So far, I have seen 2 of Ferrum's games, and although Ferrum sits at 0-4, I still say that they have a lot of talent, and is a stronger team than their record indicates. In the two games I have seen, (Emory & Henry and N.C. Wesleyan,) Ferrum was close, but was not able to sustain the necessary momentum in the last quarter to pull out the win. What has to happen? This trend needs to be reversed, and it can be done, by consistent effort on everyone's part.
Methodist was picked by the USA South coaches to finish last, and Ferrum was picked to finish fourth. D3.com had Ferrum finishing 1-9, and I predicted Ferrum to be 4-6. I think the Panthers are a better team than 1-9, but their first win has been very elusive.
What to expect from the Monarchs...
Looking at their stats so far this season, the Monarchs do not seem to be an offensive juggernaut. Methodist will spend most of their time on the ground, but will throw the ball. Their quarterback is 42 of 77 with 3 interceptions and 5 touchdowns. Methodist has a total of 475 passing yards. Their quarteback has been sacked 11 times this season
On the ground, Methodist is averaging just over 100 yards a game. They have three rushing touchdowns.
They are throwing the ball 18 times a game, and running almost 40 times a game.(39.2) While their offense seems somewhat anemic, their defense is also struggling. Opponents are averaging 168.5 rushing yards per game, and the Monarchs are giving up 225 through the air per game.
Keys to a Panther Win.:
NO TURNOVERS- You must hang on to the ball. This team can score points, but not if they do no have the ball. Do not give them anything.
Control the clock- We need to control the tempo of the game. Set the tone early. Methodist has not scored a point in the first quarter yet.
Offensive effectiveness- This begins at the line of scrimmage. O-line. Hold your blocks, and if you are pulling on an outside play, take a defender out of the play! RB's...find the opening., and go! Remember, if they can stop the option, it may mean that passing routes are open. Take advatage of this, and they will adjust to better cover the pass, making the option a threat again.
NO TURNOVERS- You must hang on to the ball. This team can score points, but not if they do no have the ball. Do not give them anything. (It's worth repeating)
Defense, be aggressive, and look to strip the ball.
Special teams will be important for this game. Could be OT.
Just an observation from last week. NCW put their defensive eggs in one basket and at times brought all of their defense in the box. This overwhelmed the Panthers offensive line, and they were able to get to Mayo as he was sacked 8 times. To fix this, the receivers have to get the step on their defender, and run short routes just behind the line. The offensive line has to give the quarterback a few more seconds to deliver the pass. Hold your blocks. 2 step drop passes will force the opposing team to bring the players back into the D- backfield. This will open the running game.
This game is a tough one to predict. Statistically, Ferrum has somewhat of an edge, but not an overwhelming one. The fact that it is being played at home, and that the Monarchs are coming off of a win against Maryville may make this a fairly even game. In the end I see Ferrum having some things go their way this week, and brining home the first W.