Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bearcat Playoff Preview: Super Regional 4 Finals

If you've spent any time here this season you know that we've covered Division I college football pretty regularly. What you may not know is five of the six contributors here are alumni of Northwest Missouri State University.

If you've been visiting Productive Sweatpants for the past couple of years you know that I've previewed the Bearcats in their playoff treks a few times. So with Michigan awaiting it's bowl destination I found some time to take a peak at what's happening with the Bearcats this week. 
(7) Northwest Missouri State (11-2) @ (6) Pittsburg State (10-1) 2:00 ET (live video, live audio)

The Bearcats will get a second shot at their only other loss this season when they head to the Jungle in Pittsburg Kansas this weekend. For you Bearcat fans out there you will remember the heartbreaking loss earlier this year at Arrowhead Stadium for the Fall Classic which was the first Bearcat loss this season. The Cats have been here before and are no stranger to going on the road and facing a foe that beat them earlier in the year. They've done it for the past. Last year is was Texas AM-Kingsville. In 2009 and 2008 it was Abilene-Christian. And two games ago it was Missouri Western. All of those games the Bearcats emerged victorious. There is just something about the sweet taste of revenge that fuels the Cats. 

The Cats will look to Trevor Adams to lead the offense after losing starting QB Blake Christopher earlier this year. Adams will get his shot at the Gorillas. As always Adams will look for his number one receiver Jake Soy to make a big play or two. James Franklin will shoulder the load running the ball. The Cats will need Adams to minimize the turnovers he's had in the past couple of games if they want to taste victory. 

Defensively the Cats will have to figure out how to stop QB Zac Dickey and RB Briceton Wilson. The Gorillas are sixth in the nation rushing and have a potent attack. But the Cats just toppled the top ranked rushing attack in Div II despite coughing up the ball three times. Kilgore and the Cats rush defense is going to have to step up and play assignment football in a hostile environment in order to keep the Gorillas in check. 

Make no doubt about it Pitt State is going to be ready for this game. They know what NW can and has done. The Cats on the other hand have been there before. They know what needs to be done. The thing about option based teams is once you see it, they are fairly easy to prepare for a second time around. I think the Pitt State will break out a few different things and try to take advantage of some over aggressive Bearcat play early. But look for a much better day out of the Cats. 

With all the adversity this Bearcat team has faced this season, it's amazing they have made it this far. I think it's a blessing that they have been on the road. It take a lot of pressure off this team. It's going to be an epic battle again, one worthy of this great rivalry. But I think the Bearcats march on. NWMSU 31-27.

1 comment:

jaru said...

Jake, klindt and I are all going to be down there....they are predicting a full day of rain, which will mean sloppy ball, which may favor Pittsburgh run game, BUT (a big but obviously) its the frickin C-A-T-S, man!