Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 Game 9 Preview: Linfield (8-0) vs Pacific (3-5)

Let's do this!
This Saturday is the 2012 regular season finale as YOUR Linfield Wildcats will be hosting the Pacific Boxers on Senior Day at the 'Catdome (Remember, 1PM kickoff). The 'Cats are coming into regular season finale unblemished on the season and have been dominate over the last month as the 'Cats have outscore the opposition by a little over 45 points per game (52-7 average score). The 'Cats have been using a suffocating defense that is stingy in giving up rushing yards, 78.8 rush yards allowed, while the 1st defensive unit has only yielded one rushing TD in NWC play. One the flip side, Linfield's Mickey Inns has been electric during the same stretch. Over the past four games, Inns and the Linfield passing game have been lethal. Inns has completed 85 of 130 passes (65.4%) for 1,117 yards (294 per game), 18 TD's, and most importantly not a single pick since the PLU game. Mickey has continued to take chances down the field on deep balls and has been making great decisions in the short and intermediate passing game. The 'Cats have been playing lights out football, and with a win over Pacific, Linfield is going to have a great chance to capture the #1 seed in the West Region and that means home playoff games if the 'Cats can advance. This development and opportunity has to be exciting if you're a Linfield Wildcat fan. But before the 'Cats start making plans about who and where Linfield will be playing, the 'Cats have a nice challenge awaiting for them on Saturday.

Pacific is in year three of their program reboot and their progress has been nothing but a steady stream of small successes that is laying a nice foundation for a yearly competitive program in Forest Grove. The Boxers have tripled their win total from last season by securing road wins against Occidental, Lewis & Clark, and UPS. Along the way they played a tight ballgame against Whitworth and after getting blown out by Willamette early in the season, the Boxers and Bearcats went down to the wire last Saturday as Willamette was able to pull out the victory in the final moments. Pacific has been gaining steam and are entering this game vs Linfield playing their best football yet.

Linfield needs to be getting ready to go on Saturday as last weekend was a good reminder that if you're not sharp anybody in this conference can give you trouble and the Boxers are going to be looking at this game as their moment to tell the rest of the NWC and Division III that they're ready to start competing with the big boys. For the 'Cats, this is a GREAT opportunity to close out another NWC title and answer a challenger that is eager to measure up to Linfield. This Saturday is the time to set the tone for the following weeks and I'm expecting the 'Cats to come out and make one more statement about who is running this conference.

Get To Know A Wildcat

#2 Lucas Jepson, Receiver, Senior

Favorite Place in Mac to Eat: The kitchen of Brian Dundas, dude knows how to throw down in the kitchen, if yall don’t know you better ask somebody!

Favorite Movie: Any of the Fridays, any Denzel or Will Smith joint. Comedies for the most part

Favorite Music: Rap and R&B. Only person to see me on the slow jams is maybe Jhill. MAYBE

Favorite TV Show: Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Its throwback but always has me laughing

Favorite Pro Football team: Green Bay Packers. Born & raised. Grew up watching Brett Favre. Modeled the way I played QB & football after that man.

Class I Most Look Forward to: Any of my psychology classes. It’s always something new that I know I will use in my everyday life.

Mac or PC: PC but the old man might need to hop over to the Mac side

Cpu Homepage: Google. I’m always on that thing for answers in school.

What do you use more, Smart Phone or CPU: Shoot I’d say it’s about the same. Either on my computer for music & homework or on my phone keeping in touch with my family and homies from all over.

Twitter or Facebook: Facebook. Haven’t stepped into the twitter world yet. But who knows I might. I got some things people might like to hear.

Car or Truck: Car. You won’t find me in a truck. It’s just not my style

Xbox, PS3, or WII: I might be too old for the game world but I’d mess with Xbox or PS3.

Favorite Coach Smith Saying: “The proof is in the pudding” when he refers to film. I start to crack up every time, then use it against him sometimes when we get to meetings.

