Thursday, October 24, 2013

Game 6 Preview: Linfield (5-0) vs Lewis and Clark (1-5)

Pios invade the 'Catdome this weekend.
I can’t wait to be back in the ‘Catdome this Saturday.  In 3 of Linfield’s first 5 games the ‘Cats have seen extensive travel in making overnight trips to Texas, Ohio, and Eastern Washington.  We’re now entering the backend of the regular season where Linfield will either be playing at home or within a 35 minute drive and it feels great.  It’s family weekend at the ‘Catdome and I’m expecting another full house as the energy at Maxwell Field has been electric during the ‘Cats first two home contests of the season.  The weather is looking fantastic for this weekend (66 degrees and cloudy) and the action is going to be fast on the field as Linfield welcomes the Pioneers of Lewis and Clark.

Lewis and Clark is an interesting 1-5 team, which seems like a silly thing to write.  Linfield will be the 4th nationally ranked opponent that L&C has had to face so far this season (Linfield #2, UW-Platteville #9, PLU #17, and Willamette #21).  In the three games against ranked teams, the Pios have put up a respectable 28.3 points per game and averaged 461 yards of offense per game.  Pioneer Senior QB, Keith Welch, has thrown for 361 yards per game and 11 TDs vs 4 pics.  That’s pretty darn good offensive numbers against three of the better teams in the country.  The problem is that L&C’s has been giving up huge totals on defense that give L&C virtually little chance of beating a quality opponent.   L&C only has three games left in their season and I don’t see a win left on the schedule but this Pioneer team has been playing hard each game out.  Keith Welch and Lewis and Clark has been chewed up by the ‘Cats defense the past two seasons so you know he will be looking for some redemption in his final game against Linfield.

For the ‘Cats it has to feel great to be back in the comforts of the ‘Catdome and know the big regular season travel is done for the year.  Linfield is rolling along at 5-0 and has the inside track to a good NWC title chase this season.  The biggest goal for the ‘Cats this week is continuing to try to improve on the little things this week.  For as good as this Linfield team is, there are areas where the ‘Cats can grow and improve.  Playing Lewis and Clark this week is a great opportunity to show that growth.

Get To Know A Wildcat
 #10 Kyle Wright, Safety, Senior

Favorite place to eat- Muchas (oregon w/ bacon + sour cream)

Favorite movie- Now You See Me

Favorite music- I like it all but definitely country, alternative rock, and hip-hop when I'm in the right mood.

Favorite TV show- The Price is Right

Favorite Class- Financial Management

PC or Mac: Mac

CPU homepage- Yahoo news, gotta stay updated.

Netflix/Cable- Cable

Car or Truck- Subaru for life

Favorite Coach Haze saying- "ya.....kinda......just don't be wrong"

Player with the best skills on a snowboard- Kyle Wright (sorry fellas)

Favorite part of playing at Linfield- Lifelong friendships created and the winning tradition.

Post Linfield Aspirations- I am looking at a few different options, but currently I am working towards a job in the action sports industry in product testing/management.

Wildcat11’s Keys To Victory

Establish and sustain physical domination:  Like I wrote about above, L&C has already faced three ranked and quality teams, so they’re battled tested, but Linfield is a cut above the rest.  The ‘Cats need to come out with purpose and establish their physical nature on both sides of the ball and continue to press the issue as the game moves along. 

Get after the quarterback:  I don’t see the Pioneers trying to attempt to run the ball at the ‘Cats defense so we’re going to see a ton of passes being thrown.   Welch isn’t afraid to lose ground in order to extend plays and he has the ability to get out of tight places.  Linfield’s defense front is going to have a number of chances and need to put the pressure on the L&C passing game.

Balanced Offensive Attack:  Linfield needs to attack L&C with a sharp balanced offensive attack to keep the Pioneers guessing.  Like Cory worte in his Truth’s article yesterday, the Pioneers can create turnovers and get to the quarterback so the ‘Cats are going to be sharp upfront and make good decisions with the football.

Cover, cover, and cover some more:  It looks like our defensive backs and linebackers are going to be walking into a 7-on-7 session for how often the Pioneers are throwing the football.   While the Pios don’t have a big time receiving star they do have a number of quick and sure handed targets that can make plays.  This should be a fun test and a very nice challenge against our pass defense.  Make some plays.

Win field position:  The quickest way for Linfield to build an early lead is by pinning the Pios deep in their territory with good kick coverage, the defense getting the Pios off the field, and setting up the offense with short fields.  It takes all three phases of the ‘Cats to make that happen and that’s what I want to see this Saturday.  Pin ‘em deep, no sustained drives, and make ‘em pay on the scoreboard.


‘Cats by 30+.  Linfield is going to be sharp this weekend.  I feel it and that spells big trouble for the feisty Pios.  I do think Lewis & Clark is going to give Linfield all they have and try to make it game, but if our ‘Cats are sharp and execute their game plan, then Linfield is going to feast.  Now let’s have a great Saturday of football and get after it.

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