As any avid follower of the TVC knows, this match up last season was an extraordinary encounter. For those unaware, the Stags narrowly beat the Bucs 52-48 with BNU's defence incapable of stopping Southampton's air attack and BNU's double wing offence running riot over the Stags D. Any neutral would again be hoping for a similar result.
BNU received the ball first and it was evident straight away that Southampton feared a defensive display similar to last year, lining up in a completely new front. Six down linemen, and middle linebacker, two outside linebackers and two deep safeties. For all this tactical prudence, it didn't seem to make a difference as on the first play BNU's captain #8 Danny Wallace took the ball thirty yards and into Southampton territory. BNU kept driving, getting into the redzone. BNU went backwards from there before switching to spread and dropping a pass in the endzone. They turned the ball over on downs after a 9 play drive.
As the Stag's offence took the field, it was equally evident BNU feared being passed all over again as they lined up in a deep cover 3, with their corners playing 10-15 yards off their man. It worked on the Southampton's first drive as they went three-and-out.
The first quarter went extremely quick and without event as both sides failed to put any points on the board. BNU had another drive led by full back #21 Martin Friedrichs running but again stalled in Stags territory. The scoring started early in the second quarter, with a drive of solid running from Stag's RB's #24 Henry Schlaefli and #80 Tristan Demuth, before QB Dana Neale found wide out #33 Henry Everett for a 24 yard score on a third and long situation. PAT good.