Getting excited for defensive struggle

Danny Bailey - Staff Writer

Danny Bailey – Staff Writer

This week’s matchup against Washburn University has got me pumped. Because I love defense.

Sure, scoring is great – it’s how you win the game. Nothing causes a crowd to get more jacked than a big hit, a fumble, an interception or a safety. Nothing.

Momentum IS defense. And this week, the MIAA’s top defensive performers square off against each other. Washburn sophomore linebacker Zack Watkins is leading the MIAA in tackles per game with 13.6. He has 21 more tackles in 5 games than anyone else in the conference.

No. 2 on that elite list of defenders is a familiar face as well. Sophomore linebacker Jared Brawner averages 9.4 tackles per contest and each man has recorded one sack.

But the standout linebackers won’t be the keys to a win. The real story lies in the defensive line numbers. The starting D-Line comes into the contest with 73 tackles.

The Ichabods D-Line has produced 54 tackles.

A little addition and subtraction later, and the margin of tackles per game over Southern shrinks to 2.

The methodology of Southern has been to run the ball to open up the passing game. If Washburn’s front line relies on just Watkins to be their man up front, Southern’s running backs should have a big day. When Washburn’s second leading tackler is a free safety, Jarod Tetuan, the Lions should be hungry to pound out a win in Topeka.