Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ferrum Breaks into the "W" Colmun
Stops Greensboro 31-20

In what continues to be an unusual football season, Ferrum overcame two game location changes, a change of the date, and a first quarter deficit to go on to defeat the Greensboro Pride 31-20.
As field renovations at Ferrum continue, the homecoming game, that had originally been moved to Bassett H.S. had to be moved again as hurricane Joaquin, threatened the East Coast. Playing at Bassett H.S. would have likely been a huge detriment to the field, and I assume the decision was made to move the game to a nearby artificial surface field. William Flemming High School was chosen, but for some reason unknown to me, the game was played Friday night. Likely it was a weather related decision.

The game itself was filled with evidence that Ferrum is improving. Here are some interesting stats:

Ferrum held the ball for more than eleven minutes more than Greensboro.

Ferrum had 332 yards rushing ( two players had over one hundred yards each)

Montel Lee had 9 tackles.....five tackles resulting in a loss, one forced fumble, and three quarterback sacks.  (My nominee for defensive player of the week in the USA South.)

There are also some things that concern me. Ferrum again committed too may fumbles. While fumbles happen more often in an option offense, Ferrum is committing way too many this season. In four games, Ferrum has fumbled 14 times, losing 9.
The defense is giving up an average of 271 passing yards to their opponent, and through four games, have allowed 14 passing touchdowns. Overall, through 4 games, Ferrum opponents are 63 of 104, with 14 touchdowns, and no interceptions.........NO INTERCEPTIONS!!!!! This has to change.

While I am glad to see a win, Greensboro is not looked at as one of the strongest teams in the conference, and certainly not an Emory and Henry, or a Hampden-Sydney. This being said, a win is a win, and I am sure Coach Harper and his staff is glad to get the win.

Keep pushing Panthers, you are getting your footing. The pass defense has to improve, and if it does, and we can cut down on the turnovers, the future will be brighter.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ferrum slammed by the Tigers 55-24

Going into this game, I had predicted a loss for Ferrum. This should not have been a surprise for anyone. Hampden - Sydney is a very strong team that is often ranked in the top 25 in the country. Although not currently ranked, they did receive votes in the preseason poll. This was a sound whoopin' put on the Panthers, but Ferrum can take away some positives. The offense continues to improve as they again maintained time of possession, and put up 24 points. Troy Helton also continues to get stronger in his role as quarterback. Penaltirs were again kept to a minimum, but turnovers proved to be one of the negatives for the Ferrum offense.

On defense, Ferrum continues to struggle. This aspect of the Panthers game has to improve, and in a hurry. With Ferrum going into the bye week, I am hopeful that the defense will get back some injured players, and the coaches can find the answer to the defensive woes.

If you have read the blog for a while, you know I think it all starts with defense, but so far, Ferrum's has been somewhat ineffective. Giving up way too many yards through the air, Ferrum must find the right matchups to cover the receivers, and to get optimum pressure on the quarterback. This does not seem to be happening.

Look for a better game for homecoming......which, by the way is being played at Bassett High School, as Ferrum's field renovations continue.
Not much else to say. Long way to go, and there are a lot of questions to answer.

Go Panthers!!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hampden-Sydney at Ferrum

Writing this from my phone, as my computer will not connect to the internet. Looking for tomorrow's game to be more of what we have seen in the first two. A difficult opponent, but improvement for the Panthers.
If the defense can show a strong effort, then it could get interesting, but the Tigers are as strong a team as Ferrum will face, so I see an uphill climb. I think you will see a solid effort, but an overall mismatch.

H-SC    44

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ferrum Battles Tough, But Runs Out of Steam Against Hornets

After updating my browser, I am once again able to see Ferrum broadcasts online. This week, I saw several things that I was pleased with, but at the same time I see much room for improvement. The positives were mainly on offense. Ferrum's  longest run from scrimmage was 12 yards against Emory and Henry, but it was 34 yards against the Hornets. In the Shenandoah game, Ferrum rushed eight fewer times than in week 1, but gained 89 more yards on the ground. There were 2 touchdowns rushing this week as compared to one in week one, and the point production went from 7 points to 27.
The bad news is that Shenandoah is not Emory and Henry, but I will take this as an overall positive step. A very positive step.  Keep in mind that it has been several years since Ferrum ran a triple option offense. We have seen the spread option for a few years now, and this is a learning process for everyone.

