It’s Senior Day and Hall of Fame Weekend at the ‘Catdome as Linfield closes out its regular season home schedule against the Loggers of Puget Sound University. Linfield will be saluting over 30 Linfield Seniors that have had a major impact on the program over the past four years. This is another group of tremendous people that have given their all to the program and have produced on and off the field. This Saturday is far from the last chapter of the season for your 2013 Linfield Wildcats but this weekend should be a great day to celebrate a standout group of young men.
With a victory this weekend the ‘Cats will at least clinch a share of the Northwest Conference title but the automatic bid for the playoffs will still not be in possession of Linfield. Pacific still has an opportunity to play Linfield for a piece of the NWC title and if Pacific handles Willamette and then be able to upend the ‘Cats. That would create a three way tie for the NWC title and we would then have to dust off the NWC rulebook to figure out who would be the owner of the NWC autobid. I’d love to give you that information but the NWC conference website doesn’t provide any tiebreaker information. Needless to say, Linfield can avoid all of these scenarios by taking care of the business at hand. Standing in the way of that undisputed NWC crown this weekend are the Loggers.
Puget Sound finds themselves in the same situation the Loggers have been in previous seasons and that’s at the bottom of the NWC heap. The Loggers continually find themselves in rebuilding mode but I do think they’re finding a little bit of traction as this season progresses. UPS did beat Whittier in their 2nd game of the season for their first win since 2010 when UPS beat Pacific during the Boxers first year back playing football. After the Whittier win, UPS took two games on the chin vs Lewis & Clark (60-30) and then Pacific (56-14). Since those two brutal losses the Loggers have shown some signs of life in dropping a shootout loss to Case Western (38-31) and then playing Whitworth close for most of the game in a (33-14) defeat. Last Saturday UPS was leading PLU in the 3rd quarter before the Lutes surged for a 34-21 win (excuse me…41-21 win..I forgot about PLU’slast second TD when they should have just taken a knee). Even though the wins are not coming it does look like the Loggers have played a competitive brand of football over the past 3 weeks.
How will that translate into this week against one of the elite programs in Division III? Probably not very good for the Loggers, but at the same time, I’m sure everyone in Linfield’s locker room remembers last year’s garbage half of football when Linfield only led the Loggers 13-0 after the first half. That half of football was a victory for the Loggers and one where UPS felt they met Linfield’s physical challenge:
“Despite the loss I was proud of the way that we fought throughout the whole game, never giving up and continuing to match their (Linfield's) physicality. We just didn’t execute the little things like we know we can.”
So that’s Linfield’s main challenge this weekend. They’re playing a team that feels much improved over last season thinks they can physical match Linfield’s physicality. I’m looking forward to what the ‘Cats have to say about that this weekend.
Get To Know A Wildcat
#20 Louie Colasurdo, Linebacker, Senior
Favorite place to in Mac: Sandwich Express
Favorite Movie: Gremlins (1984) (WC11 notes: If I could give Louie a high five right now, I would. Great 80's film!)
Favorite Music: Mostly country right now.
Favorite TV show: Tie between Homeland and Entourage.
Class I Most Look Forward to: American Sign Language (ASL)
Mac or PC: Mac
CPU Homepage: Oregonlive.com
Netflix or Cable: Cable
Car or Truck: Car
Xbox, PS3, or Wii: PS3
Favorite Coach Rombach Saying: Boooyawww!
Which Linebacker has the best sneaker game: I would have to say myself but Domo and Eli provide some close competition.
Favorite part of playing at Linfield: The relationships I build with my teammates while playing the game I love. Also, the characteristics the coaches instill in us, that improve us as both players and men.
Post Linfield aspirations: Be a successful public accountant and coach youth football.
From Louie to WC11: I have a question for you: 4th & 6 - Opponent has the ball on Linfield 30 and is going for it. Linfield needs a stop. Bring the house or play zone?
WC11 says: I’m not one to sit around and let the offense dictate the action so I’m going to at least bring 6 and have faith in my DB’s to make a play in man coverage. JAILBREAK BABY!
Wildcat11’s Keys To Victory
Linfield owes UPS their best: The Loggers are a program that’s trying to get back to respectability and beyond. They still have a long ways to go but feel they have a plan in place. Linfield owes it to UPS to show the Loggers what one of the country’s best looks and feels like.
Pressure game: The Loggers are a Pistol look team but they don’t have much of a run game (46 rushing yards per game). Their offensive strength is still their passing game so the pressure that Linfield will apply will be critical to disrupting the Loggers' offense.
Establish the Running Game: UPS will offer up a better challenge in the rush defense than the previous two weeks but Linfield must continue to bang away with their read option rushing attack. The more Linfield can slice up the Loggers rushing the ball the more chances the ‘Cats will be able to strike for big gains in the play action passing game.
DB’s making plays: The Linfield defensive backs have been lights out this season and they’re going to get more opportunities to make plays this weekend. Look for Linfield’s DB to continue to compete for the football once it goes up in the air.
‘Cats WR have a big day: UPS is dead last in the NWC in passing yards allowed per game (268.3) so look for the ‘Cats talented receivers to make a big impact on Saturday’s game.
‘Cats by 30+. Once again, this number is totally on what Linfield decides to do on Saturday. They can let the distractions of senior day take away from the focus and let a lesser team hang around and be bothersome or the ‘Cats can continue to build upon the efforts of the previous two weeks. If Linfield plays to the high end of their potential then the ‘Cats are going to roll. This group knows what’s on the line over these next two Saturday’s and I’m expecting nothing but their best.