UPS LOGGERS GAMEDAY
PUGET SOUND (0-8) AT WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY (7-2)
4 p.m., McCullough Stadium, Salem, Ore.
Willamette leads, 43-25-6. The Bearcats won, 49-31, last season in Tacoma.
WHAT TO WATCH
Welcome to the land where footballs fly high and deep – all in the blink of an eye. Both passing offenses will use no huddle to keep chucking it up, too – Willamette is ninth in the country at 344.4 yards a game; UPS is 36th at 271.1 ypg.
But the hurry-up rate Willamette uses is unlike anything the Loggers have faced this season. So, coach Jeff Thomas has used his No. 1 offense a lot this week in practice as scout-team work for his starting defense.
One number Thomas pointed to as a positive from his team’s 47-7 loss to No. 3 Linfield was one you won’t find on any statistical sheet – seven throwaways by quarterback Braden Foley (142 of 268, 1,754 yards, 14 TDs, 15 INTs). And while Foley did not throw a touchdown pass, it was the first time in four games he was not picked off (11 interceptions in the previous four games).
The Loggers have been running a lot more four-linemen looks on defense, and have been getting good play out of nose guards Mike Raub (6-feet, 260, jr.) and Misha Gordon (6-3, 255, fr.). Also, Matt Gilbert, who had been at strong safety, has been moved to free safety so UPS could get a playmaker closer to the ball.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
A win, and an 18-game losing streak ends. A loss, and the Loggers will have suffered their third winless season since 2009.
TNT pick: Willamette, 60-55