Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Game 6 Preview: Linfield (5-0) at Lewis & Clark (4-2)

Linfield at Lewis & Clark?  You Bet!
The ‘Cats are back on the road this weekend but I don’t really care. I’m thankful that Linfield’s season is no longer broken up with bye-weeks and the ‘Cats can now get back into the rhythm of playing every weekend. To top it off, this roadie is just a skosh up I-5 for Linfield’s shortest road trip of 2012. After coming off a tremendous 54-14 undressing of Whitworth last Saturday the ‘Cats are turning their attention to the team up on Palatine Hill. In 2011, the ‘Cats squared off vs. Lewis & Clark for the regular season finale and defacto NWC title game as a 7-1 Pioneer squad came into the ‘Catdome having their best season in decades. The ‘Cats quickly put L&C’s conference titles hopes away as Linfield raced out to a 34-0 halftime lead to salt away the program’s 3rd consecutive NWC title.

Coming into the 2012 Linfield/L&C showdown, the Pioneers are once again a winning team in building up a 4-2 record but have taken consecutive losses to PLU and Willamette. L&C showed fight in each of those games but eventually yielded to the deeper teams. Obviously, the Pios know they have a tall task in front of them in hosting Linfield. The ‘Cats are riding a 34 game win streak over L&C. The last time the Pios tasted victory over the ‘Cats the Miami Dolphins were winning Super Bowls and Grand Funk was topping the music charts. Yeah, it’s been awhile.

For the ‘Cats, this is another opportunity to take another step forward. A chance to come out and show that this team has grown from the one that was slow starting and show moments of sloppy play to one that is crisp and a force on the Division 3 landscape. The ‘Cats cannot take the approach of expecting L&C to fall on their backs when Linfield hits the field. That’s not going to happen. L&C has good schemes on both sides of the ball and a number of talented playmakers that will be looking at this game as a chance to get their team noticed on the national stage. Linfield has something L&C wants and it’s the ‘Cats duty to make sure they can’t have it.

Get To Know A Wildcat

#73 Jacob Hanke, Offensive Tackle, Soph.

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: Wildwood Cafe is pretty good place

Favorite Movie: Italian Job

Favorite Music: I pretty much like anything

Favorite TV Show: Right now I'm really into the Walking Dead

Favorite Pro Football team: The Broncos!

Class I Most Look Forward to: Probably Yoga

Mac or PC: PC

Cpu Homepage: Google

What do you use more, Smart Phone or CPU: Smart Phone

Twitter or Facebook: I use both but more on Facebook

Car or Truck: I want a truck but i have a Nissan Altima right now

Xbox, PS3, or WII: Xbox 360

Favorite Coach Hire Saying: "I never get sick.” Or “You guys are the reason I’m balding and growing grey hairs."

If a Zombie breakout hit McMinnville, which 'Cat O-Lineman would you want by your side to help your survive it: Probably Steven Schultz, Tackles for life

Who is the best dressed Offensive lineman: Bobby Nix. He can pull off things that other people can't

Do you have a hidden talent that folks would be surprised by: I make a mean bowl of Mac n Cheese

Your Favorite Part about Playing at Linfield is: Being a part of the tradition and playing with all my buds.

Post Linfield aspirations: Get a good job right out of college and have a family

Wildcat11’s Keys To Victory

Keep building the momentum: Now is not the time to stay in neutral or take a step backwards as a team. Linfield needs to keep improving and growing. This Saturday is a prime opportunity to climb another rung in the ladder towards this group’s ultimate goal. The focus needs to be on doing the little things right, and if that’s accomplished, it will be big results on game day. CLOCK-IN

D-line has to be the strongest link: Play of the Wildcat defensive line is going to go a LONG way into determining the outcome. Offensively, Lewis & Clark is going to attack Linfield with an up-tempo style that will send multiple sets at the ‘Cats. L&C is trying to spread defenses sideline to sideline and look to get their QB and Tailback in one-on-one situations in space and I expect to see a lot of 4 and 5 receiver sets. The ‘Cats defense line has to be in attack mode from the opening kick.

O-Line domination: L&C does give up some points but they’re capable of making plays that allow the Pios turn away drives and pin teams deep. If the ‘Cats offensive line keeps people off of Inns and continue to open up lanes for our ‘Catbacks, I’m expecting a big offensive day for Linfield.

Don’t lose your man: Lewis & Clark has no issues in throwing the ball 30-40 times a game. While their passing attack is a lot of short dumps, their passing game becomes dangerous when Welch breaks contain and allows his receivers to shake free while he extends the play in the backfield. Linfield’s DBs have to keep working if Welch gets outside the pocket and not allow the big pickups.

Offense continues to attack, attack, attack: The Wildcat offense needs keep their performance from last week going and get after L&C early and often. This offense is at its best when multiple people are getting their hands on the ball through the air and on the ground. I want to see a balanced but frenzied offensive group on Saturday.

Big day for the Wildcat Linebackers: The ‘Cats have a great group of linebackers but they’re going to be tested on Saturday. L&C’s sideline-to-sideline spread attack is going to put a lot of weight on the Linfield linebackers and rovers to make good tackles in open space. The LBC should be licking their chops about the chances to make plays this weekend.

Put them away early and keep your foot down: L&C has a group that is capable of moving the ball quickly and turning away offenses. They are a team that Linfield needs to put down early and keep the pressure on throughout the game. If Linfield screws around and isn’t focused the Pios will be able to hang around and then you get into a situation where anything could happen late. Don’t let it get that far.


‘Cats by 21+. Lewis & Clark is greatly improved as a football program from just a few years ago. This was a program that almost called it quits after their abbreviated 2005 season. It looked bleak but they’ve increased their numbers, improved the quality of their coaching staff, and athletes. L&C should be applauded for what they've done over the past 3 seasons. With that said, Linfield is still light years better than the Pios. If this Wildcat team comes out focused and executes with authority, the ‘Cats should roll. However, it could be an interesting game if the 'Cats are not sharp. I’m betting this Linfield team is going to be locked in on the Hill on Saturday and force their will on the Pios.

No comments: