#3 Grand Valley (1-0) at Hillsdale (0-1)
Over the past few seasons, the team that has been the most consistent in
giving Grand Valley fits has been Hillsdale. Those who were there will
likely never forget the miraculous finish of last year's game, and the
last time the Lakers paid a visit to Muddy Waters Stadium they were sent
home with a loss. The Chargers have some questions to answer after
last week's loss at Ferris, but can get things back on track in a big
way by saddling Grand Valley with an early blemish.
Grand Valley Keys:
- Keep the Balance - Hillsdale had a hard time stopping the Ferris
ground game a week ago. GV definitely has the personnel to take
advantage of this, but also has a much stronger passing attack than the
Bulldogs. Taking what the Chargers give will of course be the Laker
game plan, but they should see many more options available if they are
hitting Hillsdale via the air as well.
- Say no to Joe - Hillsdale got 224 yards on the ground and another 25
receiving from Joe Glendening in last year's game. The Lakers know that
he's going to get his typical 32-38 touches in this one, and they need
to keep his average gain as low as possible. Not letting him get going
on the ground is imperative, but keeping him in check via the air
(especially if GV has a lead) can't be forgotten.
- Secondary must play well - Yes, if the run is there GV will take it.
With that said, the Lakers passing attack did most of what it wanted
last week so the Chargers can't simply fix their run stop and expect
that to be enough. Getting some help from the front with pressure on
Heath Parling will be important to slowing down GV's passing game as
- Dictate tempo - This is something that Hillsdale loves to do. They
led the GLIAC in time of possession a year ago, and had a major
advantage again last week. Turnovers on the plus-side of the field were
part of their undoing, so if they can keep the Laker offense on the
sidelines for extended periods of time (and avoid not cashing in on
drives) they'll be giving themselves a better shot at knocking GV off
for the second time in three years.
Much of the talk around Hillsdale's prospects for this year have
revolved around the graduation of Troy Weatherhead and Andre Holmes.
While their being gone is certainly significant, I really think the
losses Hillsdale felt the most in Week One were on the offensive line.
Three fifth-year seniors departed, and the play of the line was not the
same as it was last year. This could be a problem on Saturday, as Grand
Valley's maligned defensive front from 2010 has several key cogs back,
and was very active against Western Oregon. If Grand Valley is able to
win in the trenches with their defense, I think it's tough to see
Hillsdale avoiding the 0-2 hole. Grand Valley 30, Hillsdale 21.
Rest of Tony's article
Friday, September 09, 2011
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