Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Game 5 Preview: 'Cats at Rats

It's the last leg of Linfield's 2009 "West Coast Road Trip" and this week Linfield finds themselves traveling out to Spokane to take on the Rats of Whitworth. This is another in a line of HUGE games for our 'Cats as Whitworth is looking to bounce back from a tough road loss last week at Willamette and Linfield is trying to push their NWC record to 2-0.

Don't let Whitworth's 2-3 record fool you for a second. Whitworth has lost to then #5 HSU (Before the Feaster Injury), lost a close game to a pretty good top 25 Redlands team, and then dropped last weekend to #17 Willamette. The Rats have seen top flight competition this season so facing the 'Cats will be nothing new in terms of playing a quality opponette.

This game has me agitaged for few reasons. Linfield is headed into their 4th consecutive week in a row where they have to make a HUGE road trip and this time by bus. Heck, even Coach Smith said that the team is a little tired right now by having shorten weeks and little recovery time. So not only does Linfield have to battle a team that's had some very good recent success vs. Linfield but the 'Cats also have to battle through the adversity of the road once again. Then, you add in the flu bug that's been running through the roster the past few weeks. It's a major gut check for the 2009 Wildcats. Do they have enough in the tank to head out to Spokane and run their record to 5-0? We're going to find out soon.

Better Get To Know A Rat:

(This week's "Better Get To Know" segment is going to be a little light. The Whitworth players are already ahead of the curve and have all of their MySpace/Facebook profiles set to private so I don't have much to work on.)

#49 Layton Brown, Linebacker, Junior

Vitals: 6'3", 225 lbs.

2009 Stats (Through 5 Games): 18 Solo Tackles, 14 asst. tackles (32 Total), 3.5 Tackles For Loss, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble

Hometown: Kennewick, Washington

High School: Kennewick High

Admired Athlete: Reggie White

Other Whitworth Sport: Baseball

Layton's 2007 YouTube Highlights at Whitworth:

Better Get To Know A Wildcat:

This week we interview one my Wildcat11 personal favorites, Paul Partlow. Not only are Paul and WC11 brothers (of the Theta Chi Fraternity variety) but I'm a big fan of dry humor (I'll admit that a kick to the groin always makes me laugh too) and Paul always seems to have a funny take anytime I talk to him. Not only is Paul a very good linebacker but from all accounts a very good young person.

Paul Partlow, Linebacker, Senior

Vitals: 6' 0", 220 Lbs.

Hometown: Portland, Or.

Major: Psychology

Minor: Math

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: Roof Top (Hotel Oregon)

Favorite Movies: Forrest Gump, Good Will Hunting, Amadeus, Cool Hand Luke, Zoolander

Favorite Music: Classic Rock

Favorite TV Show: The Office

A thing most people don't know about you?
I am a carpenter of sorts who does enjoy his Mozart every so often

Favorite class at Linfield: Seminar in Social Psychology: group discussions with Professor Gilden always seems to yield interesting conversations

Dog or Cat?
Definitely Dog. Espcially Black Labs

PS3, Xbox, or Wii?
Xbox 360, Call of Duty wouldn't be the same without it

Mac or PC?
PC, I wouldn't know how to play Warcraft without a right clicker

Favorite Coach Rombach saying?
"Sometimes, you just gotta lay out a scout team player, you know, to get the team fired up."

Yes or No on Linfield's All-Purple Uni Combo?
No, I prefer the juxtaposition of white and purple

Wildcat11's Key To Victory:

Come Ready To Play: The 'Cats need to be ready to come out and fire on all cylinders in the 1st half of action at the Pine Bowl. Just be "wound to the right tension" in that Linfield isn't too fired up that they expel all of their energy early and emotionally crash but Linfield can't afford to wait till the 3rd quarter to start playing Linfield football either. Be excited to play but understand the contest is 60 minutes long.

Defensive Line has to get it done: There is nothing fancy or tricky about the Whitworth offense. They are going to hit you with zone run after zone run and see if you're tough enough to slow the running attack down. It doesn't matter who's at running back for Whitworth because if we get physically manhandled up front the Rats are going to move the ball on us. It's a big changllenge and a huge key in the match up.

Attacking offense: I would love to see Linfield really challenge the Whitworth secondary on Saturday and not let the Rats stack the box vs the Linfeild run game. If Linfield can hit some shots downfield in the passing game then everything else is going to open up for Linfield.

Continue the defensive playmaking: Linfield's defense has been great in making plays and creating turnovers. The 'Cats need to continue this trend in being playmakers. Be Agressive!

Win on Special Teams: In my Menlo recap I mentioned about Menlo and SOU each getting a near momentum changer on specials teams in games 2 & 3. None of that this week. Let's win all day long in this vital phase of the game.


Linfield by 10. Again, this is another in a long line of huge challenges. The seniors on Linfield's roster currently sit a 1-2 career wise vs Whitworth and all three games have been close fought games where the outcome could have easily been different each time out. If Linfield travels out to Spokane with a great week of practice under their belts and play a physcial game while limiting mistakes then we should get it done. However, if Linfield plays like we did during the first half of the Menlo game then anything could happen on Saturday. I'm placing my faith that this '09 team knows they are on the verge of something special and will be ready on Saturday. Go 'Cats!

No comments: