Backwoods Brawl Preview

The Backwoods Brawl will feature three East Coast teams and the University of Ohio. As of today, the current Gonzalez rankings are as follows:

Ohio wins: A win in regulation for the Bobcats would be sweet revenge and will increase their swagger. A loss in regulation for the Bobcats would be deemed an upset potentially pushing them out of the top 10.

UMD: A win in regulation for the Terrapins will be their 2nd consecutive win against the Bobcats forcing the league to not sleep on them. It will also show the quality of a mid-tier East coast against a top tier Ohio team pushing the conversation of which is the 2nd best region behind Michigan before the Bobcats host the No Fear Invitational on November 16. A loss for Maryland would be deemed a missed opportunity for them to move up in the ranking.

Court VCU/WVU 12: 00 P.M.

This will be a fun match for both teams. WVU will be looking for opportunities to speed up the tempo to force the Rams to play as individuals instead of a team. Meanwhile, VCU will be seeing what WVU will give them and make adjustments accordingly. If WVU can clean up some issues in the transtional and defensive end, they can make this game very interesting to the point that they could force an OT match. If VCU plays as a team with everyone understanding their roles and responsibilities at all times, this should be a convincing win for VCU.

What would happen if…

VCU wins: Absolutely nothing. They are expected to win. On the flip side, a loss for the Rams would be deemed as a huge upset and will highlight mental lapses that shows a lack of discipline, focus, and desire to compete.

WVU wins: A win in regulation would be a huge upset and should push WVU several rankings close to the top 20. A big morale boost for sure. A loss wouldn’t be a bad thing for this team; they’re playing with house money, nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Court 1 VCU/UMD 1:30 P.M.

Both teams will be playing their 3rd consecutive game in a row with no breaks. Fatigue can be a factor for both teams. Both teams will need to have the mental discipline to play for a full 50 minutes regardless of their results between WVU and OHIO earlier in the day.  

What would happen if…

VCU wins: It will be their 2nd consecutive win against UMD and it will separate the gap between the mid-tier teams in the East Coast. A loss can be good/bad depending upon the score and what lessons the Rams can learn so they don’t repeat the same mistakes twice.

· #6 VCU: 45.655

· #9 OHIO: 44.628

· #10 UMD: 43.550

· #26 WVU: 36.545 + 1


Even though this is a 4-team tournament, this event will be used as a measure stick for the back end of the top 10 teams in this league.

Court 1: VCU/OHIO 10:30 a.m.

The first matchup between these two teams will be the biggest match of the today and respectfully so; I just wish this took place later in the day by itself. The last time these two teams played against each other in Akron, Ohio, the Bobcats won 4-0 against the Rams. Both teams are currently undefeated, but their roads to perfection came in different manners.

· OU 5 BGSU 0      VCU 4 WVU 2

· OU 4 Miami 2      VCU 4 UVA 1

· OU 4 CSU 1       VCU 4 UMD 2


Based off the Ohio/East Coast regions 2019-2020 preview projects, we can say that Ohio played a more difficult schedule to this point in the season and their wins are more convincing in comparison to VCU. However, word on the street is that some teams were missing their starters so we have to view these scores and standings objectively until more games are played.  

What would happen if…

VCU wins: A win in regulation for the Rams would give them some breathing room between teams ranked #7-9 and get them closer to a top 5 spot in the Gonzalez standings. It would be a good indicator that VCU can be competitive against the top tier teams in Ohio since it can be argued that Ohio is currently the top team in Ohio or at worst the 2nd best team in Ohio depending upon who you talk to. A loss in regulation would more than likely drop the Rams 2 if not 3 spots in the Gonzalez standings and would be reflected poorly for the Rams regardless of their record after playing Ohio.

Ohio wins: A win in regulation for the Bobcats would be considered an upset and their 2nd straight win against VCU. It would more than likely raise their standings 2-3 spots and would put them in the driver seat as the best team in Ohio by getting quality wins against several teams in the top 10. A loss in regulation wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Bobcats, they would use that defeat as a learning lesson to make adjustments throughout the tournament.

In short, VCU has more to lose in this game than Ohio on the account that they’re the higher seed and Ohio has looked very impressive thus far.


Court 2 WVU/UMD 10:30 a.m.


Two completely different styles with these two teams. WVU enjoys playing at a fast pace that allow them to play an aggressive, athletic style of dodgeball. UMD plays at a much slower tempo that emphasize on strategy and teamwork from their players to get the job done. UMD won the 1st matchup 4-1 in September 2019 and depending upon how each team plays, the score would be the same or much closer than expected.

What would happen if…

UMD wins: A win in regulation for the Terrapins would be business as usual. It would be used as a warm-up game to prepare them for their matchup against VCU in the next round; however, they will not look down on their opponents. A lost in regulation would be consider a huge upset and their 1st lost against the Mountaineers more than likely dropping them out of the top 10 completely.

WVU wins: A win in regulation would be a huge morale boost for the Mountaineers. It will also demonstrate that the lower tier teams in the East Coast can be competitive against the mid-tier teams in the East Coast thus improving the quality of competition from top to bottom. A loss in regulation wouldn’t be considered a bad loss since they are playing against three teams in the top 10.

Court 1 OHIO/UMD 12:00 p.m.

This will be the 2nd biggest match of the day and I can’t wait. The last time these two teams played against each other, I was commentating their game at Nationals 2019 during round robin with a 2-1 OT victory for UMD. Since then, these two teams have developed a rivalry and are very eager to play against each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a close game or a blowout. From a selfish perspective, I want OT between these two teams.

What would happen if…

UMD wins: It will give them a lot of confidence that they’re more than capable to play against their counterparts in the East Coast and not be considered an easy win. It will remind teams that people shouldn’t sleep on them.


Court 1 WVU/OHIO 3:00 P.M.

In theory this should be a low drama with Ohio winning; this is not a shot against WVU because I enjoy the way that they play. It’s just on paper OHIO is the better team. But we don’t do things in theory, we do things in reality and one thing I have learned over the years is this: anyone can be beaten at any time. With the proper game plan, WVU can take several points against OHIO if the Bobcats aren’t prepared. But I’m expecting OHIO to be ready and play them hard for 50 minutes.

What would happen if…

OHIO wins: Absolutely nothing. They are expected to win. On the flip side, a lost for the Bobcats would be deemed a huge upset and would end their day on a sour note.

WVU: It would be a huge morale boost for them and a nice win for them to finish the day. It will give them a lot of confidence for future tournaments.

Tune in on Facebook to watch all of the games on Court 1!

Written by Shadeed Drakeford

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