Apologies for the late post, we’ll make sure our posts go up earlier in the future.
Waterville, Maine: Overcast, chilly, with a 15% chance of rain.
Matching Up Against the Mules:
Colby 0-1, lost 41-7 to Williams last week.
2011: 3-5, 6th-ranked scoring offense, 7th-ranked scoring defense
Offensive Players to Watch:
Luke Duncklee, sophomore, is an emerging talent. He’s listed as a quarterback on the roster, but was used primarily in the running game last year (5.2 ypc, 30 ypg), and this year at wideout (he had a big game last week: 8 receptions, 66 yards, and a passing TD on (I believe) a trick play. Duncklee is also a threat in the kick return game, where the Panthers were burned last week. His versatility is helping the Mules replace their two top pass catchers from last season, WR Connor Walsh and TE Spencer Merwin, who were both 2nd-team All-NESCAC a year ago.
At quarterback, sophomore Connor Emmert couldn’t get much going last week vs. Williams. He finished 10-20, with 73 yards. Backup Justin Ciero, meanwhile, went 4-7, for 25 yards.
Senior John Gilboy (captain, 6’0, 300lbs) is the team’s best offensive lineman, also named 2nd-team All-NESCAC last year.
A Look at the Defense
The Mules allowed just 115 rushing yards against Williams last week, which is impressive considering the stable of good backs they have, but allowed 295 yards through the air. Colby will need to have made considerable strides in their pass defense this week if they want to have any success slowing down Mac Foote and company after allowing a number of big passing plays last week, including gains of 35, 33, 25, 23 and 20 yards to Adam Marske and Williams. This will definitely be a point of emphasis for both teams in this game.
A list of defensive players to watch for the Mules:
Ryan Veillette (DE, 6’1″, 230) last season: 3rd team All-NESCAC, 38 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked kick.
Derrick Beasley (DB, 6’1″) last season: 55 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 1 interception
Henry Nelson (LB, 6’2″) last season: 59 tackles (led team in tackles as a first-year), 3.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles.
Matchup to Watch: Middlebury wide receiver Zach Driscoll vs. the Colby secondary
Williams receiver Darren Hartwell had 8 catches for 92 yards last week and two scores against the Mules. Driscoll and Foote were out of sync early in the game last week, but found a rhythm as the game went on. If the Mules can’t cover the Panthers aerial attack early, Driscoll could have a huge day.
Prediction: Middlebury 42 – Colby 7
The Panthers defense is much improved and the Middlebury passing attack should have worked out the kinks that slowed it down early in the game last week.