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Game #2, Think Development

I started the 2019 season by pointing out “No matter how much lip stick you put on a pig, it is still a pig. The same goes for Butler’s roster. Even in a good year, the depth and quality of talent isn’t a good match for the Bison. Very few on their roster would make our two-deep rotation. This doesn’t mean we don’t have to show up and play according to our ability, rather than play down to their ability (think Youngstown last year)”. Insert the Valparaiso Beacons this year.

I went on to say “In our run of greatness (2011 to present), we have faced 8 opponents ranked 220 and over with Sagarin. This is what has happened in these games. We have beaten St. Francis 56-3 (they scored a 4th Qtr. field goal), Robert Morris 52-0, Prairie View A&M 66-7 (a 4th Qtr. Score), Incarnate Word 58-0, Mo. State 55-0, Mississippi Valley State 72-7 (only such team to score in 1st half), Robert Morris again 56-0 and finally Indiana State in their 0-11 season, 52-0. Our average margin of victory has been 58.4 to 2.1. The total yards differential is 523 to 143.5. The rushing variance is 307.6 to 58.4. The turnover ratio is 25 to 5 in our favor. The sack totals go in Code Greens column 25 to 7. This is called total domination”.

We smoked Butler 57-10. Their lone points came in the 2nd half and the TD was a scoop and score off a fumble by our running back. This was caused by poor ball protection, not a big time hit by the defender. This is why the little things count even against an over matched opponent.

Last week the Beacons lost to Indiana Wesleyan, not a Division II school, but an NAIA school, the same division of football Valley City State plays in. It wasn’t close (28-10). But then again you can’t throw 4 INT’s and expect to win. Valparaiso is a lesser team from the same Pioneer League as Butler.

Code Green will face a big offensive line. LT 6’4” 305 lbs, LG 6’5” 325 lbs, C 6’3” 285 lbs, RG 6’3” 315 lbs and RT 6’5” 295 lbs. Why an OL this big could only get 122 yards rushing against an NAIA team is beyond my pay grade. Plus both RB’s weigh 220 lbs. The Beacon’s “biggest” offensive threat was a speedy 5’5” 140 lb slot receiver who caught no passes, but did three reverses for 77 yards, including a 45 yard TD.

Their QB is a transfer from Weber State (3rd string there). Making your starting debut with throwing four picks on the road is not a step towards stardom. It’s not going to get any easier this week at the Dome.

I think the biggest miss match for the Beacons is going to be on defense. The starting DE’s are 6’0” 225 lbs and 5’9” 235 lbs. That’s not a lot of leverage going against Cody Mauch at 6’6” 301 and Volson at 6’7” and 313 lbs. Our two backups are 6’6” and 6’7” and around 300 lbs. That size and leverage should keep our QB’s clean in the pocket.

Their DT’s are the same type of mismatch. One is 6’3” 255 lbs and the other is 6’2” 270. Our starting guards are 6’4” 328 lbs and 6’4” 302 lbs. So our guards average 53.5 lbs more. That’s a lot of extra beef. Remember ours is good Kramer prime cuts, not the roly poly beer guts you see on numerous OL around the country. Their backups are even smaller at 6’0” 235 lbs and 6’2” 240 lbs. If they rotate them in, we are over 70 lbs bigger.

Their LB’s are adequate in weight at 225, 220 and 215 lbs, but it is meaningless if their DL is being blown off the line of scrimmage and clogging their scrapping lanes. That is exactly what I am predicting will happen. The Valpo DL won’t hang with our OL.

In the defensive back rotation their safeties are big enough with the one playing at strong weighing in at 190 and 5’11” and the guy at free being 6’2” 180. It’s at the corners where I think they are in deep trouble. I don’t think 5’9” 160 lbs and 5’9” 165 lbs can keep up with our receivers or stop the perimeter run game. With Watson at 6’5” and splitting out Babicz or Gindorff both at 6’6”, jump balls should belong to us.

In the run game all of our lineman pull (even our center). At 160 and 165 they don’t have a chance at the point of attack against +300 lb lineman. We also spring our TE’s on the CB’s. Again at 266 lbs and 255 lbs this disparity is NFL versus high school. Then you get Luepke turning the corner on a sweep at 237 lbs, these two CB’s deserve hazardous duty pay.

What should be the outcome come Saturday? If we don’t score 50+, shut them out in the first half and by the end of the game play everyone who dressed for the game, then we won’t have accomplished what this game provides. That is a controlled scrimmage where you can get into some flows on both offense and defense and give first time playing experience to the new freshman. Go Bison!

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