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.