Why the change? I think, and this is just speculation on my part, that this offense, is far more simple to teach, to understand, and to execute. It also does not require a huge offensive line, and finally, it can be very effective. I was very impressed with Troy Helton, and felt that he is really starting to grasp how the option works. Helton showed good decision making as the play developed, and has a good amount of speed. Give it time, the implementation of the option will be a good thing for Ferrum.

Shenandoah, in my opinion was hard to stop offensively, and this was mainly due to the size of their offensive line. For the second week in a row, Ferrum failed to record a sack. They did get pressure on the quarterback at times, and had what I saw as pretty good coverage on the Hornet receivers. While Ferrum did work hard defensively, the numbers do not lie.

SU ran a total of 58 offensive plays, and 31 of those were running plays. On the ground, Shenandoah picked up 126 yards, and found the end zone twice on the ground. The other 27 plays were passing plays and 19 of those passes were completed. The Hornets had a total of 355 yards passing, and found pay dirt four times. This to me is where the emphasis must be. Especially when you factor in the stat that Ferrum had the ball over 9 minuets longer that SU.

I am glad to see Ferrum improve over week one, and no I am not surprised at the outcome. There need to be changes, but there are also injuries on the defensive side of the ball that are hurting Ferrum. Rashad Johnson, Ferrum's leading tackler in 2014, played against Emory and Henry, but has sustained an injury, and did not play Saturday.

Things do not get any easier for Ferrum this week as Ferrum hosts Hampden-Sydney Saturday, again at Cy Dillon Stadium in Rocky Mount. The Tigers will come into the game fresh off of a road win against Christopher Newport University.....remember them?

After this game, Ferrum has an open date before beginning conference play. Be patient fans, things will improve.

Go Panthers!

Friday, September 11, 2015

...And Now for the Rest of te Cunference

After going 6-2 last week, I start this week with one wrong, as I failed to post a pick for the Maryville vs. ETSU game. Maryville won, but since I did not make a pick, I count it as wrong. Looking to Saturday, this is how I see it shaping up

Guilford @ Methodist

Lincoln (PA) @ North Carolina Wesleyan

Randolph Macon @ Averett

LaGrange @ Berry

Bridgewater @ Greensboro

Huntingdon @ Birmingham Southern

Looks like the road team will have a good day!!

Shenandoah @ Ferrum

Playing a home game away from home is a bit unusual, but Ferrum will travel to Franklin County High School to host the Hornets of Shenandoah University. The venue change is due to the installation of the artificial surface at Adams Stadium. Coming off of the tough loss to Emory and Henry, Ferrum continues their non conference schedule against the ODAC. Shenandoah (1-0) comes in off of their season opening win over Gallaudet University.
What I have seen in the Hornets is that over the past few years, they seem to have put a lot of emphasis on the size and speed of both their offensive, and defensive lines. This hurt Ferrum last year, but I look for a better game this year.
I think you will see improvement from Ferrum, and I think you will see an offense that will be better at executing the option. I am hopeful that the defense can match up, but I am concerned about the ability to stop the run. Look for a better effort, but I don;t see a win just yet.

SU    30
FC     17  

Other predictions still to come

Monday, September 7, 2015

Panthers Fall Hard at Emory and Henry

No excuses for Ferrum, most aspects of their game this past weekend, just did not measure up. I have seen some of the game, but as I write this, the E&H website is having technical issues, and the video is not loading.
I have seen a good amount of the first quarter, and have reviewed the statistics, and it looks to me like Ferrum has a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball.
I have placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of the offensive line, and how they needed to come together as a unit......and this is still true, but the defense this past Saturday, left me with my jaw open, and a blank stare. Statistically, Ferrum got rolled up and smoked on defense. Here are some of the numbers.

The Wasps had16 fewer running plays than Ferrum, but still managed to gain 240 yards. ( Ferrum had 158 yards rushing)

Ferrum gave up 203 yards passing, 3 passing touchdowns, had no interceptions, and did not sack the quarterback....not even once.

E&H averaged 6.1 yards per offensive play. That works out to a first down every two plays!

E&H offense entered the red zone 7 times, and converted points all seven times.

In looking at Ferrum offensive numbers, a few things stand out.

