Game Day: No more turkeys

Wesley's Ellis Krout
Ellis Krout and Wesley’s offense will be facing their stiffest defensive test of the season, at least on paper.

Alright, so, we have those bad first-round games out of the way, and only one unranked team in the round of 16. (And that’s only because we were forced to have one with unranked Alfred and unranked SUNY-Maritime facing off.)

If you’re sitting at home, not willing to shiver off that extra helping of mashed potatoes or slice of pumpkin pie by sitting in the stands, join in on the blog below. Or via Twitter, by using the #d3fb hashtag. Plus we have our own broadcasters at games today — all the links on the Scoreboard page.

Join in!

34 thoughts on “Game Day: No more turkeys

  1. St. Thomas is playing fairly well but QB Dakota Tracy is single-handedley giving the game away to Linfield

  2. Trine intercepts UWW on first possession of second half and returns it to the 1 yard line. Two plays later… touchdown Trine!!!

    Trine 34
    UWW 34

  3. Just two observations – Both MIAC teams made it to the quarter finals which will make next week’s game at St. Thomas a great match-up. And, you have two 1-2 seeded games on one side of the bracket and two 1-6 seeded games on the other side of the bracket. So, can either one of the six seeds make it to the semi-finals? I suspect this year’s Bethel squad stands a decent chance to match what the 2007 squad did by going down to Alliance or out to NY state. And that latter match-up would be two 6 seeds fighting to get into the Stagg bowl – what a fun possibility, eh?

  4. Doubtful Alfred advances to the final four but they should be congratulated (ahem) for making it this far. Not so surprising for eastern fans used to seeing “upsets” like today’s win over Cortland every week during the regular season.

    Alfred won, arguably, the best all around conference in the Eastern Region this year, so it should be no surprise they are the last team standing (although I still say Wesley really is an “east team” as are many of the schools from PA, but I digress).

    Good luck in Alliance boys – tell the Raiders that Pep and the band are coming to town!

  5. Book it!!! Mary Hardin Baylor and North Central will win next week! The mighty Purple Raiders will be waiting for 1 of them in Salem

  6. If Bethel beats St. Thomas next week, and Mt. Union wins, who will be at home for the semis? How is home team determined?

  7. Well a few turkeys remain … and not just those 2nd round blowouts. How about the predictions of two out of three against both MIAC teams … and no one foreseeing an all-MIAC West final (in the toughest bracket)?

    Perhaps those who said the MIAC was down this season because St. John’s didn’t win it just missed the point. The league was tougher 1-2(and 3) than usual. With their road opener OT stumble aside, SJU was pretty solid — a play away from beating the West champ, no matter who wins next week.

    Congrats to UST and Bethel for raising their games and to the league for securing another regional title.

  8. Repete: for what it’s worth, I don’t think anyone thought it was impossible. Even on TV I said I thought anyone could come out of the lower half of that bracket,and that included Bethel.

  9. I hear that Blanchard, the Whitewater QB, has not played the past 2 games. Anybody know if he is injured?

  10. Bethel Royals Baby!!!! Another game to show St. Thomas who owns the MIAC. This time around we won’t dissapoint. I will be there and I will lose my voice after the game. Congrats St. Thomas and Bethel!

  11. I listened to the Bethel-Wheaton game on the radio and was no proud. Wheaton played tough and it was quite a game

  12. I was there at wheaton and watched a great game lost my voice and can’t wait to show st thomas who’s boss next week go royals!

  13. Purpleraider50: Yes, we’ve mentioned that each of the past two weeks on the site.

    He apparently hurt his throwing hand and supposedly could have gone if needed either of the past two weeks but was held out. Now, to be honest, I don’t believe that he “wasn’t needed” this week, with the game tied late, but I didn’t see the game, either.

  14. Re. Blanchard: It did seem strange that if he could truly have played if needed, he didn’t enter the game that was tied a third of the way into the 4th quarter against a team that had shown it could score. Maybe if you have Whitewater’s rushing game and a solid back-up QB, “if needed” means being down by one or two scores in the 4th quarter.

  15. Re: “bashing the east region” (above in Cover It Live)

    You’re right. I’m a columnist/analyst and would not be doing my job if I pretended things aren’t as they are. That’s not something I would apologize for, although I am sorry for not letting Alfred enjoy its victory over the bracket’s No. 2 seed for at least a night.

    This is the limitation of Twitter, where you can’t explain your short, quick thoughts in depth. Looks like we have three epic matchups (the two teams who battle for the South Region every year & have a nice history, 2-2 vs. each other; The No. 2 seeded team/No. 1 in the polls vs. the 12-0 team that took its No. 1; a rematch of a 10-6 regular season game … and then Mount Union/Alfred, which I guess is only interesting if Alfred wins).

    You’re right about the Empire 8 — it’s no surprise their champ has gone this team. But Alfred is a surprise for the reasons mentioned, the two odd mid/late-season losses, because it’s the only unranked team left, etc.)

