RMFL GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie Rebels (1-0, 1-0 Utah South Division) at the Boise Generals (0-1, 0-0 Idaho Division)
Tonight, 7 p.m., at Eagle High School, Eagle, Idaho
Previous Meeting: This will be the first matchup between Dixie and Boise. Boise is an expansion team in the AAA League after winning the AA League last year.
Head Coach: Dale Stott
Defense: Pro 4-3, Nickel
Last Game: Beat Wasatch Revolution 14-10.
Players to watch: Offensively, the Rebels seemed out of sync against Wasatch. Quarterback Misi Tupe hit only 31 percent of his passes last week, but much of that can be blamed on dropped passes. Facing a deficit late in the game, the Rebels were able to drive 78 yards when it counted. Tupe had 115 yards rushing but Rimo Mapu also showed good speed and evasiveness. The receivers were running good routes and hopefully another week of getting in sync with Tupe will cut down on the drops. Defensively, the Rebels bent, but did not break. The problem is they bent quite a bit. The Revolution had several sustained drives only to be quashed by turnovers. Three of those four turnovers occurred in the red zone. The defense did step up when backed against its end zone with the game on the line. The defensive line had good push and the defensive backs kept everything in front of them and closed well. This may be a good game to gel better as the Generals struggled to move the ball in their first game.
Trend: The Rebels escaped with a win against undoubtedly a top-three team last week. Coach Stott will need to have them in a position where the escape is unnecessary. Thankfully Boise looked awful last week. But the Generals only traveled with 22 players to Montana. They may have more of their team for the visiting Rebels.
Coach: Jerry Smith
Last Game: Lost to the Montana Blaze 34-0
Players to watch: The Generals are quarterbacked by Tom Bennett, whose line last week was 9 for 25 for 131 yards with one interception. His main target is the coach, Jerry Smith who had six receptions for 107 yards. Their leading rusher was Daniel Jenkins, who got 26 yards on 13 carries. Their defense was porous in its first week, surrendering 453 total yards, 338 through the air.
Most would not expect Boise to fare well as an expansion team in its first year of AAA. However their first game was against fellow expansion team Montana Blaze, who they crushed in the AA Championship game last year, 36-12. Undoubtedly the loss of AA League MVP quarterback B.J. Rhode had affected the offense. But their defense, that recorded seven shutouts and allowed only 6 points during the entire season last year, got drilled by the Blaze for 34 points. Is the first game a wake-up call for the Generals or a presage of what is to come for the entire season? It does not help that their second game is against the preseason favorite Rebels.
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