Opponent: Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
Where: Greyhound Stadium, Portales, NM
When: Saturday, September 27, 2014 Kickoff at 4 PM
Overall thoughts: Last year, ENMU was picked to be the celler dweller in the LSC along with TAMUC. Luckily the pundits were wrong and Eastern won the conference outright and we got a bowl invite. They also got royally hosed by the committee selecting West Texas to go the playoffs rather than the Hounds, but that is in the past. The Greyhouds come with a 2-1 record and conference play 0-1, getting drubbed by Midwestern State Saturday in Arlington, 42-14. This game has huge implications, so what are the question marks heading into the game? Let’s take a look.
A Triple Option-
ENMU runs a broken bone/option better than just about anyone on any level that I had ever seen when I saw them run it last year. What scared me is the fact they had a very robust passing game, and when they had to pass, they were not just good at it, they were very good at it. Jeremy Burrman, the ENMU QB was solid and when he had to pass he fired passes that were typically not passes thrown by run first QB’s. The kid can play, do not let the last performance fool you. He has to be stopped and thrown out of rhythm.
Puttin’ it away……fast- It is going to be crucial but important to get started fast and make this one quick and demoralizing. ENMU is a clock chewing offense that is not made for the 2 minute drill. They run, run, run until they have to throw, and when they throw, they make it count. The Lions need to start fast and go hard and put the game away quickly.
Assignment Football-Defending the triple option is all about going to make plays against the person you have to stop. If you have the pitchman or the QB, you take him, and let the guy responsible for taking the tailback out get him. Often times these offenses will kill you because you are taught to just “follow the ball” when any coach tells you its all about defending your man or defending your zone. Long story short, you know whats coming, so playing where the defense is supposed to be is going to be crucial.
Winning on the Road-Lets face it, last Saturday was a defacto home game for us. SFA was the only true road test for us, and that was a 3 hour trip southeast. Now, we play a team that plays in a very old and very intimidating venue. There is something about West Texas/Eastern New Mexico that makes those venues intimidating. I cannot think of enough upsets pulled by teams that went into Lubbock, Canyon, Portales, Alpine, or San Angelo. The Wind? The distance from anything? Who knows, but it goes back to mentality. You have to win in this conference, and we have the hardest road trips of any of the schools as we are the furthest East and closest to civilization
Doing the little things-You have to do the little things right. Blocking, tackling, throwing, catching, and just playing where you are supposed to. If you cannot do that, you greatly increase the chances of losing. You have to do the little things. I remember the first time I spoke to HC Carthel, he said he emphasized the little things on and off the field. His theory was a common one, but very correct one, do the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves. Do the little things, do them right.