Ferrum has gone back, at least it appears, to a basic triple option, qb under center offense. This is a simpler offense to teach, and can be quite effective. Patience is key for Ferrum fans. I like the choice of this offense, and I think they will get better at executing it.Give them some time.

The option offense is a running offense. Therefore you are looking to move the ball on the ground. Ferrum averaged 2.7 yards per rush.

Ferrum had possession of the ball over 13 minuets longer than the Wasps, but the offense seemed unable to get untracked.

The offense committed 6 turnovers. No team will win doing that.

There are however a couple of bright spots in this otherwise gloomy start to the season.. 1 is that Emory and Henry is a very good team. They will contend for, and may possibly win the ODAC. and 2 is that Ferrum played really well where self disclipine is concerned. They had only two penalties for 14 yards. It may seem tough right now, but I think it will get better.....I hope so anyway.

Go Panthers!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ferrum @ Emory and Henry

Ferrum again travels the long road to Emory VA to face the Emory and Henry Wasps for the ritual season opener. This year, Ferrum faces a team that in some people's eyes should have been picked to finish 1st in the ODAC. The Wasps were actually picked to tie for second in the conference with Bridgewater and Hampden Sydney.
It's hard to know what to expect from Ferrum, as they seem to have a lot of areas to improve on. It seems to me, that if the Panthers have a chance this weekend, they will have to come up big defensively. They will have to be in the face of the Wasps quarterback all day Saturday, and limit his effectiveness. This may be possible, but the other part of the equation is that Ferrum has to be able to move the ball. I am more concerned at this aspect of the attack, than I am about the defense's ability to stop E&H

In the end, I see potential for Ferrum, but it may not be that apparent this weekend......or in the first three games. Keep the faith, Ferrum is going to improve. With many new assistants, they are still tweaking things........It will get better, but maybe not against the Wasps.

My Prediction :

E&H        33
Ferrum     12

As for the rest of the conference, here is how I see it ending up:

Stevenson @ NCW

Averett @ W&L

Methodist @ Apprentice

Berry @ Maryville

Louisiana College @ Huntingdon

Birmingham Southern @ LaGrange

Guilford @ Greensboro

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Changes Come to Ferrum Football

With the start of the season fast approaching, Ferrum has recently announced several changes for the 2015 season. Most notably, changes will be on the sidelines. There are three new assistant coaches that you will see this year as Ferrum takes the field.

Brian Zyglocke - (Defensive Coordinator) Brian Zyglocke rejoined the Ferrum football staff in February 2015 after serving eight years as Defensive Coordinator at the Catholic University of America. He served as Recruiting Coordinator and Strength & Conditioning Coach his final seven seasons at Catholic and Assistant Head Coach for Football Operation his final six seasons.

Prior to that, Zyglocke spent two seasons as Assistant Coach at McDaniel College, handling the defensive secondary and special teams. He made his coaching debut at Ferrum in 2001 under then Head Coach Dave Davis. Zyglocke worked with Ferrum's linebackers and wide receivers, and also was employed as a Residence Hall Educator.

Zyglocke played football four years at Ferrum from 1996-99, and earned his Bachelor of Science in History in May 2000 with a minor in Psychology. Zyglocke and his wife Kasey have two sons, Henry and James. 

David Keeney- (Assistant Coach) David Keeny joined the Ferrum football coaching staff in August 2015. Prior to that, he worked at seven different colleges, including serving as Head Football Coach at Kutztown University from 1988-2005. Keeny began his coaching career in 1983 at Kutztown, his alma mater. He coached at the University of Virginia from 1984-85, at Penn State from 1986-87, at University of Arizona in 1988, at Morehead State in 1989, at Thomas More Colege from 1990-92, at Kutztown from 1998-2005 and at Millersville University from 2008-13.

Keeny also served two stints with semi-professional football programs. He served one season as an assistant with the Scranton Stallions in 1990 of the Minor League Football System, and one season at head coach of the Virginia Beach Stingrays in 2013 in the National Spring Football League. Keeny earned is Bachelor's degree in 1982 and his Master's degree  in 1986, both from Kutztown. 

Patrick Hill- (Assistant Coach) Patrick Hill joined the Ferrum athletic staff as Assistant Football Coach in August 2015. Hill came to Ferrum from James Madison University, where served as an assistant coach, working with the Dukes' defensive line. Hill served with a number of college football programs, most recently as an assistant coach with West Virginia State University. His previous coaching stops include Concordia University-Ann Arbor, Adrian College and Concordia University-Chicago. Hill also works each summer with the NFL's Detroit Lions in their Football Education Department.

