After a bye week, it is a definite that the coaches at Ferrum have worked on many things since the loss to Emory and Henry. In that game, Ferrum collected 134 yards in penalties I am sure that was a focus. In that game, Ferrum gave up three rushing touchdowns, and I am sure that was a focus, and in that game Ferrum turned the ball over 4 times. These, to me, were the main difference makers in the week one loss.
Lastly, I am sure it has been important for the coaches to re- focus the team to the task at hand....
(# 23) Hampden -Sydney College.
Not since the 2005 playoff game have the Panthers played an opponent ranked in the top 25. That year they played the (# 25) Wesley Wolverines, and came up on the short end of a 59-14 score. The goal of this game Saturday is to win of course, but in the long run, it is to help the program improve. Playing tougher competition is a positive move. Other schools that have done this in the conference are Christopher Newport who, every year will schedule at least one and sometime two strong opponents. This week, the Captains host the #24 team, Salisbury.
North Carolina Wesleyan opened their season against #14 Ohio Northern, and in the past, Averett has scheduled some very strong non conference competition.
What to expect Saturday? Well this will be a challenge for the Panthers to say the least. The Tigers are boasting the fifth ranked passing offense in the country, and overall the #1 scoring offense in the country. They are averaging 59.5 points in their first two games, and their quarterback, Travis Lane, is ranked 4th in the nation in passing efficiency. To say that the passing game is solid is an understatement, and this will test Ferrum all day.
Keys to a Panther win:
For Ferrum, first they must play mistake free football. This is not the type of team that will need any help, so penalties must be minimal.
The Tigers will throw the ball often, and Ferrum must pressure and sack the quarterback as often as possible.
Secondary must be ready for a constant barrage of passes.
Ferrum will need to win the giveaway/takeaway stat, and must convert any and all turnovers into points.
Lastly, Ferrum must put points on the board in the red zone.
In the end, this will be a very challenging game. Ferrum will have its hands full, and as much as I want to predict a Panther upset, I doubt it is in the cards this week. It is an important game for Ferrum regardless of the result. Scheduling a team of this caliber is the right thing to do. This is another step to building competitive program.
For the rest of week 3:
Winners are Bold and all CAPS
Averett @ GUILFORD
Maryville @ LAGRANGE
SALISBURY @ Christopher Newport
Greensboro @ NEWPORT NEWS APPRENTICE
SHENANDOAH @ Randolph Macon