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SaberCats aim to exploit advantages of playing at home
The SaberCats (2-1) are coming off a bye last week and host the Shock (4-0) Friday night. (Credit: SaberCats website)
SaberCats: 2-1, last week bye
Shock: 4-0, last week defeated Arizona 66-49
Stat Matchup (AFL Ranking)
Points per Game: 53.0 (7th)
Points Allowed: 59.0 (T-11th)
Total Offense: 291.0 Yds/Gm (7th)
Total Defense: 283.0 Yds/Gm (10th)
Turnover Margin -1 (Gained 7, loss 8) (7th)
Points per Game: 68.8 (1st)
Points Allowed: 48.5 (4th)
Total Offense: 333.5 Yds/Gm (1st)
Total Defense: 338.0 Yds/Gm (12th)
Turnover Margin +6 (gained 7, loss 1) (1st)
QB - Aaron Garcia (845 yards passing, 18 TDs, 8 INT this season)
QB – Erik Meyer (1,279 yards passing, 32 TDs, 0 INT this season)
WR – Huey Whittaker (19 receptions, 234 yards, 6 TDs this season)
WR – Jason Willis (25 receptions, 274 yards, 5 TDs, this season)
WR – Jamarko Simmons-Scott (11 receptions, 113 yards, 5 TDs this season)
WR – Adron Tennell (37 receptions, 440 yards, 14 TDs this season)
WR – Kamar Jorden (26 receptions, 334 yards, 9 TDs this season)
WR – Steven Black (18 receptions, 168 yards, 3 TDs this season)
DB – Clevan Thomas (11.0 tackles, 4 INT, 2 pass breakups this season)
DB – Terrance Sanders (20.0 tackles, 1 INT, 2 pass breakups this season)
LB – Huey Whittaker (12.0 tackles, forced fumble, INT return & a pass breakup this season)
LB – Beau Bell (18 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a INT this season)
Keep an eye on…
SaberCats: QB Aaron Garcia who is tied for the league lead in interceptions with 8 will get help with pass protection this week with the return of Brian Folkerts and the newly signed former SaberCat Rich Ranglin. Rich left midseason in 2012 for a chance to play with the Kansas City Chiefs. The defense also gets a boost with the addition of Terrance Carter in a trade with Orlando. Carter, a vaulted pass rusher has recorded 17 sacks and 8 forced fumbles in 49 career AFL games. San Jose’s defense is #1 in opponent 3rd down conversions having allowed only 3 on 20 attempts. That will be tested this week as the Shock have the #1 ranked offense on 3rd down converting at 64% (16 for 25). San Jose looks to break a three game losing streak coming off a bye week.
Shock: QB Erik Meyer is having himself a career year so far in 2013. Erik, who suffered a season ending injury in the first game last season, leads the league in pass yards (1,279) and passing touchdowns (32). Meyer’s efficiency rating of 135.9 is also tops in the AFL as he is yet to throw an interception. His two primary targets are wide outs Adron Tennell and Kamar Jorden who have combined for 23 touchdowns on 774 yards receiving. Spokane on Friday will have started their season with four of their first five games on the road. This hasn’t seemed to slow them down as they are a perfect 4-0.
The all-time series is tied 2-2. San Jose and Spokane split the season series last year with each team wining on each other’s home field. Spokane’s 90-63 win in San Jose was not just the only loss on the home schedule last season, but was the third most points allowed by any AFL team at home in history.
“Excited about playing this game. Whenever you don’t play well you want to get back on the field and prove that you can play better.” – Head Coach Darren Arbet on playing Friday’s game coming off a loss and a bye.
“Our mindset is to cover our guy until the whistle blows.” Clevan Thomas on the defensive mindset going against the AFL’s top rated passed Erik Meyer.
“You can’t take any days off cause you are playing 16 straight games. You got to make sure you are mentally prepared to go out there and practice hard.” – Fred Williams on now playing 16 straight weeks of football after last week’s bye.
Nick Laino works in studio operations at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and is the Public Address announcer for the San Jose SaberCats.