Hill has served with football camps at Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State College, Corcordia-Chicago, Michele Clarke High School, Waukegan High School an the Terry Copacia All-State Quarterback School. Hill earned a pair of bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Sports Management, and as a master's degree in Sports Leadership, all from Concordia-Chicago. 

These new faces will fill positions left by departing members of the 2014 staff. Zyglocke will replace Phil Elmassian, Keeney will replace Jeff Hanson, who is now at Virginia State University, and Hill will replace Bill Nesselt. Nesselt is believed to be on the staff at University of Maryland, but that cannot be confirmed at this time.

Lastly, the field is changing. As Ferrum continues to work on replacing the natural turf with a high end synthetic turf, delays and setbacks have forced a change to the Panthers home schedule. The first two scheduled home games...Shenandoah on September 12th, and Hampden Sydney on September 19th, will both be played at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA.It is hoped that the new field will be inplace and usable for Homecoming vs. Greensboro on October 3rd.

*** All Coaches bio info. from***

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Offense Will Play Pivotal Role In Panthers Success

If what I am able to find on the Internet is any indication, Ferrum has picked up a good number of quality recruits that will be reporting to fall camp this weekend.

In my opinion, and judging by Coach Harper's comments at the USA South Media Day, much of Ferrum's success will be dependent on the offensive line. While the line seemed to struggle from time to time last year, the good news is that of the five regular starters, the Panthers have four slated to return.

Returners include Jason Shurland, Dillon Christian, Cameron Clark, and Bryan Smith. I am looking for Isiah Lucas to get some quality playing time on the O- line this year. If this unit can come together, then part of the offensive questions may be more easily answered.

Quarterback is another spot where there are question marks. Harvey Taylor will be the returning heir apparent to Tim Reynolds, but coming off of a torn ACL gives cause for concern. How will his knee respond, and how will he respond? Will he be ready to go on Sept. 5th? If he is not, who will step in?
Troy Helton looks like the solid number two qb, but he may be seeing a lot of time at rb. Look for incoming freshman Jordan Kraft to compete for playing time this year. I am thinking he will get some playing time too.

Running backs include Helton, and 13 others that are available to return this year. Added to that depth is incoming freshman Zach Tickle who is from Patrick County H.S. Look for him to see a fair amount of playing time this year.

Receivers that will see most of the playing time will be Sedale Mullen, and Chris Guy. Both saw the field a lot last year, and will be the expected starters. Again, a freshman may make his bid at playing time. Look for Nick Pearce out of Bishop Sullivan Catholic to see limited action.

It may take a little time, but Ferrum has made strides in their recruiting. I think back to the 2011 season, when Ferrum lost its first two games, before winning six in a row, and 7 out of their final eight games. It is not going to be that type of a year, but watch out. The first three non conference games are important, and if the Panthers can show well in these, then who knows....maybe we can be in the mix at the end.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Panthers Picked to Finish 7th.

Today, Ferrum hosted the USA South Media Day, and with this yearly event, came the unveiling of the coaches poll. Below is how the coaches see the teams finishing this year. The number in ( ) represents how I predicted they would finish.

8.  Greensboro ((7)
7. Ferrum (6)
6. Averett (8)
5. North Carolina Wesleyan (5)
4. LaGrange (3)
3. Methodist (2)
2. Maryville (4)
1. Huntingdon (1)

It should be a great season! Go Panthers!

Accuracy Means Everything

Dewey Defeats Truman (Taken from Link ) 

In the world of journalism, the most famous goof up is pictured above. It was a result of someone not doing their job, at least not fully. It was a result of someone taking information, that seemed a sure thing, and printing it before the final result was in

Recently, I listed a Ferrum recruit as a Quarterback, when in fact, he was a Wide Receiver. While this mistake is minor compared to the above picture, It could have been the kind of mistake that may have impacted other recruits. 

I did not check the facts as thoroughly as I should have before posting the article, because my source seemed to have solid information.........lesson learned.

Am I a journalist? Not as I see it, but I do endeavor to put out accurate information in a timely manner. I am sorry for the mistake, and while I guess it was in some respects minor, it should not have happened. My apologies to all affected.