is a team that has really only suffered one bad loss and looks to be improving as the season has moved on. The Oaks have been able to retain kids in the program and has shown to be able to put up points on the score board. Linfield on the other hand hasn’t really exploded as an offense but the signs are there for Linfield to develop into a punishing balanced offense. It’s the opener for NWC play and I look for a another great effort from the ‘Cats.

No comments: