NCAA First Round vs. Colorado-Mesa-5 Thoughts

2009lions

 

  1. I spoke with Bill Powers, a former SID who graduated from Commerce and is currently in the hard, hard job of doing Sports Info in the Barren Land of Hawaii. Bill was there in 1990 and talked about how much the school put into hosting the first round in 1991 and how only about 3,000 fans showed up, but those that did were loud and passionate. I do not believe we will have that problem. The town has changed, and student body certainly has also. The program has done some things that few programs have done, so people know Texas A&M-Commerce Football now.
  2. I would expect a ton of former players to be there. I was in contact with two of them today, Billy Minor (who again, did a TERRIFIC JOB in helping me with the playoff experience write-up) said he would be there and I got a text from former All-American tailback Cary Noiel who plans to be there with some ex players as well, and also spoke to Jamin Savell, a friend of mine from college who played on the O-Line during the 2007 North Division Championship season, all of these guys want to be there and be a part of the ever expanding Lion Football history.
  3. The atmosphere is all going to be key. If you have another 8-10 thousand show up and just be loud as all get out, it is going to be tough for a Rocky Mountain team that usually does not go face those type of atmospheres. Also, it is going to be somewhat mild, but with Commerce being way below sea level, expect Mesa to maybe have some trouble adapting to the lower altitudes. It does make a difference, just as players who play up that way and then have to come play in Texas.
  4. The Lions we see play are typically a team that kind of feels its way into a game. I just have this feeling Colby Carthel is going to tell them to attack from the word go. Looking at some film, Mesa seems to have mental lapses in defensive coverage schemes, and we have a very smart quarterback who knows how to take advantage of them. At this point in the season, you have played 11 games and know what to expect. Go ahead and fire everything you’ve got at them and demoralize them. Those games that the Lions have done that, they have cruised to victory against some pretty good teams. (Eastern New Mexico, West Texas A&M, Panhandle State). One more thing on that, Mesa gives up a lot of points, score early and often and see if you can’t put this one away quickly.
  5. The type of Football that is played in the RMAC (the conference Mesa is in) plays a different type of defense. The style played in the RMAC is based more on size and building a wall. The Commerce defense is more on speed and hitting gaps hard. The hitting you see the Lions do are punishing hits and coverage schemes that create turnovers and set up short fields or turn into immediate scores. It will be interesting to see how a team that runs a lot of balance plays against a speedy and opportunistic defense.

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