It's rained 'Cats and Linfield points at Baker Stadium this past Saturday as our 'Cats went up to Tacoma and handled their business in a 55-14 undressing that wasn't even as close as the score indicates. Linfield outplayed and outclassed the Loggers in all phases of the game (except one aspect but we'll get that in a little bit) and did what a team of the 'Cats caliber should do in a match up like that: Drop the hammer.
As for the trip itself, Wildcat11 was lucky enough to be able to tag along with the 'Cats and enjoy the trip up. As usual, the players are first class all the way in how they deal with people when traveling. They treated the wait staff at the Country Cousin (Breakfast stop) with respect and lots of thank you's and just going about their business. You can tell it's a tight knit group that is now just hitting their stride as a team. The 'Cats potentially has some special things in front of them, but as usual, it's up to the young men on the team to decide if they are going to put in the hard work and sacrifice to make it happen. Wildcat11 is betting that they will.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Ready to play Linfield Football: The past two seasons the 'Cats have played sub-par football against Puget Sound. In both cases, the 'Cats were coming off emotional games vs Willamette (2008 a loss, 2009 a win) so many people were interested in just how Linfield would respond this time after a convincing hammering of Willamette the week before. Well, it didn't take long to find out this Linfield squad was emotionally and physically ready to handle their business. Great job by the players and staff in getting ready this past week.
Defensive Back lock down: Have to give the DB's 10 alright's as six different defensive backs picked off a pass each on the day. Just a flat outstanding effort by the secondary with the 6 total picks (could have been about 3 more) and great coverage on the day. The 'Cats pass defense continues to shine as they lead the NWC in pass defense and Pass Def Efficiency.
Season High Total Offense: 591 yards of total offense. What else can you say? The 'Cats racked up 330 yards on the ground and another 261 in the air. Those totals would make any offensive coordinator happy. The 'Cats averaged 8.7 yards per freaking play on Saturday. That's just flat getting after it.
Puget Sound was sackless: The 'Cats offensive line has now gone back-to-back weeks without giving up a sack on the day and don't think that WC11 didn't notice. The first two weeks the offensive line was still trying to get all on the same page and now it looks like this group is starting to gel. Good work big boys.
1.8 yards per rushing attempt for UPS: That is a salty stat if I've ever seen on. Granted UPS isn't primarily focused on the run but the 'Cats made sure it wasn't even an option as the 'Cats D-Line and LBs stoned the Logger's rushing attack all day. UPS' best rushing play was their QB's pulling down the ball and running for their lives.
Coverage and Return Teams: It goes unnoticed but the Loggers starting field position after kickoffs was their own 28 yard line. If the 'Cats can continue to have outstanding coverage it will pay huge dividends throughout the remainder of the season. Shoutout to the kickoff return team who didn't get much work but made the most of it with a great 69 yard return by Nate Dixon.
New Faces getting to cut their teeth. About 70 Wildcats are listed in the participation report and it was fantastic to get to see so many 'Cats get their opportunity to show their stuff during the game. Loved the way the team competed even late into the game. Great job young bucks!
PAT team: 3 blocked PAT's and one missed PAT. Not good....at all. No need to harp on that because we know the 'Cats are better than that. Let's get that cleaned up and move on.
Penalties: 8 yellow hankies were tossed on the ground against the 'Cats. Some of those flags I'm not too sure if there was really an infraction but the reality is the calls were made so Linfield has to make it a point in improving on this for next week.
Having Linfield as your Homecoming Football game. Yeah, this is probably more of a College Administration decision than an athletic department decision but whoever decides to host Linfield football as their homecoming game should get fired or made to do The Dougie in their underwear in the school academic quad. Seriously, what percentage of the "alleged" 3,878 in attendance wanted to come back to the 'ol alma mater to celebrate homecoming with a 55-14 beating? This isn't the first time this has happened with Linfield and WC11 would love to know what the 'Cats record is when they are the visiting team during homecoming. Check yourself UPS administration.