Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Saturday, September 22, 2012 Tony Nicolette's Week 4 GLIAC Preview

Tony Nicolette from breaks down Chargers and Falcons as well as the rest of the league's Week 4 action.

#15 Hillsdale (2-1) at Notre Dame (1-2)

For me, the primary story here is to see just what the heck Notre Dame will do on offense. After two weeks of moving the ball virtually at will, the Falcons didn't do squat in week three. While I absolutely give credit to Northwood's defense for their hand in that, I'm not entirely certain that it was solely the work of the Woodies that netted such a result. I mean, no offense to them but their rep over the last couple of years has not exactly been that of a team that will hold the nation's leading rusher to 64 yards and relegate a hard-running club to throwing the ball for half of the game or more. So, will the Falcons be able to move the ball on the ground against Hillsdale? With the youth of the Hillsdale front there should be some room for Pedro Powell, but given that Hillsdale as struggled more so this year in defending the pass, going to the air with Ray Russ might be what NDC chooses to do. Watch out for Powell to possibly have a low number game again, but for the Falcons to potentially have more success overall on offense.

While we sit and wonder whether or not the Notre Dame offense will be able to regain its effectiveness, one thing I'm about 99% sure of is that the Falcon defense isn't likely to lend much of a hand. To this point, they just have not shown the ability to consistently get stops. They have forced only five total punts in three games, and the eight turnovers they have generated thus far all came in the opener against Mercyhurst. The NDC defense is allowing 58 points per game, and really has not shown the ability to shut down anyone they have faced thus far.

While Hillsdale might not be able to shut down the Falcon offense completely, the Chargers should have no issues moving the ball at will. Any attempts by NDC to possibly try and "shorten" the game really won't work, as Hillsdale likes to be efficient and limit offensive possessions anyway. Unless Hillsdale commits an uncharacteristically high number of turnovers, I'm having a hard time seeing the Falcons being in this at crunch time. Hillsdale 50, Notre Dame 28.

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