Looking at the statistics for Colorado Mesa one thing stuck out to me, and that is they give up a lot of points. If you want to talk about plan of attack, I was reading a Book Called “The Seventh Day.” You can learn a lot of about tactics of competition by reading about history and wars. Basically it is about Israel’s military strategy in the 1967 Six Day War and how they were able to beat 4 Arab Nations that had larger numbers and had been in war before. General Moshe Dayan, who was considered the General George Patten of Israel, said this about how he planned to win:
“We start with establishing air superiority. If we hit their fields and hit their planes first, they will go into a panic. They are already either near our borders or far from our borders. Next, we start the raids relentlessly. We need not go first where they are, we go where they do not go and then start attacking their main areas. They will have nowhere to flee to. When this happens, their panic and sense of feeling overwhelmed will turn to despair, when they are demoralized, they will stop fighting and retreat. They are not used to this. Our strategy is to hit them hard, fast, and when we have them in a completely demoralized state, we have won this war. -General Moshe Dayan, Page 117, The Seventh Day.
Playing a playoff game is a big deal, but this is one where I feel just reading the tale of the tape that The Lions have the upper hand in most facets of the game, but attacking the one weakness is what makes a team the winner in a competition often times. Mesa is a team that does two things that are glaring, they give up a lot of points, and they often make mental lapses in passing coverage. Having 3 legitimate deep threats and a good passer who is very accurate and efficient is what establishes air superiority in your Football plan of attack.
Running out to quick lead by hitting first and hitting hard to stun your opponent works. Shocking and demoralizing the opponent is a great strategy, but one of the two teams that plays Saturday will be playing their last game, putting a team on the defensive causes them to make mistakes and play with a sense of panic and once you have won that battle, you have basically created a truly hostile environment and most teams will forget wanting to play and you have won the battle. Just some thoughts regarding game psychology.
Powers Recalls 1991-
Like I posted yesterday, Bill Powers, a Commerce grad and lifelong Sports Info guy, was in Commerce during the 1991 match-up. He shared his experience and it is worth the reading:
“Some playoff memories from 1990 and 1991… Yes we got to play Grand Valley State twice … the first time at Grand Valley in 1990. We flew into and stayed in Grand Rapids (20 mins. from the main campus in Allendale and has a GVSU campus as well). The reason the field was wet was because they “had to water it” the Friday before the game. The game was televised in Grand Rapids and ET spent about $4000 for a satellite transmission so that cable systems in Commerce, Greenville and Sulphur Springs could see the game. Gary Compton caught the big TD pass to beat the Lakers. In 1991, it had been warm all week leading up to the game. There was some excitement, but when a Blue Norther blew in on Friday night, temperatures dropped to the mid 30s with a stiff wind. I think Boley Crawford brought in a space heater to the KETR booth. The Lions surprised first-year GVSU Brian Kelly (yes, the current Notre Dame Coach) and dominated the contest. GVSU, while used to the cold, wasn’t ready for the cold and wind with the wide open sideline on the far side. We announced 3000, but I would be surprised if we had more than 1200 in the stands at Memorial. I was very disappointed because the University went all out for hosting the game. The painters did a great job on the NCAA logo we had at the center of the field and just like we used to do at Homecoming, the end zones had ETSU and LIONS in blue and gold rather than just the white paint. The press box was full, with writers from the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star Telegram as well as a Grand Rapids Press writer and David Clayborn from the Herald Banner, Warren Morrison of the Commerce Journal, Charles Durrenberger of the Sulphur Springs News Telegram and a writer from the Paris News. It was one of our brightest moments at Ole ET! One of the biggest thing about the GVSU playoff trip in 1990 was a couple of our players “rescuing” a Grand Rapids woman by just being around outside the hotel. It made the news and I think Dusty Corner put a copy of the story on his timeline this past year. While I’ve worn many hats, I am a Lion!”
Thanks to Bill Powers for the information.