Monday, September 30, 2013
‘Cats Win! Linfield rocks Case Western Reserve University for 45-0 win.
It was a bit of a strange game when you hold a team to only 5 rushing yards, beat them by 45 points, and you’re still left feeling somewhat unsatisfied. Most of that is due to the fact that I think Linfield knew they were playing a team that wasn’t in the same ballpark in terms of skill and talent and the offense had a number of series that sputtered. You know you’re a pretty darn good football team when you look up and see 45-0 and you don’t think it was good enough in all areas of the game.
Regardless, Linfield took care of the business in front of them and dusted another opponent to set the stage for bigger and better opportunities. Linfield has a big opening NWC conference game with a very good Pacific Lutheran team at the ‘Catdome this Saturday. We have plenty of time to dive further in this game but I know both sides of the game will be pumped up to see who gets the inside track to that NWC title and Pool A playoff auto-bid. Until then, let’s get to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The Defensive Doughnut: Getting a shutout is hard against any team. It doesn’t matter that Case Western wasn’t on Linfield’s level in all regards but keeping a team completely off the scoreboard is dang tough.
Defensive Line play: The ‘Cats defensive line blew up the Case Western Offense line at will on Saturday. Case didn’t the horses to hang upfront and the ‘Cats defense line did what they should have in that circumstance, and that's eat up the CWRU rushing attack. It was fun to watch.
Defensive Backs throwing a blanket on Case: One of the CWRU key plays on offense are their quick WR screens. They’re essentially run plays for the Spartans and the ‘Cats defensive backs sniffed out and smothered that play all game long. It was a clinic in how to defend. Top that off with a 71-yard pick 6 by Ian Zarosinski during the 4th quarter and it was a quality day for the ‘Cats DB’s.
Not having a “good” offense day and still putting up 38 points and 429 yards of offense: I know the offensive side of the ball wasn’t happy with their play on Saturday but the Linfield offense still managed to put up 38 points and 429 yards of offense at 5.2 yards per play. A lot of teams would take that every Saturday of the fall but I know Linfield wanted more.
Kickoff coverage: Linfield had some spotty kickoff coverage during their 1st two games of the season but the ‘Cats made some strides on Saturday with this unit . Case’s offense started on their own 20, 22, 16, 23, 27, 19, and 49. That’s an average starting field position of the 25 yard line. I’ll take that all day.
End of 1st half field goal/execution: Linfield managed to get ball on the Linfield 45-yard line with 20 seconds left and move down to the Case 26 to set up a Josh Repp 43-yard field goal. Repp crushed it to tack on 3 more and give Linfield some good live “2-minute” drill experience.
Overall Offensive Execution: This is hard because Linfield still put up 38-points and over 420 yards but it wasn’t nearly as crisp of execution that we saw in the previous two weeks. It is what it is and that’s football. Some days the defense is going to carry the day and others the offense is going to bail out the defense. I’m not worried about it as I’ve seen this offense at their best and it’s really freaking good.
This sign at the Cleveland Marriott Doubletree
I know we’re in Division III and when you're three time zones away from your school many people will tilt their head when you say you’re from “Linfield College” but this is one for the books. Sheesh, thanks for nothing Cleveland Marriott Doubletree.