Which Linfield WR would you most want to be your lab partner: Without a doubt Dre because we would just crack on everybody & still get an A in the class.

Which WR has the largest shoe collection: I’d have to say me because my kick game is too much for everybody else to handle. I get it from my brother. He taught me well.

Do you have a hidden talent that folks would be surprised by: I was always told growing up I could sing but I don’t do that in front of people. Both my grandpas could sing & I got some uncles that can but I got the stage fright when it comes to busting out the pipes.

Your Favorite Part About Playing at Linfield is: The first thing is playing with Jhill. Batman & Robin. We always said we were going to win a natty together & we still are. The tradition for me is big because you realize it’s bigger than you as an individual. Linfield was here before me & it’s going to be here after me. The fact I get to wear the purple & white and add to the tradition is a phenomenal feeling.

Post Linfield aspirations: To be honest I want to go to the league. Now I know people might laugh when they read this but I figured out over the years that if people aint laughing your dreams ain't big enough. Might as well work hard & give it all you got. It doesn’t matter what other people think, as long you believe in it you can make your dreams reality.

Wildcat11's Keys To Victory

Run To The Battle: Pacific is a well coached team that has good schemes and is going to be fired up to take on Linfield on Saturday. The 'Cats need to come into this game with a playoff mode mindset and force their will on the Boxers from the opening kickoff.

Aggressive Offense Balance: I want to see Linfield continue to hammer away with a balanced offensive attack. While the passing game as been electric over past month the 'Cats rushing game has been slightly limited over the past two contests. Linfield needs to keep Pacific off balanced and guessing on how the 'Cats will attack them.

Shut Down The Run: One area where the Boxers have shown considerable growth is in the running game. Pacific is rushing for about 120 yards a game and that production is CRITICAL for the effectiveness of their play action passing game. Linfield has been great this season against the run and that needs to continue on Saturday.

Make plays in the passing game: Pacific has been giving up an average of 315 yards a game of passing. The chances are going to be there for Linfield to get big chunks of yards through the air and need to take advantage at every opportunity. It starts with the protection up front as Pacific is going to try to press the action with blitzes from multiple defensive looks. If the O-Line keeps Mickey upright and allows him to deliver the ball, I'm expecting big plays on Saturday.

Limit the Deep Ball: The Pacific offense has been a home run hitting group. The Boxer QB takes multiple shots down the field every game this season will challenge the Linfield secondary this weekend. Linfield has to be sharp with handling all of the Boxers pre-snap motioning and formation changes to make sure they don't blow coverages and allow Boxers players to run deep unchecked. Limit the deep ball and Linfield will limit the Boxers offense.

Pressure: The Boxers offensive line has done a nice job in allowing less than 2 sacks a game on the year. It will be a good challenge for the 'Cats defensive front as Linfield has to be able to get defensive pressure on Pacific. The changes are going to be there as Pacific will hang onto the ball to allow deeper passing routes to develop. Another big day for the 'Cats pass rush.

Win the field position battle: One of the fastest ways the 'Cats can seize control of this game is by pinning Pacific deep and giving the 'Cats offense short fields to work with. That only happens if all three phases are working together in pinning Pacific deep, keep the Boxers deep, and then cashing in on the opportunities.


'Cats by 20. This is a good game for Linfield to have to finish the season. The Boxers will have a good plan of attack and will challenge Linfield for four quarters. If Linfield comes out of the tunnel ready to play by being sharp on assignments and execution it will be the 'Cats day. I have no doubt that the Boxers will battle for four quarters and if Linfield gives them the chance, they'll hang around and cause some issues. However, I feel the 'Cats are going to be ready to play. 'Catdome!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Taking the family to the Catdome this Saturday to cheer on the team! Let's treat this as the first playoff game! Hammer down from Minute 1 to the end. GO CATS!
Chris, Liz and Benjamin Miles!