Monday, October 28, 2013

Back Down to Earth

During the Hornets 30-7 road defeat at the hands of Hampton back on Saturday, DSU was supposed to be in playoff mode. Instead their battleship and their chances of staying in the MEAC Title hunt sunk faster than you say, "Man overboard!!!"

The down hill started when the Hornets rushing attack ran into brick wall early and often. After gaining over 100 plus yards during their two game winning streak, the Hornets finished the game with just 42 yards rushing, a scene we saw all too familiar with throughout most of the season.

Coach Kermit Blount wanted to the played clock game, instead, the clock game lead into unsuccessful drives that ended up in punts and turnovers throughout the game.

Speaking of turnovers quarterback Cory Murphy had another bad game with two interceptions and a lost fumble. The reason why Murphy kept turning the football over was due to the hurried pressure by the Hampton defense that carried throughout most of his snaps forcing him to run out the pocket and make bad throws. A problem we see all too familiar with since the 2nd game of the season. No wonder Murphy was pulled midway through the 3rd quarter by coach Blount after committing his 3rd turnover of the game.

Enter redshirt freshman backup quarterback Osayah Obado, and just like Murphy he didn't do much better going only 5 for 15 for 52 yards and getting sacked four times. Just like his teammate Murphy, Obado was being pressured by the Pirate defense and getting knocked down to the ground before leaving the game in the 4th quarter due to an injury.

The only bright side for the Hornets offense was a perfect two minute drill when the Hornets were down 10-0 with less than 2 minutes to go when DSU used a 15 play 90 yard drive that resulted in a Milton Williams touchdown catch that cut the Pirate lead 10-7.

Second half was all down hill the Hornet defense can't stop the run all 2nd half including giving up 79 touchdown run by Hampton's Jorrian Washington. To add salt to the wound, after two field goals in between the 3rd and 4th quarter, Pirate quarterback Bryan Bailey found Twarn Mixson for a 75 yard scored with 3:20 left in the 4th quarter to make the score even worst than it already is.

The Hornets defense really missed their presence of linebacker Devon Moore who missed his second straight game due to a knee injury. No wonder the Hornet defense left gaps throughout most of the game giving up 225 yards rushing and also giving up big plays that lead to Hampton points. That's something that the Hornets just can't let that continued.

There were some bright spots for the Hornets defense forcing Hampton to commit three turnovers (two interceptions and a lost fumble) and making a couple of sacks. Other than that, the Hornets defense gave up a chunk of big plays that helped Hampton continued their scoring drives.

Following their defeat, the Hornets football team realized that mistakes like that does not only make you lose games but also loses their chances to stay in the MEAC title hunt. I hope the Hornets can learn from this game and move forward from there.

Hornets needs to focus on building a new winning streak if they want to have a winning record in tact for next year starting with Howard at home this week.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Offense Playing the Clock Game

Has anyone noticed anything different about the Hornets offense during the past two games? Anyone? Give up? Well I'll tell you what happened.

It appears the Delaware State Hornets football team were playing the clock game when it comes to scoring drives. The reason for this so that their opponents don't get a chance to scored a lot point especially in the 2nd half.

Lets recap the clock game so far:

On October 12, DSU and Norfolk State were tied at 7-7 with 14:09 left in the 4th quarter at Homecoming. The Hornets started their drive at their own 39 yard line and drove down the field by getting five 1st downs, including converting on two 4th down plays deep inside Spartan territory. The result of the play a 1 yard scored by quarterback Cory Murphy. That scoring drive took 18 plays, 61 yards in eight minutes and 42 seconds. You can also thank the rain for helping the Hornets running game in a 14-7 victory.

Lets go to the next game October 19 when DSU went on the road to play North Carolina A&T. Lets fast forward to the 3rd quarter with the Hornets leading 6-0 with 13:22 left. DSU started their drive at their own 35 yard line and used a 15 play, 79 yard touchdown drive in six minutes and 39 seconds to helped the Hornets take a 12-0 lead and held on to a 12-7 victory. 11 of those 15 plays were running plays that resulted in 58 yards rushing on that touchdown drive.

The Hornets rushing game is improving a lot in scoring drives thanks to 125 yards vs Norfolk State and 130 vs North Carolina A&T. That way the pressure will off of Murphy because he was throwing a lot passes during the 1st five games of the season.

If the Hornets can keep this running on track during the final four games of the season (at Hampton, at home vs Howard, at Florida A&M, and at home vs Morgan State) then this Hornets team could have more than four wins doing the season. That way the Hornet fans criticism will be at a very small minimum, but then again I could be wrong.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hornets Offense Unbalanced

During the Hornets 21-7 lost at the hands of defending MEAC Champion Bethune-Cookman in their home opener, the Hornets offense rely on the air once again and just like Delaware, Towson, and North Dakota State, DSU couldn't get the running game going.

Hornets finished the game with only 10 yards rushing, yes I said it 10 yards rushing. To me it's very disappointing the way the Hornets coaching staff have three very good running backs of Nagee Jackson, Dae-Hon Chenug, and Malcolm Williams and either of them can't help take the pressure off of quarterback Cory Murphy.

Speaking of Murphy, he threw an interception for the fifth straight game. He finished with two picks for the game including a turning point late in the 3rd quarter when the Hornets were driving in Bethune-Cookman territory. I don't remember a Hornet quarterback who can throw one or more interception in  five consecutive games. Wait, I know who threw one or more interceptions in five straight games: Anthony Glaud back in 2009, Vashon Winton in 2008, and Bryan Botts in 2004.  

I understand Murphy is learning the system but Coach Bluntt and his coaching staff need to realized in order to have a great offense you have to run the football in until the defense gets tired. I know the offensive line is thin with one experience lineman and four inexperience lineman but at least tried running the football when its 1st down or 2nd/3rd down and short.

If this method continues throughout the rest of the season, rest assured the Hornets will managed only three or four wins this season. To me and every other Hornet fan its not a good thing, its a bad thing.