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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 10 Preview - The 100th Game

Who: Wooster Generals (7-2, 5-2) vs. Orrville Red Riders (6-3, 5-2)
Where: Follis Field - Wooster
When: Saturday October 30th, 7:30pm

All Time Series: Wooster leads 50-40-9 (Detail here)
Last Meeting: 2009 (Orrville won 15-7)
Last Week: Orrville lost to Clear Fork 33-0, Wooster beat West Holmes, 41-8.
Coaches: Doug Davault is 38-17 in his 5th year as Rider coach, his teams are a perfect 5-0 in Wooster games. Mike McCreary is 65-56 in his 12th year as Generals coach, he is 5-6 against Orrville.

Radio:  The game will be on AM 960 WKVX due to the Ohio State game being on 104.5 WQKT.  They're contractually bound to broadcast the Buckeyes game on 104.5.  Webcast of the Orrville-Wooster game will be at WWW.WQKT.COM beginning at 7pm

Playoff Standings: Orrville is 4th in Division 4-Region 14 having already locked up a playoff spot.  A win would guarantee a first round home game.  Wooster is currently 10th in Division 2-Region5.  They need a win over Orrville and for non-conference opponents Galion, Wadsworth and Ellet to all win their week 10 games for the Generals to have a shot at the post-season.

My Thoughts
I had a feeling back in 2005. Orrville was mired in the middle of a five-game losing streak to the Generals. Nevermind that three of those five losses were by three points or less, a loss was a loss, especially to Wooster.

I just felt that it was "time" for the Riders to win one. I said this from well before week 1 of 2005. I had no evidence to back it up, no analysis...nothing. It was just time. There's nothing that says a rivalry has to be even, but enough was enough, it was time for the law of averages to favor the Riders. And guess what, it happened. The Riders won 21-14....and haven't lost to the Generals since. Our own 5-game winning streak that I never want to see end.

Why do I say all of this five years after the streak began? Because I'm getting those same feelings this year...only from the Wooster side of things this time.

After last weeks "goose egg" against Clear Fork, I don't think I'm alone in my thoughts that this team is a little bit of a mess right now.  Our offense is struggling, big-time players aren't making big-time plays, and there's just a feeling that after nine weeks, we still don't know who this team is...only that they seem to be missing something, but search me if I know what it is.

But no week like Wooster Week to get everyone on the same page and focused on nothing but beating the blue & gold.

Wooster vs. Orrville's Playoff Teams
Here's something encouraging that I looked up.  There have been 19 Orrville teams that have made the playoffs and played Wooster in the same season.  Remember, we've made the playoff 20 times, but that first playoff game in 1980 took the place of the week 10 Wooster game.

Anyway, of the 19 seasons that Orrville has made the playoffs and played Wooster in the same season, the Red Riders have won 15 of those meetings.  So against a Red Rider playoff team, Woo is a paltry 4-15.  I'm hanging my hat on this stat all week.

Three Big Questions
1.  The status of Wooster RB Devonta Anderson.  The OCC's 2nd leading rusher was injured last week at West Holmes (with Wooster holding a big lead).  His status is unknown but early discussion centered on a concussion.  That usually means 1 week out if he indeed suffered a concussion.  Speedy recovery to the young man.....but without him, Wooster will be minus a big weapon.

2.  How will Orrville respond after a 33-0 shutout.  Will they respond with passion and pride in the biggest rivalry game they'll ever play, or will the struggles continue?  The defense can't be on the field all night again.  Have to get production from the offense if we're to win a 6th straight game over Wooster.

3.  The Stewart Turner factor.  I feel for this young man this week.  Has to be a tough on him.  I hear that he's the subject of a t-shirt being worn in the halls of WHS.  I'm sure he has plenty of friends that will be wearing blue and gold...but I know he'll look to have a big game.  I also know that Wooster coach McCreary is still very salty about how the whole thing went down.

There's just so many storylines to this game.  Saturday night at 7:30 can't get here soon enough.  Let these two teams at each other.

I hate saying the Orrville has something to prove this week....but they've failed to put together a complete game all season.  The closest they came was the week 2 win over Triway.  Either it needs to happen this week, or maybe it just wont happen.  That would be a shame given the talent on this team....and would be a real downer going into the playoffs.  You never want to back in to the post-season.

Coach Davault has never lost to Wooster and has a tremendous respect for the game and obviously gets his teams ready to play.  Hope that continues this week.

Projections says Wooster wins 22-21
Fantastic50 says Wooster by 2
I think the Daily Record will split the vote...maybe 5-4 in favor of Wooster.

This game is a tossup in every sense of the word.  Both teams average roughly 30 points a game and give up right around 22 points per game.  Both lost OCC games to Clear Fork and Ashland.  It's just going to come down to the team that makes big plays and doesn't turn the ball over.

I'd never pick against the Riders in this game...but I really need to see a complete performance to give me any kind of confidence heading in to week 11.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An idea for an interesting segment might be Wooster week pranks. That could be pretty entertaining