Monday will mark one year of posting the Ferrum College Football Report. This all started after listening to the internet broadcast of the Emory and Henry @ Ferrum game last year where the Panthers made a strong second half showing, but came up short against the Wasps. Here we are almost one year later, and the story is much the same. Ferrum dropped their first game of the season to Emory and Henry after working to take the lead late in the game. Unlike last year, the Wasps gained most of their yards on the ground, with All American Caleb Jennings gaining 163 yards. Last year, Jennings had 15 yards against the Panthers.
In pouring over the statistics, the amount of yards given up on the ground is a surprise, as defending the run is typically a Ferrum strength. This year compared to last, Ferrum gave up 98 more yards rushing on only 5 more rushing attempts. In 2008, the pass defense for Ferrum seemed porus as the Wasps threw for 123 yards, scoring three touchdowns. This year, they threw for 127 yards, but only for one touchdown. Last year, Ferrum recovered a Wasp fumble, and intercepted a pass. This year, no turnovers from E&H. So where is the real difference? In my opinion, its the sum of all the small differences, combined with Caleb Jennings ability that kept the Panthers from being able to put one in the "W" column.
Ferrum is a strong team, with a strong offense. Matt Dobson does an excellent job at executing the option. and while the Panthers have not been recognized as a passing team, Dobson has shown a consistent ability in this department also. He has a host of backs behind him that will put points on the board, and among those backs, Mike Vann can prove to be a difference maker in the offense. Week 2 is an open week for Ferrum, and I am sure a lot of film will be watched, and assignments will be reviewed. Ferrum will make the adjustments necessary to be in a position to beat Bridgewater for the home opener.
So over the last year, I have been asked the question, what made you start writing the blog...the truth is, it began with personal disappointment and frustration after listening to that loss to Emory and Henry. I woke up the day after the game still disappointed that Ferrum came up short, and decided to try to put my thoughts on paper so to speak. From there, I have for the most part tried to post factual information that is accurate, and is not too biased, but most importantly does not cast Ferrum or its football program in a bad light. There is a tendanccy to sometimes inject opinion, but I realize that I am no coach, and want to avoid the armchair quarterback label.
I have received very positive comments over the last year, and have thoroughly enjoyed this as nothing more than a hobby. Many at Ferrum have been helpful and supportive, and for that I am very appreciative. Its nice to know that people read and enjoy this. So where does the blog go from here? I am not sure, but I have a few goals:
> I would like to see the readership increase. I think the more people know about Ferrum football, the better.
> Would love to see this incorporate video highlights of games, but I would need access to video.
> I could see this as a medium for advertisers, but making money has never been the goal.
> I would like to add facets and features that you the reader wants to see....so don't be shy, make suggestions.
For the last year, I have been fortunate to be able to post not only game recaps, but have had three interviews that were well received. Associate Head Coach David Harper was the first interview, and this was in a written question and answer format. This means I sent him a set of questions, and he answered them. I posted then exactly as he had answered them. The draw back to this is that there is no immediate opportunity for follow up questions, or clarification if needed. None the less, it seems to be an effective means to interview for this medium. I appreciate Coach Harpers support of the blog, and his willingness to be interviewed.
My second interview was with D3 football.com 's Executive Editor Pat Coleman. Pat is really the man in the know about Division 3 football, and I was very fortunate to get this interview. This too was in a written format, and forced me to think beyond Ferrum, or the USA South Conference, but to try to look at division 3 football on a national level. Pat has made positive comments about the blog, and has included a link to the Ferrum College Football Report on d3football.com.
My third and most recent interview was with Ferrum's first football coach, Sam Webb. This article, called Kicking off Ferrum Football came about by an over the phone interview, and while it is a far more difficult type of interview to conduct, it provides interaction, and the chance for follow up questions when needed. It was an honor to interview Coach Webb, and a true education at the same time. He was a pleasure to talk to, and has a most interesting story.
If you have not read the interview, the following link will take you to it. Coach Webb's story is quite amazing.
Kicking off Ferrum Football
I hope you have enjoyed the first year of my new found hobby. I enjoy writing it, and look forward to the rest of the season. Don't forget to offer suggestions, compliments or criticisms through the comment link at the bottom of any story. Thanks for following the blog...now let's go take care of Bridgewater on Sept. 19th. Go Panthers!