    Bethel’s the only other team left with a loss, and that was to St. Thomas. That’s the only drawback to playoffs, we get to nitpicking about great teams, and great seasons end with losses.

    Take it how you want to take it. You could also look at it as a great opportunity, which I also said in Cover It Live, for Alfred to shake up the national landscape and make history for the program. Imagine if Trine had finished yesterday after being tied with UWW at 31, the ripple effect that would have had. That’s what every team that goes to Mount Union has the opportunity to do.

  16. Re: “terrible fan experience at Wesley” by Montclair fans

    Pretty sure I know why it was terrible.

    Wesley’s not necessarily a great place to watch a game, but except for food-wise, it compares to Montclair State.

    I’ve been at least a half-dozen times and never paid for parking. In fact I didn’t even know they had a pay lot … all the street parking around the stadium is free and closer to the entrances than the lot is. A word to the wise for UMHB and either UWW/North Central fans who might end up going.

  17. @Repete,
    I wanted to pick Bethel, but I avoided it because I *didn’t* want to be seen as favoring the MIAC too hard, and I’d already committed to St. Thomas in the S&D column.

    Basically, I am gutless. In picks, forget perception and just try to foresee who will win.

    Although to be fair, I saw both the West games, Cort/Alf and NC/ONU as toss-up type games.

    The big takeaway I got from this week is that — except in the Trine/UWW game — defense carries the day. Pretty sure that’s going to be the feature theme this week.

  18. Re: Blanchard not playing for UWW

    I was wondering why he wasn’t in the game too, but then I realized that our (Whitewater’s) offense was moving the ball rather well in the 2nd half, except for a few notable exceptions. The ‘only’ reason Trine was still in the game at that point was that the UWW defense was allowing receivers to get free and not pressuring the QB enough. I’m sure Leipold thought that the offense was doing fine as is and didn’t need a shake up at that point.

  19. Re: Blanchard. I didn’t feel a change was needed at all. He doesn’t play D, so he would be no direct help there. UWW’s ability to run the ball was obvious from the start (6.8 yds per carry), so either QB could hand off. I believe the staff wanted to continue Brekke’s development, whether it’s because Blanchard can’t return or for future years.

  20. Yes good question Twister…. I really hate to look past this weekend with the Wesley vs. UMHB rivalry match up. These 2 teams will sure have an old fashioned smash mouth slug fest. Both are very strong programs, who ever commits the least mistakes/turnovers should prevail.I was at their 2 previous meetings, each winning once. Cru got the best of them in 08. If both Wesley and North Central Loses this next round, what #2 seed team travels UMHB or UWW? The way I understand it, Correct me if I am wrong Pat and/or Keith… It would be UWW who has to travel. UMHB is the #5 seed with a sos of .502 and UWW is #6 with a .487 sos. Go Cru!

  21. I saw the UWW-Trine game yesterday and heard the announcers on the radio as I started my drive back to Madison and then home to the Twin Cities.

    Blanchard took reps both weeks and it sounded like more reps this second week. Maybe the coaching staff wanted to milk another week with the backup until the quarterfinals (hoping yesterday would not have been so tight – esp. the first half)? A similar strategy was used when Justin Beaver was injured in 2006.

    The fact that Blanchard was in full uniform on the sidelines leads me to believe that he is not finished for the year. It was interesting though to see his right hand constantly in his hand muffler/warmer. I did not see him warm up on the sidelines but I arrived right at kickoff.

    I don’t think UWW can win next week unless Matt B. plays. But we will see. Trine was better than expected and the toughest opponent for UWW thus far.

    What folks also need to know is that Max Weber (senior guard on off. line who is quite good) did not play due to illness and the radio announcers believe having to plug in a backup at gametime was one of the reasons the QB (Brekke) was rushed throughout the day. I was wondering why the pass protection from Trine was so formidable yesterday.

    L. Coppage was also sick earlier during the week and it was a good thing he became well enough on Saturday so he could carry the load yesterday and bale out some of the play in the second half.

    It should be remembered that in the 2nd half Trine only scored once and it was due to an early interception. So in essence, half time adjustments were made by UWW’s defense to shut Trine down in Quarters 3 and 4. I think the coaching staff feels good about the adjustments they made.

  22. @uwsystemfan

    It should also be remembered that you’ve been ragging on UST and Bethel for several weeks now. Both weren’t up to snuff, or at least your standards. Both were in store for early exits from the playoffs, at least by your calculations…It should now be recognized, they are both very quality football teams who’ve beaten the NWC champs, IIAC champs, and CCIW runner-up. Just wanted to make sure it was remembered 😉

  23. uwsystemfan…

    If not for a fumble near the UW goal line by Trine, Trine would have matched the 14 points as well on UW in the second half. Yeah, I know, coulda shoulda woulda. 🙂 Both teams made adjustments, and ultimately it came down to UW running the ball well with Coppage that was the dagger. Your o line was big and strong. Good luck the rest of the playoffs, I will be rooting for you.

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