Bison stuff the Leathernecks
Before I get into this one too much, it's astounding that the season's already been going for two months. When it began I was most interested to see how the offense would perform without Carson, Joe, Zach, Andrew and even Jedre Cyr. Well, through the first weeks of the season they seemed to be acquitting themselves pretty well to the new year. It's possible I was missing issues over the early weeks of the season or that they have regressed in recent weeks, whatever the reasons may be I don't think they have performed as well.
A week ago it was for practically the entire game. Last night, it was for the second half. I hesitate to call this Easton's worst game in his still young career but a 50% completion rate, albeit on only 18 passes, is fair to be considered as subpar. Throw in the two interceptions and it wasn't a recipe that I'd like to see replicated in the future. It wasn't all bad for the QB, he managed to get 160 yards out of those nine completions and did have some nice runs as the game waned. A performance like this next week in Iowa would very likely lead to the second loss of the season, but that'll be the talker all week so I'm going to skip that for now.
The defense was absolutely the unit that won the game last night. The quintessential point of the game came within the last eight minutes. After a botched field goal attempt, the Necks were able to go 80 yards, all the way to the one yard line. The defense held Western Illinois on three downs within the final 10 yards, which lead to a fourth down play at the one. Twice. The first attempt was stuffed but a penalty flag was thrown which moved the ball all of a few inches closer and gave another opportunity to the home team. The results only got better the second time around. Instead of merely stopping the offense, the Matt Plank managed to force a fumble into the endzone which was recovered by Pierre Gee - Tucker.
That was the defining play of the game by the defense, but far from the only one that mattered. Jalen Allison managed to snatch an interception and also got a sack on a corner blitz. It was the most clear example yet that he may be the next great Bison corner. Then came Tre Dempsey's play. After the offense again stalled with under a minute to go in the game, He made the pan ultimate play of the game, an interception on the first throw by the Sean McGuire. Leading up to all those plays was one of the two blocked field goals by the Bison. For those of you counting at home, that was four consecutive stands by the defense to end the game. That's clutch if anyone has ever been! And it was every bit the great sign that it should have been.
So while the offense needs to get right, there is still the high end potential that they showed in week two against Eastern Washington. The defense performing at the current level should make it much easier to make the corrections and show the necessary improvement! That's my take away from last night's tilt. What do you think? Did I miss anything? Are there other areas of concern or worthy of recognition? Let me know!