Monday, November 5, 2012

'Cats Win! Linfield delivers a 47-7 victory over UPS.

Behind the O-Line, Mickey Inns went bonkers on UPS
 (Photo courtesy from Linda MacClanathan)

The ‘Cats got it done on Saturday. Linfield woke up early, hit Country Cousin for some biscuits and gravy, and then hit UPS even harder for the 47-7 victory that moved the ‘Cats to 8-0 on the season and more importantly 5-0 in Northwest Conference play. With the win on Saturday, the ‘Cats assured themselves of at least a piece of the NWC crown (The ‘Cats 4th consecutive NWC title and 10th conference crown in the past 13 years) and locked up the coveted Pool A auto-bid to assure the ‘Cats their 25th post-season bid in program history.

It was a strange game as the ‘Cats stocked up Costco sized offensive numbers on the day but only held a 13-0 lead at halftime. The game was over at that point with the way the ‘Cats defense was suffocating Puget Sound, but the inability to finish off multiple drives left the ‘Cats in a sour mood in the locker room. It didn’t take long for Linfield to get that half behind them as they tacked up a quick 21 points in the 3rd quarter to all but officially put the game to bed as Linfield took a 41-0 lead early in the 4th quarter. I wrote in the game preview that anything less than the ‘Cats best effort would be a failure, and from that perspective, I think I have to stay true to my written words about this past Saturday. That first half was anything but Linfield’s best effort as the ‘Cats had little breakdowns in multiple areas from penalties, to blown assignments, that essentially led to the most lackluster 30 minutes of the season. Maybe I’m being a little harsh in writing that but I’m pretty sure that the Wildcat players would agree with that assessment.

Now the ‘Cats need to chalk up that experience and turn their attentions to this week. Linfield has an opportunity to close the 2012 regular season at home vs Pacific. This is the case of another team wanting to take what Linfield has. Everyone in this conference and on the West Coast is chasing Linfield and looking to taking out the ‘Cats. Maybe it’s arrogant to write that but it’s the truth. So that’s my questions to the ‘Cats this week. A well-coached team is coming into Saturday looking to make their name known in Division III in the ‘Catdome. So are you going to allow someone else take what you’ve earned or are you going to make a statement to the people who think they're ready for Linfield. Go ‘Cats!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

Team 2nd half effort: We’ll get to the 1st half in the ugly but I liked the way the team responded off a lack luster effort in that 1st half. UPS was hooting and hollering in their locker room during the break because they didn’t get blown out of the water. It was short lived as Linfield took that optimism and hung up a quick 21 points in the 3rd quarter. Good response from an ugly half of football.

Defensive Handcuffing: The ‘Cats defense was fantastic on the day in limiting UPS to 87 net yards through 3 quarters of play (-3 rush yards). UPS was able to get some yards late but at the point the game was in zero doubt about the outcome. Very nice effort by the ‘Cats defense.

Racking Up Yardage: Holy smokes the ‘Cats offense put up some crazy offensive numbers on Saturday. The ‘Cats offense totaled 36 first downs, 692 yards of total offense, 541 in the air, and an average of 8.0 yards per play. The only reason why this game wasn’t 70 something to 7 was the lack of execution in that first half. Regardless, the ‘Cats offense was dominate.

‘Cats passing attack spreads it around: Mickey Inns had a career day in throwing for 422 yards on 27 of 39 passing and accounted for 3 TD passes. Josh Yoder also had a nice day in completing 5 of 8 for 112 and 2 TD throws. 12 difference Wildcats hauled in passes and four caught TDs. As one well-known Linfield backer on would say “The purple Frisbees were flying in Tacoma”.

Run Game Stuffing: UPS tried to establish some sort of running game but found out what everyone else in the conference has….you’re not going to run the ball with any sort of success on the ‘Cats. The Loggers managed 56 net rushing yards on the day but most of that came very late in the game. Once Linfield went up 41-0 at the start of the 4th quarter the Loggers clocked in a -3 yards rushing. Ouch.

Sack City: 5 more sacks on the day for the ‘Cats pass rush as the ‘Cats have moved that team total up to 44 on the year. Incredible. UPS’s QB did a nice job in not taking 5 more sacks as he was running for his life on multiple occasions. UPS tried to combat that by going to a short passing game but it didn’t stop Linfield in giving the Logger QB a good view of the C130’s flying overhead. (That means he was flat on his back).

Offense on 3rd down: 10 of 15 on 3rd down. Linfield needs to continue to be effective on 3rd down as we round the corner into the last game of the regular season and beyond. This will be a huge down in the upcoming weeks.

Dre Weirsma: Dre had a career day in the office in bringing in 8 passes for 133 yards and two TD’s. On top of that Dre was hammered on his first TD grab of the day, but he bounced up from the hit, tossed the ball to the official like nothing happened. Great grab and a great day for the Senior.
DE Brynnan Hyland (#41) has 15 sacks and chasing down the school record of 22 in a season 
 (Photo courtesy from Linda MacClanathan)

The Bad:

Freaking Penalties: Just stupid at this point. 9 penalties for 95 yards. The staff has implemented all sorts of corrective measures to this team, and when you think they have it worked out, it comes back to bite us once again. If the players don’t take individual responsibility to limit this soft spot, it’s going to come back to haunt Linfield in the worst way. HAVE to clean this up.

13 points out of 350 yards of 1st half offense: That was such a flat half of football for Linfield. 350 yards of offense and only 13 points. UPS might say they did a great job of bending but not breaking but really it was Linfield just not getting it done. That 3rd quarter was more indicative of how the action was going on the field…all Linfield. Let’s not make that 1st half a habit.

The Ugly:

1st half energy: I already mentioned it above so I’m not going to continue to hammer away at it. It’s an opportunity to understand that you have to put your best foot forward every weekend or you’re going to get challenged. Linfield is the big cat in the conference and on the West Coast. They ALL want what this team and program has going on so you can either let them believe they can take it or make them understand that running with the ‘Cats is much easier said than done. It’s up to you.


Chris said...

I was telling my buddy this was a trap game and he laughed me off. I had to leave for a wedding at halftime when we were only up 13-0. BUT, I did not doubt our victory because I believe if we score 3 points against most teams, our Defense is good enough to win it for us. Thanks D!

doc said...

I'd like 7 points, please.