|The 'Cats ran right past George Fox this past Saturday in the 'Catdome.|
|Photo Courtesy of Brad Thompson: View and Purchase Brad's Photos Here.|
Welcome to the ‘Catdome. It was so nice to be able to see all of the fanfare, the energy, and buzz of the Linfield campus on game day. It’s such a great setting for college football and it had been way too long of a wait.
Speaking of waiting, the ‘Cats didn't make the home crowd wait too long before opening it up on our Yamhill County neighbors as Linfield exploded in the 1st quarter to put the game out of reach early and left no doubt that if Fox wants to reach the level of Linfield, they have a lot of work to do. Linfield was the faster, more athletic, more skilled, more aggressive, and the more physical team. It was a textbook case of Linfield not letting an inferior team hang around and when Linfield has that mindset, it can get ugly for the opposition in a hurry.
This past Saturday didn’t reveal too much about the ‘Cats but rather it was more of a confirmation of what we already know. The ‘Cats having another fast and physical defense, and Linfield possesses a number of weapons that get the luxury of having a first rate offensive line leading the way. Next week is going to present a much bigger challenge for the ‘Cats defense as Whitworth will bring their “Air Rat” offense to town so there is much to look forward in the homecoming challenge.
For George Fox, it was what I expected it to be. The Bruins have some nice players and size. I think they’ll be able to develop that into a competitive team as the years move along but I think the Bruins are finding out it’s a lot harder to win football games than some around George Fox thought it was going to be.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Putting away George Fox Early: 35-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. That’s how you put away a team early and leave no doubt what the remaining outcome of the game will be. It took the ‘Cats offense a couple of possession to get it moving but once they did the ‘Cats offense started rolling and it spelled doomed as Linfield’s defense was already putting the Bruins on ice. It was wild to see how fast Linfield was able to tack up 35 points.
Defensive aggressiveness: The Wildcat defense held the Bruins to -21 total offensive yards in the 1st quarter alone as the ‘Cats defensive front suffocated the Fox offensive line. The Bruins could not find any consistent offense on the day as GFU only crossed the Wildcat 50 yard line twice in 18 offensive possessions. The ‘Cats defense wrapped up with 7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 of those returned for touchdown, and 15 tackles for loss. It was a great defensive day by the ‘Cats all around.
Creating turnovers: A major part of the ‘Cats being able to wrap up this game early was Linfield ending three consecutive GFU possessions off of turnovers. Two off of interceptions and one on creating the fumble on a Fox kickoff return. Turnovers create momentum and those three early ones were a tidal wave of mo.
Rushing Attack: I thought the ‘Cats rushing attack was strong again this past Saturday. Linfield had 224 net yards of rushing off 48 carries, for a 4.7 yards per rush average, and 3 rushing touchdowns. The development of the rushing attack is vital for the ‘Cats as the year continues to move on.
93 ‘Cats getting to play: Thanks to MonroviaCat of the D3boards for doing the research on this one but a huge bulk of the Wildcat roster were able to break in their brand new Linfield home uniform in style. This whole program works incredibly hard, from the starting quarterback all the way to guys busting their backside on scout team. It’s a great reward for all of these guys getting the chance to get live action under their belts.
10 Penalties: I have to really reach for a bad this week but it’s never a good thing when you are getting into the double digits with penalties. Linfield has to be mindful in trying to minimize the laundry on the field.
Nothing. A rocking crowd, a great day for football in the ‘Catdome, and rolling to victory. There is nothing ugly about that.