Lack of rushing attack results in winless OVC play
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 02:10
For the second year in a row it’s homecoming here at Tennessee Tech and the football team does not have an OVC win. They are 0-4 for two years removed from their OVC championship
It’s time for the blame game.
You know those question marks that the offense had headed into the season, now we know the answers to them.
Junior quarterback Darian Stone is dynamic on the field. He led the Golden Eagles over the conference champion UT-Martin Skyhawks last season accounting for over 460 yards himself. With Stone rushing for just under 500 yards and throwing for over 750 yards in his first four starts as a Golden Eagle spelled good fortune this upcoming season. Things have not panned out that way.
Tech can’t move the ball down the field this year.
These problems stem from a lack of run game. The Golden Eagles are second worst, if you still count winless rival Austin Peay as competition, in the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing yards per game averaging a measly 125 yards.
Without a run game Stone and the offense have struggled to put together consistent drives this season.
The Golden Eagles only average 19 first downs a game, that’s sixth in the OVC. They also have the highest number of punts (26) and average the most punts per game (6.6) in OVC games.
Now that I think about it, Stone has gotten hurt a few times this season causing the offense to be under the command of redshirt freshman Jared Davis. Davis is asked to come off the bench and immediately be thrown into the fire with a lack of a run game.
This has put the defense on the field more than they would like I’m sure. They have responded by having a season that is on par to match or even do better than the Golden Eagle defense from the 2011 OVC Championship campaign defense, statistically.
The defense in 2011 end their season with 11 interceptions, 15 sacks, 53 tackles for loss and recovered 10 fumbles.
Through eight games this season they already have 10 interceptions, 17 sacks, 58 tackles for loss and has recovered 8 fumbles.
There’s no doubt that the defense with have at least 2 all-conference selections at the end of the season. Senior Malcolm Mitchell’s 4.5 sacks and 7 tackles for loss put him in the top 8 of the OVC in both categories. Redshirt Junior Marty Jones leads the OVC in tackles with 71 and averages 8.9 per game. Jones has also had multiple double-digit tackle games.
Just last week the defense held Eastern Kentucky to 148 yards on the ground at the final horn. EKU averages 213 yards.
The Golden Eagles rushed for an upsetting net total of 27 yards rushing. As embarrassing as that number is it is skewed because of the two sacks on redshirt freshman quarterback Jared Davis that cost the rushing total 19 yards.
Facts are facts and stats are stats.
Luckily for the Golden Eagle football team they played most of the tougher teams in the conference first. Tech will close the season out with at least two or three wins. The players have too much heart to lose to Austin Peay on Senior Day and they will grab a win against JSU or Southeast Missouri maybe both.