Up to this point in the season, Ferrum has shown that they are a very good and capable team. Overcoming the losses to Emory and Henry, and Hampden-Sydney, Ferrum started its current 5 game winning streak with a thrashing of Bridgewater. I am not sure what exactly happened in week 4, but something happened, and so far, the Panthers have not looked back.
Not all games however present with the same degree of difficulty. Ferrum (5-2,4-0) is about to face its most severe tests since the Hampden-Sydney game. On the docket this week are the Shenandoah Hornets. Shenandoah (4-3,3-1) has been very solid all season. In looking over their statistics, they thrive on the pass. Their quarterback/receiver combination of Daniel Wright and Rico Wallace give the Hornets the 25th most efficient passing offense in the country. This will be a major focus of the Panthers defense, but they need to be aware of their running game also. The running game is not the focus of the Hornet offense, but Brad Martz seems to be their primary running back.He was just named USA South Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of October 17th.
Shenandoah's passing game breaks down like this:
The Hornets have completed 128 of 210 passes for 1757 yards and 18 touchdown passes. The Hornets have thrown 9 interceptions. All of the touchdowns were thrown by Daniel Wright. He has also rushed for 4 touchdowns.
Rico Wallace has caught 49 passes for 974 yards and 11 touchdowns. Wallace is averaging just under 20 yards per reception.
Shenandoah ranks first in the conference in passing offense, and 42nd in the nation.
When Wright decides to target another receiver, look for it to be Qydaar Murphy. Murphy is ranked second in the team statistics, and is a very nice compliment to Wallace.
They have a strong passing game, but the running game has been far less effective. Ranked 4th in the conference and 192nd in the nation, the Hornets are averaging 142 yards per game running the ball. This comes out to 3.5 yards per carry. In total, the Hornets have run the ball 283 of their 493 offensive plays.
While there have been several like opponents, the only team that Ferrum defeated and Shenandoah lost to was Bridgewater. It appears at first glance that Bridgewater utilized a strong ground game, along with a pick six of Wright. The Eagles defeated the Hornets 28-23.
Shenandoah also lost to Randolph Macon, and Christopher Newport. Their largest margin of defeat was just 7 points, and that was the same margin for both the Randolph Macon, and CNU games.
Keys to a Ferrum Win:
Get pressure on the quarterback- This needs to be constant and disruptive.
Be prepared for many many passes on the part of the SU offense.
Control the clock...control time of possession. If we have the ball, they cannot score.
Special teams be ready. A Mayo PR for a TD would be nice. Puschell, keep up the good work. Be ready to come in and win the game.
Lastly....need I say this? No turnovers, and no penalties....You cannot give this team any advantage. Play disciplined football.
Huge game, and the last road game for Ferrum. The Panthers need this win very very much. To do it, they need fan support. Ferrum needs a huge turnout in the stands. This could be a barn burner.
As for the rest of the conference:
Methodist @ AVERETT
MARYVILLE @ North Carolina Wesleyan
CNU @ Greensboro