GWU hopes to rebound after loss

Sep. 11, 2013 @ 05:39 AM

It is the mistakes that will kill you in the end.

That was certainly the case for the Gardner-Webb football team in a 55-0 loss at Marshall on Saturday.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Six turnovers, five three-and-out offensive drives out of 16, just 14 first downs and a defense that only held the Thundering Herd to two three-and-outs and gave up 26 first downs.

“We were a product of our own demise with missed tackles and mis-alignment on defense,” said GWU head coach Carroll McCray. “We have a lot of work to do with our team.”

Perhaps the biggest killer for the Runnin’ Bulldogs (1-1) was three fumbles lost and an interception. Two of the fumbles came on exchanges between center Ashanti McPhee and quarterback Lucas Beatty. The other on a handoff to running back Juanne Blount.

Any way you slice it, turnovers can spell the end of a football team in a game against a touted defense like Marshall.

“We went up with good intentions but we didn’t protect the football,” McCray said. “When you turn the ball over six times, you won’t be able to beat a junior high team.”

McCray is quick to spread the blame for turnovers around the entire field.

“We dropped the ball from a back, we had a tipped pass and receivers that ran bad routes,” McCray said. “It was a combination of every position.”

Regardless, McCray had it right when he said his team has a lot of work leading up to Saturday’s home match-up with No. 11 Richmond.

The Spiders enter after nearly knocking off N.C. State last week. Richmond led most of the game but a late field goal by the Wolfpack erased the lead and gave N.C. State a 23-21 win.

Coming off a game of miscues, letdowns and just about any negative you can think of on the football field, McCray said this week will feature higher intensity at practice in an attempt to overcome those mistakes.

“We will be on our high end of emotion this week and we will work on not being sloppy on offense,” McCray said.

In a word, it’s back to fundamental football for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

“Each and every snap we take from start to finish, we will have a keen eye on hanging on to the football,” McCray said.