Sept. 27, 2008
No. 8 Northwest vs. No. 5 Nebraska-Omaha
(3:59) - Well, my time with you has come to an end and I must "go to work". What a great day of Bearcat football from Omaha. Thanks for logging on and let me leave you with this... the 42-0 win today is Northwest's largest margin of victory against a ranked team - ever!
Go Bearcats... see you next week at Arrowhead Stadium!
(3:56) - Pick 6, the icing on an already perfect 7-layer chocolate cake. First career TD for Justin Welch. Congratulations.
(3:49) - When's the last time Northwest earned back-to-back shutouts you ask? First two games of 1984. A 47-0 win at home against Washburn and ... get this ... a 26-0 win at Grand Valley State! Perfect!
(3:46) - Does it get any better than a playaction pass on 4th down between two high school teammates? TD Bearcats! LaRon Council.
(3:44) - This drive sums up the game perfectly. UNO knows what Northwest is running the football and can't stop it. The offensive line continues to dominate. A fouth-and-2 is converted by the middle of the line and Council.
(3:40) - Zero points, 123 yards rushing for UNO. Season averages: 43.3 points, 283 yards rushing, good for 8th and 4th in the nation, respectively.
(3:39) - It's a much more conservative play calling scheme for the Bearcats this half and rightfully so with the 28-point lead. Gain a few yards with back-to-back runs and try to complete a third-and-short pass to keep the chains and the clock moving. Northwest's tight ends are losing the UNO linebackers in the passing game.
(3:35) - What a game plan for the Northwest D executed to perfection - Dominate the line of scrimmage, contain the option and make the open-field tackles. To this point (13 min. left in 4th), job well done. I guarantee Miller has been hit harder today than he has been all season. His body language says it all.
(3:30) - That's the end of the 3rd. Northwest 28, UNO 0. Capacity crowd of 9,756 fans here today. Many were caught wearing green. It's like Christmas in September here at Caniglia Field. (Better than the purple teams we've played in three of four games).
(3:27) - Defense rises again. More pressure on Miller. A stuff by Mosley and Shade on a McNeill run and an incomplete deep ball down the left sidelines. UNO punts.
(3:24) - Missed Miller's fumble, but a guy in the press box (the one that calls the play loudly for the UNO ball carriers) said quote, "I don't know what happened, Miller just threw it in the end zone."
(3:21) - For those trying to watch the game online. I'm told UNO is using the coaches' camera to show the game. That's the reason they go to the scoreboard after every play. Sorry, nothing I can do. I know UNO had to be creative just to show the game online today.
(3:16) - First Northwest mistake. Ozzy had his tight end wide open down the middle of the field, but underthrew him and was picked off. 15-yard personal follows a nice UNO return.
(3:14) - Heads up play by Kendall Wright on special teams! The punt bounced straight back to the UNO offense and the player downing it batted it forward. Wright picked it up when every one thought the play was dead and started running. He got all the way to the UNO 17, but Northwest players started coming on to the field so a 15-yard illegal participation penalty backed up Northwest. Still an extra 25 yards for Northwest because of Kendall.
(3:09) - This is easy pickings for the Northwest D. A 28-0 deficit changes the UNO offense. Two sacks on this drive, one by Roach and one by Vondrak.
(3:06) - Back to Bolles, he's quarterbacked nine drives this year, seven of which resulted in NW TDs. Osborn is such a great pocket passer that just when defenses get settled in against him, Bolles enters the game and changes the entire complexion of the Northwest offense. A couple carries to get his feet under him, a third-down completion and before you know it, Bolles and the Bearcats are in the end zone.
(2:59) - Another mistake by UNO. The punt returner slid as he tried to catch the ball, muffed the punt and Kevin Okonta is there to recover. Blake Bolles the new QB. He's been coming in about the 4th or 5th series of each game for Northwest. He's carried twice to get a third and short and handed off to Council for the first down.
I love the change of pace he brings to the offense. Defenses aren't ready to defend a running QB when he enters (he just juked a LB as I type). I don't even have time to brag about him when he finds Qaoud for another Northwest TD.
Note: Third straight game with a TD reception for Qaoud.
(2:56) - The wind has picked up here in the second half and will be in UNO's favor in the third quarter. Huge message sent by UNO to start the half. Broken up pass, stuff of Council and a solid open field tackle on Wright. Three and out.
(2:54) - Quick glance at the MIAA scoreboard. PSU and UCM tied at 14. Washburn with a slight lead over Western. Truman with a 17-0 lead over Hays. And how do you get to 15-13 ESU and Southern?
(2:47) - Mad props to the UNO marching band and their old-school video game halftime show, complete with Pac Man and his ghosts. Naturally, they played the Mario Bros. theme while making the shape of a castle. I think I also see Mario, Luigi and Link and Zelda down on the field. Very impressed! By the way, I haven't bought a next-gen system yet. Any advice?
