Observations Following the First Football Weekend
Semi random items left over from the first football weekend...
I liked what I saw from the Palmyra defense on Friday against Macon. They’ll should be able to keep the Panthers in every game. I especially liked the hustle. It wasn’t unusual to see d-linemen well downfield. Lots of new faces on offense and there were some problems against the Tigers. It also appears that Macon’s defensive line is pretty stout. They’re going to give a lot of o-linemen around northeast Missouri some long nights over the next several weeks. I have no doubt that the Palmyra offense will gel before long.
Hannibal’s win at MICDS is going to score high among the more memorable games of the 2014 season for me. The staff at MICDS was great to work with. They were also nice enough to direct me to a nice, shady parking place. How hot was it? Despite the nice, shady parking place, the car thermometer read 100 degrees as I was leaving shortly before 1 pm. Despite the high temperatures, it was a fun and easy game to call.
I can’t think of a better way to start the season than with a 15 play 44 yard touchdown drive that took over 9 minutes off the clock. That’s nearly 20% of the game chewed up on one drive. That’s also an earmark of a very good team if they can make a habit of it.
It also looks like Shamar Griffith is none the worse for wear after having his 2013 season shortened by injury.
I'll also be keeping an eye on MICDS. There is some talent there.
The schedule maker did not do the Cougars any favors. At all. Centralia, Brookfield, Palmyra and Macon in the first four weeks? Ugh. There are a lot of Missouri high schools that would be winless after four weeks if they attempted that gauntlet.
The offense is starting to raise eyebrows for the wrong reasons. I’d feel better if they would have finished a few drives with touchdowns. Quarterback Alex Smith threw two uncharacteristic red zone interceptions in Saturday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. An unsettled offensive line isn’t helping and the preseason is mostly designed for evaluating talent and getting ready for week #1 of the regular season. Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis and Cyrus Gray can run the football. The running game will not be an issue when the regular season starts. I also like the front 7 on defense. The jury is out here on the secondary.
Down goes quarterback Sam Bradford again. Apparently out for the season with another knee injury. It’s probably back to the running game for the Rams, not that this is a bad thing. When Bradford went down last year, we found out that the Rams aren’t bad at playing power football on offense. I’m also not concerned about the Rams defense. Might be the best defense since they moved to St. Louis.
The Tigers open the season Saturday at home against South Dakota State. The game with the Jackrabbits is probably the next to last game with a championship subdivision team. Southeast Missouri State is listed as the opening day opponent next season. The new four team playoff for big boy football means that programs with designs on a national championship need to schedule games that get the attention of the selection committee.