For the second week in a row, Ferrum takes to the road, this time to face the Pride of Greensboro. After an impressive win over Averett, the Panthers look to make it two in a row over a struggling Greensboro team. The Pride 1-6 (1-4 conf.) are giving up 46.9 points per game, and are only averaging 20.7 points per game. Ferrum by contrast is giving up just 30.4 points per game, but the offense is only averaging 19.4 points per game. Look for Greensboro to throw the ball often. The remainder of the schedule, Ferrum will face three of the best quarterbacks in the conference. The secondary will definitely be tested.
Ferrum's defense showed great progress last week against Averett, only giving up 15 rushing yards on 30 carries. I would expect more of the same this week, but look for the "Alabama Wild man" Montel Lee to continue to put pressure on the quarterback. Freshman Rashad Johnson leads Ferrum's defense with 54 tackles, followed closely by Senior Jatavious Adams with 51.
A Word About Coach Elmassian
As it has been reported in the Roanoke Times, Phil Elmassian has left the Ferrum coaching staff. I have received a few comments about this, but just read the article today. I was sorry to hear this news, especially given that he left for health reasons. My hope is that his health soon improves. I believed that this was a really good hire for Ferrum. I looked at this as a real plus for Ferrum as he brought multitudes of experience. Often coaches come to Ferrum to gain experience and then leave. He did not need to take the job, it seemed that he wanted the job. Ferrum's rural location can sometimes make it difficult to not only recruit players, but also coaches....This is not a news flash that Ferrum, being between Waidsboro and Endicott is not a metropolis, and is lacking many of the amenities that an urban location would hold. Coaches who are considering Ferrum, have to take that aspect into consideration. This was not a factor for Coach Elmassian, as this was his third stint at Ferrum. Lastly, I doubt Ferrum could pay him anywhere near the salary that he would have received at a DI school, but this did not deter him. So you have a coach with phenomenal experience willing to bring his skill set to a school located far from a large city, and make very little money. To me this was indicative of a winning situation for Ferrum. I doubted that he would be there more than a couple of years, as he was near retirement age, but I am hopeful that his brief stay this time left some positive impressions on the players and the coaches.
So this week, I see Ferrum again in the win column. Looking at this as a game where hopefully the offense will step it up in the point production department. It will largely depend however on how effective the defense is against the pass. This could be a track meet, and that may not bode well for the Panthers. Ferrum needs to shut their offense down. If that happens, look for win #2.
As for the rest of the conference:
Averett @ Methodist
North Carolina Wesleyan @ Maryville
LaGrange @ Christopher Newport
I would expect that the North Carolina Wesleyan @ Maryville game to be a really good one. Look for the home teams to have the advantage this weekend.....except in Greensboro.