Friday, November 11, 2016

North Carolina Wesleyan @ Ferrum

Ferrum will host its final game of the 2016 season as the North Carolina Wesleyan Battling Bishops come to town. This will mark the end of what has turned out to be quite a remarkable season for the Panthers. A win tomorrow will cement Ferrum as the third place team in the USA South. An outcome that very few, including myself saw as likely back in August. This will be an important game on many fronts. Besides the potential third place finish, running back Brian Mann has a legitimate chance to set the record for most rushing yards in a season. Mann needs 42 yards to break the record held by Chris Warren. A record that has stood for 28 years. This game also holds special meaning as it is Senior Day, and the 10 graduating Seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.

So what can we expect?

North Carolina Wesleyan is no slouch team to say the least. They sit at 4-4, but had one game on the schedule cancelled due to effects of an early season hurricane. One of their four losses came at the hands of defending national champion Mount Union. They are averaging 418 offensive yards per game, and almost 32 points a game. 230 yards per game, come via the pass.
If they have a weakness, it may be their defense. Opponents are averaging 202 yards per game through the air, and 239 yards on the ground. 
This bodes fairly well for Ferrum, especially as the game is at home. Ferrum needs to play a tight defensive passing scheme, and shut down the combination of quarterback Nathan Gardner and receiver Malik Adams. If this duo can be stopped, or at least slowed, and Ferrum can control time of possession, they can close the season with third place in their pocket.

This will be a really good game, and while I would have not thought so early in the season, I see this as a hard fought win for Ferrum, and an excellent end to a very strong season.

Ferrum 28

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