After doing the play-by-play for the first two games of the Middlebury College football season, I have come to a conclusion that this team is for real. The Panthers defeated Colby 23-0 on Saturday, a game that Kevin Ryan set a NESCAC record for sacks in a game with SIX!!! Six sacks is a career for most guys and this man did it in a game. Overall, the defense is playing out of their minds, and is now the top rated defense in the conference.
On the offensive end, Stefan Hrdina is on his way to NESCAC first team as he piled up a very workmanlike 94 yards against Colby, while Tiger Lyon continued to make smart decisions at quarterback. I am liking the way the offensive line is protecting Tiger and giving Stefan some room to run.
On special teams, Steve Haushka has been punting and kicking very well. Haushka has been putting his punts inside the 20, and has put a few kickoffs through the end zone leaving opponents in poor field position.
This week will be a test as they play a very tough 2-0 Amherst squad. Amherst has a strong defense and a triple threat in Mark Hannon who can catch, is the league's leading receiver, and has a 64 yard punt return for a touchdown. If Middlebury is to win, they will have to cover Hannon like a blanket, and the offensive line will have to protect Lyon. Look for a good game with my prediction being Middlebury on top but only 13-7 in what should be a tight defensive game. Catch the action on ESPN 1490 at 12:30 Eastern Time, kickoff is at 1:00. The broadcast is also available on the web at www.wfad1490.com.