And so begins the fifth season of the Ferrum College Football Report....but not without some difficulty. Between Internet connectivity issues, and getting locked out of my own blog, It has recently been a struggle to get a new article posted. It appears to some I am sure, that I have not been as devoted as I need to be to the writing of the blog. (Thanks for the note J.M.)...nothing could be further from the truth. How on earth does one get locked out of his own blog? It's not difficult if the blog, which is powered by Google, is linked to a Google based email account. I have 4 Google based email accounts, and if you forget to sign out of one that is not the one associated with the blog, you cannot sign into the blog....Took a while to figure that out, so now I am back to clicking away.
Another issue is that It has been more difficult getting information this year, as one of my main contacts graduated. ( Hey J.M...glad your son graduated, but I really miss his input). Enough of the small talk...There is a game to review.
The Wasps of Emory and Henry travel out of the deep folds of Southwest Virginia when they head to Ferrum to play what has become a really fun regional rivalry. Ferrum has had a difficult time dealing with the powerful Emory and Henry offense. For 4 years, Caleb Jennings proved almost impossible to stop, but he is gone....(heck he was gone last year, but I still have visions of a speedy number 7 running all over the place) Last year, in Coach Harper's first season, it was not pretty to listen to the broadcast, as Ferrum seemed to have a serious case of first game jitters, and they fell hard to the Wasps 41-12. What Saturday holds is any one's guess. Ferrum will look to put an end to a Wasp winning streak that began in 2007. Playing at home will help, but Ferrum's usually potent offensive attack, has a lot of question marks, and in the recent scrimmage against a strong Washington and Lee team, it's difficult to say with any certainty that many of the offensive questions have been resolved.
Emory and Henry is picked to finish fifth in the ODAC coaches poll, so if there is something to be gleaned from that, it may be indicative that the Wasps are not expected to be quite as strong. I am certain of one thing, they will be prepared to play, and nothing will come easy against them.
Look for Ferrum to run the spread option, but also look for more passing this season. The receiving corps is strong, and I would expect that this will be something Ferrum will utilize a lot. As for the running game, Ferrum does not have a wealth of experience in the backfield to say the least. It will be a work in progress, and time will tell as to who the workhorse of the running game will be.
Defensively, Tae Motley will anchor a unit with good experience at all positions. This unit should be the constant on a team that begins with many unknowns.
I look for Ferrum, this Saturday to take a step and gain valuable experience in preparation for their season run. While much more information has been gathered since I posted my pre-season predictions, I will stand by my overall prediction of the Panthers finishing with an 8-2 record....unfortunately, I see this game as one of the two.
Other games in the conference- (Winner in Bold)
Salisbury @ CNU
Ohio Northern @ N.C, Wesleyan
Washington and Jefferson @ Methodist
Hampden-Sydney @ Averett
Maryville @ Huntingdon
LaGrange @ Birmingham Southern
Greensboro @ Guilford