First half stats:
First downs: NW 13, UNO 8
Rush-Yds: NW 16-114, UNO 23-61
Pass-Yds: NW 84, UNO 80
Total Offense: NW 198, UNO 141
(2:39) - Wow, what a first half of football! The last seven Northwest quarters have been near flawless. The Bearcats have outscored their opponents 85-0 over the last seven quarters of football dating back to their 15-point fourth quarter vs. Western.
(2:34) - So I was asking Rick why we were calling a timeout when UNO has such a quick strike offense. Then BOOM. Miller pitches to literally no one. The running back must've gone the wrong way. Mr. Opportunity Tyler Roach scoopes up the rolling ball at the seven and jogs into the end zone. 21-0 Northwest, 20 seconds left in the first half. (No one up here has seen that play from UNO before).
Note: First career TD for Roach.
(2:29) - Props to Northwest trainer Kelly Quinlin for quenching the thirst of the officials during the timeout (hey, every little advantage helps during a big game).
(2:23) - Northwest needed a big play in the red zone and got it from Tyler Northway on third and short. Northway penetrated and didn't fall for the Miller option fake. Grabbed Miller by the jersey and slung him down. Tough to do to a 6-4, 230-lb. QB.
AND THEN... Roach with the blocked field goal. The kick looked awfully low to me, but give Roach credit for reaching up at the last minute.
(2:21) - Back to the bread and butter for UNO. Option left, playaction pass right. Good drive going for the Mavs.
(2:16) - Second TD for Osborn. This one a little pass in the flat to the left to a wide open Council, who juked a linebacker before reaching the end zone.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of both the O-line and D-line for Northwest thus far. Tons of room to run, plenty of protection. On the other side, pressure in the back field and no holes for McNeill and Miller. Clearly the difference early in this one.
(2:13) - Who would've predicted Northwest would get 100 yards rushing first in this one. Council 8 carries, 68 yards. Northwest 101-40.
(2:10) - You can tell the UNO press box isn't used to being down. The radio people are banging on the desk and the guys calling the players aren't as emphatic when Council carries the ball as when McNeill or Miller are carrying it.
(2:02) - 9 plays, 94 yards and UNO has their first DEFICIT this season. Great hook up from Osborn to Robinson for 27 yards. Osborn hit him just as he made his turn in the middle of the field. Robinson bouned off a defender at the 5 and waltzed into the end zone for 6.
(1:59) - Northwest's O-line has dominated this drive. Council, Cook and Moore (yes Moore), are surging for 4 yards before seeing a red jersey. Give Council credit as well, he's being patient, waiting for holes and driving forward on contact.
(1:51) - Northwest brought a blitz on third down and Roach got to Miller, who threw it away. 5-yard running into the kicker and UNO will repunt. Good thing for the Mavericks, cuz Schlautman shanked the punt. His redo naturally bounces all the way to the 5.
(1:49) - Miller hung in there and delivered a strike to Higgins, the big 6-5 tight end, first down UNO. The starting right tackle, Paul Finochiaro, was injured on the play and being assisted off. I was told there were a couple of UNO lineman that we're banged up heading into play today.
(1:43) - No Jake Soy on possession one, but we could've used him. Back-to-back dropped passes and Northwest will punt. Good push up front by the offensive line, great protection on the series - two good signs for Northwest.
(1:40) - Great start by the Northwest D. They contained the option for the most part. Wilmes put a big hit on the tight end to lodge the ball free for an incompletion. Great double coverage on the receiver on third-and-long. Burnsides had a better shot at the ball than the receiver did.
(1:36) - Thanks for the email Cory. I haven't seen Wright sit out a practice for awhile. His little frame takes a beating, no doubt about that, but he's as tough as they come. Got to love a 5-7 WR that keeps track of how many pancake blocks he gets over the course of the year. I'll watch him closely today.
(1:33) - First touchback of the season for Frevert although he's kicked into the end zone twice this season. Nice sramble to the left by Miller for the first down.
(1:29) - UNO has won the toss and will receive, Northwest will defend the north goal. Slight breeze from north to south, might be a small advantage for Northwest in the first quarter.
(1:24) - The MIAA Scoreboard is up and running and I see Washburn has the early lead against Western. I applaud the schedule makers for putting those two against each other this weekend. I don't think either predicted an 0-3 start to MIAA play.
The scoreboard is the work of Jared, my GA, who's way to smart and tech savvy to be an SID. Fortunately, he loves sports too much not to be (did I mention he's 21 and will complete his master's this summer?)
(1:20) - The band is on the field and we're 10 minutes from kickoff. The Bearcat fans are packed in three of the five sets of bleachers behind the Northwest bench. Still quite scarce on the UNO side, I must say I'm a bit surprised.
(1:15) - Sorry for the delay, I had to post singles results from the tennis match we're hosting on campus today. Our top player, Daniel Usieto, lost a third-set tiebreaker 10-7 in the round of 16 (still in the doubles tournament though).
