SU-Bridgewater Preview: Resetting The Bar
Greetings From The Booth!
As we get ready for another week of football, my thoughts turn briefly to October baseball. Even though my team (the Nats) is not participating in the World Series, I’ve been trying to get into the Fall Classic between the Red Sox and Dodgers. These are 2 of the most storied franchises in baseball, and seeing Fenway in October takes me back to one of the great Series’ in history: the famed 1975 World Series between the Bosox and The Big Red Machine.
I’m anxious to see the ratings for this World Series. Major League Baseball is paying lip service to streamlining games and otherwise making baseball more appealing to a younger generation. In reality, this week’s games have been 4 hours long, with lots of pitching changes and other delays that keep the games going well into the night.
I’m a baseball fan from a generation gone-by. Baseball has me, but I’m not sure it’s reaching the younger demographic.
On to Shenandoah University football. Any slim hopes of an ODAC title for SU disappeared into the mountain mist of southwest Virginia last Saturday as the Hornets fell to Emory & Henry 52-50. For the second week in a row, Shenandoah dug itself a deep hole that it could not get out of. The Hornets fought back and only a missed 2-point conversion kept the game from going into overtime.
Thus, SU finds itself under .500 for the first time since November of 2015 with a 3-4 overall record and 1-3 in the ODAC. Shenandoah takes a much shorter road trip this week to nearby Bridgewater to take on an Eagle team that is also struggling at 2-4 and 1-3. It’s the 21st lifetime meeting between the teams, with SU having won the last 2. In recent years the games have been tightly contested, as you would expect from this rivalry of 2 schools that are located about an hour apart.
This week is about how the Hornets will deal with having to reset the expectation level on the 2018 season. There will be no ODAC championship, which is a hard pill to swallow considering that SU was one win away from a league title in 2017.
The Hornets still have things to play for. A 6-4 season would give the program an unprecedented 3rd consecutive winning season. For the seniors this week, a win over BC would give their class a winning record against the Eagles, something that hasn’t ever been done. And, Shenandoah could be a fly in the ointment of W&L in the season finale should the Generals have a shot at the ODAC Championship.
As for the X’s & O’s, the Hornets need to start the game Saturday with the sense of urgency they displayed in the second half of the E&H game last week, when they outscored the Wasps 36-14 down the stretch. A fast start is what the Hornets need on Saturday against a BC team that will try to shorten the game with their running game and play-action passes.
In what could be a wet, sloppy day Saturday at Jopson Field, I think the Hornets get the “W” but it will not be easy, in a 40-33 win.
Have a great weekend, Happy Halloween, and GO HORNETS!