Bring on the rain Saturday

Eastern coaches are boasting about the high octane, fast paced, no huddle, action-packed offense of the Murray State Racers.

From what I’m hearing, the team embodies the meaning of the nickname. I mean, this team races like they are being chased.

This season, the Racers have snapped the ball almost 100 more times than their opponents, making them the No. 1 scoring offense, pass offense and total offense in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Eastern has the No. 6 defense in the OVC, and the Panthers are 0-7.

The biggest question coming into Saturday’s Homecoming game is: How will Eastern stop the Racers from racing away with a victory?

Well, Mother Nature might be wearing Panther Blue Saturday. is predicting thunderstorms all day Saturday.

As to stopping the Racers’ offense, this may be step one. and Eastern would have had to do anything, besides maybe a rain dance in the morning.

The Racers have the best pass offense in the OVC, but in rainstorms they might not be able to pass the ball with so much success (to the tune of 305 passing yards per game).

This would mean they would have to run the ball. Well, the Racers have the second-worst running offense in the OVC. The problem is: Eastern has the worst.

You could read the stats all day long, but you have to realize they are going to be give and take in rain.

The Racers might not be able to pass, but how does that help the Panthers, who have the No. 1 pass defense in the OVC?

The Racers have a poor running game, but Eastern has the second-worst rush defense in the OVC.

And weather goes both ways. Eastern’s pass offense, though not as lethal, is fourth in the OVC. The Panthers run offense? The worst.

But we’ve seen field conditions be affective against visiting teams. Well, at least I have. And I know my dad has.

Take, for instance, the 2005 Southern California vs. Notre Dame football game, or “The Bush Push Game” as some people know it.

In preparation for the game, Notre Dame “forgot” to mow the grass at Notre Dame Stadium, letting it grow, and grow and grow.

Notre Dame got close to winning – very close. And so some fans may believe that the grass slowed down the Trojans. It might have, I don’t know. I wasn’t playing on the field that day.

But we have evidence that weather conditions are effective at times. Again, take the Ice Bowl for example. Those weather conditions were far less than ideal.

So maybe the rain comes Saturday and affects the teams’ passing abilities. Oh well, Eastern turns it over a lot anyways.

Maybe it’s better that Eastern and Murray would have their ground games battle it out. Maybe a rainstorm and a muddy field is just what Eastern needs to get psyched up enough to win its first game of the season.

I know when I was a little kid I always loved playing football in the mud, in rain, and sliding around all over the place.

Pound for pound, I think Eastern has the better running game. I’ll take senior running backs Jimmy Potempa and Mon Williams over anyone the Racers have.

Those two backs are tough as nails. I get the feeling that both of them would love to have the offense on their shoulders.

If it comes to that, I’ll take Eastern’s running backs. I’ll take the energy that the Panthers will have from playing in the rain on Homecoming any day of the week.

I hope for rain. Let’s see what happens when weather conditions are less than ideal.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 581-7944 or [email protected]