Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, October 29, 2010 Tony Nicolette's GLIAC Column

#19 Hillsdale (5-2, 6-2) at Northwood (4-3, 4-4)

After rattling off five straight victories and having complete control over their various destinies, Hillsdale is all of a sudden in a position where they must rely on help from other clubs in order to claim a GLIAC South title and/or make the playoffs. While The Woodies would like to get themselves north of .500 on the year, they'll be tasked with doing so against a Charger bunch that has likely had its focus renewed.

Hillsdale Keys:

- Back to Basics - For the first time since week one, Joe Glendening was held under 100 yards last week. Look for the league's leading rusher to get back on track against the league's twelfth-rated run defense. NU isn't much better against the pass either, so Troy Weatherhead should be back to his old self in this one as well. The Charger offensive formula of their six wins (plenty of rushing, efficient passing) should work just fine against Northwood.

- Shut down the Run - It's NU's main offensive weapon in The Woodbone, and several teams have shown this year that it can be slowed. As long as HC can keep the 'Wolves in check and avoid the big-gainers, they'll be in good shape.
Northwood Keys:

- Break a Big One Early - I've noted the last few weeks that a good portion of Northwood's touchdowns has come on big plays (especially in the passing game). That's all well and good, but doesn't help you much if you're already down by a bundle. NU needs to make things happen early and dictate their tempo to Hillsdale. If the 'Wolves fall behind, it spells trouble as The Woodbone simply isn't built for coming from behind.

- Copy Cat - Wayne State certainly solved the HC riddle a week ago. While NU doesn't have the personnel to mimic what the Warriors did exactly, they certainly can learn a lot from what they saw on film from that game. Add to that the fact that the Northwood has won five of the last six in this series and the 'Wolves have shown they have a blueprint for beating Hillsdale. They must use it.
Prediction - While Hillsdale seems to struggle with stopping the option, I think they'll be angry and focused after losing control of their destiny last week. I like the Chargers to bounce back with a big day on the ground against a Northwood defense that struggles stopping the run. Hillsdale 38, Northwood 24.

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