Saturday, November 17, 2018

GAMEDAY: Ferrum @ Averett

So here we are. The last game of a season that seems like it just began. For 14 Seniors, this is likely the last time they will put on a football uniform.
 Something they have been doing routinely for many years, will end after today's game.

So why is this game important? It's non conference, it has no bearing on standings, or playoffs, and some would argue that the risk of injury is too great, with so little to gain.
All of that aside, the game is important. It's part of the schedule. It's what Ferrum signed up for, and it is a commitment that needs to be honored. The game needs to be played to complete the season. The game needs to be played to ensure a chance at a winning season without an asterisk. Play the game for Ferrum because this is a chance to end the season with a win. Play it full out. No let up. Play it for those 14 Seniors.

No prediction today..

Just enjoy the game!

Go Panthers!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Just Not Meant To Be...
Eagles Fly Past Ferrum 42-21

After watching the game, I have to say that Ferrum's offensive success has hinged on the offensive line's ability to have success. Today, the success of the offensive line was uncharacteristically absent. Not always absent, but pretty spotty in the second half.
Ferrum could not control the line of scrimmage, on either side of the ball. There were 5 quarterback sacks against Ferrum, and Bridgewater had 263 yards rushing. Just one of those games where nothing went right. Not sure what else to say. Ferrum had very little go their way. Quarterback Zach Clifford had a strong game, but left with an injury, and did not return. Backup QB Titus Jones did throw a touchdown to Nick Pearce, but there was just too much of them, and not enough of us.

Ferrum will close out the season with a trip to Danville next week against a strong Averett team. Averett is 7-2, and will be a tough opponent. Hopefully Ferrum can fix what went wrong today, and end 2018 with a win.

Bridgewater @ Ferrum

Today marks Senior Day for Ferrum. It's the last home game for the 14 Seniors on the roster who will finish their college eligibility at season's end. It marks the last game in front of the home fans, but not the last game......that will be next week at Averett. Today, while the last home game is special, winning the last home game is even more important.

Bridgewater comes into Ferrum with a very capable team, and seemingly very similar. Both teams are 3-3 in the conference. and the Eagles have defeated two teams that Ferrum lost to.....Guilford, (30-28) and Emory and Henry (53-13). They are averaging 207 ypg rushing, and 171 ypg passing. Defensively, they are giving up 145 yards per game on the ground, and 221 ypg through the air.

Look for Ferrum to do much the same as they have all year. Watch for Johnny White to have a career day, and expect Nick Pearce to share the spotlight. Brian Mann will have the bulls eye on his back, and while the Eagles may have some success early slowing Mann, the shifty running back from Giles H.S. will break some big runs as the day goes on, and wear the defense down. He will likely eclipse 200 yards again today.

On defense, Ferrum may give up a few points early, but look for adjustments to be made, and Ferrum, in the end should prevail. Keep in mind, this is a good team they lost to Randolph-Macon in 2 overtimes. A win today closes out conference play on the right note and would give Ferrum a winning conference record in it's first year in the ODAC.

I think this could be a close game in the first half, but look for Ferrum to salt away the Eagles as time move on.

Ferrum  32

Bridgewater 20

Go Panthers!

Other ODAC games-

Shenandoah @ Washington and Lee

Guilford @ Emory and Henry

Randolph Macon @ Hampden-Sydney

Picking a couple of upsets!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Ferrum Relentless In Victory Over Randolph Macon

Just before the Shenandoah game, I received a comment on the blog from an anonymous reader telling me that Ferrum would win only two games. The reader also said that those two wins would come against The Apprentice School, and Greensboro. The comment went on to say that Ferrum's football program was not up to the test of the competitive ODAC. Essentially, the message of the comment was that Ferrum would not be competitive and did not belong in the ODAC.

Today, Ferrum traveled to Randolph Macon. The conference leader. A very good team that only had one loss, against national power Johns Hopkins. They had systematically defeated seven opponents in a row. The Yellow Jackets could wrap up the conference with a home......on Senior Day. It was a storybook setup for Randolph Macon, and if you were to give the aforementioned anonymous comment poster any credence at all, Ferrum might as well just stay on the bus, and watch the trophy presentation through the bus windows. Well if you don't think Ferrum belongs, THINK AGAIN!

With a solid offensive performance, and a defense that just befuddled the Randolph Macon boys, Ferrum had it's best game of the year, and it's biggest win in I don't know how long. Final- Ferrum 28 Randolph Macon 23 This was huge. Ferrum may not win the conference, but there will not be one single team next year, looking forward to playing them. So Ferrum may not win the ODAC this year, but they are heading in that direction, and I don't think it will be long.

Ferrum, the boys from the sticks. The team that plays at the base of Saul's Knob. The team that according to some just is not on the same level as those older more refined schools of the ODAC, sent the Yellow Jackets back to their locker room with the second L of the year on their record.......Oh and did you know.......this was the fifth all time meeting between Randolph Macon and Ferrum. Ferrum leads the series.....5-0.

Go Panthers!

