|Linfield looks to make it 39 victories in a row over Lewis & Clark|
Back in the saddle as we’re done with the bye week and done with non-conference play. The ‘Cats now enter the start of NWC play with the traditional big fat target on their backs as the team-to-beat but Linfield wouldn’t want it any other way.
The ‘Cats have started off the season in a fashion that most folks expected as Linfield easily handled both Chapman and Redlands of the SCIAC, however, it wasn’t perfect for the ‘Cats as Linfield was penalized way too much for my liking and the ‘Cats offense has hampered by little mistakes that sunk promising drives. This 2015 Linfield team is still a work in progress and still hasn’t been tested the way I feel they will in the upcoming weeks. The upside of this team is HUGE but these players have to keep their focus on the task in front of them as they continue to build upon the season.
Linfield will once again head up to Lewis and Clark, as they did in 2014, to play a new look Pioneer team that had major staff changes this past season. Let’s not beat around the bush…this is really strange to be talking about Jay Locey as the head coach at Lewis & Clark. I mean, Coach Locey was at Linfield for 26 or so years, lead the program to the 2004 title, I was playing when he was promoted to the head coaching job, etc, etc. To see him in orange and black is beyond bizarre and leaves me with mixed feelings. In fact, there are a number of former Linfield coaches, former players, and former support people who are now at L&C and it’s strange. I’m not going to go any deeper into than that but I’m officially dubbing Saturday’s game “The Awkward Bowl I”.
Obviously, the coaching staff at L&C is a major upgrade than the previous regime but L&C is going to need time before they can start truly making some noise in the Northwest Conference. Their roster lacks top of the line talent and the depth required to hang with the top half of the conference. Yes, the Locey led Linfield teams reeled off six consecutive NWC titles and a national championships but people forget that his first four years at Linfield were 5-4, 6-3, 7-2, and 6-3 before things started happening….and that's at a place that LOVES football and had a rich tradition of football rolling even before Coach Locey first took over. What I’m getting at is that while you should expect L&C to improve but they’re not going to become an overnight sensation.
For the ‘Cats, this weekend is all about maximizing the opportunity to play Linfield football to the best of this team’s ability. I truly believe this group could round into something incredibly special but there is still much work to do. I’m excited to see the guys strap up in the stromtrooper gear and get after another program that wants what Linfield has.
Get to Know A Wildcat
|Photo courtesy of Brad Thompson: Find Brad's 2015 Linfield Football Photos here|
#4 Jake Reimer, Linebacker, Sophomore
Hometown: Sherwood, Or, High School: Sherwood High School
Favorite place to eat in Mac: Wildwood Cafe for breakfast. Tacos El Gordo any other time.
Favorite Movie: A River Runs Through It
Favorite Music: Country Favorite
TV show: How I Met Your Mother
Favorite Book: The Last Best League
Class I Most Look Forward to: Psychological Aspect of Sport and Physical Activity
Iphone or Android: Android
Personal Mantra: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."
Social Media of choice: Instagram
Car or Truck: Truck
Xbox, PS3, or Wii: GameCube
What first inspired you to play football: Watching the high school games when I was in 1st and 2nd grade.
Favorite Coach Smith Saying: "Somebody has got to go to jail."
Favorite part of playing at Linfield: Working for the chance to compete for a national championship with my teammates.
Fastest Linfield Linebacker: Patrick Pipitone
Post Linfield aspirations: Go to law school.
Wildcat11’s Keys to Victory
Be the best Linfield team you can be: This is the biggest challenge of Saturday’s game. There is not a single doubt on who is going to win this Saturday but the challenge for Linfield is to forget who is across the field and put their sole focus on being the very best Linfield Wildcat football team possible. I’m talking about the little things that will be a huge difference when Linfield plays the Pacific’s and Whitworth’s in the upcoming weeks. Focus on executing to your highest level, laser focus on sideline adjustments, enthusiasm on the sideline, coaching each other up, sustained energy and joy in being able to play college football on what is promising to be a beautiful early fall day.
Attacking offense from the first play: Get after it on offense with a steady mix of the rushing attack and take your shots on the deep ball. The L&C defense has played well in their first two games in only allowing 23.5 PPG and 354.0 yards per contest. The ‘Cats are going to have to earn their points this Saturday and I’m looking for this unit to start realizing that huge potential they possess.
Limit mistakes and take care of the ball: This is a great opportunity for the Wildcat offense to make some positive strides before they head into the meat of their schedule in terms of minimizing drive killing mistakes and show better decision making with the ball. I’m not saying to be conservative in nature but find that edge without going over it. Controlled aggression.
Sound tackling: I suspect that L&C isn’t going to want to run a ton of long developing passing plays so I expect a heavy dose of the bubble screen game action and quick passing that’s going to try to get the ball in space and see if their guys can pick up yardage after the catch. Linfield’s defensive backs have to be the more physical group and attack the screen game but be alert for L&C trying to sneak a big play out of these sets.
Flip the field with Special Teams: L&C doesn’t kick the ball very well and Linfield’s special teams needs to continue to shine with their coverage and ability to flip the field in the return game.
‘Cats by a bunch. I expect L&C to be a more sound and better coached team than in years past. That’s a no-brainer but at this time they just don’t have the starting talent or depth to contend with the ‘Cats. The ‘Cats should roll and I hope to see Linfield come out with a truckload of energy and excitement to play this weekend. Go ‘Cats!