Tonight's game against the Shenandoah Hornets is a very big game for Ferrum. The past two games, Methodist and Greensboro, and the next two games represent the bottom and the top of the conference respectively. Tonight Ferrum plays for several things. A win tonight will guarantee the Panthers a winning season. A win tonight will eliminate Shenandoah from the conference title race, and a win tonight will set up an all or nothing game nest Saturday against Christopher Newport.
The Panthers tonight must contend with the best passing offense in the conference. Shenandoah quarterback, Daniel Wright is ranked 25th in the nation in passing efficiency, and leads an offense that overall is ranked 41st in the nation. His favorite receiver is Rico Wallace, Wallace is ranked 25th in the nation for receptions per game, and 4th in the nation for receiving yards per game.
Last year, Wright set a new SU record for passing yards against Ferrum as he became the first Hornets quarterback to have more than 300 yards passing in a game. Wallace also set a record in that game as he caught nine passes for 224 yards. The interesting thing to note was that Ferrum still won the game.56-20.
From last year to this year, both teams have improved greatly.
Marcus Mayo is a true triple threat. Passing, running and on punt returns, Mayo has scored 13 touchdowns this season. 6 passing, 6 running, and 1 on a punt return against North Carolina Wesleyan. Mayo has completed 50% of his passes (62 of 124) and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry when he runs with the ball.
Derrick West, Tyler Brubaker, and Makaya Jackson are still Mayo's favorite targets, and between the three of them they have accounted for 713 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.
Ferrum and Shenandoah can both put points on the board, and statistically they are very similar defensively.
The Panther defense against the run is ranked 29th in the nation (D3), and their defense against the pass is ranked 78th nationally....this is a huge improvement. This time last year the pass defense was ranked 208th nationally. On defense the Hornets are very good at stopping the run. They are ranked 60th in the nation. Their pass defense is no slouch either as they are ranked 32nd in the nation.
The rushing offense of the Panthers is ranked 16th in the nation, and the passing offense is ranked 184th...but we really focus on the run via the option.Overall Ferrum's offense is ranked 56th in the nation.
For the Hornets, they do not run the ball particularly well. Their rushing offense is ranked 132nd, but their passing offense is the 42nd best in the country.
So it boils down to two teams that are good on both sides of the ball. This should be a really good game, Look for this game to possibly go into overtime, and look for a special teams play to figure huge in the outcome.