Ferrum @ Randolph Macon

Coming off a big win over Hampden-Sydney, Ferrum travels to Ashland Virginia to take on the conference leader, Randolph Macon. The Yellow Jackets sit atop the ODAC and have the playoffs in their sights. Ferrum is out of the playoff picture, but has a huge chance to make a statement in this game. Make no mistake, this is not going to be an easy game for Ferrum. With their only loss coming in week one against national power Johns Hopkins, Randolph Macon is rolling through the opposition since then. They are averaging 40 points per game, and only giving up 25. They have a balanced attack, and opponents are only gaining 150 yards on the ground. Look for this to be a hard fought contest, and with the won loss records of both teams, and the fact that the game is in Ashland, it would be really easy to write this game off as a Yellow Jacket win.........but, I have a feeling the Panthers will have a lot to say about this. It's time for the upset. Look for Ferrum to have a happy bus ride home.

Ferrum 36

RMC  33

Panthers Roll Past Tigers 32-19
Earn 4th Win of Season

On a trip back to Ferrum, I was fortunate to see many friends, the Blueridge Folklife Festival, and one heck of a football game. Since returning home Sunday, I have worked both jobs every day, and have to be at work in just over an hour while writing this at 4:52 a.m., so this will be somewhat abbreviated.

Both teams, came into the game at 3-3. Hampden-Sydney was known for a strong passing attack, and Ferrum has a run heavy offense. The question was whose defense would prevail. In a comparison of game stats, Hampden-Sydney seemed to outshine the Panthers in almost every statistical category.....

Ferrum offensively out gained the Tigers on the ground 260 yards to 87. Ferrum and the Tigers each suffered one intercepted pass, but Hampden-Sydney fumbled three times, and lost all three. Ferrum did not fumble. Time of possession went to the Tigers.

It turned out to be the solid performances of Brian Mann, Zach Cliford, and the Ferrum defense that led the Panthers to their fourth win of the season. This was a big win for Ferrum, and definitely gave the Panthers momentum, heading into this week. They will need it as they hit the road for Ashland Virginia to take on the 7-1, and conference leading Randolph Macon Yellow Jackets.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hampden-Sydney @ Ferrum

For the first time, the Tigers of Hampden-Sydney will travel to Ferrum to take on the Panthers. This is not the first meeting of the programs, but it has been a difficult thing to get the two teams to meet at W.B. Adams Stadium. The series began in 2011 at the Tigers Everett Stadium, with Hampden-Sydney winning 38-14. They next met in 2015 at Dillon Stadium at Franklin County High School, with the Tigers again winning 55-24. This location was used as the new field turf installation was going on at Ferrum. The most recent meeting was at Salem Stadium in 2016. Ferrum broke into the win column in that game with a 42-20 decision.

Today is not only the Tigers first visit to Ferrum, but it's Folklife Festival Saturday which will mean a campus full of folks. Look for Ferrum to have their hands full, especially where pass defense is concerned. Quarterback Alec Cobb and receiver Major Morgan are the main part of a passing threat that is averaging over 400 yards per game. Ferrum will counter offensively with Zach Clifford and Nick Pearce. They lead a passing attack averaging 188 yards per game. The main offensive threat for Ferrum will again be Brian Mann. Look for him to have a strong day, but he will be again going against a stingy defense. This game will have many of the same markings as last weeks Washington and Lee game. Two good teams, slugging it out. Do not be surprised that the winner will be the team who has the ball last. I believe this time it will be Ferrum.

Ferrum 32

H-SC 30

Friday, October 26, 2018

Ferrum Loses As Time Expires

In a game that I expected to be a war, the game did not disappoint. The outcome was on the other hand disappointing. Mainly because Ferrum needed that win. Don't get me wrong, these were two really strong teams. There were more things that needed to be in Ferrum's favor than the two controversial calls. This was a tale of two different offenses. Ferrum scored mostly on big plays, while W&L had more of a grind it out attack. The time of possession battle was not even close as the Generals maintained possession about 17 minuets longer than Ferrum. This kept the Panther defense on the field too long. This played a big role in Ferrum giving up over 400 rushing yards. The trench warfare was won by the Generals.

Now for the calls.....The ineligible player down field rule states:

No originally ineligible receiver shall be or have been more than three yards beyond the neutral zone until a passer throws a legal forward pass that crosses the neutral zone. A player is in violation of this rule if any part of his body is beyond the three-yard limit.

Ferrum was penalized for ineligible man down field while attempting a two point conversion. I can only go by what I could see from the camera angle available to me. It looked to me that one player was beyond the three yard mark, but he was an eligible receiver (#86) Adam Vaught. Vaught was, as I saw it lined up as an end. The pass never crossed the neutral zone, so in my opinion, the call should not have happened.

As for the time out request that was not granted. It's just unexplainable.

