Saturday, September 24, 2016

Reviewing the First Three Games

Standing at 2-1, Ferrum finds itself coming off of a first-ever win against Hampden-Sydney, and headed into an open week  The first three games have brought about some clear positives about the Panthers, and conversely have shown some areas of concern.

Offensively, Ferrum has had three strong performances, and definitely appears to have a strong running game. In these three games, Ferrum has averaged 253.7 rushing yards. Most of these yards can be attributed to Freshman running back Brian Mann. Mann has been a pleasant surprise for the offense, and gives me great hope for the season and the future. Currently. Mann is averaging 164.7 yards per game, and is the third highest ranked ball carrier in the nation in Division III football. He was eighth going into the Hampden-Sydney game.

Ferrum;s passing yard average is  172.7 ypg. Harvey Taylor has completed 50% of his passes thusfar, (27 of 52) for 435 yards and five touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions.  All total Ferrum has scored 16 touchdowns in three games.....9 rushing touchdowns, 6 passing touchdowns, and 1 interception return for a score.

Defensively, Ferrum, for the season so far has struggled. At least it would appear that way on the surface. Did you know that through three games, Ferrum defense has given up 14 touchdowns. (7 rushing, and 7 passing) I have been very concerned about the pass defense as it, to me appeared to be the Panthers main defensive weakness. This seemed to turn around when at the 10:30 mark in the second quarter last week, Zach Bullard intercepted the Tiger quarterback, at the goal line, and returned the ball 21 yards. With this, the momentum shifted, and Hampden-Sydney never found the end zone again. Is the pass defense on track? Time will tell, but it really seemed like it took a huge step last week.
As for the rush defense, did you know that through three games, Ferrum is only giving up 47 yards per game? The rush defense is currently ranked 5th nationally. Another stat is that Ferrum is tied for third nationally for team sacks, and Montel Lee leads the nation in sacks per game! So in all actuality, Ferrum's defense is looking good....very good. This unit has greatly improved, and is for me, where restoring the roar all starts.

As for Special Teams, last week, punter Tyler Morgan set the school record for the longest punt in Ferrum history when he launched a 72 yarder. The previous record of 68 yards, formerly held by Richard Harr had stood for 18 years. Morgan was named Special Teams player of the week by the USA South

Here are some final stats and honors to look over in this off week. Ferrum will return to action at Greensboro next week......Go Panthers!

Brian Mann
Games: 3
Avg/rush: 6.3
KR avg: 42.4
All purpose avg/game: 235.3
Total offense avg/gm: 164.7
# 3 ranked rusher in D3 football
USA South Offensive Rookie of the Week- 3 consecutive weeks

Montel Lee

USA South Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2014
USA South All-Conference first team, 2014
VaSID Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2014
VaSID All-State first team, 2014 All-South Region second team, 2014
USA South All-Conference first team, 2015
VaSID All-State first team, 2015
Set school record for career sacks, 2016
Set school record for game sacks (4) vs. Hampden-Sydney, 2016

USA South Defensive Player of the Week, 9/19/16

Tyler Morgan

USA South All-Conference first team, 2015
Set new school record for longest punt (72 yds) vs. Hampden-Sydney, 9/17/16
USA South Special Teams Player of the Week, 9/19/16

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