Circling The Wagons
Greetings from The Booth!
Hard to believe we’re already at the “quarter-pole” of the NFL season, MLB’s postseason (Go Nats!), and the Shenandoah Hornets hit the halfway mark this weekend with their longest road trip of the year, the marathon trek all the way from the “top of Virginia” to the bottom, as SU takes on Emory & Henry. Before we know it, we’ll be carving the Thanksgiving turkey and putting up the Christmas tree. This year has flown by!
I maybe write too much about fan behavior (or lack thereof), but some knuckleheads out there keep providing me with fodder. The heckling by a select few went entirely over the line at the recent Ryder Cup golf event in Minnesota this past weekend, prompting Europe’s Rory McIlroy to have a fan removed from the proceedings. A beer can was tossed at an Oriole outfielder in this week’s AL Wild Card game in Toronto, an embarrassment to that city and most of it’s fans. And, a Baltimore man is in ICU after a fight with 2 Raider fans, who have since been arrested.
It’s just sports, people…not life.
Now, onto today’s topic. The SU Hornets are at a 2-2 crossroad in this 2016 season. After 2 wins to start the season, Shenandoah has dropped 2 consecutive games, including last Friday’s rainy home loss to Randolph-Macon.
Victories have a way of hiding flaws, and losses tend to bring them to the forefront. Defensively the Hornets have had to replace their all-time leading tackler, as well as the 2015 ODAC Defensive Player of the Year (Mike Messick and Jake Payne), 2 mighty big holes to fill. Opposing backs have run wild on SU the last 3 weeks, as an undersized D-line tries to gel.
Offensively, the Hornet’s inability to run the football so far this year has made them somewhat one-dimensional. That being said, Offensive Coordinator (The Mad Scientist) Stan Hodgin has been very creative in using the short pass in place of the run, and finding ways to get his playmaker, Cedrick Delaney, the football. As the weeks go by, however, opposing defenses are starting to key on the short passes, and SU has posted point totals of just 13 and 19 in it’s last 2 weeks, after starting the season with 43 and 53-point outputs.
The Wasps are 1-3 on the year, and could just as easily be 3-1. E&H is capable of putting up lots of points, but give up 424 yards per game on defense. I look for a high scoring ODAC affair this weekend. I just have this feeling we’re going to see a return of the Hornet offense in a 38-36 win, spoiling the Wasp’s Hall of Fame Day at Selfe Stadium.
Sometimes the road is just what the doctor ordered. A team gets away from familiar surroundings in a hostile environment and “circles the wagons” with a “us against the world” mentality. Wagons-ho! And until next week…