Get ready for the Tigers of Hampden-Sydney. This will be another tough game, but it is winnable

Go Panthers!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

GAMEDAY: Homecoming

Ferrum returns home today to entertain returning alumni, and host Washington and Lee. The Generals come into the game with a 4-1 record, most recently having defeated Emory and Henry 40-29. They come in averaging 28 points per game, and only giving up just over 19 points per game. Their offense seems to be based mainly around the run, utilizing the read option, like Ferrum.  They have a stout offensive line, and this seems to be the unit making the running game possible. Through 5 games, they have only thrown 34 passes. By comparison, Ferrum has thrown 123 passes in the same amount of games.

Look for the Generals to utilize No.1 Josh Breece as their main running back. He is averaging 125 yards per game and has 4 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Washington and Lee is giving up 333 yards per game....Opponents are averaging 137 yards on the ground, and 196 through the air.

I look for this game to be a war. Ferrum I think has the advantage in that the running game and passing games are so balanced. The Panthers are averaging 289 yards on the ground per game, and 190 through the air. Both offenses can strike quickly. Look for Brian Mann to have a strong game, but I think the Panthers will share the offensive wealth. Look for Johnny White, Nick Pearce, and Chris Baker to all play pivotal roles as well as Zach Clifford on the occasional keeper.

Ferrum will need to be strong in the trenches, and if they can win the trench warfare, they can win the game.

Ferrum 26

Washington and Lee 24

Go Panthers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Self Inflicted Loss
Panthers Fall to Quakers 28-27

This was a very good game, between two really talented teams. It had the markings, based on what I could tell from statistics, of possibly a high scoring contest. It seemed that the Quakers defense was going to be suspect, but it was not. Both teams featured a strong running game, but in the end, this was a game Ferrum should have won.
Ferrum did many things right, and played a really good game, but in this case, there were too many missed opportunities, Four times, Ferrum could have put points on the board, and came away without any. This in the end was a huge contributor to the defeat.

One big stat that jumps out at me is that Zach Clifford was sacked  5 times! The Quakers QB was not sacked. The pass rush has to improve. Yes there were opportunities, but its time to focus on Washington and Lee. This will be a huge game Can Ferrum still contend for the conference? Yes, but two things have to happen. Ferrum must win more losses, and someone, in addition to Ferrum has to beat Randolph Macon. That will give them a chance. Even then, it still may not be enough. In addition to that, Emory and Henry and Guilford both have to lose one more game.
The climb to a conference championship just got tougher......much tougher......and there are no easy games left on the docket.

Go Panthers!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Due to hurricane Michael, the football game vs. Guilford has been moved to Friday, October 12th at 7p.m.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ferrum @ Guilford

Other than playing Guilford in a scrimmage the last couple of seasons, I really did not know much about them. Until recently, Guilford was not what I would have considered an upper echelon team of the ODAC. Their records over the last few years are as follows:

2008 - 4-6
2009 - 3-7
2010 - 0-10
2011 - 2-8
2012 - 5-5
2013 - 6-4
2014 - 8-2
2015 - 9-1
2016 - 4-6
2017 - 5-5

2015 was the best year in their recent football history, going 9-1. Its easy to see that their program has really improved, but this year, their offensive production has been unbelievable. Through 4 games, the Quakers are averaging 46 points per game. In two games they scored 61 points, and in their other two games they scored 28 and 34. They are currently 1-3. A fifth game was played vs. Huntingdon but was stopped due to weather. The weather did not clear, and eventually, the game was ruled a no contest. No statistics counted, but at the time the game was stopped, the Quakers had put up 48 points. While this is very impressive, it's important to know that all of this scoring is tarnished by a defense that is giving up 54.8 ppg. This includes a 91-61 loss to FCS opponent Davidson.

Defensively, Guilford is surrendering 240 passing yards per game, and 336 rushing yards per game.
There is no question that the Davidson game skews the numbers to a point, but I think there are still valid conclusions that can be drawn from the Quakers early season games. Overall, it looks to me that their defense is not all that impressive, but they can put up points. They are averaging 553 offensive yards per game. 293 ypg on the ground, and 260 ypg through the air.

The Guilford passing offense is is currently ranked 58th nationally. Ferrum is ranked 143rd. Stats for rushing offense show the Quakers ranked 10th in the nation with Ferrum ranked 11th.
The national rankings for passing defense show Guilford tied for 181st, while Ferrum's pass defense is ranked 87th. Finally Guilford's rushing defense is ranked......well it's hard to say where they are ranked. Currently, Guilford's rushing defense stats are not listed on the NCAA website. Going by the Guilford athletics page however, the Quakers, as I listed earlier, are giving up 336 rushing yards per game. That places them 248th at best in the nation in rushing defense. (Out of 250 teams)

So now that your head is spinning with numbers, what does all that mean? To me, it means, Ferrum will run the ball a lot Thursday. This will help them control time of possession, thus keeping the Guilford offense off of the field. In the end, this game could go either way, but I am thinking the advantage goes to Ferrum as their rushing offense will be superior, and the defense will slow significantly a high powered offense.

Look for Brian Mann to have an excellent game with more records falling.

Ferrum  44

Guilford 27

Other ODAC action for Saturday-

Randolph Macon @ Shenandoah

Emory and Henry @ Washington and Lee

Hampden-Sydney @ Bridgewater

Go Panthers!