Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blue Hens Gave Hornets a Reality Check

Last night, the Delaware State Hornets football team were ready to play the University of Delaware and hoping to give the Blue Hens a fight just like their first regular season meeting back in 2009. Instead, the Blue Hens were playing like it was November 2007 in a 45-0 victory over DSU.

All week long everyone thought that the Hornets and the Blue Hens will play a close game, however UD proved to DSU that they have a lot of work to do to be on UD's level.

Last night UD were heading into the game ranked #8 in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) Rankings came right out the gates and showed the Hornets no mercy whats so ever.

DSU were out the sync from the start. The offense wasn't clicking all night because Justin Wilson wasn't playing due to a bad ankle, Darruis Jackson, Travis Tarplay was a non-factor, the running game from Jasshawn Jones was held to nine yards rushing the entire game and Nick Elko making two of the Hornets three turnovers. Also the defense were getting gunned down all over the field giving over 500+ yards, almost half of those yards involved the running game played by UD's running backs Walter Davis (109 yards rushing) and Andrew Pierce (106 yards rushing). Not to mention taking the DSU crowd out of the game.

As I watch the game while the Blue Hens were piling up the points, it almost felt like the playoff game of November 2007 when Joe Flacco, Omar Cuff, and the rest of the Blue Hens ran DSU out of the building in the Al Lavan era. Last night was similar only DSU did not scored a touchdown.

I thought the Hornets were ready to play the Blue Hens, instead they played slow couldn't pressure the quarterback, creating hole in their run defense, miscommunication in the secondary, and the offense couldn't even get pass their own 40 yard line let alone the UD 40 yard. Also the special teams couldn't return their kicks pass their own 20 yard to start their drive.

The Hornets will learned from this game and say to themselves that they have a long way to go in order to get on UD's playing level. They will meet again next year and 2013. For head coach Kermmit Blount it will be a good experience and teach the Hornets the problems they will have to solve throughout the rest of the season. After all the Hornets are still trying to forget the three straight losing seasons full of frustration and adversary.

As for the now UD, has turned DSU from contenders to pretenders for their 1st lost of the season.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Saturday Night Miracle

If you were at Alumni Stadium or listened to the game on 1290AM The Ticket, then you witnessed one of the greatest comeback in Delaware State football history. Ok, try second biggest comeback that I know of. (1st comeback November 2007 DSU's comeback win over Norfolk State).

On a bizarre Saturday night the Hornets were at their home opener versus Division II Shaw of the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association). I had a feeling this will warm up game to prepared and gain momentum for their encounter with the University of Delaware on September 17.

As I listened to the game on the radio, DSU was in a whole lot of trouble for three quarters. Nick Elko was throwing three interceptions, wide receivers not making the plays they wanted, running game on thin ice, defense couldn't stop Shaw's offense attack down the field, and special teams not doing their jobs on coverage, missing field goals, and missing extra points.

All of sudden the defense woke by making sacks, causing Shaw to fumble and forcing the Bears to punt, make very dumb penalties, and lose control of the game.

Hornets started making first downs, driving the ball down the field and scoring touchdowns to get closer including a very key two point conversion . Then, with less than minute left the Hornets were hoping to tied the game or take the lead until rain started to fall down and winds were picking up 10-15 mph. The Hornets missed the 32 yard field goal and all hope seems lost. Fans were getting ready to head for the exits and sitting in my house saying to myself, "Man, I wish I was at the Hornets game then they will have a chance to win the game."

Shaw was getting ready to celebrate because all they need is make a couple of kneel downs and the game will be theirs. Instead Shaw decide to run the football to chew the time off the clock and lost the football in the progress.

The Hornets have the ball back and was getting ready for their final chance of winning the ball game and they accomplished that drive thanks to Darius Jackson's game winning touchdown catch. Hornets fans went crazy, the Hornets broadcasters were excited, I was at home screaming "YES!!!" from the top of my lungs as the Hornets came back from 24-6 deficit to win 31-27. It was a Saturday miracle that the Hornets will never forget and lesson to be learned that no matter how far get beat down, you never give up and achieve your ultimate goal to victory and that's what Coach Kermitt Blount and the Hornet did. One thing the Hornets will do is to learned from their mistakes, make up from those mistakes and Staying Alive (in my Bee Gees' voice).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hornets Finished the Job When It Counts

Doing the Hornets 24-21 victory over VMI (Virginia Military Institution), DSU accomplished two goals: one, to make plays when it counts to score espically the red zone and second, to hold on to the lead to win the 4th quarter.

Lets start with the swarming defense of the Hornets, they kept the Keydets at bay swatting down balls left and right, stalling drives, and even forcing four turnovers. They very key play of the game came late in the 4th quarter when VMI went on a 4th and 10 from their own 20 yard and forced the Keydete to turn the ball over on downs. Despite only one sack, the defense was solid but need to clean up the defensive penalties and giving up over 300+ yards. Other than that, defensive coordinator Michael Ketuchum did a good job of not letting defense stay on the field for a very long time allowing the offense to score points.

On the offensive side of the ball, the game belong to the preseason MEAC Player of the Year Justin Wilson. He finished with six catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Just like in training camp and practice from last year, Nick Elko's chemistry with Wilson was clicking on all cylinders making plays including a 47 yard touchdown catch late in the 3rd quarter. Also I can't forget Travis Tarplay who also made a diving touchdown catch back in the 1st half to help out the scoring. Nick Elko made great throws without making a turnover (remember Anthony Galud's turnover problem from last season).  The running game was okay but made big 1st downs late in crunch time to run out the clock because VMI were out of timeouts.

The offense don't need to be pass happy, just balanced out the offense with running the football and then pass the football. Try over 100 yards running and 250-300 yards passing. Also catch the football because there more than five drop passes from our wide receivers. Secure the football or it will  come back will to bite you.

Special teams were average today because on the opening kickoff Tarplay fumbled the football and lost it. Punter Michael Kano first punt only went 11 yards and coach Kermit Blount gave Kano an earful. Since then, Kano calm down punted the football deep into VMI territory. My biggest concern was the field goal kickers. In the first quarter, the extra point was missed and I was saying to myself, "Oh no here we go again." After that DSU used two place kickers to get extra points and freshman Mitchell Ward made a huge 24 yard field goal early in the 4th quarter to extend the lead.

Overall Blount and the Hornets played very but remember its only the 1st game of the season and with a little stuff to clean up, expect some positive results coming from the Hornets football team.