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.

No comments: