The Tale of the Tape: Cougars vs Golden Eagles
With the season opener tonight, we take a look at the Cougars and the Golden Eagles main keys at offense. While defense plays a major role in the game, it all comes down to who puts up more points. Who will land that knockout punch at offense and pull away with the victory?
Quarterback match-up: Greg Ward Jr. vs Jared Davis
Greg Ward Jr.
Projected starter Greg Ward Jr. took over John O’Korn halfway through the 2014 season and started eight games at QB. The dual threat QB put up a 67.3 passing percentage with 12 touchdowns on 2,010 yards and rushed for six touchdowns with 118 carries and a total of 573 yards.
Jared Davis opened the 2014 as the starter, but injuries plagued his offense and ultimately hurt his performance. He was benched after four games, but saw action in 10 games through the season and finished with a 50.7 passing percentage. He had four touchdowns on 770 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.
Who wins: Ward Jr. impressed in the second half of the season last year, and it will be interesting to see what Herman does with him. He also has the better tools around him offensively to help him shine.
Running back match-up: Kenneth Farrow vs Ladarius Vanlier
Farrow is a team captain for the Cougars and had his best season in 2014, playing in all 13 games and starting for 12 of them. Farrow finished the 2014 season averaging 5.6 yards per carry and 79.8 yards per game. He scored 14 touchdowns and rushed for 1,037 yards on 186 carries.
Vanlier rushed for 494 yards with five touchdowns on 89 carries in 2014, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Vanlier, one of the Golden Eagle’s more versatile players, took on other roles such as receiver and returner. He had 21 catches for 130 yards and averaged 22.3 yards per kick return.
Who wins: Kenneth Farrow. Although Vanlier is the more versatile player, he also has the heavier workload to worry about, and that might tire him and hurt his performance.
Wide Receiver match-up: Demarcus Ayers vs Brock McCoin
Ayers started in eight games but appeared in all 13 of them in 2014. He averaged 10.2 yards per catch, scoring two touchdowns on 33 receptions for a total of 335 yards. He takes over Deontay Greenberry who averaged 64.7 yards per game. It will be interesting to see how he steps up and takes the leading role as receiver.
Another versatile player, McCoin was considered one of the top freshmen in the nation in 2014. He scored two touchdowns on 43 catches for 517 yards. As a running back he added nine carries for 42 yards, and had 36 punt return yards. McCoin also had a five-yard touchdown pass to Darian Stone in his only pass attempt of the year.
Who wins: The rookie made a huge impact to the team in his first year. If the Golden Eagles upset, expect him to be a factor in the game.