It is not a surprise that there have been a lot of critical comments posted by readers since the loss to Emory and Henry. While I still have not seen the game ( cannot get the video to play on the E&H website), it was quite evident from the stats that Ferrum has a huge hill to climb to get ready for conference play.
Frankly, I was not surprised at the fact that they loss, but it was the disproportion of the game that really concerns me. In short, Ferrum struggled in all aspects of the game.
Ferrum was not in this one much past the coin toss, and this was a bit of a shock. I was more surprised by the inability of the offense to score, rather than the defense's inability to stop the Wasps. So I am curious as to what happened since last year?
1. Offensively, Ferrum is without Derrick West, Makaya Jackson, Avery Long, Cam Bailey, Joe McDonagh, and Tyler Brubaker (all of those started in game one last year)
2. They are without Scott Puschell
3. No replacement hired for last years running backs coach Chris Warren.
4. New Offensive Coordinator.
These are not excuses, these are facts. Of course there will be people that will not want to hear that, and look to blame everyone including the guy wearing the Panther costume. The loss Saturday was troublesome, and I am sure that there are going to be quite a few wake up calls in practice this week, but one must realize that this is a young team, and this was just the first game.
OK I am a "Homer" (I am assuming that this must indicate that I am not balanced in my reporting. That I should be calling for Harper's head, Adams head, and Bache's head....probably even the Panther mascots head.) I don't see it that way. Have we forgotten that Ferrum was Co Champion last year? Have we forgotten that they have been 14-6 over Harper's first two seasons? I am a strong supporter of what Dave Harper is doing, and while Ferrum did not win its opener, they have not done that in either of the last two seasons. In fact, in 2011, the Panthers started 0-2, before ending 7-3.
This may be a more difficult year. The next two weeks will show me a lot as to what Ferrum may do in the conference. I feel confident that Ferrum will get their ship righted, and while it may not always be smooth sailing, Ferrum's process of building a winner is continuing. In my preseason predictions, I picked Ferrum to again be 7-3, but seriously considered them to possibly be 6-4, or even 5-5. I will stand by my 7-3 prediction, but this means (in my opinion) that they have to win the next 2 for this to be a possibility.
If being a "Homer" means that I am a fan Ferrum, its a moniker I will gladly wear.