First, I want to draw some more attention to the game that Brian Mann had. To set the Ferrum record for the most yards gained in a game is a big,big deal. A record that had stood for 10 years was eclipsed, and the crazy part is that it could be broken again this coming week. Mann when the NCAA stats come out later today will have jumped from the 10th leading rusher in the nation, to number 5....if my math is correct. And by the way, he didn't wait for homecoming...... yesterday's performance put him over the 1000 yard mark, giving him 1079 yards so far with three games to play. Congratulations Brian! Great Job!
With three games left, and two of them at home, Ferrum is looking solid for a .500 season, and could possibly end with a winning record......although that will be more difficult. I was asked yesterday what is the difference this year? My answer boiled down to two things:
Recruiting, and Game Preparation. Ferrum had a good nucleus of returning players, but through a solid recruiting effort, the coaches have filled needs with a strong field of freshman......and many of those are starting. I do not have any privileged information, but the approach to the games thus far, to me, suggest a systematic process of preparing the team, solidly for that opponent.
I went back and looked at my preseason predictions, and I had the Panthers with a 4-6 record. So who did I pick them to beat? I had them going 1-2 against non conference opponents, with the lone win coming against Shenandoah......turns out they lost to the Hornets, but beat Emory and Henry, and Hampden-Sydney.....I was 0-3 in non conference games for Ferrum. In the regular season, I picked them to beat Greensboro, Methodist, and Averett. One down, two to go. Did not pick them to beat LaGrange, but felt it was not impossible........guess it was more possible than I realized.
While there have been many bright spots, Ferrum is not there yet. For me, they have already accomplished what I expected them to, but as I have said many times before, this is a process, and this season, no matter how it finishes, is just the first step in the process. The future is bright for Ferrum football, just be patient.