(1:00) - Our campus photographer, Darren Whitley, just stopped up in the press box to grab a sandwich. Darren shoots all of our home games, but I'm fortunate this week that he had job in Omaha this morning and decided to come to the game afterwards.
My graduate assistant, Jared Verner, is traveling with volleyball (his sister goes to SBU), so usually I spend the first half of road games taking pictures down on the field and the second half uploading pictures, typing game notes and starting my recap. Today, I get to sit in the air-conditioned press box all game, which is good cuz I'm chose to wear black pants for some reason today.
(12:55) - The teams are in full force now on the field. Northwest is in its new road jerseys for the second week in a row. The Bearcats will wear white jerseys, white pants with green numbers, green helmets and a green stripe that runs from the shoulder down to the bottom of the knee pad.
UNO is wearing its home red-on-red. White numbers, red helmets and a white stripe on both sleeves.
(12:50) - Shemy was telling me that the Big Ten has a policy that doesn't allow scouts in their press boxes. Of course we're more than willing to accomodate in Division II. He's one of five NFL scouts here to watch today's game.
(12:47) - Just spoke with Glenn "Shemy" Schembeckler III, son of legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembecker. Shemy's a scout for the Washington Redskins, who I met last year and again earlier this season. In fact, I even hitched a ride with him over to our copy center on campus to get him a copy of our media guide (hot off the press!).
Must be a coincidence that Wisconsin and Michigan are playing this afternoon in the Big House. I spent a year working for the Badgers in Madison before arriving in Maryville last summer.
(12:38) - Josh Gannan and Brant Gregg have also suited up today. Gannan has missed the last two games with a foot injury. Gregg broke his leg during the preseason. I'm not sure I even saw him wear a cast during his recovery, but he's ready to go.
(12:34) - I was just told Stadler forgot his jersey and will be wearing No. 35 today and not No. 18. He didn't play against Western and perhaps wasn't planning on punting today. He's kicked just seven times in four games this season.
(12:26) - No. 83 Jake Soy has just appeared from under the east grandstand. I've heard nothing but good things about him since he arrived on campus last fall. He's from Durant, Iowa, less than 20 minutes away from my hometown of Muscatine. I'm told he has great hands and will haul in just about anything thrown close. His debut was delayed four games due to a rib injury.
(12:20) - Looks like four tents set up behind the south end zone. One has lemonade, pretzels and cotton candy, one is for Charley's, a third is handing out drinks. There's also an inflatable play pen that took two tries to get in the air. Just two kids inside running back-and-forth.
Had to walk past the basketball court to get to the press box. Looked like a group of 20 or more basketball players holding a scrimmage. There's red MIAA letters in the lane and on the sides of the court outlined in white. We split with the Mavericks on the court last year with each team winning big on the road.
(12:10) - The first group of fans is entering Caniglia Field. The field runs north to south (left to right for those in the press box. Northwest fans sit in the east stands and will likely have to stare into the bright sun for most of the day.
Special teams are gradually entering the field. Northwest punter Mike Stadler is loosening his arm it looks like. Perhaps Northwest is working in a fake punt after seeing the success it brought to Truman last week.
(Noon) - One chicken sandwich and I'm good to go. The scoreboard clock has started its wind down from 90 minutes so we're getting closer. Hot and sunny without a cloud in the sky. Should be 10-20 degrees warmer down on the field with UNO's field turf.
(11:45 a.m.) - Just a two hour trip to Omaha so we arrived shortly after 11. I've met UNO's new SID David Ahlers, a native of Maine and former director of communications in the American Hockey League. David replaced Gary Anderson, who retired from the position after 29 years with the Mavericks.
David has me set up in the booth right next to UNO's radio team so I should be able to sneak a peak at a few notes as we go.
The spread for the press box arrived a few minutes ago. Charley's provided the food. Charlie Slenker, who's next to me compares the restaurant to a nice Applebees so it should be pretty good.
(8:55 a.m.) - Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Boettcher's Blog. I'm Bryan Boettcher, the Sports Information Director at Northwest Missouri State and I'll be in the press box with a bird's-eye view of Division II football's third top 10 battle of the season.
It's 9 a.m. and we're about to leave circle drive on the Northwest campus. My traveling companions are John Coffey (play-by-play), Matt Gaarder (color) and Shayne Warren (sidelines) of the Bearcat Radio Network, Rick Dunaway (St. Joseph News-Press), Charlie Slenker (Maryville Daily Forum) and Marcus Meade (Northwest Missourian).
The radio team likes to arrive plenty early on game day so we try to accommodate them. It's tough to please everyone's musical tastes so we mostly tune in to sports radio. We caught the Washburn-Central Missouri broadcast last weekend during our trip to Kirksville.
Should be a great crowd on hand today. I remember the stands were packed last year when the attendance topped 10,000. The forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies and a high of 79.
If you can't make it, don't fret, we'll be your home for Northwest football all afternoon.
Kickoff is less than five hours away!
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