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A Thought on Bates and the Second Half of the Season

The Panthers are 3-1 at the halfway mark of the 2013 season. Given the their play, however the Panthers appear as likely to go 1-3 down the stretch as they are to finish the season 6-2. Mac Foote has not regained his 2012 NESCAC Player of the Year form and likely wouldn’t be a First Team All-NESCAC selection through four games. While individual awards don’t matter if the team continues to win, it’s hard to envision Middlebury competing for a NESCAC title without Foote morphing back into an all-conference, let alone All-American, caliber player. How much of Foote’s struggles should be placed squarely on his shoulders is debatable, but even acknowleding stretches inconsistent play on the edge, Foote needs to be improved going forward.

His play—and especially his negative play—will be of particular importance today. If Bates is able to take advantage of Middlebury turnovers with short fields, their gravity-bound offense will appear more phalanx than picket fence. Short fields is the Bobcats’ best chance to eclipse their 14.5 point per game average and their deliberate pace will keep Foote and the offense off the field for long stretches of time.

For the first time this season, the Middlebury offense must help its defense by sustaining drives and converting in key situations. If Middlebury can limit Bates to 50 plays today, instead of their season average 75, Middlebury will win the game, even if the offense continues to struggle in the red zone. While the Panthers won’t be able to settle for field goals against certain teams, long drives that result in three points will be enough today, if Foote and the offense can remain mistake free.

Middlebury needs to improve offensively over the second half in positive ways, by creating more big plays and scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Today, however, they simply need to eliminate the negative plays.

 

One Comment

  1. wrote:

    Why do you hate McCallum Foote so much?

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

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