Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Defense Wins Championships...
But Coaching Mistakes Can Help

As the Super Bowl officially marked the end of the NFL season, I look again as to how important defense was in the big game on Sunday. A lot has been said about the Seahawks throwing the ball, when Marshawn Lynch had the ability to run it in. Lynch said it best after the game when asked if he was surprised that he was not given the ball, and he said "No, it's a team sport". A very classy answer for someone who's disappointment had to be at a fever pitch.
I am not sure if Pete Carroll's logic in throwing holds water, but that is who get's paid big bucks to make the tough decisions, and I am sure he will not forget the outcome anytime soon.
The late Woody Hayes said " There are only three things that can happen when you pass, and two of them are not good." The debate will likely go on in the media for a while, but in my opinion, if you have a 10 point lead going into the 4th quarter, and you have the best defense in the league, you should not be in the position that the Seahawks found themselves in.....but as they were in that position, they should have run the ball......I digress.....

As for Ferrum's 2015 football outlook, it is difficult to say how the Panthers will fare. There again are, from my perspective may unanswered questions going into this season. Let's start with quarterback.
It is expected that Harvey Taylor will step in to start this season, but in the last game of the season, of 2014, Taylor was injured, and required knee surgery. He will likely not be available for Spring Practice.
As Taylor played most of this past season at running back, his move to quarterback, will leave a big hole in the backfield. Although there are 14 listed on the roster as underclassmen running backs, it is too early to tell who will return. One thing is for sure, this is a position that needs to be ultra productive. The offensive line will have a lot to do with that.
On the O line, the Panthers are only slated to lose Cody Jones, and Brian Ruebush. This is a plus, but the overall effectiveness of the O line last year I thought was inconsistent to say the least. There is room for improvement in this part of the equation, and in my opinion, it has to start in the weight room. Bigger, Faster and Stronger, needs to be the offensive line mantra.
The defense will lose five players, and of those, there was much talent. 1 D lineman, 2 Defensive Backs, 1 Safety, and 1 Linebacker. There are plenty on the roster that can step up, and some good experience returning. Much will depend on the defensive coordinator, and that position remains open.

Looking back on last year, one of the best things to happen to the team was the infusion of about 7 freshmen into the starting lineup. This is something that should pay dividends down the road, and I am hopeful that this is a trend that continues. Freshmen need playing time, and this approach, plus a solid JV program will ensure this.

Facilities Update- Ferrum is looking to raise 1.2 million dollars so that a new field turf surface can be installed at W.B. Adams Stadium. Please see link below:

Field Turf Initiative

Please give to this worthy cause. This is one of the final pieces of the puzzle to the facilities upgrades at Ferrum, and It will mean a great deal to many sport teams.

Lastly, here is the schedule for 2015. Note 6 home games this year! A first ever visit from Hampden-Sydney, one of the best D3 programs in Virginia. Please make plans to support the Panthers!

9/5/2015  Emory & Henry CollegeEmory, VA1 pm
9/12/2015  Shenandoah University (Franklin County Appreciation Day)Ferrum, VA1 pm
9/19/2015  Hampden-Sydney CollegeFerrum, VA1 pm
10/3/2015 Conference GameGreensboro College (Homecoming / HOF / Family Weekend)Ferrum, VA2 pm
10/10/2015 Conference GameHuntingdon CollegeFerrum, VA1 pm
10/17/2015 Conference GameMaryville CollegeMaryville, TN1:30 pm
10/24/2015 Conference GameLaGrange CollegeFerrum, VA1 pm
10/31/2015 Conference GameMethodist UniversityFayetteville, NC1 pm
11/7/2015 Conference GameAverett University (Senior Day)Ferrum, VA1 pm
11/14/2015 Conference GameNorth Carolina Wesleyan CollegeRocky Mount, NC1 pm

With Christopher Newport out of the conference, look for the championship to be up for grabs. I will be back with more off season posts soon, looking especially to pass on recruiting news as I find it.

Go Panthers!


  1. Please don't limit the comment to google account- no one wants to go through that hassel to comment on here. You had some good comments on here until that becomes the only option to comment.

    Any news on coaching hires? Any news on Coach E- was he forced out?

    1. You would think that's the direction they should go in considering the last couple of seasons. They have talent there but they red shirted half which for ferrum means you don't even get to practice with the team. I mean come on calling the same plays don't make you a coach neither does not listening to your staff and doing it your way. This program is a joke.

  2. Thanks for the feedback....I don't have any official word on the DC opening, but I would expect that to be filled fairly soon. As for Coach E, I only know he left for health reasons. I think all other coaches are returning.

  3. Brian Zyglocke, Ferrum alum, named DC and will coach DB's. Hanson leaves for Virginia State, Nesselt remains on staff.