Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bearcat Preview: Emporia State

New segment here at Productive Sweatpants. Mostly because, why the hell not.

As most of you loyal PS readers know, I am an alumnus of the prestigious Northwest Missouri State University (Go Bearcats). And if you know that then you know our football team is pretty damn good.

Then what's with all the Michigan stuff?

Well, that's a good question. You see my relationship with the Wolverines is the longest relationship I've ever had. I've loved the winged helmets since I was a little kid and realized that such a thing as College Football existed. In one of the very first PS posts I explained how for those of us who went to D-II and D-III schools we also have D-I programs to root for.

Ok, great. But so what?

Well in this new entry we're going to do a mini-preview of the Bearcats' upcoming game. I use to jump on to D2football.com (which is a great site for you D2 football fans) to get my NWMSU fix, but they switched MIAA writers and I just haven't gotten into Heintzelman yet. That said, on Tuesday or Wednesday each week, I will take a look at the Bearcats' next opponent.

On with the preview:

The essentials
Emporia State Hornets (5-2)  at NWMSU Bearcats (5-1)
Bearcat Stadium 1pm CST

Offense
Emporia is a defensively minded team. Mostly because their offense isn't all that good. Ranked 110th overall (out of 151. Yeah I had to look it up too.) they are much better running the ball than passing. Ranked 39th and going for 170.43 yards/game, look for the Hornets to try and get SR RB Kevin Smart going early. If they can have any success with Smart it may open up the play action game with Sophomores QB Tyler Eckenrode and WR Shjuan Richardson. Although scoring may come as premium to the Hornets on Saturday.

Your Bearcats come into the game with slightly a different story. With the 19th ranked passing attack, Bolles and Soy look to be getting in sync, finally, following last week's career best day for Soy (159 yard and 2 tds). If the 21st ranked offense wants to have the success it's had in previous years, SO Jordan Simmons is going to have to start producing. Bolles can do a lot, but as the temp drops having a successful running game is going to be key for the Cats.

Defense
Again, Emporia is defensive minded. Ranked 51st in total D and 37th in scoring D, do they have enough to slow the Bearcats' attack? I don't know. Although they are better against the pass than the run, it's going to depend on how well Sr DL Daniel Webb can pressure Bolles to see if they have any success against the Cats.

Meanwhile, The Cats are actually better Defensively than they are on the Offensive side of the ball. Ranked 15th in the nation in total D they are the 9th ranked scoring D and lead the MIAA in both categories. I don't think the Hornets will have much success in either phase of the game. After shutting out Western and holding the MIAA leading rushing attack in Missouri Southern to half it's average rushing output last week, the Cats should dominate on D.

Outcome
I'm not sure I would be qualified enough to pick a score, but I think the Cats roll. I'd be surprised if the Hornets get more than 2 TDs and if Bolles and Soy keep things going on offense it should be a long day for Emporia. Let's say 39 - 6 Cats.

The game will be webcast here.

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