This weekend, "my kids" have three pretty important games on the schedule:
The perfect game for 11 AM on ESPN. A real shot at a year end Bowl is riding on the NU side, a chance for the Big 10 title on the Purdue side.
The Cats could be considered "limping" into Ross-Aide, the Boilermaker's home, with Jason Wright nursing a sore ankle, and two really good receivers [Mark Philmore and Ashton Aikens] grounded for the game.
But NU QB Brett Basanez is starting to show signs of breaking out of his slump, and there's nothing "fishy" about running back Noah Herron's efforts as either the running back or at wide receiver. There are also the "rells" Terrell Jenkins and Derell Jordan.
Terrell has shown his tremendous speed and agility as he's averaged 5+ yards per carry in some spot play filling in for Wright so far this year. Derell is also starting to get a few reps.
Then there are the two starting wide-outs who are still lining up for the Wildcats -- The man with the streak, Kunle Patrick and the guy on the right, Roger Jordan. There's no flash and dash, just steady play. So I guess I'm not as worried about the offense as the injuries would suggest.
The Defense? -- They just need to keep up what they were doing against the Badgers. Defensive Captain Pat Durr seems to have the guys on track, Loren Howard, Colby Clark, Luis Castillo and Barry Cofield keep the running games honest [no sideline "hand jive" for the PU runners this year], and Tim McGarigle seems to have no lasting effects from his concussion.
The return of Louis Ayeni's jarring tackling, and Jarvis Adams' extra experience seems to have settled down the secondary.
So where does Purdue attack? the Boiler's QB Kyle Orton will probably have to plunk away at NU's Jeff Backes as he tries to get a homerun or two using Taylor Stubblefield. Orton talks respect for the Wildcat D -- "I've seen them on film and they're a very good team" -- we'll see.
Purdue does play pretty good D too - Both sides of the Cats will have to make sure that Purdue turns into Per-don't. [sorry, I couldn't resist]
Now my other games?
My son Andrew's High School team [the Seaford Bluejays] takes on perennial Delaware power Dover tonight. The matchup is even bigger for the Jays because the Dover Head man used to coach at Seaford [Seaford didn't hire him - big mistake] and he likes to stomp his former team.
Anyway, the Jay's have a really good defense, led by Andy [an alum of NU's June Camps] and have to stop a pretty good ground game. Its in Dover, and the Jays [2-5] are playing for pride right now. They also won't be playing Dover after this year as they drop down to the smaller school, Southern part of their conference.
The other game is Saturday Morning - My Cardinals [the team I actually coach] take on the Bears. Da Bears won the first game by pounding the middle [that wasn't the Cards our there]. We've made the adjustments and feel confident that this one is ours.
We play like we practice this week and we're looking at a shut-out.
Anyway -- I may be late for the Chat Saturday. But I could be riding 2-0 coming into NU-PU.
And then I won't be taking any prisoners!
-- da Coach
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