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Editor declares Golden Eagles ‘surprising’ season explainable

Sports Editor

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 23:11

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Jamal Ferguson

Despite the presence of transfer wideout Da’Rick Rogers, Tech’s football team, below, has gone winless in this year’s OVC campaign. Multiple injures that have forced backups to play in key positions, such as quarterback Darian Stone, bottom right.

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James Dillon

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Ross Harvey

Tech’s football team is 0-5 in the OVC and 2-6 overall so far in 2012, one year removed from an Ohio Valley Conference Championship and the school’s first visit to the FCS Playoffs.

All I’ve heard the past few weeks is the public’s reasoning for the team’s “poor play,” as I’ve heard it called.

However, let me go in a different direction.

Although you may not have expected a 2-6 record at this point in the season, when you look at the facts, it’s not surprising.

You may describe the team’s play as “underachieving.” I describe it as unfortunate.

Take last week’s game vs. Tennessee State University, for instance. Tech’s defense held the top team in the OVC to 15 points for 59 minutes and 59 seconds. At that point in the game, Tech had the lead.

That’s pretty decent. Tech was outgained in every phase except perhaps discipline and still had a chance to put the game away with less than three minutes left. A long field goal didn’t go, and TSU ended up scoring with no time remaining on a play where officials missed the fact TSU was lined up illegally.

I’m not one to blame the officials for a loss, especially when no one knows what might have happened, but facts are facts.

Considering starting quarterback Tre Lamb missed the game because of an injury, and starting running back Adam Urbano has been limited because of an injury as well, I would say the team overachieved during the game. Defensive stalwart Caleb Mitchell also didn’t make the trip. Sophomore Darian Stone played excellently in relief of Lamb, sparking the Golden Eagles with his legs at many points throughout the game. He led the team to the brink of victory.

The loss was unfortunate.

Let’s look at Da’Rick Rogers. Most people thought he would propel Tech to back-to-back championships when he joined the team in late August. A terrific talent, Rogers has 45 receptions for more that 700 yards and eight touchdowns.

But without having the benefit of a full spring practice, Rogers can’t be expected to have the same grasp of Watson Brown’s system  four-year player Tim Benford had last year. Don’t forget Benford was pretty good as well. He’s currently in the NFL.

Rogers has had his glimpses, but between an ankle injury and the lack of time in the system, he can’t be on the field every play like Benford was.

Unfortunate.

And fans, one last point… The team last year spoiled you.

They took care of business last year and won the OVC, and we, as fans, would love for it to happen every year. But there are eight other teams that put the bull’s-eye on Tech’s back this year, getting amped up to play the defending champs. Repeating as champs isn’t the easiest thing to do.

I am not making excuses for the team because I’m sure they and coach Brown would give you none. But the fact remains that multiple issues other than the team across the sideline have stood in the Golden Eagles’ way. And we just looked at one game.

Sometimes there isn’t much you can do about it.

It’s just unfortunate.  
 

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