Sewanee will test Centre

October 01, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

Some of the offensive numbers in Centre College's first four games have been gaudy - both for Centre and its opponents - but the Colonels might have a defensive battle on their hands Saturday.

Whether that turns out to be good news or bad news for the Colonels will likely depend on how well they can keep Sewanee's run-based offense under wraps.

"We're going to get tested defensively," Centre coach Andy Frye said. "The big thing with Sewanee is if we can't control their running game, then we're not in a good situation."

On the other side, Sewanee's sturdy defense will try to stop a Centre offense that seems to be getting stronger.

"This could be one of the better defenses we face this year," Frye said.

So the stage might be set for an old-fashioned defensive struggle Saturday at Farris Stadium.

"I think it may be," Frye said. "I think it comes down to what offenses can exploit."


460 yards and four touchdowns last week

Centre's offense posted 460 yards and four touchdowns in the Colonels' 28-23 win last week over Washington & Lee, but Frye said the Colonels will be hard pressed to repeat that against Sewanee.

"We're not going to be able to rack up four touchdowns," he said. "If there's four touchdowns scored, that team's probably going to win."

Sewanee returned six starters from a defense that ranked first in pass defense and second overall in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference last year, including first-team all-SCAC end Kola Pacheco.

"All their talent is on the defensive side of the ball," Frye said.

Sewanee currently ranks second in the SCAC against the pass, which is where Centre did much of its damage last week. Quarterback Brian Behrendt broke Centre's single-game record by throwing for 377 yards, and receiver David Crowley broke another record with 206 receiving yards. Behrendt has already thrown for 1,157 yards and 11 touchdowns in Centre's four games.

Sewanee's offense revolves around sophomore quarterback Wes Satterfield, who had 1,520 combined passing and rushing yards as a freshman and has 647 so far this season.

"He's their key player, and he has the ability to make things happen," Frye said.

Sewanee is having trouble scoring - the Tigers have only seven touchdowns and 14.5 points per game - which might be just the tonic for a Centre defense that ranks last in the SCAC with 31.2 points allowed per game.

"Their first two games, they made lots of choices with the ball I don't see them doing right now," he said. "The more often you play, the better you're going to be, and I think they're figuring out what they are and what they do well."

No-huddle offense helped Colonels rally

Centre rallied from a 17-7 deficit last week thanks in part to the no-huddle offense it used late in the first half and early in the second, and Frye said they'll probably go back to that for a while this week.

"We got something going with that," he said. "We found when we got into it that put a little pressure on Washington & Lee."

Sewanee lost 12-0 to W&L two weeks ago and fell 16-13 in overtime last week to Maryville (Tenn.), which had lost eight straight games. The Tigers have lost eight of their last 10 games beginning with last year's game against Centre. They went winless in SCAC play last year.

Centre lost its SCAC opener to Rhodes two weeks ago, and Frye said it's imperative that the Colonels avoid an 0-2 league start.

"There is (a sense of urgency), but we're not talking about it," he said. "They know. They're adults. We're just right now trying to concentrate on what we can do better."

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