Scouting the Musketeers...
The news came screaming across my desk in the news department at the Times-Voice. Floyd Central had cancelled Friday night’s home game with visiting Breathitt County.
Unfortunately, the news had broken too late to chance the print edition of the Times-Voice. That’s the nice thing about our digital paper…no such thing as too late.
Similar to what we did in breaking down and analyzing the Floyd Central team, we intend, in this article, to analyze the Greenup County squad who will be invading the Holcomb Athletic Complex on The Riverbank in Jackson, Kentucky in just two days. You are going to think me crazy, but this is a much better matchup for us in spite of the fact Greenup County handily beats Floyd Central in a football game.
Football is often about matchups, and Floyd Central wasn’t the best matchup for us. This team fits better with what we can do, and what we do well. They are a better match up for Breathitt and Breathitt's schemes and personnel than were Floyd Central.
For the Musketeers…
Zack Moore is the head coach of the Musketeers and he brings a 2-2 ball club into Jackson, Kentucky tomorrow night. The Musketeers present RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) is .51934 to which we get to add 15% (provided we should win, of course) owing to playing up a classification. Floyd Central’s RPI is .40200, so that is a considerable upgrade.
More on Coach Zack Moore…
Moore spent the last two seasons at Greenup County as an Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator under Grizzle. Prior to his tenure at Greenup, Moore was a Defensive Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator at Morehead State University during the 2015 through 2017 seasons.
He helmed the Raiders at East Carter High School from 2011 to 2014. He also served as an Assistant Coach at Kentucky Christian University from 2007 until 2009 and took over as the Head Coach at KCU during the ’09-’10 seasons. Moore played at Morehead State and at Carter High School in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The 2020 roster looks substantially different than 2019. Greenup County graduated sixteen (16) seniors off the 2019 team, including Marshall University signee, Eli Sammons (QB). The Musketeers finished 2019 with a record of 4 wins and 7 losses.
What they have done so far…
Greenup County had a Covid-19 scratch to begin the year against Ashland Blazer. The way AB has played thus far, the Musketeers were very lucky to not have to play that game.
Greenup has beaten a winless Montgomery County team, 21-14 and a 1-3 Fairview football team whose only win was 20-6 over our own Morgan County. Greenup pasted Fairview 49-0, and the number “49” will be really important later on in our statistical analysis.
When on offense…
Offensively, Greenup runs a similar scheme to Breathitt. They run out of a "Power Spread" and utilize multi-back, backfield sets to get downhill and run at a defense with plenty of lead blocking. They will run from the "Spread" more so than throw it but will throw from the formation too. We should be ready to defend the entire field at all three levels.
Both Raceland, 48-20, and Russell, 39-0, have beaten the Musketeers. Now, the Musketeers have scored 90-points in 4-games (22.5 per). However, more than half of those points were scored on the worst team they have seen, a team which only beat Morgan County by a pair of scores (Fairview, score with Morgan was 20-6). Take away that one game and they are scoring under 14-points a night. They only managed 21-points on a winless MoCo and 20 on Raceland, playing against the JV for most of the 4th quarter.
They have gained 775-rushing yards in their 4-games or 193.75 per night. They only throw for under a hundred a night (93.75) or for 373-yards total, and that is funny saying that because they had one of Kentucky’s most productive and skilled QBs just a year ago in Eli Sammons.
Carson Wireman has replaced Sammons on offense at QB and wears No. 4. He is 34 for 60 on the year so far for 373-yards with 5-TD throws. Wireman is not really a running threat so much. He has run it 27 times on the year but has only gained 46 yards and scored one rushing TD.
In the offensive backfield, the Musketeers have two runners on whom they tend to lean. Quintan Farrow, No. 22, has gained 428-yards in four games on 64-carries with 3-rushing TDs. The other runner on whom they appear to lean is Ike Henderson, No. 9. Henderson has carried it 36-times on the year for 203-yards and a score. Between Farrow and Henderson, they allot for 157 of the team’s 193.75 yards per contest or 81% of every yard gained on the season. They have also carried it 100 times out of the team’s 148-rushing attempts. This makes it a nearly 70% chance one of those two players is getting the football.
When they are on defense…
Greenup County is a 4-2-5 base defense according to the sources I accessed to write this scouting report. They play "off man" on everything. Corners will press some and, judging from the Raceland game, they are susceptible to getting beat off the man coverage and burned down the field. Look for us to try to get Ritchie, Sperry, and even Hoskins deep down the field, one on one, hoping it is the Bobcat who comes away with the deep ball.
The 4-2-5 alignment was developed for defenses having to rely on smaller, athletic players who can cause havoc by running the field and getting after the QB, receivers, and ball carriers. This should tell you something of their personnel assuming they are molding the scheme to what they have on their roster and dotting the depth chart. Players in this alignment use their instincts instead of the traditional "read and react (reading the full play and reacting to what you have seen)."
This is not a bad defense to attack with our spread option offense. Look for Breathitt to utilize it's run-pass-option game to take advantage of defenders playing instinctively as opposed to playing "read and react."
Defensively, Brady Clevenger (No. 44) leads the team in tackles. Mason Sammons (54), Eli’s brother, leads the team with 3.5 TFLs and the team’s only sack. Austin Clarkson (No. 2) has picked off a pair of passes on the year.
The defense has given up 101-points in four games, a smidgen over 25-points a night. However, it is worth remembering the Musketeers blanked Fairview and held MoCo to 14. Those two teams are a combined 1-7 in 2020.
The Musketeers have shown a defensive weakness in defending the forward pass. For instance, they have allowed nearly 200-yards per night through the air (189.75) or 759-yards passing in the four games.
This statistic is misleading. Russell threw for 211 on the Musketeers, MoCo 119, Fairview 41, and the Raceland Rams torched them for 388. Take Raceland out of the equation, and they are only surrendering 123.67 a night.
What we believe:
This is a game which will be at home against a team which plays a style of ball more suited toward our ability to successfully defend against it than a power run team like Floyd Central. We don’t believe this team to be very good on offense and think this is a game we win handily. On a neutral field you are looking at a 25-point margin but Breathitt is one of those teams which plays better at home in a normal year, which this year has been anything but. Both teams are disadvantaged in that neither knew until Wednesday they would be playing the other. That should impact the score, how exactly is anyone's guess.
Jackson Times-Voice’s prediction: We like Breathitt in this game 42-14.