Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Game 4 Preview: Linfield @ Puget Sound

Road Trip! The 'Cats will be packing up the buses early Saturday morning, head north on I-5, hit the Country Cousin for some grub, and then roll into Tacoma to play Linfield's 2nd NWC contest of the year vs. the Puget Sound Loggers.

Each game is huge and playing UPS is no different now that the 'Cats started of the season 1-0 in conference play. UPS will be trying to bounce back after back-to-back weeks of heartbreak as they roll out the welcome mat for Linfield on the Loggers homecoming week. (I wonder what Linfield's record is on the road when other teams schedule the 'Cats for freaking homecoming?)

After the way Linfield played this past Saturday it would be easy for most casual observers to dismiss the chance that the Loggers will give Linfield a game this weekend but those that have been following the series knows that Linfield has played terribly vs Puget Sound over the past few years. Yes, the 'Cats haven't lost to UPS since 1983 but it hasn't always been easy vs the Loggers.

In fact, the 'Cats have played some sub-par football at UPS in their last three games in the Mourge (Baker Stadium was lifeless during most of the 90's and 2000's). The 2004 championship team played their worse game of the year at Baker Stadium in a 35-16 win, in 2006 UPS was only down 21-17 at half and out-gained Linfield before the 'Cats were able to salt that one away 42-17, and let's not forget about the 32-24 near disaster in 2008.

Bottom line, what I'm trying to express here is that if our Linfield players are just betting on the performance against Willamette to just play into this weekend and for UPS to roll over then we're going to wind up in a much closer game that we want. Linfield HAS to continue to work hard during the week in order to keep performing like they did just a few days ago. What WC11 wants to see is this to be a message game and the message is "This 2010 Linfield team just didn't have one good weekend but we are one of the elite".

Get To Know A Wildcat

Ryan Henderson, #1, Senior - Wide Receiver

Hometown: Portland, Or.

High School: Lincoln High School

Major: Accounting

Minors: Economics and Philosophy

Favorite Place in Mac to eat: Thai Country

Favorite Song: Dance, by Nasir Jones

Favorite TV Shows: P.T.I., Entourage and Lost

Favorite Pro Football Team: Carolina Panthers

Class you look forward to the most at Linfield: Ill be taking an economics class in Australia this January term.

Mac or PC: Mac

What's is your CPU homepage set to: Yahoo

Dog or Cat: Dog

Xbox, PS3, or Wii: Xbox

Favorite NWC road trip: PLU my sophomore year, great trip.

Least Favorite NWC road trip: Menlo

Which receivers own the most pairs of gloves on the team: I do, and I wear the belt proudly.

Favorite Movie that Coach Smith has picked for a bus ride home: Last of the Mohicans

Yes or No on Linfield's All Purple Look: I fully support our all purps. I think we need to have a game wearing our all purps with all black accents (socks, flare, tape, etc.).

Wildcat11's Key To Victory:

Prepared To Play: WC11 wants to see the 'Cats come out sharp mentally and emotionally and ready to take the game to UPS from the opening kickoff. This UPS team has been in some tight battles so the 'Cats can't afford to let them hang around. The 'Cats need to put the hammer down early and not let off the gas.

Front Line Pressure: The Loggers are 2nd in the NWC in passing yards a game and their QB, Duncan White, is a talented trigger man. Linfield's front line has to continue to be the disruptors of the timing of the offense and put the heat on White all game long.

Put a Premium on Ball Security: Linfield needs to get out of the negative of the takeaway ratio (-.67, 7 takeaways to 9 turnovers on the season, 6th out of 7 NWC teams) and that starts by taking care of the ball on offense. Linfield is going to be able to move the ball but let's not be our own worse enemy. Make plays but take care of the pill.

Run The Ball with efficiency: I might as well copy and past this up because it's the key to this offense. If the 'Cats are able to run the ball then everything else falls into place.

Protect Boehme: The Loggers play a 3-5 defensive front that Coach Thomas brought up from Redlands so you can expect all sorts of exotic blitzes on Saturday and all sorts of bodies coming at Boehme. The offensive line and running backs need to do a great job in communicating and keeping AB's jersey nice and white.

DB lock down: I think the 'Cats DBs where great in taking away Willamette's big play WR last week but I'm still waiting for this group to have a breakout day and they get that opportunity this Saturday. I want to see this group have a HUGE day in coverage and on the ball.


'Cats by 24. I know, I usally keep it pretty conservative with my margins of victory but I'm EXPECTING for Linfield to be ready to play this Saturday. If not, then we'll be in a dog fight and feel crappy afterwards. This Linfield team can be THAT good but I want to see it on back-to-back weekends and not just one time. If Linfield brings the hammer with them this weekend then the 'Cats should roll.

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